Northern Coast, Malta Attractions
In the north of Malta, the most thinly populated part of the island, the density is only 746 to the sq. mi/288 to the sq. km, a figure comparable with that for Gaza and Camino (808 to the sq. mi or 312 to the sq. km).The northern coast is a great tourist center, but it also has historical and religious significance. It was here that St Paul and St Luke were shipwrecked in A.D. 60, at St Paul's Bay.
Zebbieh - Skorba Temples
The ancient temples in Zebbieh date to the pre-Copper Age. Together with Ggantija, they are believed to be the oldest free-standing structures in the world.Archeologist David Trump during his excavations uncovered the complex 30 years ago. Evidence in the shape of a wall told of a prehistoric village on the site. Further evidence of human habitation, livestock and crops were found and carbon-dated back to the earliest prehistoric phase, the Ghar Dalam.In the middle of the site are the flattened stones of a three-apse temple from the Ggantija period. The floors made of torb (a crushed compound of limestone and water still in use today) can be seen, as can the eroded megalith, which is approximately three-and-a-half meters tall.Red Skorba and Grey Skorba are the names given to Neolithic periods and corresponding pottery, fragments of which are on display in the Museum of Archeology.
Wardija is the limestone ridge nearest to the Great Fault. It rises to 143 meters (2 meters lower than the highest ridge of Mellieha). The Wardija ridge spans from Ghajn Tuffieha to St Paul's Bay and is the residential preserve of the upper-class Maltese. It is sparsely populated and a good place to walk around. The scenery is panoramic, especially from the old English gun emplacements overlooking St Paul's Bay.
The most serious fault in the area is the Great Fault, which almost bisects the island and runs from Fomm ir-Rih in the west until it peters out in Bahar ic-Cagharq, 15 kilometers away on the east coast. Its near-vertical face - 239 meters at its highest, means the valleys and settlements below and to the north have always been indefensible and expendable.
A headland separates the two popular sandy beaches of Ghajn Tuffieha (the Spring of the apples) and Rampla tal-Mizquqa, otherwise known as Golden Bay.Both beaches lie at the northwestern end of the Pwales Valley, six kilometers from St Paul's Bay and in between the Wardija and Bajda ridges.
During the 1870s the defenses along the Great fault were reinforced and in 1897 these were officially called the Victoria Lines, in honor of the monarch's Diamond Jubilee.What remains of the Victoria Lines can best be appreciated on foot, especially at the western end of Bingemma Gap.
This was the prettiest and smallest bay in Malta until 1979 when the director Robert Altman re-created Sweethaven here for "Popeye The Movie." Inevitably the strain of movie-making had an unpleasant impact on the natural environment of the area.
St Paul's Bay, Malta
Fomm ir-Rih is an inaccessible bay, one of the most beautiful and the last remaining undeveloped bay in Malta. There is good snorkeling and diving, as well as beautiful cliffs and valleys.The only approach to the gravelly shore, other than by boat, is by a very tricky footpath cut into the rockface.
Ras ir-Raheb marks the southeastern tip of the exposed bay of Fomm ir-Rih. There are very few inhabitants in the triangle of land north of Dingli and south of Rabat. This is rural Malta, where you can see old ladies sitting under the shade of a tree, watching their goats.
Marfa is a seven-kilometer stretch of hard coralline limestone and marquis. Permanently uninhabited, it has mainly been used as a signaling outpost.
Ste Agatha's Tower (Red Tower)
This tower commands the high ground on Marfa Ridge. The huge, forbidding and faded terra-cotta-colored fort was built in 1649. The tower's size and position gave it a dual role; not only as a defense but also as a signaling link between the towers on Gozo and St Mary's on Comino, which ultimately led to Valletta.
This sliver of bay is an undeveloped section of the northern coast, separating Salina from the coast that begins in Qawra and ends in Xemxija.