The Victoria Lines is a 12km-long line of fortifications that spans across the north of Malta. It’s possible to hike along this line of defensive walls by doing the Victoria Lines Walk. But, there are many sections along the Victoria Lines, which are dilapidated, overgrown or uninspiring. By far, the most impressive section of the Victoria Lines is the Dwejra Lines, which is referred to as the Great Wall of Malta. Certainly, it’s worth doing the short Dwejra Lines Walk to explore one of the best historical attractions in Malta.
In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about the Dwejra Lines Walk in Malta. Initially, we’ll provide a brief introduction, GPS map and trail stats. Then, we’ll describe the short trail. Afterwards, we’ll answer some FAQs. Finally, we’ll talk about gear essentials and bonus tips.
Before reading this guide, feel free to watch our Malta hiking video.
We hope you find this guide helpful. For other great hikes in Malta, read our Xlendi Walk, Comino Walk and Golden Bay to Ġnejna Bay guides. Otherwise, read our Malta Hiking Guide to find out about the nine best hikes on the island.
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Dwejra Lines: A Guide To Visiting The Best Section of the Victoria Lines in Malta
Personally, we think the Dwejra Lines, also known as the Dwejra Lines Fortress Wall, is the best section of the Victoria Lines. Indeed, it’s by no coincidence that the Dwejra Lines has been nicknamed the Great Wall of Malta. This section of the Victoria Lines is the most well-preserved part. By doing the Dwejra Lines Walk, you’ll get to closely explore the most epic section of the Victoria Lines in Malta. Best of all, accessing the Dwejra Lines is very easy. To that end, let’s look at a map of the trail and some hiking stats below.
Dwejra Lines Walk Details and Map
- Type: Out & Back
- Distance: 3.5km
- Time: 1 hour
- Accumulated elevation gain: 65m
- Difficulty: Easy
- Trailhead: Our Lady of Hodegetria Chapel
- Map: Wikiloc
Dwejra Lines Walk Trail Description
The Our Lady of Hodegetria Chapel is the starting position of the short Dwejra Lines Walk in Malta. From the trail entrance, situated next to the chapel, you’ll see the Dwejra Lines immediately. This impressive section of the Victoria Lines is set amongst a rugged landscape dominated by limestone rock. Within the limestone walls, you’ll even find catacombs.
Basically, an approx. 100 metre dirt trail descends and leads you to the base of the amazing Dwejra Lines. Once you arrive at the Dwejra Lines, AKA the Great Wall of Malta, you’ll be amazed by this structural formation. Indeed, the Dwejra Lines are considerably intact compared with other parts of the Victoria Lines, which are hidden by overgrowth or have eroded with time.
Great Wall of Malta
Once you arrive at the Dwejra Lines, you’re free to explore and wander the paths of the old fortification lines. The actual distance of the intact section of the Dwejra Lines, nicknamed the Great Wall of Malta, is only around 200 to 300 metres long. As you follow the winding trail of the Dwejra Lines, you’ll gain some elevation, which provides decent surrounding views of Bingemma Valley. From here, you’ll enjoy lovely scenes of farmland and countryside in the north of Malta.
After walking along the Great Wall of Malta, you’re free to continue following the Dwejra Lines, proceeding along the Victoria Lines Walk. Admittedly, once you depart the Great Wall of Malta, and continue east along the Dwejra Lines, there isn’t much else to see nearby. Basically, after leaving the Great Wall of Malta, we walked another 1km and only saw some less interesting sections of the wall, which were overgrown. So, after 1km, we turned around to retrace our steps to finish our exploration.
On the way back, we spent a bit more time enjoying the Great Wall of Malta.
Honestly speaking, walking that extra 1km beyond the Great Wall of Malta might not be worth it for you. If you’re simply wanting to check out the most epic stretch of the Victoria Lines in Malta; then, you can just walk to the Great Wall of Malta from the Our Lady of Hodegetria Chapel without walking further along the Dwejra Lines.
Victoria Lines Walk
Of course, the Dwejra Lines is only one section of the Victoria Lines Walk in Malta. If walking from west to east, here are the main stages of the Victoria Lines Walk.
