Top 3 Running Trails in Malta

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For a tiny island which is just 27 km long and 14 km wide, blessed with sunny weather almost all year round and various historic sites to explore, Malta has lots of different options to offer to runners, hikers and joggers. Looking at Malta's landscape there is quite a number of alternatives for trail lovers who are keen to explore historic sites and breathtaking views. It's not an easy task but here under you will find where trail runners can feel in their element: from waterfront paths to "running sightseeing" tours to explore Malta's archaeological sites.

Trail running guide: top routes in Malta

Having explored the island wide and large, I have made a list of the best places to run trails in Malta considering sceneries and distances. Here's what they have in common:

  • full immersion in nature, away from the traffic and noisy city streets;

  • stunning views reaching the highest point of the island;

  • fun, fun and even more fun because running a trail is like being a kid, again!


1. Dingli Cliffs trail: packed with history and nature

The starting point is the Ħagar Qim and Mnajdra temples for a journey that takes us back to the period dated 3600–3200 BC. The Megalithic Temples of Malta - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - are located just 3 kilometres far from the residential town of Żurrieq. Here the trail provides a challenging few kilometres with spectacular views along the coastline before moving towards Siġġiewi, Rabat and Dingli, passing by the “tal-Fawwara” hamlet. This picturesque area still retains a lot of its natural beauty where one even finds a small chapel with a small dome overlooking the cliffs, dating back to 1756.

At this point, the Dingli Cliffs trail goes further uphill reaching one of the highest points of the island, around 250 meters above sea level. The breathtaking panoramic views that await us are the absolute reward that make it worth the effort, so we'll make sure we take some time to take it all in and snap some pictures before making our way to another landmark: the Laferla Cross.

From this monument you will enjoy the view of different areas such as Mdina, Valletta, and the Southern coast. This site is quite popular during Maundy Thursday for the annual pilgrimage organised by the Siġġiewi Catholic church to relive the Passion of the Christ.

The downhill path from the Laferla Cross is the start of the final 4 kilometres of our route, during which we will cross the border of the Siġġiewi village and return to the Megalithic Temples - our starting point.

Here's a breakdown of the Dingli Cliffs trail:

  1. Elevation: around 250 metres.

  2. Difficulty: considering the amount of kilometers and the hilly route, it is a challenging trail. With no rush, every trail lover can make it since some parts of the route can be done by jogging or hiking.

  3. What you will get: panoramic views, running through the wild nature and visiting historic sites.


2. Victoria Lines trail: best running route

The "Victoria Lines" - known also as "The Great Wall of Malta" - is a historical landmark that runs along a natural geographical barrier known as the Great Fault. From the eastern to the western coast, the Victoria lines cover a distance of 12 kilometres and its use for defensive purposes goes back to the Knights of the Order of Saint John. However it was in 1897, during the British occupation, that the Victoria Lines were built. Having been finalised on the same year of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, they were given the name of the Queen. Consisting of several watchtowers and fortresses that are connected by a long wall, the Maltese Wall was built as a military fortification, that start from Madliena, close to Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq village and finish at the area called Kunċizzjoni, close to the view point of Fomm ir-Riħ.

The trail is around 18 kilometres long, walking mostly along the wall and filling the gaps where the wall is not accessible, by other natural paths.

Starting from the Madliena watchtower, the route passes by different areas that will give us the chance to enjoy the views through the countryside and spot the Maltese wall. The first pit stop is a small area called "Top of the World" in Għargħur, followed by a track to the outskirts of Mosta, an area called "Wied il-Għasel" (Valley of Honey). The wall disappears for a few kilometres and reappears again at the Dwejra Lines. At this stage we are halfway through the route at 190 metres above sea level. Wild nature, multiple caves and narrow paths will surround you and once we reach the Fort Binġemma, we are able to spot places like the beach of Golden Sands, Manikata and Mġarr's main church with its iconic dome. The last part of the trail is downhill towards the coast called Fomm ir-Riħ.

It's an amazing, complex and diverse trail that calls for a combination of running and walking to make your way through rocky pathways, climb up stairs along the wall and slip through narrow passages in the wilderness.

Here's a breakdown of the Victoria Lines trail:

  1. Elevation: around 190 metres.

  2. Difficulty: a long and varied trail including a short "urban trail" when passing through Mosta.

  3. What you will get: panoramic views together with a challenge to spot and follow the wall!


3. Manikata Trail and explore the Il-Majjistral Nature & History Park

The Manikata Trail is located in the northwest area of Malta, which includes the coastal area from Golden Bay. The Park is named for the North western region or wind, which is called "Majjistral" in Maltese. It is ideal for a short run in an open space area. The route features cart-ruts and dry stone walls to follow and it is made of a loop of around 5 kilometres.

The elevated position of the Majjistral park guarantees a unique opportunity to admire a wide-range landscape which extends as far as the sister island of Gozo, subject to good visibility weather.

  1. Elevation: around 75 metres.

  2. Difficulty: intermediate level.

  3. What you will get: quite easy and flat route together with scenic coastal views.

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While travelling you can keep up your running habits and discover the Maltese countryside at the same time. We'll match your pace so every runner is more than welcome to join our tours: from the easy going runner to the athlete on vacation and trail runners! So lace up your running shoes and select one of the scenic tours that Running Tours Malta has prepared for you with much dedication and experience. Let us make this running experience a great one, so you can go back home with a luggage-full of great memories.