roman road malta

Xemxija Heritage Trail, Malta

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.

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The Roman Road

Roman Road

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.

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Pilgrim crosses carved in sandstone

The Apiary

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.

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The Apiary

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Beautiful place to rest

Caves

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.

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Burial Cave

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The cave I cooled down in

Carob Tree

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.

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The old carob tree believed to be over 1000 years old

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Walk through the old carob tree

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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10 thoughts on “Xemxija Heritage Trail, Malta

  1. Kristina@maptrotting says:

    Ha ha, we feel the same! 🙂 This is a very cool trail to walk, we’ve done it very recently. Have you tried the Victoria Line trail? It’s a bit longer, around 16 km, but very peaceful, with great panoramic views 🙂

  2. Kellie Smith says:

    This is right on my door step and the photos capture everything perfectly. It’s beautiful.
    However, the description is just the start of the Heritage Trail! Everything talked about is literally within 100m on the first hill, the trail is so much more! (& it’s not that steep, my 2 year old & 4 year old regularly walk up it to go exploring).
    There’s more caves, a wonderful woodland walk, and the trail goes all the way to the west coast at Golden Bay.
    Granted, probably best not done in 40 degree heat but is a great walking/running/mountain biking trail. Spring is a great time when all the wild flowers are out!
    Nice post though, it really is a special spot in Malta.

  3. Sandy N Vyjay says:

    The 2000 year old Roman Road looks really intriguing. How it must have been 2000 years ago when people trekked on this road. The caves are another fascinating aspect of the trail. The heritage trail is definitely something I would love to do in spite of the heat and the climbing.

  4. Sophie says:

    WOW! Never heard about this place before! Traveling to Malta next month. probably I will get a chance to experience this place! real beauty!

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