15 Must-see Natural Attractions in Malta and Gozo
If you are a nature lover, then you must visit these natural attractions in Malta and Gozo. In this blog post, we invite you to explore the breathtaking natural wonders that make Malta and Gozo truly extraordinary. From the inviting embrace of the blue seas to the majestic heights of Dingli Cliffs, join us on a virtual journey through azure waters, rugged terrains, and lush landscapes.
If your idea of a holiday must include nature and you want to find a suitable place for learning English outside a city, the islands of Malta and Gozo may be what you are looking for.
Malta’s nature is nowhere as famous as the sparkling azure sea and the picturesque coast; however, it has a particular and unique charm. Though trees are not abundant, much is to be enjoyed amidst the dramatic rocky landscape strewn with bushes and wildflowers. Students who want to take English courses while also spending time outdoors in nature are always happy with the combination Malta provides.
Scattered here and there, you will find hunters’ lodges and stone igloos known by the name “ġirna” and prehistoric megaliths standing tall and mysterious parallel cart ruts cut deep into the rock. What’s most remarkable is the rock. Five rock layers include varieties of white limestone, blue clay and greensand, whose colour and texture define the landscape and the nature that prevails.
As you explore the caves, ridges and valleys, you will stumble upon fossils, indigenous lizards, snakes, birds and wild rabbits. Your eyes will feast on curious and colourful varieties of cacti and wildflowers; you can taste wild spinach and wild asparagus while the salty air smells of fennel, wild thyme, and sometimes pine.
Natural Attractions in Gozo
If it is nature you love, you’ll prefer the island of Gozo. Gozo is mainly unspoilt and still offers plenty of pristine nature to enjoy. Despite its smaller size, there are loads to explore in terms of the coast, cliffs, caves, valleys, and so on, and it is easier to get away from it all in Gozo than in Malta. Especially in the cooler months, Gozo’s hills are covered in a lush green carpet and many wildflowers.
1. Azure Window (Dwejra Bay)
Undoubtedly the most iconic natural attraction on the island, the Azure Window was a limestone arch that stood majestically on the shores of Dwejra Bay. Although the arch sadly collapsed in 2017, the site remains breathtaking, with its rugged coastline, crystal-clear waters, and the Inland Sea, a mystical lagoon connected to the open sea through a natural tunnel.
2. Ramla Bay
Ramla Bay is renowned for its unique reddish-golden sand and is one of the most beautiful beaches in Gozo. It is surrounded by lush countryside and hills, making it a private and peaceful getaway. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and exploring the nearby Calypso Cave, believed to be the same cave mentioned in Homer’s “Odyssey.”
3. Xlendi Bay and Cliffs
Xlendi is a beautiful village around a charming bay with crystal-clear waters. The bay is encircled by towering cliffs, which make for a breathtaking view and an ideal spot to unwind. For the more adventurous, there are opportunities to explore the cliffs and caves by boat or kayak. On the other hand, those looking to relax can enjoy fresh seafood at one of the local waterfront restaurants.
4. Ta Pinu Basilica and Countryside
Gozo is a beautiful island with natural beauty and cultural and religious sites. One such place is the Ta’ Pinu Basilica, a Roman Catholic church in rolling countryside. It’s a popular pilgrimage destination with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. You can also stroll through the nearby fields and vineyards to experience the island’s rural charm.
5. Ggantija Temples
Immerse yourself in history by visiting the Ggantija Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the world’s oldest freestanding structures. These megalithic temples date back to 3600 BC and are a testament to the rich historical significance of Gozo. A lush landscape surrounds the temples, providing visitors with a serene and mystical atmosphere.
6. Marsalforn Salt Pans
Take some time to explore the distinctive salt pans near the fishing village of Marsalforn. These traditional salt pans, which have been used for centuries to harvest sea salt, are carved into the coastal rocks. The geometric patterns of the pans offer a visually stunning view, especially during sunrise or sunset.