- Kuncizzjoni to Fort Bingemma
- Fort Bingemma to Bingemma Gap
- Dwejra Lines
- Falka Gap to Targa Gap
- Fort Mosta
- Fort Mosta to Naxxar Gap
- Naxxar Gap to Gharghur
- Ghargur to Madliena
It’s certainly possible to walk the entire Victoria Lines in Malta. Unfortunately, lots of fortifications have eroded over time. This means the lines are difficult to follow and disappear in some parts. That’s the reason we’ve heard mixed reviews about the Victoria Lines Walk in Malta.
Some people have mentioned that many parts of the lines are inaccessible due to invasion of private property or simply because the terrain doesn’t allow passage. That means, for many sections along the Victoria Lines Walk, you’ll have to find alternate routes in uninspiring terrain. In reality, this can make the walk closer to 16km. Beck and I chose not to do the Victoria Lines Walk because of the lack of attractions and the dilapidation of many of the lines en route. Indeed, by doing the Dwejra Lines Walk, you’ll enjoy the best part of the Victoria Lines in Malta.
Anyway, if you’re still keen to do the Victoria Lines Walk, you can use this GPS-guided map here.
How to Get There
The easiest and most convenient way to get to the Dwejra Lines is by driving there yourself. You’ll find a small parking area at the Our Lady of Hodegetria Chapel. In 2021, we hired a manual car with Green Motion using Rentalcars.com from Malta International Airport for only €17/day ($17USD). It was possible to get a cheaper manual car for €13/day ($13USD) with Sicily By Car. But, they require an International Driver’s Permit and have a poorer reputation. Anyway, for an automatic car, you’d be looking at around €22/day ($22USD) for hire with a reputable company.
Public transport: there’s no direct public transport to the Dwejra Lines. It’s possible to get the number 44 bus from this bus stop in Valletta to this bus stop in Mgarr. From there, you’ll have to road walk around 2km south to reach the trailhead. The journey time for the bus is around 40 minutes. The cost of the journey is €2 ($2USD) in summer and €1.50 ($1.50USD) in winter each-way. For the latest details on prices and timetables, head to Malta Public Transport.
In this section, we’ll cover the most frequently asked questions about the Victoria Lines in Malta.
Where Are the Victoria Lines?
The Victoria Lines are located in the north of Malta. They stretch from the west coast in Kuncizzjoni to the east coast in Madliena Heights.
Who Built the Victoria Lines?
The Victoria Lines were built by the British military in the late 19th century. They were only really used between the 1880s to 1907.
Why Were the Victoria Lines Built in Malta?
The Victoria Lines were built to create a physical barrier to invading forces landing in the north of Malta, intent on attacking harbour installations.
How Long Are the Victoria Lines?
The Victoria Lines are approximately 12km long.
Hiking Gear Essentials For the Modified Dwejra Walk
These are our five hiking gear essentials for this walk.
- Merrell Moab Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boots: these hiking boots are super comfortable and lightweight.
- The North Face Venture Jacket: a fantastic windproof/waterproof jacket.
- Osprey Skarab 30L Day Backpack: a great backpack for hiking, which has plenty of space to store your gear.
- The North Face TKA Glacier Fleece Jacket: an excellent warmth:weight ratio fleece jacket that’ll help keep you warm.
- Columbia Convertible Trousers: a value for money pair of water-resistant convertible trousers.
It can obviously get very hot in Malta during the summer. Make sure to pack plenty of water, sunscreen and a hat. Anyway, for a more exhaustive gear list, check out our 66 Travel Items You Must Travel With. For a general summary of what you’ll need for a great trip to Malta, read our Packing Checklist.
- Get there early: personally, Beck and I arrived at the Great Wall of Malta just after sunrise. By doing so, we enjoyed the Dwejra Lines all to ourselves.
- Don’t confuse the Dwejra Lines Walk with the Dwejra Walk: the Dwejra Walk takes place in Gozo. The Dwejra Walk starts and finishes in Victoria and explores Dwejra Bay, Fungus Rock, the Dwejra Inland Sea Dive Site, the Blue Hole and the Azure Window (Dwejra Window) – well, that was before it collapsed in 2017. Many tourists also visit Dwejra for diving and boat trips. You’ll find great Dwejra divers spots at Dwejra Point, the Dwejra Inland Sea Dive Site and the Blue Hole.
- Explore Malta with Hop On Hop Off: if you don’t have a car, Hop On Hop Off is a great way of getting around the island to explore its attractions.
Are you planning on visiting Malta? Please share this travel guide with your travel buddies on Facebook. The Dwejra Lines is a great addition to any Malta trip itinerary.
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