The Victoria Lines, or as I like to call it, The Great Wall of Malta, is a defensive line spanning 12KM across the island. The concept was dreamt up by the British military and built between 1875 and 1899 (although it’s defensive effectiveness wasn’t tested until much later and was eventually found to be almost useless!). It was built along the ‘Great Fault’ and runs from east (Madliena) to west (through Mosta, Bingemma and Rabat). It’s a great national landmark that I’ve wanted to visit for years, but just never got around to seeing, so recently when the weather was sunny, Joe and I went along with some friends of ours.
We didn’t have any kind of route planned and no real idea where we were going to go, or where we wanted to go but we ended up on the Dwejra Lines, which I’ve since read is the most scenic part of the route and the most recommended if you’re looking to take pictures. Lucky for me!
Since they were found to be useless, the entire structure has pretty much been left to ruin for many many years now. I do think this is a shame, as many parts are fully collapsed and over grown, but at the same time it also gives it a real charm. It looks old but it is old. Large parts are still intact, including the beautiful bridge in Bingemma which spans a small valley between hills and it was the most magical part of the experience for me. It felt like we were on some great adventure in a land not unlike Middle Earth.
The scenery all around the walk was breathtaking; so green and lush as far as the eye could see. I’d not recommend tackling this walk once summer kicks in, with the intense heat I think it’d really be quite dangerous and you’d be risking heat stroke, sunburn, dehydration to name just a few. In the interim once winter has started to brighten up and before summer kicks in (not really a long enough period to call spring!) it’s perfect. When the skies are blue, the sun is shining and warming on your back, but not uncomfortably so.
The whole area has a real ‘countryside’ feel, which can be a little lacking in Malta. There were some super old but functional farmhouses along the walk, complete with sheep herd being ushered along by a farmer screaming ‘EJJA!’ at his flock. There’s a muddy off-road kind of road way that goes along parallel to the wall for quite some way and on this lovely sunny day there were lots of families who had driven up there with their kids and dogs to just chill out in the sun.
Foolishly we weren’t that equipped for such a walk and had no water or snacks and weren’t even wearing proper footwear. I’d definitely recommend taking some provisions so you’re not forced to turn back before you’re done seeing all there is to see. The walk is by no means tough or treacherous, but it’s not smooth or a proper pathway either so trainers or walking boots are best. On some parts of the Victoria Lines, you’ll find yourself on quite thin walkways with steep drops down the side, so I’d be careful if you’re thinking of taking children on the walk. It’s not mountainous but could be dangerous if they’re not paying attention or have the tendency to run around.
The Victoria Lines is a part of Malta that I think too many people don’t know exist, amongst both people who live and holiday here. As it’s so long, it’s something you could do as a real trek if you’re into your walking, or else something you can enjoy across many different trips, doing shorter walks along different parts of the line. It’s the kind of place you will never tire of, however many times you visit and everyone who is in Malta must make time to walk along this delightful part of history.
Keep an eye on Moving On Up & Away on Facebook over the next few days as I’ll be posting an entire album with even more pictures from our Victoria Lines walk.
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