Natural Attractions in Malta
7. Xemxija Heritage Trail
The Xemxija heritage trail takes you up a Roman Road to the rock-cut apiaries, past a 1000-year-old carob tree, along a path with punic tombs on one side and temple remains on the other. Here, you may venture west into Mizip Forest or continue north to a ridge, which is also the location of the Roman baths. Although located near a residential area, only some walks in nature provide various curiosities.
8. Buskett Gardens
Buskett Gardens is one of Malta’s largest woodland areas. It was originally the gardens of Verdala Palace, built in 1586 by Grand Master de Verdalle, and today serves as the summer residence of the President of Malta. Set around a valley with a flowing stream, the gardens include wild woodland and orchards, initially serving as a hunting reserve.
9. Ghar il-Kbir, Siggiewi
A short walk from Buskett, one can venture into private property to access one of the island’s most remarkable features. Ghar il-Kbir translates as the great cave and consists of a complex of what were once underground caves inhabited by troglodytes. Nearby is a mysterious web of cart ruts known as Clapham Junction due to their resemblance to the railway station’s crisscrossing lines.
10. Fomm ir-Rih
On the outskirts of the rural village of Bahrija, along winding country roads across an apparent wilderness with stunning views, you will eventually come across one of Malta’s most remote and beautiful bays. Fomm ir-Riħ, the mouth of the wind, features a pebble beach surrounded by grand cliffs, which can be accessed by a 15-minute trek down a steep path.
11. Majjistral Nature Park
From Golden Bay to ix-Xagħra l-Ħamra, the northwest of Malta was declared a national park in 2007. Majjistral Nature and History Park include natural habitats, agricultural activities, and historical and archaeological sites. The park is freely accessible, and several guided tours, activities, and events are regularly organised.
12. L-Ahrax tal-Mellieha
Grab your camping gear, apply for a permit online, and head into the woods. Well, almost. Although the area of woodland is actually tiny, l-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa is a favourite camping zone with the locals; this condensed area of Malta’s nature, complete with cliffs, rubble and hidden coves for swimming, has the added bonus of beautiful views of Mellieħa bay and the village, the Red Tower, and the sunset. It is also an ideal site for a picnic or a long walk through the woods and along the coast – try to locate the underground cave where the roof caved into the water! You can also access this magnificent location with a kayak in Armier or Mellieħa Ghadira Bay beach.
13. Dingli Cliffs
Set 250 m above sea level, the village of Dingli is set on the edge of the highest cliffs of the island. In some areas, the awe-inspiring sheer drop gives way to land below, some wild and some cultivated. If you feel adventurous, find a way to wander down below. But watch your fall; it’s a long way down! If you want to enjoy the best views, we recommend visiting the place during sunset.
14. Wied iz-Zurrieq to Ghar Lapsi
The entire area stretching from Wied Babu, just below the village of Żurrieq, to Għar Lapsi is an absolute delight to explore. The first stop after Wied Babu, a lush valley with gorgeous sea views, is Wied iż-Żurrieq, a teeny bay where you can take a boat to see the Blue Grotto. Further along the coast (you need not take the road), you will eventually come to the area of the magnificent Mnajdra and Ħaġar Qim megalithic temples, which are complete with a museum and visitor centre. Much further along, where the cliffs are ideal for rock climbing, is Għar Lapsi, a perfect place to finish the trek with a swim, some fantastic snorkelling, and simple good food as children splash in the water. At the same time, the adults play cards or gossip, with their tea in glasses, at tables outside the boathouses. It does not get more natural than this; this is an authentic taste of Malta.
15. Ghar Dalam Cave and Museum
Explore Malta’s prehistoric past by visiting the Ghar Dalam Cave and Museum. This cave is home to beautiful stalactites and stalagmites and provides a unique insight into the island’s geological history. The cave also contains fossils that date back to the Ice Age, allowing visitors to embark on a fascinating journey through time.
Are you a nature lover? Learn English in the Countryside at BELS Gozo
Our BELS Gozo English school is housed in a traditional farmhouse renovated into a modern educational establishment, with everything needed for a comfortable learning experience. You can mingle with international students in our front garden, study in a silent environment, and enjoy the slower pace of life on the island of Gozo.
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