Q1-2022 Itinerary

2020 and 2021 have been have been unlike no others. Covid-19 has taught us to adapt and move on. It has also taught us to focus on who and what is most important.

While respecting health directives, XirCammini continued with its local walks, providing an avenue for people to meet socially and to exercise in the outdoors. In 2021 it also resumed its overseas trekking activities, walking the 850 km Camino Portugues, followed by Matera e Sassi and the Cammino di San Giacomo in Sicila. In between we also enjoyed the Gozo weekend, the Comino perimeter and the Victoria Lines. All in all 2021 has been a busy year.

We are pleased to roll out the Jan – Mar 2022 calendar of local and overseas treks. Local treks (other than whole weekend events or ones requiring transport or logistics planning) do not require booking. They are only open for XirCammini registered and paid-up members and all are asked to respect prevailing Covid-19 rules so as not to jeopardise the health of others.

Thanks Marie Louise Muscat Azzopardi for working on this itinerary of walks and for offering to leads some, Thanks John Darmanin for offering to lead the Wednesday Walks and thanks Don Pace for offering to lead the Saturday Walks. Thanks also for those who stepped up to lead some of the overseas treks. This is our association and our collective involvement makes it richer, giving us all more value.

Regarding the overseas trekking activities, there are still a few places on the Sila trek (February) and Camino Ingles (April). Please write to us on information@XirCammini.org if you are interested in joining us.

DateCodeMeeting TimeNameLevel(*)Meeting Place
Saturday, 15th JanP11014:00Siggiewi / Tal Providenza Chapel / across valley towards Salib tal Gholja / across the ridge to Gebel Ciantar and the Brone Age Grain Silos / down to Fawwara / back to SiggiewiMod about 3 hrsSiggiewi Parish Church
Wednesday, 19th JanP11119:00Birzebbugia /  Dar ta’ Pultu trail / Ta’ Kaccatura water reserovoir/ on towards football ground in Ghaxaq /Triq Telleritu / and back to starting point.Easy about 2 hrsSt George’s Bay, Birzebbugia (small parking place where boats are kept on land)
Saturday, 22nd JanP11214:00Bahrija / Bingemma/ Dwejra / Wied il-Qleghja /BahrijaMod about 3 hrs fast walkingBahrija swings
Sunday, 23rd JanP11309:00Naxxar (at roundabout at the top of T’Alla u Ommu) / Sta. Katerina Chapel / down towards Ghallis tower/ back part of the trail and then turning towards Salini Hotel / crossing coast road to Salina salt pans and Salina Nature Reserve / towards Bird Park / back towards Naxxar.Mod. 3 to 4 hrsNaxxar  at roundabout a the top of T’Alla u Ommu)
Wed, 26th JanP11419:00Qrendi /Hagar Qim / towards Triq il-Wied / return to QrendiEasy about 2 hrsQrendi Parish church
Saturday 29th JanP11514:00L-Ahrax tal-Mellieha loopMod about 4 hrsGhadira parking place, near the public toilets
Wednesday 2nd FebP11619:00Telgha t’Alla u Ommu, Naxxar…Wied Anglu…Wied Faham…Wied id-DiesMod to hard 3 hrsRoundabout at top of it-Telgha t’Alla u Ommu, Naxxar
Saturday, 5th FebP11714:00Mgarr / Fomm ir-Rih / Round headland towards Gnejna / up to il-Lippija Tower / towards Golden Bay but before reaching Golden Bay taking path back to Mgarr.Mod about 3 hrsMgarr Parish Church
9th – 13th FebP118n/aSila (Calabria) Ghiaccio e Neve3n/a
Wednesday 16 FebP11919:00Rabat loop with a starting warm-up in the Mdina moatMod about 2 to 3 hrsDomus Romana, Rabat, just outside Mdina
Saturday, 19th FebP12014:00Manikata Church Carpark / Pwales /Pilgrim Trail / Mizieb Valley / Majjistral / ManikataMod about 3 hrsManikata Car Park
Sunday, 20th FebP12109:00Gnien l-Gharusa tal-Mosta / Dwejra / Chadwick lakes / MostaMod about 3 hrsGnien l-Gharusa tal-Mosta, Mosta
Wednesday 23rd FebP12219:00Siggiewi loopMod about 2 hrsLimestone Heritage on the Siggiewi By-Pass
Saturday, 26th FebP12314:00Roman Villa / Mdina Ditch / Stazzjoni / Mtarfa / Wied l-Qlejja / Qolla l-Bajda / Dwejra Lines / Binhemma Lines / Wied l-Qlejja / Nigret / Rabat.Mod about 3 hrsRoman Villa
Sunday, 27th FebP12409:00Marsaskala / Xrobb l-Ghagin / il=Hofriet / St Peter’s Pool / Tas-Silg /  St Thomas Bay / MarsaskalaMod about 3 hrsMarsaskala Parish Church
Wed, 2nd MarchP12519:00Rabat /Wied l-Isqof / Girgenti / Wied Hesri / Zebbug / RabatMod /hardDomus Romana, outside Mdina
Saturday, 5th MarchP12614:00Bidnija loop / Dwejra /Bingemma Fort / Vivtoria Lines / is-Santi / past British Brewery(Strickland Hse)Mod about 4 hrsIn front of San Anton / San Andrea School at l’Imselliet
Wed, 9th MarchP12719:00West Victoria LinesMod about 2 hrsil- Kuncizzjoni Chapel, limits of Bahrija
Saturday, 12th MarchP12808:30 – 16:00Universal Peace Walk 1543AD2Cathedral Square, Mdina
Wednesday, 16th MarP12919:00Bahrija / Bingemma/ Dwejra / Wied il-Qleghja /BahrijaMod about 3 hrs fast walkingBahrija swings
28th March – 4th AprilP130n/aCamino Ingles3n/a

