Bike Ride to EU Funded Sites - Route 1

On Sunday, May 5, Servizzi Ewropej f’Malta (SEM), in collaboration with ROTA, organised the first of four bike rides to EU funded sites this year. These organised tours for adults to different sites and projects around Malta and Gozo that have been co-financed by the European Union, showcase the various ways in which the European Union seeks to invest in and support.

The 25km route started from St Nicholas Square in Siġġiewi, passed through the rolling valleys of Wied Ħesri and Wied Baqqiegħa to its first stop at Tal-Kampanjol Aquaponics Farm.

The innovative farmers at Tal-Kampanjol have taken a different path, moving towards a farming system that is more sustainable - environmentally, economically and socially, using science-based practices that maximise productivity while minimising environmental damage thanks to EU funds.

After the first stop, the group explored the whereabouts of the old railway track and proceeded to Ħaż-Żebbuġ. They then joined Wied Ħesri again towards Wied il-Luq where the group took a break by the open-air chapel of Il-Madonna tal-Girgenti, at Djar il-Baqar. The ride continued through scenic views beneath Is-Salib tal-Għolja and through Tad-Dikkiena, RAF Qrendi's old runway, San Niklaw chapel and Palazzo Guarena.

The second stop was in Qrendi, where the Mayor explained and provided details on the restorations carried out through EU funds on the chapels of San Mattew tal-Maqluba and Tal-Ħniena. The smaller of the two chapels dedicated to the Martyrdom of Matthew the apostle, located on the edge of the Maqluba dolite, is believed to be one of the oldest crypts on the island, built prior to the 15th century. The Madonna tal-Hniena chapel, built in the thirteenth century when the hamlet of Hal Lew still formed part of Zurrieq, has long been held in great veneration.

On their way back, the group took the extra mile by the Lunzjata and San Ġwann l-Evanġelista chapels in the almost car-free environment of Ħal Millieri, before proceeding back to Siġġiewi.