From the long stretches of flat coastline gifted with stunning sea views to the hilly trails nestled within beautiful countryside, Malta is a runner’s Mediterranean paradise.
In fact, whether you are a total running novice or an Olympic-standard athlete, the Maltese Islands have a variety of routes to suit your preferred pace as well as your mood, all the while giving you inspiring scenery that you just won’t find at the gym.
Here’s some of the best running routes available throughout Malta and Gozo.
Sliema to St Julian’s
The wide coastal promenade between Sliema and St Julian’s is a hugely popular walkway that connects the two bustling towns, with a panoramic sea view along its entire length. Whilst the width of the pedestrian promenade is ideal for running, its best to hit this one early morning, before it becomes too busy with dogwalkers and tourists.
Pembroke Heritage Garigue Park
On the doorstep of Radisson Blu Resort in St Julian’s is the Pembroke Heritage Trail, which traces the coastline and meanders through 2.5 kilometres of garigue habitat. This Natura 2000 site is not only packed with various species of Mediterranean flora and fauna, but also affords uninterrupted sea views along the trail, making it a refreshing back-to-nature run at any time of day.
Sliema to Rabat
For the more ambitious or experienced runner, this extra-long route is the exact reverse of the one followed by the famous Malta Marathon that usually takes place each February. Starting from Sliema and running towards Rabat, you will be able to enjoy the expansive coastal views and unique local culture on display through the various towns en route.
There’s so much going on in Malta’s capital to celebrate its year as European Capital of Culture 2018, that one of the best ways to experience it all is on foot. An easy jog around Valletta’s perimeter fortifications means you’ll take in the picturesque Grand Harbour along the way, whilst venturing into the capital’s hilly gridded streets will give you a slightly trickier route if you wish to have more of a workout.
Ta’ Qali is a large, wide-open green space just outside Attard, and is a favourite running route for many local enthusiasts. As well as huge grassy fields brimming with wildlife and trees, there are long, flat paved roads on which you can really build up your kilometre count.
Malta’s hilltop former capital Mdina is, simply put, a museum dressed as a city. Take your run through the narrow, cobbled streets that ramble between the exquisite centuries-old buildings, before arriving atop the old fortifications to absorb the breathtaking view across the rest of Malta below.
With its unique spot at 250 metres above sea level, you’d find it difficult to discover a more scenic place to run anywhere in Europe than Dingli’s famed cliffs. The high elevation also has the added advantage of testing your stamina, as the area features some of Malta’s more challenging hills. Time your workout to coincide with sunset, however, and the effort will be more than rewarded by the incredible colours on the horizon.
If you’re game for a challenge on your run, Malta’s sister isle of Gozo is certainly worth a visit. Home to some of the most gruelling trail runs in the Mediterranean, you might try the Gozo Ultra Trail, which is a 55km route around the island’s perimeter involving a 21km climb. The less ambitious might prefer any of Gozo’s coastal roads, valleys, or secluded towns for quicker training sessions, perhaps in preparation for the Gozo Marathon that takes place annually in late April.