Trekking Itinerary (Q1-2022)

I hope you are enjoying your Christmas break.

2020 and 2021 have been have been unlike no others. Covid-19 has taught us to adapt and move on. It has also taught us to focus on who and what is most important.

While respecting health directives, XirCammini continued with its local walks, providing an avenue for people to meet socially and to exercise in the outdoors. In 2021 it also resumed its overseas trekking activities, walking the 850 km Camino Portugues, followed by Matera e Sassi and the Cammino di San Giacomo in Sicila. In between we also enjoyed the Gozo weekend, the Comino perimeter and the Victoria Lines. All in all 2021 has been a busy year.

We are pleased to roll out the Jan – Mar 2022 calendar of local and overseas treks. Local treks (other than weekends or ones requiring transport or logistics planning) do not require booking. They are only open for XirCammini registered/paid-up members and all are asked to respect prevailing Covid-19 rules so as not to jeopardise the health of others.

Thanks Marie Louise Muscat Azzopardi for working on this itinerary of walks and for offering to leads some, Thanks John Darmanin for offering to lead the Wednesday Walks and thanks Don Pace for offering to lead the Saturday Walks. Thanks also for those who stepped up to lead some of the overseas treks. This is our association and our collective involvement makes it richer, giving us all more value.

Regarding the overseas trekking activities, there are still a few places on the Sila trek (February) and Camino Ingles (April). Please write to us on information@XirCammini.org if you are interested in joining us.

