Malta is well known for its sun, sea and sand! It is not as well regarded for its natural vegetation, and most tourists believe Malta to be barren and rocky. Whilst Malta has plenty of rocky landscapes, it also has a reasonable amount of natural vegetation. These are mainly located in the country's more rural North and West.

The best times to visit these places are between October and April. During this time of the year, Malta has the perfect weather for hiking and biking.

The post below will let you know the best places to visit to enjoy Malta's natural beauty. You can use the table of contents to quickly navigate the places that interest you.

Table of Contents

Buskett Gardens - A verdant woodland to explore

Situated in a prime location, the Buskett Gardens are a magnificent sight to behold. The Verdala Palace and the Dingli cliffs are adjacent to the gardens. But it is the gardens which make for a grand day trip.

As one of the few forested lands on the island, the Busektt Gardens make for a must-see locale. The gardens were once home to some, ahem, "colourful" fertility rites to the pagan deities once worshipped in the area. But with the Christianization of the island, these "recreational" fertility customs were instead replaced with more demure and "family-friendly" feasts dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul. The celebration of which still takes place today.

The tree line was used to help construct large seafaring ships and for other purposes like clearing land for agriculture. But the forests would find rejuvenation in later ages.

The chivalric Order of St. John decided that a hunting ground was needed for recreational purposes. So the knights had trees planted and deer and boar brought to the island to hunt for sport. Today, forest land is still growing strong.

Broadleaved and coniferous trees along with scores of splendid shrubs and plants populate the woodland. Another gem of the forests is the many groves of fruit-bearing trees to be found there. This gives the forest an Eden-like atmosphere. Any time of the year is perfect for a visit.

Spring, of course, features lovely blooming flowers. While in the summer, the grove offers some respite from the powerful Maltese sun. The autumn and winter are great times to enjoy calm and tranquil walks. The forest is also ideal for picnics and hikes. Come and sit under the pleasant shade of the trees and enjoy lunch. Or lookout for the beautiful vistas the forest has to offer.

If you do not have your own transport, you can get to Buskett by public bus. Catch bus number 56, which leaves from Valletta every hour between 09:15 and 18:15. Get off at the bus stop called Lawrenti or Verdala.

June 29th is the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. Come visit to experience this amazing celebration. Many local people come to the forest to celebrate this vibrant and renowned festival. Traditional rabbit stew cooked in wine and other exquisite food can be had. Come and enjoy folk music and songs. On the morning of the festival, the bountiful harvest is celebrated in the annual agricultural show.

Once the hunting lodge of Grand Master Hughes de Verdalle, the Verdala Palace is also found near the gardens. It crests the top of a hill viewing the gardens below. Today, the palace is the summer lodging for the President of Malta. And though it is not normally open to the public, it still offers a beautiful image to admire.

And for those hoping to spot some rare and exotic animals on the island. Painted frogs and a plethora of amazing birds can be seen in the gardens. BirdLife International has designated the gardens an Important Bird Area due to the many species of birds that come to the area. The migration of birds allows one to spend pleasant afternoons trying to spot these splendid creatures.

Buskett Gardens is a verdant and tranquil place to visit. Come for a hike or gentle stroll through this woodland. Don't forget to pack a picnic to enjoy under the shade of the many exotic and plentiful trees!

Dingli Cliffs - An unspoiled view of the sea

There is a very short list of spots that one could feasibly call, "unspoiled" in this day and age. And yet, that is precisely the kind of description we would give to the breathtaking Dingli Cliffs. The cliffs themselves are nearby the village of Dingli. The village itself is still yet to be urbanized, and the whole region has a quaint and charming vibe to it. The agricultural area has more virtues than just a lack of pollution, trash or waste in the area! The restaurants and shops near the cliffs all feature authentic homemade food and wares. Artisanal is an understatement in Dingli. All the food is prepared daily by expert local farmers.

The cliffs are over 200m high, and the surrounding natural landscapes are sublime and picturesque. The surreal and unrivalled panoramas offered at Dingli are genuinely incredible. The cliffs can be a perfect spot for a romantic photo-op, a family vacation, a picnic or other excursions. And in addition to the serene and majestic views of nature at Dingli cliffs, one can also see the modern and the traditional on display, too!

