Il-Mara: Stunning Rock Column
Malta is full of surprises and beautiful natural creations. This tiny Mediterranean island just doesn’t stop surprising me. This trek will be very much on the edge, so again prepare yourself for some ‘mountain goat’ climbing. It was yet again a group trek with couple of friends that took part in the south of Malta. Just minutes away from Birzebugga (Malta’s Freeport, Pretty Bay).
Nearby there is also Ghar Hasan Cave, so since you’ll be in the area, you may as well visit that too. Now, let’s start discovering the area of il-Mara.
As you know, visiting new places means a lot of exploring, many wrong turns and often getting lost. But that’s the fun right? While looking for this beautiful rock column, we were heading towards the Fort Benghisa. This large polygonal fort was built by the British in 1909 and served to protect with Fort Delimara the commercially important Marsaxlokk Bay.
We didn’t visit the fort on this occassion, but as you can imagine, since it’s abandonment by the British forces in the 1970s it has fallen into disrepair. It is not open to the public.
Now, we’re standing right above il-Mara and looking back in Ghar Hasan direction. As you can see, there are many intriguing caves and apertures along the cliffs, formed though erosion of water.
Here it is from above. A rock column known as il-Mara (the woman) sticks out proudly from the coast beneath Fort Benghisa. At this point we knew, that we want to get as close as possible to this gorgeous creation. So our search for the perfect path started.
Let me point out, that the coast on the other side is also breath-taking.
This was my courageous group for this trek. When this photo was taken no one knew what was coming. Haha. The true adventure is about to start. Ready? Set. Go!
As I already mentioned, exploring new places means that you have to go down paths that later turned out to be completely unnecessary. Just like this one. So don’t worry. If you don’t like sliding down on your butt in gravel, there is absolutely no need! At the end I will show you far easier way to get to il-Mara.
Anyway, continuing our adventure on this chosen path, the moment you reach the bottom, turn left and you’ll find yourself here. On the very edge of this gorgeous bay. Please be very careful here. It doesn’t seem like it, but it is very close to the edge and there isn’t much to hold on to. Nothing for those that are afraid of hights.
The good news is, that nothing lasts for ever and you will soon spot the beautiful rock column! Il-Mara, the woman, will appear just in front of you.
And yes! If you’re already wondering if there is a way to reach the very bottom of il-Mara and the sea. There is indeed a way! Conveniently enough, there are steps cut in the rock that can lead you to the sea level. However we didn’t proceed all the way there. It seemed way too risky and we didn’t feel the need to push it too far.
The sea in the bay is mesmerizing! After all Malta is well know for its beautiful sea. The water is crystal clear and all we wanted to do is to jump in. However we did not. The cliffs were far too hight and it was almost impossible to climb all the way down. Let me know if you manage.
I’m not sure if it was more challenging going there or coming back, but as you can see everyone celebrated that we got back in one piece. I’m sure there is no need to say that good footwear is essential.
Have you enjoyed this little adventure? Yes? I’m glad to hear that! As usual I’m finishing off this blog with the exact location. I’m also going to point out this opening between the stone wall and a boulder. This is where you have to enter if you want to avoid that very slippery hill. So have your eyes open, it will save you few scratches.
If you still don’t know how to spend the upcoming weekend in Malta, this could be an option. Just saying. Enjoy!