Filfla is one of the three inhabited islands of the Maltese archipelago and is located 5 km south of Malta.
The name of the island comes probably from the Arabic word filfel, meaning peppercorn.
The island had 60m high cliffs and a 60,000sqm limestone plateau.
Currently a natural reserve, the access to Filfla can be done only for educational or scientific purposes and only based on an approval from the Maltese Environmental Minister.
The wonderful Buskett Gardens, which can be also admired from the Dingli view point, was started in the late 16th century by Grand Master La Valette and the plants were mostly planted during the reign of Grand Master Lascaris.
Intended to be a hunting area, the gardens maintain almost the same layout. The name Buskett means small forest.
The beautiful Verdala Palace was built by Grand Master Verdala in 1588 as summer residence.
The palace is currently used as Government Guest Palace and summer residence for the president and is also opened to the public on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Reaching a height of around 300 meters, the cliffs are a renowned attraction in Dingli, offering a wonderful view of the Mediterranean Sea and the small inhabited Filfla Island.
Considered the highest cliffs in Malta, the Dingli cliffs are a perfect destination for a day spent on the countryside and the nearby Buskett Gardens are ideal for walking.
The name of "Dingli" was probably derived from the surname of some Maltese families who owned the land in this area.
Ten or more years ago, the public transportation reached only Rabat (2km north) and Dingli was considered an isolated destination in the southern part of the island.
Still the close location to Rabat and Mdina, the former capital of Malta, had many advantages for Dingli over the past years.
Today, Dingli is a picturesque Maltese village centered on its beautiful parish church bordered by narrow streets and alleys.
Most appreciated in sunsets. Summer time at around 2000 - 2100 hrs. The highest cliffs points are about 250 mtrs above sea level and contrary to popular belief, Dingli is not the highest point in Malta.
A few metres to the south of the computer centre ( the ugly building with a white ugly dome ) there's a chapel dedicated to St Magdalen. This was built in 1640 by the nearby villagers. Could not be seen from inside as it's being renovated. Renovation in Malta takes nearly forever.Click on pic to see more photos
Before you take the bus leaving Dingli it's worth having a walk around the village. The village church could be seen from the main street. It's just a couple of streets at the right hand side. You can also note the way the villagers live their life. Old man in groups sitting in the shade having a chat, and the women chatting outside the village greengrocer or on their doorsteps.
Make a walk to the Dingli Cliffs.
These cliffs are the highest of Malta. From there you have a beautiful view at the cliffs and the sea at one side and also a view at Dingli, and at a distance, Verdala Palace.
I didn't found them too spectacular and it was quite a walk to get there. These mysterious lanes are dating back to the bronze era and it's not sure why they are there. Some say that they are historical passage ways from historical carriages. This is called Clapham Junction it reminded someone of a rail junction in the London area...
The areal of these Clapham Junction isn't well signed and I didn't wanted to take the offer of a Maltese men that was offering us to show us around. I wasn't sure if he wanted some money for his advice....
Some advice would have been useful though, I didn find the real junction I think....
Sure, Dingli has a big church too, it's a good sign post on your way from the cliffs towards town, but therer are also some signs showing the way. The church looks like nearly all churches on Malta, they are all build in the same style....
This little chapel is always closed but one of the few buildings found directly at the coastline. It's standing right at the sheer and spends some little shade in the heat....it's situated near Dingli.
I really liked this small picturesque village. It was hardly any tourist seen and there were only some older men hanging around in the sports club bar right in the middle center. That's were we got some ice cold drinks too. I like these typical bars on Malta. Everone meets there. Tourists are always welcome too.
Apart from that I wandered around the empty streets of this town and finally took the bus back to Mdina from here....
Sure the main attraction in this area are the high cliffs here. The steep walls are falling straight into the sea at some places. At the main viewing point there are some agricultural terraces and so it ś not so spectacular. You have to walk a bit further south to get better views, the travel guides tell you... I didn't do that because it was around midday when we got there and it was to hot. There were hardly any trees or bushes around and so I was walking in the sun for a long time....Be sure to bring some water with you, it's really hot here....
I instead took the street with direction to Dingli, the street follows the coastline for a km or so too.....nice!!!
At the view point located south of Dingli is the small chapel dedicated to St Mary Magdalene.
Built on the cliff top, the chapel is dating from 1646.