Buskett Gardens is a 2 km walk from Dingli cliffs, so we suggest going to both places on the same day. Alternatively, take bus 56 from Valletta, which leaves every hour from 10:40 until 19:40 and get off at bus stop Depiro.

The possibilities are endless when one pays a visit to these incredible cliffs. Dingli cliffs will serve as an inspiring and breathtaking location on your next Maltese adventure. Peer out from these magnificent cliffs upon the deep blue ocean below. Dingli cliffs are the go-to destination to experience some of Malta's pristine natural grace and wonder! For those searching for the ideal locale for excellent photos and memories. Malta's own Dingli cliffs are waiting for you!

Foresta 2000 - Explore Malta's wild nature

Get ready to explore the ancient, the exotic, the incredible and the genuinely splendid. Foresta 2000 is an area of restored natural woodlands. Foresta 2000 majestically sprawls the coast of Ghadira Bay. Foresta 2000 features captivating vista after vista and unbeatable views of the valley and bay. Come and explore the restored and rejuvenated natural habitat. Foresta 2000 offers these in abundance provided by the island of Malta.

Before the arrival of humans on the island about 7000 years ago, the whole island sported Mediterranean woodlands. The forest was densely populated with flora and fauna now brought back from near extinction. In 1995 the group BirdLife Malta embarked on a special campaign. A campaign to bring the forests and woodlands back to their once-proud form. Working alongside groups like Din l-Art Ħelwa and PARK to assist in funding and launching projects to further heal and maintain Foresta 2000. As of today, their campaigns have been a major success!

Working alongside groups like Din l-Art Ħelwa and PARK to assist in funding and launching projects to further heal and maintain Foresta 2000. As of today, their campaigns have been a major success!

Any season is perfect for visiting Foresta 2000. Come and enjoy the blooming plants of the spring. Red Poppy and various types of exotic Orchids bloom among the many assorted wildflowers. Here in Foresta 2000, it really is the prime of the year!

The summer season brings in large colonies of butterflies. Painted Lady, Swallowtail, and Clouded Yellow butterflies cavort among the many flowers and plants. And as for reptiles? Love 'em or find 'em scary, they are here and in abundance too. Lizards and snakes enjoy the Mediterranean weather and wild landscape. Keep your eyes peeled for the Mediterranean Chameleon. He may be elusive, but he will come and say hello to perceptive travellers.

Fall welcomes home some beautiful predatory birds. Autumn is great for bird watching and even catching a peek at some of the migrating tropical birds.

While winter may not sound like the ideal time to visit, it is a perfect time to witness the Narcissus and Almond trees

Nearby is a 16th-century stone fort called The Red Tower, a fantastic tourist attraction. If you are using public transport, get off at the bus stop called Qammieh. This attraction is on well served public route.

blooming! And some migrating birds winter in the forest as they pass their cold season in peace on Malta. That's not all at this zoo-like wild sanctuary. Native oak, pine, and other mighty trees form a canopy that allows for the growth of some incredible shady plants and mushrooms. So from flora to fauna the Foresta 2000 provides sights, sounds and fun experiences for the whole family.

The park is free of charge and open year-round, but make sure to grab a bite to eat before entering as there is a strict no littering rule. Stick to the trails, as this is still some wild land! The Foresta 2000 has made an incredible and breathtaking comeback. With a plethora of animals and plants that culminate in a truly unique and magnificent experience. The Foresta 2000 is the travel destination to not miss out on!

II-Mizieb - Picnic under the trees at this idyllic site

Il-Mizieb offers a scene into Malta's past. Malta was once a densely wooded island. Before humans arrived on the island thousands of years ago, trees, plants and animals ruled this wondrous isle. Over the thousands of years since, the trees and woodlands had been cut down for fuel, or for housing, or to clear land for farming. Over the years, the forests did not have time to recover. But in the past few centuries, reintroducing trees has been a booming and successful endeavour.

