Running on holiday: Malta

Running in Malta

Can you spot the running route? 

Six weeks ago, I didn’t even know where Malta was. And, when asked what I thought about travelling there over Easter, I may or may not have responded with, “Cool. What country is that in?”

Malta, for those geographically challenged like myself, is a small island in the Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast. With its rich history, wonderful food and warm climate, it’s a popular spot for European tourists. After a quick Google search, and the recommendation of a few friends, our flights were booked and we were Malta bound.

The view from our room at our hotel in the town of Sliema was incredible. It overlooked a harbour full of boats and a lovely, palm-tree lined sidewalk along the waterfront, perfect for strolling… or running! I can’t be the only person that looks out their hotel window and immediately notices the possible running routes, right?

I went to bed each night with ambitions to do a run every morning. Unfortunately the allure of sleeping peacefully in a sunbeam took priority. I did manage one afternoon run, after our boat tour to Gozo and the Blue Lagoon. The day involved a lot of sitting, so before we went for dinner, I decided I would get out for a short, 5K run along the waterfront.

It really was wonderful and if I could have made myself get up earlier, it would have been wonderful every other day too. The sidewalk along the Sliema harbour is perfect for running. It’s quite wide so you don’t need to weave and bob around crowds of people and it hugs a harbour full of beautiful yachts for several kilometres, making for pleasing scenery while you jog. It’s also perfect for visitors in Malta. Just follow the water and you’ll never get lost! With an early evening temperature around 17C, it was perfect for running.

I ended my run in one of those little outdoor gyms that seem to be popping up all over major cities. Have you seen these before? These free fitness parks usually have a variety of human-powered traditional fitness equipment like ellipticals, leg and shoulder presses. Graham and I attempted a few strength exercises before heading back to the hotel.  I stretched on our balcony while the sun set over the harbour. Pretty idyllic place for a quick run.

Before we knew it, we were back on a flight to London. Naturally, the city rolled out its finest weather to greet us: 6C and raining. But summer is coming, and there’s a half marathon in Madrid on the horizon. I am looking forward to more runs in the sunshine.

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What a perfect place to stretch. 

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