Spring is officially here, and summer is on the way. This is the perfect time for picnics, hikes, walks and excursions around the Maltese countryside. Nature is flourishing as the temperatures rise, gremxul (ghekkos) and nanna koli (ladybirds) can be admired sunbathing along walls and on plants, while bees, mosquitos and other flying fauna permeate through our days and evenings.

Malta is chock-full of natural places were one can enjoy and experience spring to his heart’s content. Apart from the obvious, that is, the ‘usual’ spots, like Buskett and Ta’ Qali, where extended families, teenagers, and dog-owners tend to congregate, there are other, perhaps less-known spots, were those who are in search of some peace, quite and serenity, may pitch their tents.

Selmun

This small hamlet located in the north of Malta, is part of the town of Mellieħa, and is easily reachable by public transport. Most well-known for the baroque 18th century Selmun Palace, it offers amazing walks in thriving countryside, as well as views of Mġiebaħ Valley and the tiny uninhabited Islands of Saint Paul. Close to Selmun Palace, one can also see Selmun Bay, a glittering band of blue promising cool clear water and fun. Walking along the coast-line, exploring the cliffs, or even hiking towards the sand dunes towards the White Tower, is truly an unmissable opportunity to experience Maltese countryside at its best and most varied.

Baħrija

If your goal is to photograph some impressive views, look no further. Baħrija, a small rural village in Rabat located on the western coast of Malta, is truly a feast for the eyes. Baħrija is situated on one of the highest promontories in Malta, offering seriously good walks for climbers and hikers, most especially around Fomm ir-Riħ Bay for those who are interested in seaviews, or towards the Victoria Lines for those who are more interested in Maltese history and heritage. Baħrija also offers a spectacular view of the small isle of Filfla, on the southern side of Malta.

Chadwick Lakes

Found between Rabat and Mtarfa, Chadwick Lakes is a miniature ecosystem whose fresh water, which flows towards the east of Malta, is the foundation for a graceful and serene paradise of flora and fauna. Chadwick Lakes is particularly popular with children, who love to look for tadpoles and small frogs which spawn in quantities in the area.

Laferla Cross in Siġġiewi

The Laferla Cross, known locally as ‘is-Salib tal-Għolja’ (the Cross on the Hill) is an early 20th century religious landmark found on a high point within the outskirts of Siġġiewi. Surrounded by lush countryside, ripe fields, and colourful flora, it is a popular destination for those wanting to experience some Maltese greenery while also admiring the traditional working farmsteads which dot the hill. Although usually the area is very peaceful, especially in spring, a number of religious ceremonies and events, such as gatherings and fjakkolati are also take place around the Cross during local Catholic feasts. Climbing to the Laferla Cross is a feat and a very worthwhile experience, since once on the promontory, one can enjoy an unadulterated view of the Maltese countryside for miles around.