DateCodeMeeting TimeNameLevel(*)Meeting Place
Saturday, 15th JanP11014:00Siggiewi / Tal Providenza Chapel / across valley towards Salib tal Gholja / across the ridge to Gebel Ciantar and the Brone Age Grain Silos / down to Fawwara / back to SiggiewiModabout 3 hrsSiggiewi Parish Church
Wednesday, 19th JanP11119:00Birzebbugia /  Dar ta’ Pultu trail / Ta’ Kaccatura water reserovoir/ on towards football ground in Ghaxaq /Triq Telleritu / and back to starting point.Easyabout 2 hrsSt George’s Bay, Birzebbugia (small parking place where boats are kept on land)
Saturday, 22nd JanP11214:00Bahrija / Bingemma/ Dwejra / Wied il-Qleghja /BahrijaModabout 3 hrs fast walkingBahrija swings
Sunday, 23rd JanP11309:00Naxxar (at roundabout at the top of T’Alla u Ommu) / Sta. Katerina Chapel / down towards Ghallis tower/ back part of the trail and then turning towards Salini Hotel / crossing coast road to Salina salt pans and Salina Nature Reserve / towards Bird Park / back towards Naxxar.Mod.3 to 4 hrsNaxxar  at roundabout a the top of T’Alla u Ommu)
Wed, 26th JanP11419:00Qrendi /Hagar Qim / towards Triq il-Wied / return to QrendiEasyabout 2 hrsQrendi Parish church
Saturday 29th JanP11514:00L-Ahrax tal-Mellieha loopModabout 4 hrsGhadira parking place, near the public toilets
Wednesday 2nd FebP11619:00Telgha t’Alla u Ommu, Naxxar…Wied Anglu…Wied Faham…Wied id-DiesMod to hard3 hrsRoundabout at top of it-Telgha t’Alla u Ommu, Naxxar
Saturday, 5th FebP11714:00Mgarr / Fomm ir-Rih / Round headland towards Gnejna / up to il-Lippija Tower / towards Golden Bay but before reaching Golden Bay taking path back to Mgarr.Modabout 3 hrsMgarr Parish Church
9th – 13th FebP118n/aSila (Calabria) Ghiaccio e Neve3n/a
Wednesday 16 FebP11919:00Rabat loop with a starting warm-up in the Mdina moatModabout 2 to 3 hrsDomus Romana, Rabat, just outside Mdina
Saturday, 19th FebP12014:00Manikata Church Carpark / Pwales /Pilgrim Trail / Mizieb Valley / Majjistral / ManikataModabout 3 hrsManikata Car Park
Sunday, 20th FebP12109:00Gnien l-Gharusa tal-Mosta / Dwejra / Chadwick lakes / MostaModabout 3 hrsGnien l-Gharusa tal-Mosta, Mosta
Wednesday 23rd FebP12219:00Siggiewi loopModabout 2 hrsLimestone Heritage on the Siggiewi By-Pass
Saturday, 26th FebP12314:00Roman Villa / Mdina Ditch / Stazzjoni / Mtarfa / Wied l-Qlejja / Qolla l-Bajda / Dwejra Lines / Binhemma Lines / Wied l-Qlejja / Nigret / Rabat.Modabout 3 hrsRoman Villa
Sunday, 27th FebP12409:00Marsaskala / Xrobb l-Ghagin / il=Hofriet / St Peter’s Pool / Tas-Silg /  St Thomas Bay / MarsaskalaModabout 3 hrsMarsaskala Parish Church
Wed, 2nd MarchP12519:00Rabat /Wied l-Isqof / Girgenti / Wied Hesri / Zebbug / RabatMod /hardDomus Romana, outside Mdina
Saturday, 5th MarchP12614:00Bidnija loop / Dwejra /Bingemma Fort / Vivtoria Lines / is-Santi / past British Brewery(Strickland Hse)Modabout 4 hrsIn front of San Anton / San Andrea School at l’Imselliet
Wed, 9th MarchP12719:00West Victoria LinesMod about 2 hrsil- Kuncizzjoni Chapel, limits of Bahrija
Saturday, 12th MarchP12808:30 – 16:00Universal Peace Walk 1543AD2Cathedral Square, Mdina
Wednesday, 16th MarP12919:00Bahrija / Bingemma/ Dwejra / Wied il-Qleghja /BahrijaModabout 3 hrs fast walkingBahrija swings
28th March – 4th AprilP130n/aCamino Ingles3n/a
Thurs 31 Mar–2nd AprP131Round Gozo Trek
Wednesday 6th AprilP13219:00
Sunday 10th AprilP13309:00Round the coast of CominoModa day’stripMtarfa or Cirkewwa quay(to be announced later)
Wednesday 13th AprilP13419:00Mod
16th – 23rd AprilP135n/aCamino Ingles3n/a
Wed 27th AprilP13619:00
Saturday 30th AprilP13714:00Salina (ta’ Cassia Restaurant) towards Wied il- GhaselModabout 4 hrsTa’ Cassia Salina Restaurant / Chapel of the Annunciation ,Salina
Wed 4th MayP13819:00
Saturday 7th MayP13914:00L-Ahrax tal-Mellieha loopModabout 4 hrsGhadira parking place, near the public toilets
Wed 11th MayP14019:00
Saturday 14th MayP14114:00Gozo / hillsHarda day’s tripMgarr quay, Gozo
Wed 18th MayP14219:00
Saturday 21st MayP14314:00
Wed 25th MayP14419:00
Saturday 28 MayP14514:00
7th – 12th JuneP146n/aCostiera Amalfitana e Positano3n/a
Saturday 25th JuneP14714:00End of Season Trek, Picnic & SwimSelmun Palace

  Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed Christmas Season and a Happy, Healthy and Productive New Year. Sincerely … James and Tucc

Temma | Advent | Maranatha’ [Jeremiah 31:25-35]

Many among us, Maltese, would have heard the saying, “Ferha bla temma”. I often wondered what the word, “Temma” means. It is not tama; it is not related to hope. It is not tmiem (although close in root).

