Pictorial homage to autumn

by Lino Bugeja, from timesofmalta.com

The Ramblers’ Association recently launched its autumn programme, designed to include the unique natural characteristics of the Maltese Islands and enormous cultural and archaeological heritage scattered over the countryside.

These include a vast array of wayside chapels and folk art in very remote pathways.

The 20 organised walks – held on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays – provide panoramic and scenic routes through some of the finest and most exhilarating green spaces on the islands.

These include the rolling hills of Mtaħleb; the rugged coastline at Xrobb l-Għaġin and Għajn Tuffieħa; Torri Falka, Gomerino and Il-Qallelija − a vast expanse of shaft graves probably Roman where the fragrance of thyme on the garigue fills the air; and the Binġemma Ridge, which is a fine viewpoint on the western side of The Victoria Lines.

The urban historical trail takes ramblers to the Three Cities, Valletta and Floriana, where they will not only taste the history and culture of these places but also visit the beautiful gardens adorning Floriana.

Other exciting walks are the Manikata, Għajn Żnuber and Ras il-Waħx walk, with its rich texture of ecclesiastical and natural interest characterised by various giren (corbelled huts) of all shapes and sizes. The pathway leads to the rugged cliff face of Il-Qammieħ in the distance.

The Gozo Mystery Walk, on December 22, is a one-day trek exploring the fantastic coastline punctuated by fertile valleys.

The marathon walk along the length of Malta, on December 29, brings the autumn programme to a close.

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