10 things to do in Malta this summer – Drive along the coast road

Posted on July 11, 2010

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9) Drive along the coast road

 As a person who spend quite a number of years commuting back and forth in a seemingly tiny island but with enough traffic jams to make her fed up for a whole life time, I know that driving in Malta cannot really be equated with pleasure, that is, unless you take a ride along its humble coast road. Stretching from St. Julians right to the end of St. Paul’s Bay, this bit of road has always been for me wonderful to drive along with all its curves and bends, even when the old man in front of me is driving on 30 km/h.

It’s definitely not Australia’s Great Ocean Road, but it’s the best we have and I’d say it makes a fine job of making the most of a beautiful bit of coastline. There are unfortunately no beaches to be seen, but many atmospheric bits of rugged coast dotted with scrubs, lone limestone towers, and open sea views. When you reach St. Paul’s you’ll need to take the road which rises above the village rather than the one which goes through it and is not really scenic, and you might as well pause at Xemxija bay for an ice cream from the conveniently located kiosk (you can’t miss it, everyone seems to stop to buy something there). Taking the way back, pause at the various viewing points along the way to gaze at the elegant St. Paul’s islands and the awful rows of apartment blocks. Even on particularly hot summer days, forget the AC, roll down the window and let the sea breeze soothe your slightly sunburnt skin.

Points of interest along the way include a detour to the touristic Qawra and Bugibba whose promenades are filled with life during summer, and one to the more quiet St. Paul’s bay for a swimming break. There is no official beach here but plenty of informal spots  where locals congregate dot the coast. Personally, I find no detour necessary. I just drive this way because I love to.

 

– Text and Photography by Denise Pulis @ www.travelwithdenden.wordpress.com

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Posted in: Malta