You can come and explore this fact for yourself at many choice forest reserves. One, in particular, is at Il-Mizieb in northern Malta. Starting back in the '70s, this stretch of woodland is incredible. Before being reforested, the area was an exposed ridge. But with steady work, the ridge was able to support and sustain trees and plants again.

Il-Mizieb can be found at St. Paul's Bay. Il-Mizieb is the perfect place to enjoy views of the bay and surrounding areas, too. Take in deep breaths when you take a stroll through Il-Mizieb's groves. The forest is predominantly populated with the Aleppo Pine. Though the Aleppo Pine can be found elsewhere in Malta, it is here that it can found in great abundance. This leaves the forest floor and general atmosphere with a soothing pine needle smell.

Il-Mizieb is just off the main road to one of Malta's most famous beaches - Golden Bay. It is also next to another nice hiking route called Xemijia Heritage Trail. If you have time, you could combine these destinations together.

Why not enjoy some coffee or a picnic under the therapeutic and aromatic treeline? Looking out on the bay or the rest of the forest treeline will be a sublime experience for sure. Mid to late autumn is an ideal time to come visit for a picnic and hike. The woods' cooler air and amazing pine scent will make for a pleasant and tranquil way to pass the time and enjoy the afternoon. Winter to late spring also offers rich experiences to visit. The forest is thick in its greenery, and seasonal wildflowers, plants, and birds can be seen too.

Don't forget the exotic mushrooms that can sprout up after a soothing rain shower! After enjoying a nice lunch during a picnic, one can follow the trails to other sites and great places in the area to visit and experience. Il-Mizieb on Malta's northern coast is a great way to commune with nature. So grab a picnic lunch and your hiking gear and head out. This wonderful pine forest is waiting for you!

Xemxija Heritage Trail; All roads lead to Xemxija!

Here on the exquisite island of Malta, we have no ordinary hiking trail! No, this is the Xemija Heritage Trail. Bring your best hiking gear and make sure your phone or camera is charged because Xemija offers a walk you won't want to miss out on. With scenes and views, you will undoubtedly be wanting to take photos of along the way! The road itself is incredibly well preserved and easily mapped out. So no need to check out Google maps on this journey! From prehistoric to fairly modern, many sites have been marked out courtesy of Malta's St. Pauls Bay Heritage Group and the St. Pauls Bay Local Council.

The trail goes by a few different names. And as one hikes from the starting point behind the Porto Azzurro Apart Hotel, it is easy to understand why. The trail itself has a history going back 2000 years and possibly more! The trail is also known as the Roman Road and the Pilgrims Way.

Ancient Roman sites dot the trail including the Roman Baths and the Roman Apiary. The Roman Apiary still includes the pots used in Roman times to collect the unique honey cultivated even today in Malta. Further along, the trail consists of the Roman Baths. Unfortunately, today they are no longer in use! But one can come and see the foundation and facade of the baths. The Roman Baths once featured naturally occurring hot and cold pools.

Xemxija is on a well-served public transport route. Take bus number 250 from Sliema. If you are coming from Valletta, take bus numbers X1, 41, 42 and 49. Get off at the bus stop called Roti.

There is also more recent history on the trail. For those seeking the religious quest of pilgrims from bygone eras, the Pilgrims Way offers stunning sights to see, too! The trail has its fair share of votive offerings carved in stone, including the Cave of the Galley. This site, named after the carving of a galley, or large ship, was most likely crafted by a mariner in honour of the Virgin Mary. This is but one of many depictions of devotion along the Heritage Trail. Carvings of crosses, known as "Pilgrim's crosses", can be found along the trail, too. One of the most inspirational examples of piety includes some of the chains pilgrims once wore around their ankles on display along the trail. To properly serve penance and atone for sins, pilgrims once walked the Pilgrims Way bound in chains!

But Christian and Roman heritage are not the only wondrous and mysterious sites and scenes on the Xemxija Heritage Trail! There are caves, both natural and man-made going back to Punic and even Neolithic times. From tombs to prehistoric temples, one can experience Malta's whole wide and rich history right here on the Xemxija Heritage Trail.

