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Hiking with Kids: 5 family-friendly treks in Malta in just 90 minutes (or less)

Updated: May 15, 2021

Lately, we've all had time to slow down, stop and observe. Observe our way of life, our surroundings. Personally, we have had the opportunity to go out and explore the outdoors more. We have become obsessed with nature and its beauty, more so because of how it benefits the whole family.

Having experienced travelling with kids, we know how important timing is. Children tend to get bored easily doing the same activity. Thus we are sharing with you five hikes, with amazing coastal and countryside views of Malta and Gozo, all of which are well-suited for families with young kids (we did ours with a walking 2-year-old and a 9-month old in a baby-carrier), and most importantly all can be done within 90 minutes or less. For some of the hikes, we are including optional add-on trails which you might be interested in doing if you are kid-free, have older kids accompanying you, or possibly on a second visit.

We have devised a ranking system for each hike to help you choose one depending on your mood and energy levels. The icon shows the approximate duration of the round-trip hike (it will be faster if you have older kids), KM shows the distance in kilometres and ⛰️ shows the difficulty level (1 being easiest, 5 being hardest). Don't be discouraged by the trails which are marked as being more difficult - if we did them, so can you!

1. Filfla from afar

: 1.5 hours; KM: 3.7; ⛰️: 2/5

This trail starts from the parking area in Mtaħleb (limits of Rabat), taking the direction Southwards towards Filfla. The most difficult part are the first few metres - there is a very short but steep incline. After that, it is relatively flat and the path easily identifiable, making it a relaxing walk with cliff edge and coastal views.

Look out for: Filfla, a small islet, which is also the most southerly point of the Maltese archipelago.

NB: The time indicated on the Google map is not always representative of the actual duration of the trail, especially when doing the trek with younger children. For a better indication, please refer to the icon beneath each trail's heading.

2. The Cat Wind Vane

: 45 minutes; KM: 1.3; ⛰️: 1/5

You'll know you have arrived at the trail's starting point Fomm ir-Riħ, limits of Mġarr, when you see a giant cat figure on a wind vane. Take a moment to relax - driving down the road leading to this popular spot can be quite breathtaking given all its twists and turns. So get out of the car and soak in the view. I personally would rate this point as one of my favourite viewpoints, unparalleled with other points in Malta. Start walking northwards towards the cliff edge; be careful, as the first part of the trail, although wide, is a shared path between hikers and cars.

Add-on (optional): get off the main path and walk downhill to get better views of the beach. Sunset views are spectacular here, so make sure you grab a drink and some snacks and wait until the sun sets (that is, if the kids allow you to!). Note that to get to a good spot closer to the secluded beach, you will need to hike downhill, which is doable, but one needs to be a bit more cautious. (NB: You cannot access the beach from here; access is only possible by driving through Baħrija).

Look out for: Cart ruts on the cliff edge, herd of sheep, a rooster or two.

3. Honey-making land

:1.5 hours; KM: 2.5; ⛰️: 3/5

The Mġiebaħ Heritage Trail in Xemxija has a unique collection of historical elements - apiaries (in Maltese, mġiebaħ, hence the name), Roman baths, Roman roads, prehistoric tombs and caves - spread over a large area of land, making it ideal for a family outing. Placards are found along the route, providing information on these historical remains. Olive trees surround some of the paths, providing some shade from the scorching sun and making them ideal for a quick drink break.

Add-on (optional): Although we are marking the route which takes you through the apiaries, along the Roman Road to the Roman baths, there are numerous sidewalks you can take to see the other attractions mentioned above. Check out the signs and follow them to get to the attractions which you are most eager to see!

Look out for: what is touted as the oldest carob tree in the Maltese islands (estimated to be 1,000 years old).