Malta Public Transport

Red Tower

Nature’s palette surrounding the Red Tower

Who said that Mellieħa Bay is only a summer destination? Rich in biodiversity and historic sites, the northernmost tip of Malta is an all-season attraction, and the Tad-Dahar trail is a perfect getaway particularly in colder months.

Forking westwards from the main road to the ferry terminal, the pathway leads all the way down to the enchanting Qammieħ cliffs. The wilderness of the garigue is a burst of life full of the scents, sounds, and colours of the countryside.

But, surely, the most eye-catching colour in the landscape is the St Agatha Tower, better known as the Red Tower. Built in the mid-17th century by Grand Master Lascaris, the tower seriously beefed up the Order’s defences across the channel. Thanks to its strategic location, St Agatha continued to be used by the British and the Armed Forces of Malta until recently.

It has now been meticulously restored from the inside and outside by Din L-Art Ħelwa nation trust, including a fresh coating of the iconic red paint. The invaluable site is open daily from 10:00 to 14:00.

The Tad-Dahar trail continues downwards towards the sea, rising above a Foresta 2000 nature reserve to one side and the Marfa ridge on the other. The end of the two-kilometre track is marked by a radar station, an unobtrusive reminder that connected life is not too distant.

That vantage point presents unusual views of Malta and Gozo, and the mystifying waters that hold them together.

Getting there

Bus stop Qammieħ is right at the start of the Tad-Dahar trail and is served by five routes:

Route 41 from Valletta to Ċirkewwa makes eight journeys daily between 05:25 and 20:25

Route 42 from Valletta to Ċirkewwa makes six journeys daily between 05:10 and 16:10

Route 101 from Mġarr to Ċirkewwa makes five journeys daily between 07:00 and 21:00

Route 221 leaves Buġibba for Ċirkewwa every hour from 05:50 to 21:50

Route 222 leaves Sliema for Ċirkewwa every 30 minutes from 7:15 to 20:15, with additional journeys at 06:15, 21:15, and 22:15