And as for the end of the road? This, too is a breathtaking scene to enjoy. The trail itself terminates at the incredible Mistra Gate. The baroque style gate and accompanying farmhouse nearby are perfect photo spots to wrap up this scenic experience.

Ta'Qali National Park - Just a good ol' fashioned walk in the park...

Situated in Attard Malt, the Ta'Qali national park is an incredible setting that has a long and unique history and lots to offer curious travellers. Sports fans and those who are interested in enjoying some Maltese sun will have a smashing time at Ta'Qali National Park.

For starters, Malta's largest football stadium is found in Ta'Qali. The stadium is not just the largest in Malta, but also the national stadium to boot! It is the headquarters of the Malta Football Association. The stadium has seen its fair share of decisive and thrilling matches, even hosting the 1986 World Cup Qualifier matches among other incredible and exciting football games throughout its career.

Looking for one-of-a-kind souvenirs, gifts, and items? Ta'Qali is also where the charming Ta'Qali crafts village can be found. Local Maltese crafts and artisanship are on display for all to see at the crafts village. From leather goods to glass blowing.

And now for those seeking a different way to stay fit and healthy during their holidays and trips to Malta, you are in luck. Ta'Qali also hosts the Pitkalija. The Pitkalija is a vegetable market where one can purchase organic and locally produced veggies! And who thought being on vacation meant you had to cheat on your diet?

Ta'Qali is not on a well-served bus route but you can get there on bus number 202 from Sliema, or bus number 56 from Valletta. You could combine stoping here with a visit to Mdina or Rabat.

Ta'Qali's history is also equally fascinating. The site was once home to a Royal Air Force station built shortly before the onset of World War II. Though the base closed and now is no longer used by the Royal Air Force, some of its physical memory remains. For example, for those who wish to visit the wonderful Ta'Qali crafts village, you will find that the shops and stalls are often housed in Nissen huts once used by the RAF personnel. Bunkers and other military buildings have also been converted for other uses at Ta'Qali.

Ta'Qali national park hosts a pleasant and enjoyable atmosphere that makes picnics, day trips and afternoon excursions ideal. An amphitheatre is also found in the National Park. The National Park's amphitheatre has hosted international concerts and can make for a fun site to visit.

The former RAF airfield may no longer host military crafts like it once did. But it is still in use by scale model crafts owned and operated by the Ta'Qali aviation club. For those interested in Malta's aircraft history, the Malta Aviation Museum features some impressive history, especially Maltese aviation's role in World War II. The museum itself is even situated in a few bunkers once used by the RAF.

The tracks from the airfield also host some daring car races. The Sport Muturi's off-road tracks are found at the Ta'Qali National Park. Motorcross events and car shows are not rare at Ta'Qali's tracks!

Come and explore the historic and charming Ta'Qali National Park. The park has lots of diverse sites and scenes to help make your next Maltese holiday getaway fantastic. From the rich World War II history to the charming crafts village, Ta'Qali has something in store for everyone! Come and explore Ta'Qali National Park today. Soak up some Maltese sun at Ta'Qali.

Salina National Park

Also known as Melita Gardens and Kennedy Grove, Salina National Park is a sublime place to visit. Offering a clear and refreshing view of the immaculate Maltese sky. Blue and resplendent. And dense groves of elegant and mysterious cypress trees that seem to twist and whirl from the earth itself like dancers.

Salina National Park hosts an area called Kennedy Grove in honour of former president John F. Kennedy. This park area was commissioned as a memorial for JFK and was set up a year after his tragic assassination.

In addition to the solemn and moving memorial, there are also pathways, playgrounds, a freshwater stream and even outdoor workout equipment. Salina National Park is perfect for families, couples, and solo travellers. Everyone can find something to enjoy at Salina National Park. One of the most rewarding things will be strolling through the verdant groves under the azure sky above. Perhaps forego scrolling through the old Smartphone and let your eyes, ears, and mind refresh in the green and blue wash of nature. The scent of fragrant trees and herbs in the park will soothe your senses and offer a calming respite from busy travelling!