time to explore with esplora
malta is green after all
Words by Eleni Karatzia
A classic winter route – from scenic Chadwick Lakes to Mġarr, with a touch of Chadwick Lakes
This winter walk is a classic, and you will be treated to diverse scenery and the opportunity to explore both the natural and historical treasures of Malta. This route starts at the lovely Chadwick Lakes, the spectacular views at Victoria Lines and finishes at Mġarr. The route is approximately 9km long and will take you between two and three hours to complete.
Just a tip: wear your trekking shoes and take along some binoculars, some snacks and water; as there are no shops along the way.
When you get off the bus, which stops you in Mtarfa, follow the signs for the walk down towards Chadwick Lakes. At this time of year, the place is full of life! We suggest you start early in the morning and enjoy a picnic breakfast there. You will be surrounded by the plants and animals that this wetland habitat hosts.
Explore the area and connect with the wildlife around you, look at the water and notice the Painted Frog tadpoles swimming, the dragonflies flying over the lake and listen to the many beautiful sounds of the wintering birds in the trees, such as Robins and White Wagtails. You might also be lucky to spot some shy warblers, such as Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps.
chadwick Lakes to Victoria Lines
When you are ready, continue the walk and you will enjoy a completely different scenery. If it is sunny, you could spot some insects along the way, including the colourful wings of the Painted Lady and Red Admiral, which have been quite common this autumn.
To begin, head west and at the fork of the road take a slight right uphill until you reach the T-junction and then turn right. Follow the uphill road and at some point you will see the parts of the Victoria Lines on your right. These lines of fortifications span 12km along the width of Malta and were built by the British Empire in the late 19th century as a defence from potential invasions from the north. From here, you can also enjoy a spectacular view as far as Ta’ Ċenċ Cliffs in Gozo.
Victoria Lines to Mġarr
Retrace your steps until you find a cross point, where you will go right. Follow the main road and at some point you will be rewarded with a breathtaking panoramic view stretching from Mtarfa to Mdina and Buskett. Continue along the main road and at the T-junction turn right. Then you will need to take the second left and the first right. Follow the road and when you come across two paths, take the one on the left.
You will have great views of the west coastal area of Malta as well as seasonal wildflowers such as the purplish Greater Snapdragon and the white Sweet Alison. Walking along the country road, you will see on your left the scenic Ta’ Lippija Tower overlooking Ġnejna Bay, one of the many coastal towers built in the 17th century. When you reach the cross point, you should go right. Keep straight and you will reach the Mġarr parish church of Santa Marija, where you can get the bus back.
how to get there
From Valletta to Chadwick Lakes: Bus Route 51 from Valletta (C2) to Palma bus stop in Mtarfa (10 minute walk down to Chadwick Lakes)
From Mater Dei to Chadwick Lakes: Bus Route 182 from Mater Dei (Sptar 2) to Palma Bus stop in Mtarfa
From Mġarr to Valletta: Bus Route 44 from Mġarr bus stop (originating at Għajn Tuffieħa), which takes you directly to Valletta.