The Beautiful North-West

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The beautiful North-West.

A sweeping view of the undulating countryside on the north-west coast of Malta as seen from the hamlet of Mtahleb.

The steep cliffs of the coast are intersected by numerous water-carved valleys, the sides of which have been carefully terraced over the millennia to preserve soil and retain moisture.  Visible in the top left corner is the skyline of the village of Dingli, capped by its church dome.  Dingli, which gives its name to the Dingli Cliffs is the village with the highest altitude in Malta reaching almost 250 metres above sea level, with temperatures averaging two to three degrees cooler than the densely populated harbour conurbation to the south.

The January landscape is mostly monochrome green as the wild flora which is reborn after the parched summer months covers all available patches of soil.  This landscape will soon convert into a riot of colours as the multitude of floral species burst into all the colours of the spectrum between mid February and April/May.

The top right of the photo also shows the miniscule, uninhabited islet of Filfla which lies some five kms to the south-west of Malta and was originally part of the mainland until geological upheavals led to severe faulting and its eventual drift from its parent landmass.

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