Hard! That’s one word to describe this inconspicuous walk. 40 degree heat and uphill. What was I thinking when I agreed to walk the Xemxija Heritage trail. To be fair, the Mediterranean way of life has had an affect on my fitness. When I first planned to move to Malta I thought fresh fruit and vegetables were all I was going to have access to. Gone would be the days of chocolate, beer, and paying for unused gym memberships. Oh how wrong I was. Almost two years later I can say my diet has been full of local Pastizzis and more beer.
So walking up this short incline, which feels more like Everest at this point, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a 32 year old with the fitness level of a 92 year old Sloth. But after the day was done I truly appreciated what I saw and it’s one of my favorite places to visit in Malta.
The trail is also known as the Roman Road due to…. well a Roman road. It’s not in the best shape mind you but considering it’s over two thousand years old, we can’t complain. The road was also part of a pilgrimage trail and you can see crosses carved into the rocks when you reach the top.
One of the stand out features of this walk is the Apiary, which is one of several in the area. Honey was literally liquid gold back then and would have been one of the most guarded places on the island. Beside the Apiary, there is a nice place to sit and relax. A strikingly beautiful carob tree provided some much needed shade.
After a short break we headed up to a series of caves some of which people used to live and some of which people buried their dead. It was nice and cool in the caves, which I was very grateful for as the temperature outside seemed to be mirroring that of the surface temperature of the Sun.
Oh carob tree
So gnarled and so disheveled
Who knows how many events
Throughout your life
You had to witness
For our forefathers you
Were worth your weight in gold
And till this day
You steal our hearts
Reining in beauty
A poem displayed beside an old carob tree believed to be over a thousand years old. In my opinion it looks it too. The tree has grown in a hap-hazard way and you can literally climb through the tree and up some steps to the next Apiary. It’s beautiful.
From this point on you can visit some more caves and Apiaries but I was a little caved out….. or caved in….. Bad jokes aside this is a wonderful walk and a great way to spend half a day doing something different if you’re a little bit tired of the beach. I later found out that there are some old cart ruts a little further up the path. I would recommend checking those out if you do this.
How to get there
From Valletta you can catch ether the 41, 42 or the 250 bus and get off at Roti. Walk the same way as the bus and take your first left. This should lead up a hill and be clearly sign posted.
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