Coastlines are always packed with drama as the forces of the sea are pitted against land and rock. After a short transfer, today’s hike hugs one such coastline, crossing rocky clifftops (some of Gozo’s highest), sandy beaches and hidden coves. These folds in the coastline make a picturesque hotspot for outdoor activities such as swimming, scuba diving and walking.
Gozo’s south coast is steeper and rockier than much of the rest of the island, and therefore less suited to agriculture. You’ll still see small farms and terraced fields, but there are meadows of wildflowers and limestone plateaus with shrubs and bushes poking from a thin topsoil. This wild feeling is briefly interrupted by the bustling harbour of Mġarr before the coastal footpath resumes and leads you back to Qala.
There are several stretches where you must walk on the road as there is no pavement. Walk on the right side facing the oncoming traffic, except where the road bends right.
Some of the coastal sections are uneven and have a steep unfenced drop to one side. Walk carefully here and stick to the footpaths.
There is a steep and loose descent after 7 kilometres, though it is relatively short. Use hiking poles if you have them. Walk carefully using the edges of your boots to 'dig' in. The path is wide enough to zig-zag if necessary.
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Points of Interest
This narrow coastal inlet is a scenic spot of cobalt-blue water and towering limestone cliffs. Today its sheltered location made it a popular spot for swimming and diving, however, historically it was a landing spot for boats to unload and to beach themselves for vital repairs and to clean the hull. Gozo’s largest coastal watchtower sits at the mouth of the inlet, built in 1661 to watch across the Gozo-Comino channel and, if necessary, raise the alarm.
Food and Drink
There are several beautiful restaurants near Mġarr ix-Xini after 45 kilometres and a wide variety in Mġarr after 9 kilometres.
Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.
Make sure you bring enough water. It is recommended to drink 0.75 litres per 1 hour of hiking.
Be sure to bring plenty of sun cream and a healthy respect for the sun.
Walking poles and sturdy boots will help on some of the descents.