If you want to get of the beaten track in Malta, the best thing to do, is to go hiking! It took me some time to find some nice hiking trails, especially where to start and where to end. The website of Tina (Maltatina), has a lot of hiking and walking information and I found it really useful.
In this blog I will tell you about my experience of hiking from Gnejna bay to Golden beach.
After a lovely breakfast at my B&B Country side in Mgarr, my host Annette asked me about my plans for the day. I told her I wanted to go hiking from Golden beach to Gnejna bay and I needed to rush to get the bus at 7.45 AM. I asked her if she knew there would be a bus from Gnejna back to Mgarr and if I might leave my backpack with my clothes to pick it up later.
Annette came with a better solution: The bus from Gnejna to Mgarr only runs in the high season July and August. So getting from Gnejna to Mgarr would be a walk uphill for about 3.5 kilometers.
She suggested doing the hike the opposite route and walk down to the beach of Gnejna and follow the hike path to Golden beach and from there I can take a bus to a lot of places. As my next destination for that day would be Gozo, I can easily catch a bus to the ferry of Gozo.
The only minor about doing this route the opposite direction would be, I have to take all my belongings and walk about 6.5 kilometers with it. My bag would weight about 7.5 kilogram including 1.5 liters of water. Not too heavy and I think doable. It would save me time and I can start at any time.
I chatted with Annette a little more about hiking in Malta and soon I packed my bag and started walking.
The temperature was comfortable for hiking when I started at 8.30 AM. There was sun when I started walking, but changed when I got to the starting point of the hike.
I just had to follow the road, which was easy and straight forward. Because there are many hills, there are nice views all around.
About half an hour later, I got to Gnejna beach. This beach has a yellow/orange color of the sand and it's in a half circular bay. The sun disappeared and I seemed to be the only one around. The hike started at the right, just after the public toilets. It was easy to find. There were deep worn out rocks on my right sight, which would led to the walking path going slightly uphill. The views from this point I found already very nice. I couldn’t stop taking pictures.
The path was still going uphill. I had to pass a few small streams of water. And as I was wearing sandals, I didn’t want to get wet feet so I used step stones to get across. I guess later on in the season, these streams will dry up.
Further along the views would get more spectacular with more worn out rocks and hills. I even found some fossil!
At one point I saw a few people having a camp in the high grass on the hills. They must have had an amazing night at this spot! I’m not sure if it is allowed to do wild camping, but it seems like a lovely place.
The path was getting really steep and slippery, as this rocks were worn out as well. Fortunately I had to walk up at this path, so it wasn’t too difficult. I only had to keep my balance with my backpack and continue walking.
Finally, I reached the highest point of this hiking. The view was absolutely scenic and I loved every bit of it! The sun sometimes appeared, which give a nice reflection of the blue shaded of the sea. In a distance I could see some people walking this trail in the opposite direction.
The weather was unpredictable by the time I got to Ghajn Tuffieha. This lovely stretch of beach has an unusual orange color of the sand. Just a few other hikers crossed this beach as the rain is falling and the sun is shining at the same time.
To get to Golden beach I had to walk the stars of Ghajn Tuffieha beach. I walked to Ghajn Tuffieha tower and saw a nice view from both Ghajn Tuffieha bay and Golden bay.
Golden beach is another nice beach with golden sand. This beach is well developed with restaurants and a huge hotel. Here it was already filling up with people to do some sunbathing. Not sure if they got enough sun this day, as the weather was still unpredictable.
From Golden bay I took a bus to ferry terminal Chirkewwa. All in all this hiking trail took me about 2.45 hours including the walk from Mgarr to Gneja beach and taking a lot of stops to take some pictures or enjoy the views.
- From Golden beach there are buses to/from Cirkewwa, Valletta, Bugibba and Sliema. You can find the time schedule at Malta public transport.
- There will be a bus to/from Gnejna beach to/from Mgarr in Summer (July/August). Timetable unknown.
- There are public toilets at Gnejna beach and Golden beach.
- There is a toilet at the restaurant at Ghajn Tuffieha beach.
- Calculate for the hiking from Golden beach to Gnejna beach 2 hours including stops for pictures.
What to bring?
- The walking trail would be exposed and therefor will be hot during the Summer days so bring enough water!
- Sun cream to protect from the sun.
- I recommend good shoes like sneakers or hiking shoes. But to be honestly I did this trail on sandals and didn’t have really issues. Make sure you have a good grip.
If you have a normal fitness level, you can do this hike. Bear in mind, there are a few parts which are steep and due to lose little stones, it can be slippery. This walking route is easy to medium.
The part from Golden bay to Ghanj Tuffieha is the easy part with stairs and a walk on the beach. If you think this hike would be to hard, skip the part from Ghanj Tuffieha to Gnejna bay, as this would be the steepest part.
I really can recommend this hike for the scenic views and lovely beaches. When you want to do a combination of nature and relaxing, this hike would be perfect. You can choose between 2 beaches to relax, my preference would be Ghanj Tuffieha, as of the unusual color of the sand.