We have now welcomed a cold December, yet the fair days still encourage us to wander along the surrounding countryside. The FREE guided walks organised by The Cliffs Interpretation Centre, which are subject to booking, run on Wednesdays and Fridays, and visitors may enjoy the fresh air of Dingli Cliffs while discovering historical remains, learning about the environment and relishing a leisurely stroll.
This is a good time of the year to spot the blooming of several indigenous plants in the garrigue environment, amongst which is the Mediterranean Heath (Erica multiflora, Erika). This evergreen shrub with narrow pink bell-shaped flowers or more rarely whitish flowers, has several medicinal properties as an antiseptic, astringent and diuretic. It is thought that the name ‘Heather’ derives from the English name of this shrub. One of the honey making seasons in Malta is that of autumn, by which bees take nectar from the carob, mustard plants and the Mediterranean Heath, amongst others. The small needle-like leaves of the Mediterranean Heath are clustered around woody branches; this is an adaptation of the plant to be able to survive the dry summer months as an evergreen shrub.
After the last rains, the landscape has turned green overnight…it’s as if Malta is in its second spring. This is also beneficial to see the traditional practices of past local ways of life, for example Dingli’s last local shepherd who roams the surrounding countryside with his sheep can regularly be seen at Dingli Cliffs.
For more information on the innovative tours offered by The Cliffs Interpretation Centre, take a look at our website at http://www.thecliffs.com.mt/tour-information/.