XirCammini is a voluntary, non-profit making, non-denominational and non-sectarian membership organisation, open to all who support its aims, whose primary and over-riding objects are to research and advance knowledge and education about and generate interest in pilgrimages, hiking and/or faith travel focusing mainly on the ancient routes in Europe.
The name is an amalgamation of two words, one Semitic written in old Maltese ‘Xirca’, meaning society or confraternity, and the other ‘Cammini’, derived from Italian, meaning ‘Walks’.
XirCammini is registered with the Office of the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations in Malta (VO1646). The name is also a registered trade mark 59214 belonging to the association and protected by law.
More information about XirCammini is available here.
The Camino Maltés: A History
The Order of the Knights of St. John of Malta have been associated with Xenodochia (refuges for pilgrims) since 1113 in Jerusalem. The Ordinis hospitalis Sanctj Jacobj de Alto Pascu, established to provide refuge to pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela, also had a presence in Medieval Malta. King Frederick IV of Aragon instructed Sicilian, Maltese and Gozitan officials in 1373 to provide assistance to Italian members of the Order of St James visiting Malta.
In a Liber Bullarum entry of the early 17 th century Grandmaster Alof Wignacourt provides instructions of safe passage (a credencial) to Don Juan Benegas from St. Paul’s Grotto, Rabat, to visit holy places in Europe including Saint James In Galicia.
The Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade via its Embassy of Malta in Spain together with Heritage Malta and XirCammini (Malta’s official association representing the International Federation of the Associations of Friends of the Camino de Santiago) with the support of the Malta Tourism Authority, are pleased to announce that following months of collaborative effort, Malta is now connected to the world-famous Camino de Santiago. For the first time, the more than 1,000 year old pilgrim route now includes the Camino Maltés de Santiago de Compostela, (in short Camino Maltés) which is now available for both local and international pilgrims to undertake by land and sea.
The Camino Maltés commences in Malta, continues with the Cammino di San Giacomo in Sicily, the Camin St. Jacu in Sardegna and the Camino Catalan in Spain, ending in Santiago de Compostela.
We firmly believe that the Camino Maltés, which has been accepted and endorsed by the competent authorities on historical grounds, will provide a unique experience for pilgrims to revisit a route which dates to the 16th century. Moreover the Camino Maltés complements the work of the Malta Tourism Authority in promoting Malta’s multi-millennial Christian faith and supporting related entities and activities, thus expanding the Archipelago’s potential as an international hub for faith tourism.
More news and information about XirCammini’s endeavours to research and generate interest in pilgrimages, hiking and faith travel for ancient routes of Europe are available here.
Malta Tourism Authority
The Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) was formally set up to strengthen the public and private partnership in tourism through greater and more direct participation by the private sector in national planning and development of the industry.
MTA’s vision is to achieve a healthy, sustainable and equitable tourism sector for the Maltese Islands ensuring that those who choose our destination are served with professionalism and care.
The Malta Tourism Authority is here:
- To promote and advance Malta as a tourism destination.
- To advise Government on tourism operations and to issue licences under the Act.
- To contribute toward the improvement of the level of human resources in the tourism industry.
- To advise government on the planning and development of the tourism industry as well as on the infrastructure supporting the industry.
- To assist and advise on any tourism-related issues and to undertake activities, events and projects to fulfil our role.
More information about the Malta Tourism Authority is available here.