Victoria Lines Walk

The scenic area around the village of Ħal Għargħur is the setting for this walk. Ħal Għargħur perched high on a ridge, is surrounded by various alleys and ravines which incise through the Great Fault, notably Wied Anġlu and Wied Faħam.

Setting out from in front of Ħal Għargħur Parish Church, work of the Maltese architect Tumas Dingli, walk down Triq San Bartilmew and as you pass the local primary school turn to your right along Triq San Ġwann and after a few paces bear left down the steep lane of Triq Mons Luigi Catania.

At the bottom of the road forks and taking the right branch walk along Wied Anġlu until you reach the Victoria Lines which comes along the edge of the ridge from Naxxar Gap, runs down and traverses Wied Anġlu by a stone viaduct and climbs up to the Ħal Għargħur section of the Victoria Lines.

The Victoria Lines

This stretch of the Victoria Lines gives clear views of Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq, the Magħtab plain up to St. Paul’s Bay and the north-eastern coast of Malta and Gozo as well as of the pre-second World War acoustic mirror (called il-Widna) immediately below. This was the site of Maltacom’s principal satellite communications installation as is evident from the large antennas.

Reaching the other side of Ġebel San Pietru escarpment and also the site of the proposed Ħal Għargħur right battery, look down into Wied il-Faħam and notice how the stone parapet traverses the valley and rises again on the opposing side. Moreover from here you can enjoy views of Fort Madliena, built into the crest of Madliena, just opposite.

Skirting around the Victorian underground building (which was part of an Electric Light Emplacement), cross Wied il-Faħam over the masonry bridge and climb up again along the parapet to the next high ground to reach San Giovanni Battery, constructed between 1884 and 1887, also intended to defend the entrance to Wied il-Faħam and the plain below. Again the views here are superb especially the sheer sides of the ravine if Wied il-Faħam.

The Arched Bridge over Wied id-Dis

Taking the lane running at the back of the battery, you will reach a crossroads which if taking the left fork will take you along the last stretch of the Victoria Lines. The one in the middle takes you up to Fort Madliena. Our road is the one on the right, leading back to Ħal Għargħur, over an arched bridge, which spans the valley of Wied id-Dis. Coming over the bridge the road starts to rise sharply uphill through cultivated terraced fields and a remarkable view of Wied il-Faħam from the back of the valley.

Passing alongside a house with a long garden, midway up the hill, with an inscription over the doorway (in Italian) commemorating the housing of the Lieutenants of the village militia during the reign of George III just after the chapel, with appealing architecture, built in 1560 and dedicated to the Assumption of Our Lady. (The area is known as taż-Żellieqa).

Strolling straight ahead, up the narrow Triq il-Ġnien, turn left, at the crest, into Triq Ferdinandu and charmed by the fine typical Maltese village houses, turn left at the next junction which will take you back into the centre of Ħal Għargħur.