Rural & Nature
The northern part of Malta has some of the most rural areas on the island just waiting to be discovered, with the majority of open countryside located in the Mellieha and Mgarr areas adjacent to St. Paul’s Bay. Qawra is also very close to the rural areas of Wardija, offering interesting countryside and scenic walking trails. People looking for more adventurous activities can opt for a bicycle tour of Malta. The trip starts from Bugibba and you can discover the islands at your own leisure. It is a great choice for families, groups or couples of all age groups.
The north of Malta also offers beautiful sandy beaches nestled amidst the pleasant countryside. Visiting this area, tourists will find numerous beaches with this extraordinary landscape: Ghadira Bay, Paradise Bay, Golden Bay, Ghajn Tuffieha Bay, Little Armier Bay, etc.
If you love wildlife, you can enjoy a family day trip to BirdPark Malta in Qawra. The birdpark provides the ideal protected habitat for a large variety of both resident and migratory bird species thriving happily amongst friendly mammals and reptiles. You and your children will have a fun and educational visit while admiring over 200 species of birds and animals.
Adjacent to the birdpark, Salini National Park is a popular grassy park where Maltese families and visitors alike relax around it’s shaded picnic tables and fountains. An underground reservoir ensures the park is green all year round. The lower terrace of the gardens known as Kennedy Grove surround a simple monument to the former US president John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK). The memorial and gardens were commissioned by the Maltese government in 1964 co-funded by American citizens living in Malta and the US government. It is expected that the National Park when completed will total around 85,000m2.
Mellieha is known for its scenic beauty and also for its fertile valleys. Booklets are available which make it easier for tourists to go for countryside walks on their own and provides an enhanced experience. Ghadira hosts the Bird Sanctuary with a fresh water haven for migratory birds, adjacent to the Majjistral Nature Park, where walks are organized by the Ramblers Association.
The Aħrax promontory with its varied coastal landscape is also worth a visit and so are the sand dunes at White Tower Bay which are home to fauna endemic to the Maltese Islands. The Marfa Ridge is also notable for its Shearwater breeding places. Then there are neighbouring villages such as Manikata and the tiny hamlet of Selmun with their own historical places of interest and scenic views. The scenic coast and countryside of Mellieha, together with the cultural heritage of the village core makes the town well suited for winter and off peak tourism.
Golden (Ghajn Tuffieha) Bay and it’s idyllic surroundings is another area that offers scenic walks. The adjoining villages of Mgarr and Gnejna also have a lot to offer.
Is-Simar Nature Reserve in Xemxija and Ghadira Nature Reserve in Mellieha are the largest remaining areas of salt marsh in Malta and are designated as Wetlands of International Importance. They provide a variety of habitats for resident breeding birds and visiting migrants, including dry and wet reed beds, lakes dotted with small islands, olive groves and other indigenous wooded areas.
MISTRA-MGIEBAH-SELMUN – A most beautiful trek that takes us round the North-East coast to Mistra Bay and secluded Mgiebah bay. See St. Paul’s Islands up close before trekking along the clay slopes approaching Mgiebah and the peaceful countryside under Selmun. Climbing uphill towards the magnificent Selmun Palace and it’s breathtaking view of Mistra, rural paths then lead back to Mistra and Xemxija.
CIRKEWWA-QAMMIEH – Trek the extreme north of the island leaving from beautiful Paradise Bay towards the pristine garigue above the cliffs and the majestic Red Tower overlooking Ghadira Bay. Passing beautiful cultivated fields and steppe terrain, head back to Paradise Bay by way of easy bouldering among the fragmented coastline.
MANIKATA-MAJJISTRAL NATIONAL PARK – The ultimate coastline trek with plenty of bouldering – truly off the beaten path. From the Manikata plateau of Xaghra il-Hamra, trek down to the rugged shore of Rdum Majesa and around Ras il-Wahx (Cape Fear) continuing on amongst the enormous boulders and secluded bays to Pirate’s Cove. An uphill walk through typical garigue habitat and the Heritage trail returns you to Manikata.