After a long run, it’s back to the luxury of my boutique hotel

  • Mar 16, 2016

I raced a few boats leaving the harbour who seemed to be in a hurry to get out to sea

If like me, you take your trainers on holiday, you may want to book yourself a relaxing stay at Casa Ellul in the heart of Malta’s capital, Valletta. Though the rooms are beautifully designed and have all mod cons, the scenery, which is evident from your window, begs to be explored. You can walk of course, or take a Segway tour, or even get a horse and cart to do the work for you. But I like to lace up and explore, set my apple watch so I a) don’t get lost and b) can track my efforts and improve on them throughout my stay.

There’s a road which almost circumnavigates the whole city of Valletta and the best part is you have shade from the miles of bastions while you get to look at the stupendous Grand Harbour, the historic Manoel Island and the bluest blue Mediterranean sea stretching out towards Sicily. I raced a few boats leaving the harbour who seemed to be in a hurry to get out to enjoy the mild breeze; they didn’t stand a chance.

The run is all on tarmac and paved pretty much all the way round, but don’t be fooled. This is not a relaxing run. Valletta is on the historic Mount Scibberas, which in sea level terms is not that impressive, but believe me, you’ll be wise to book one of the luxurious rooms here at Casa Ellul with a hot tub on the terrace to reward your legs for their hard work taking you up and down the steep inclines.

In the city itself, whose streets form a grid pattern, you can create a route that avoids and people or other traffic, takes in the sights and gives a lot of variety of inclines. You can do a decent warm up using the shallow steps the knights and their horses once sashayed up and there are points where the water is easily accessible for a cooling dip. You’ll dry on the way back to the hotel, believe me.

They take sport quite seriously here and have marathons, triathlons and Hellfire events along with some other challenges like running the length of the islands; so yes, pack your trainers, but be sure to book a luxury hotel so you get brownie points from your partner, and your legs.