Today someone explained the difference between Temma and Tmiem. What a beautiful word, “Temma” is. It is similar to “Fulfilment”. So, if tmiem means “finished”, temma means “complete.” It also gives an alternative meaning to Christ’s words, “Kollox mitmum.”

And why am I pondering on these words now?

We are at the end of a liturgical year and on the threshold of Advent. Many know of Christmas but very few seem to remember the significance of Advent.

Advent, like Lent, focuses on a journey. The journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. For a myriad of reasons that journey was steeped in challenge. But despite the challenges, by the end of their journey the protagonists were far from finished; on the contrary they were the main conduit for the fulfilment of a great prophecy. the world witnessed the first Maranatha’ and a new journey began.

In our life we pass through episodes when we are ready to throw in the towel; to say, “that’s it. I give up.” If ever there was a dangerous phrase it is, “I’m tired.” We know this from trekking.  Silly mistakes, even fatal ones, result from tiredness or from a feeling of futility.

I love advent. It helps me set the tone for the year ahead. I’ll reflect on this during the coming four weeks until Christmas. I’ll reflect on this and on the power of perseverance.

Life’s a journey, one step at a time. There are no destinations because our journey is a perennial one. We live in the footsteps of others and others will live in ours. What will our legacy be?

XirCammini Christmas Drinks 2021 – UPDATE 20th Nov 2021

Looking back we have a lot to be thankful for and looking ahead we have a lot to look forward to.

On 1st December we will be meeting for early Christmas Drinks before some of us leave for Matera & Sassi and others for the Cammino di San Giacomo in Sicilia.

We will be meeting at Kazin tal-Banda Santa Katerina, Zurrieq, at 07:30 p.m. for drinks and nibbles. Everyone pays for their own drinks at the bar.

We have removed the registration form because expression of interests exceeded capacity. We look forward to seeing you on that evening.

XirCammini | Universal Peace Walk in the News

The Melita Foundation is supporting XirCammini, a recently established voluntary organisation which aims to research and advance knowledge of ancient pilgrimage routes across Europe and assist those who wish to hike these routes. As part of this mission, XirCammini is developing walks across Malta including a 28-kilometre hike through Central West and Southeast Malta which links Mdina’s Cathedral with the Church of St Gregory in Zejtun.

James Portelli, President of XirCammini, said, “We research pilgrimages and faith walks not only to encourage interest in these culturally important aspects of our collective history but also to provide those taking up these walks with relevant information and support. This includes information on history and nature as well as practical tips on places to stop for rest and refreshments. We are also making this information available digitally to further enhance the user experience while encouraging cultural tourism and faith travel in Malta and across Europe.”

The name XirCammini is amalgamation of two words, one Semitic written in old Maltese ‘Xirca’, meaning society or confraternity, and the other ‘Cammini’, derived from Italian, meaning ‘Walks’. The name symbolises the organisation’s openness to all who support its aims, both those who have already undertaken a Camino and those with a general interest in pilgrimages of hiking.

Prof. Tanya Sammut Bonnici, Chair of The Melita Foundation, said, “Caminos have played an important part in Europe’s faith traditions for centuries, surviving into the modern era for their spiritual, physical, cultural and economic benefits. One of The Melita Foundation’s key objectives is to enhance cultural and environmental awareness, something which XirCammini does perfectly with its research and promotion of these beautiful walks.”

The Melita Foundation was established in February 2020 with an initial donation of €500,000 from Apax Partners, owners of Melita Limited until May 2019. With the full support of EQT, the company’s current owners, all the Foundation’s expenses are being funded entirely by Melita Limited. This means that 100 per cent of the funds available to the Foundation are being used to support projects.

