Hito Unveiling

Published Categorised as News, President's Pen

The Camino Maltés de Santiago is a 3,600km pilgrimage route with evidence of its origins dating back to the Knights of the Order of Malta. On the 25th of July 2023 (the feast of St James, and also Galicia Day), Minister for the National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government, Owen Bonnici, inaugurated the official landmark (hito) at Fort San Angelo, Birgu. He was joined by various authorities, including ambassadors from Spain and Malta and the Honorary Consul of Malta in Galicia.

Alberto Núñez Feijóo, the then-President of the Xunta, and Jorge Martínez Cava and Pilar de Luis Dominguez from the Spanish Federation of
Associations of Friends of the Camino de Santiago, worked with the Ambassador and with XirCammini to revitalize a route from Malta. Through XirCammini’s endeavours the route includes also within it the Cammino di San Giacomo in Sicilia and the Camminu Santu Jacu in Sardegna within it in addition to combining these with the Catalan-Aragonese Way in Spain to Santiago de Compostela.

The iconic hito was placed in Fort San Angelo because it served as the first headquarters for the Knights of the Order of Malta during their time on the island.

XirCammini had been charting a possible Camino route from Malta since 2018. When the ambassador of Malta in Spain, H.E. Daniel Azzopardi, subsequently walked and sailed the Camino in 2021 he was determined to put Malta on the world map of Camino de Santiago routes. Collaboration between the Spanish and Maltese embassies and Consular Office, the Xunta de Galicia, the Federaciones, Heritage Malta, Malta Tourism Authority and XirCammini culminated in the Camino Maltés de Santiago de Compostela being one of the longest caminos de Santiago on record.

The Camino Maltés route starts in Rabat, Malta, and proceeds by boat to Sicily, then Sardinia, and finally Barcelona. From there, it continues overland through Monserrat onto the Camino Frances at Logrono to the Galician capital of Santiago de Compostela. This year, over 300 people from 15 different countries completed the Maltese section of the route and two – an Australian and New Zealander continued with the Camino also across Sicily and Sardegna.

Next year XirCammini members will be walking the Sicily and Sardegna segments together having walked the Malta segment this year. More information about XirCammini membership and its activities can be found on our website.