I had during our first evening in Malta proposed to go exploring parts of the Victoria Lines during the week. The Victoria Lines were built by the British in the 19th century and went across the whole island. The proposal resulted in a plan for a Maltese Road Trip. Our friend, with whom we were staying wanted to join. The four of us had eventually the outlines of a plan for the day.
Read more about Malta and the towns here:
A Maltese Road Trip
If you stay in Marsaskala, several sights are quite far away. Not in regards to distance, but it takes time to get there. Our target for the day was the Victoria Lines and reaching them with public transport would have been hard. Luckily our friend had a car. So once we were all ready in the morning, we set out towards the other side of Malta on our Maltese road trip.
Victoria Lines in Mosta
Google Maps had shown us that there were several parts of the Victoria Lines around the town of Mosta. Especially Fort Mosta and other fortifications. As our first destination, this turned out to be a disappointment. This is today a complex for the Armed Forces of Malta. In other words, not really something we were even able to get close to.
The Mosta Rotunda
As we were already in Mosta, we decided that it was a good opportunity to have a look at the center of this village as well. For instance, there is a giant church. The Mosta Rotunda has an impressive dome. It dates back to the 19th century and survived several bombings during the Second World War.
While our friend and Little A stayed at the nearby playground, Susann and I decided that we wanted to climb the tower to see the view. That meant entering the church and paying a small entrance fee. We were soon climbing the stairs and entered the floor above the large entrance. From here it was possible to see far above the rooftops of Mosta. Unfortunately, not as far as we had hoped though as it wasn’t possible to reach the top of the dome or the two clock towers. Maybe the view from there would have been better. On our way back we also got to see the impressive dome of the church. There was also a lady who was more than happy to tell us about the attempted bombings of the church during the war.
Our biggest surprise was that she did not mention the word “miracle” when describing the very near misses. She then guided us to a room with a replica of the bomb that actually pierced the roof of the dome. Once more, it is appreciated when guides actually consider the real possibilities and don’t go towards religious explanations. So a big thank you for that.
Our entry ticket also gave us the possibility to explore the nearby bomb shelters and we took a walk through the narrow tunnels. It is really hard for us to imagine how much time people actually spent down here during the war and that people still are forced to do so in countries such as Ukraine.
Dwejra Lines in Mgarr
One of the better-known sections of the Victoria Lines is the Dwejra Lines. They are close to the village of Mgarr. We drove to a small chapel in Binġemma, right next to the start or end of the Dwejra Lines section. Here we were first impressed by the view of the surrounding landscape. We were actually able to see the islands of Gozo and Comino.
It was finally time for us to try to find a way down the valley to the actual wall of the fortification. I walked first while the rest waited as I hoped that the first path would lead us the right way. Sadly I ended up below the wall and after following the path along the wall I just found myself on the road again. The path had been quite wet and slippery so once I got my companions to join me on the actual path to the wall we were soon doubting if we should go or not. It was really slippery and we quickly reached the conclusion that it wasn’t worth the risk, especially with Little A. But we did get to see an impressive part of the wall.
As we had to reconsider our plans for a short hike, there was quite some time left to explore the rest of Malta. Our friend proposed a short drive towards Mellieha and a view of the Popeye Village. Popeye is the cartoon character that eats spinach to become strong. None of us felt for visiting the village itself, which is today an amusement park. This was once a film set for the 1980 film about Popeye. We parked the car at the opposite cliffs of the bay to enjoy the view. We were also quite surprised about all the noise from the village, they were playing really loud music that could probably be heard from kilometers away. The bay here is, however, very scenic, and without the loud music, it would have been a great spot to just sit and relax.
We then decided to continue our drive toward one of the main natural sights on the island. Dingli Cliffs are famous for their scenic view and for housing the highest point in Malta, the Ta’ Dmejrek which reaches 253 meters above the sea. The main tourist stop is right next to a small chapel and we walked a short distance towards the radar station that can be found a bit further up. The view is really nice, but not the best we have discovered in Malta. However, it is probably one of the view spots that are easiest to access from the roads.
Dingli Cliffs turned out to be the last stop on our Maltese road trip, but we had found even more spots along the road that we one day hope to explore. I did actually already the next day return to Dingli Cliffs and saw a few more of the locations that I at least wanted to see. But for this day we were now on our way back to Marsaskala to cook some pasta with creamy salmon sauce.
Stay tuned to read more about our 2022 December Visit to Malta. Read more here >>