More information on the Melita Foundation and how to apply for funding is available at www.melitafoundation.org. Information about XirCammini is available at https://xircammini.org/ and on the Universal Peace Walk 1543 on https://xircammini.org/universal-peace-walk/

1st October Information Meeting

Local Walks Oct – Dec 2021 | Registration UPDATED 25th October 2021

As promised, we’ve put together the itinerary of local walks between now and the end of the year.

The table is included below.

We will have fortnightly weekend walks (alternating between Sunday morning and Saturday afternoon) and we will continue with our Wed Walks in the evening. These help us break the weekly work routine with a mid-week evening walk. We have also included some full-day walks (these are in bold in the table below):

With the gradual opening up of Covid measures we will not be maintaining a prior, online registration system.

The ones that require registration due to say transport accommodation etc. (Comino, Victoria Lines, Gozo or December overseas) are now closed.

Please check with the list above and turn up at the appointed place for a departure at the indicated time.

Please wear masks while waiting or stationery and also observe a 6-group cluster. Thanks.

We look forward to meeting all of you in some or all of the walks. Life’s a journey | keep smiling | keep walking | Keep safe | God bless.

December 2021 Overseas Trekking Experiences

We are pleased to invte XirCammini members to join us on the either of the following overseas trekkign experiences in December 2021.

It is important to stress that over events are open only to XirCammini members and that XirCammini is not a tour or travel operator or agency. We are a members’ association registered in Malta as a voluntary organisation (VO1646) dedicated to hiking in Malta and overseas.

Matera Hiking Experience, December 2021

When: 3rd to the 8th December 2021

Where: Matera (Basilicata, Southern Italy) trekking to the Lucanian Dolomites and Apennines.

How long: 5 nights/6 days

Accommodation: Double/Twin or Triple sharing depending on configurations on half-board basis.

Camino de San Giancomo, Sicilia, December 2021

When: 9th to the 17th December 2021

Where: The Cammino De San Giacomo starts in Caltagirone and has seven stages (139km) of medium to hard difficulty and terrain.

How long: 9 days (7 days on the Camino)

Accommodation: Accommodation is mixed, with some agri-turismo and some basic albergue (dorm-type) accommodation.

What is covered in the price:

  1. Airport transfers by private coach (Catania Airport to Caltagirone and from Capizzi to Catania Airport)
  2. Coach transfer from Aidone to Piazza Armerina
  3. Accommodation on B&B basis (x 8) I mixed accommodation (B&B, agriturismo and albergues)
  4. Packed lunch for the trekking days (consisting of water sandwich and fruit)
  5. Italian trekking guide with us daily.
  6. Daily baggage transfer from one accommodation to another (max 15kg per bag)
  7. Credencial del Cammino
  8. Patch ‘Cammino di San Giacomo, Sicilia.

Please click this link to register your interest:

Caminho Português Done and Dusted! What Next?

Now that the Caminho Português is done and dusted, we can concentrate on

1. the calendar of local walks; and

2. the overseas travel itinerary for Oct 2021 – Sept 2022.

Regarding local walks, we continue to watch the Covid-19 situation more closely as restrictions ease and in the coming days we will announce the Oct – Dec walks. In September we still have the following walks (which are already over-subscribed):

P85 21st Sept Mellieha | Ramla tat-Torri | Armier Loop (19:00 – 22:00)

P86 23rd Sept Manikata | Pwales | Mizieb Loop (19:00 – 22:00)

P87 28th Sept Selmun – Mellieha Loop (19:00 – 22:00)

Regarding the overseas walks, this is what is provisionally planned for next year (please note that dates are tentative and may change):

  1. 5th – 13th Dec, 2021: Cammino Di San Giacomo in Sicilia from Caltagirone to Capizzi. 130km
  2. 6th – 10th Feb, 2022: Trekking in Sicily, details to be announced.
  3. 26th March to 2nd April, 2022: Camino Ingles (from Ferrol to Santiago de Compostela)
  4. 4th – 11th June, 2022: Costiera Amalfitana and Matera
  5. 18th June – 2nd July 2022: Camino Primitivo 340km from Oviedo to Santiago de Compostela
  6. 11th – 18th September, 2022: Isole Eiolie Trekking and/or Swimming on 6 of the 7 Volcano Islands.

Most local and and all overseas activities are open only for XirCammini members. To become a member please follow this link: https://xircammini.org/get-involved/membership/

A poll will be issued shortly and circulated to members to register their interest for the above overseas trekking activities