It all started when I got lost searching for a particular shop in Mgarr (a little village near Mosta where I live). I passed a hamlet called Bingemma and said to myself let’s see where this road gets to. I had some time to waste which is a rare thing and so I went venturing. I then stopped at this chapel and as I went out of the car to have a look around I was taken aback by how untouched and beautiful this spot is. Immediately I thought of bringing my family to check it out.
Family days out in Malta sometimes can be challenging to find something new and exciting to do, especially with young kids. Sometimes you have a plan on going for a picnic somewhere and you end up in a hit zone of a hunter or another time you try to find a spot where not half the island visits but end up not even finding parking as everyone in Malta had the same thought as you! Ah, the joys of living on a small island!
The Caves and Tombs of Bingemma are not a popular site. Take a picnic bag with you on a nice morning, turn on the road from Mgarr to Bingemma and stop at the 1680 chapel on top of the rocky outcrop that looks over the valley. Head to the right of the chapel and find a little passage leading down into the valley. The valley includes the famous Victoria lines that were built by the British in the year of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. For all those who like walking one can start from one end of these fortifications and walk across the width of the Island of Malta to finish on the other side. We have not yet ventured as much with our kids but we have been to some areas along the lines and this place is one of them.
It was January when we visited this place but it was already feeling like spring as the trees were blossoming and the air was fresh. Although it was a valley the sun shone in and made it so warm and welcoming. The kids immediately fell in love with the place and started searching for sticks to help them in their adventures.
We started the climb up the hill on the other side of the chapel to find these interesting adjoining caves. My eldest was off adventuring on his own inside the even smaller holes in the walls that once upon a time, were the tombs of our ancestors.
“Come see this!” was his cry… he didn’t stop climbing and exploring – such a good way to let off steam when cooped up at home due to bad weather.
After a while I placed the picnic mat down and called everyone to come and have a snack. I don’t carry a lot of things but water and some bread is always lovely to enjoy surrounded by trees and flowers.
We even had a visit from a friendly ladybird. We could relax here as there was nobody in sight. Another group with some dogs came around but that was it. We felt it was so safe that we let our dog run free.
When we had rested a little while, we explored the lower area of the valley and saw how far we could go before the brambles blocked our way. There was a massive rock form that looked like it had fallen from the skies and just ended leaning on the other side of the hillside.
We enjoyed imagining we were Indiana Jones on a quest, I don’t know why but I always end up being the damsel in distress. These are the things that make a good family day out. Just make sure you leave the space the way you found it! Carry a bag to place your waste in and take it back home with you. It doesn’t take much but we all would love to find a clean spot next time.
Go visit this place and send us your pics of your kids exploring! Where else do you go for a family day out?