St. Paul's Bay
The St. Paul's Bay / Qawra area is a great starting point for some of Malta's best countryside & coastal walks, as well as providing some excellent historic trails, along the promenades.
Qawra to St.Paul's Bay via Bidnija and Wardija. We first of all followed a similar route to our previous walk, stopping on the way to admire a pond that was still full of water despite the long summer drought, but this time we took the first right turn after the village centre, following a narrow road that turned left, left again and then right, past the horse riding centre and the shooting range before turning right into the road leading towards Wardija. Before leaving the road via a path that forked to the left, we stopped to examine some ancient 'cart ruts'. These originated in the Bronze Age, are located all over Malta and are a mystery. At one point we were rewarded with a view of a cruise ship on the horizon, sailing towards the Grand Harbour. We skirted the Wardija Hilltop Village via a dirt path that eventually brought us out at the road leading to Wardija itself, with its collection of Palazzios and castles, including the Castello Dei Baroni. Here, we turned left, ignored the right turn signposted for St. Paul's Bay, instead contuing on to take a right turn past St. John the Baptist Chapel. Just after the chapel we took the path to the left. After a fe hundred metres we took a short diversion to the left that brought us out on a high peninsula, once a gun enplacement, that afforded us magnificent views across St. Paul's Bay, Mistra Bay and Mellieha as far as Gozo. We retraced our steps turning left to continue on down the path that brought us out on the St. Paul's Bay bypass.
Qawra to Ghajn Tuffieha, via Bidnija. We started out from Salini Park, Kennedy Grove, outskirts of Qawra. Crossing the busy coast road we headed for the small chapel of St. Michael's, following the road towards Green's Garden Centre. Immediately after the the Garden Centre, we took a short diversion to the left to view the remains of the Tal-Qadi Temple, now a small garden area. Returning to the road, we carried on to the Naxxar-Burmarrad road. We turned right and folowed this busy road for a short way before turning left on to a farm path and then right to follow the watercourse (dry at this time of year, of course). This gradually converged on to the main Mosta Road, which we crossed by the small chapel of St. Margaret's. We followed the path to the left, taking the right fork, leading uphill towards the village of Bidnija. We took a right fork, (although we could just as easily have carried on to the top of the path) eventually reaching the red-domed Bidnija church. A few yards on from the church, we took the narrow road to the right, signposted for Bidnija horse riding. We then followed a series of farm paths, arriving at the village of Zebbiegh. Crossing the road we followed the signpost to the Skorba temples (3600 bc), where we stopped to take a photo. [Open for visitors Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings]. We then carried on to the Mgarr road turning right in the direction of Mgarr. In Mgarr, we took a short diversion to te left (signposted) to view the Ta' Hagrat temples. We then carried on, keeping to the right of the beautiful Mgarr church, which reputedly has Malta's only egg-shaped dome. Shortly after the ornate Zammitellu Castle, we turned right at the crossroads in the direction of Lippija. Rather than carry on towards the Roman Baths (which, disappointingly, have been closed to the public for many years), we took the footpath to the left, just past a modern villa and headed towards Lippija Tower, overlooking Gnejna Bay. We followed the rough clifftop path past the 'battleship-shaped' Qarraba peninsula, before taking a rough steep path [taking great care!] that wound down towards Qarraba and then down to Ghajn Tuffieha and its excellent sandy beach. We then took a dip in the sea, 'bodysurfing' among some crashing waves. Finally, we climbed the 100+ steps up from the beach and then walked on to Golden Bay where we caught our bus back.