Located on the eastern end of St Paul’s Bay in northern Malta, Bugibba is one of Malta’s most popular seaside resorts, challenged only by its adjacent neighbour, Qawra. After recent investments, the area has been populated with modern apartments and hotels, a brand-new waterpark aptly called Bugibba Waterpark and a 150m stretch of manmade beach, now awarded the sought-after Blue Flag award.
Popular with tourists and locals alike, you’ll be struck by its mix of fast-food restaurants and gourmet traditional eateries, its rugged coastline and the man-made sands, and its long waterfront promenade populated by dozens of different nationalities.
3 hr flights and great deals on hotel packages, including year-round delectable weather, (even in October, making it a top break for when school’s out) make Malta a perennial favourite for family holidays and cheap holidays in 2019 or 2019.
At a glance
- Time Zone: GMT +
- Average flight time: 3h 5m
When to go
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St Paul's Bay is home to both Bugibba and Qawra. Bugibba caters to a wide range of tourists and provides for everyone from families to young couples. Along the front runs the man-made beach, but all along the coast there's places to lay down a towel on the giant, flat rocks that jut out into the water. There's also lots of lidos all along the curve of St Paul's Bay and here you can relax, enjoy some water sports, or go for a splash.
In the centre of town you'll find the Il Bajja square, which is a cobbled area with lots of restaurants, bars and cafes, laid out in that familiar, open-air Mediterranean style. Branching out of Il Bajja are a number of streets and the main strip which provides your fast-food restaurants and pubs, if that's what you're after.
Bugibba is also only a 20 minutes away from Valleta by bus. Malta's historic capital is a sprawling city with winding streets, galleries and Baroque churches, awesome for a day trip. Another day trip includes heading to nearby Cirkewwa (around 30-40minutes) to catch the ferry to Mgarr harbour on Gozo, or drop off on the way on Comino to visit the Blue Lagoon.
Populated heavily by British and other international tourists during the summer months means Bugibba caters well for a range of tastes. Expect typical British hangs-outs such as Irish pubs and takeaway restaurants, paired with international cuisines ranging from Thai to Mexican. In amongst this you'll find some traditional Maltese eateries that have weathered the storm of tourism.
Bugibba and Qawra are both fantastic family holiday destinations. Because of its wealth of family-friendly hotels and apartments, lovely coastal walks and its small, man-made beach, Bugibba makes a great base for exploring the rest of Malta. Regular buses run to other beach resorts, including the popular Mellieha Bay and then further away at Golden Bay.
Action & Adventure
Diving. Diving. Diving. Malta is one of the best diving destinations in the Mediterranean. Bugibba has a rocky coast, more suitable for snorkelling rather than diving, but head out to Gozo or Comino and you're spoiled for choice. Bugibba does have a range of watersports available, and St. Paul's Bay has plenty more to offer along its curving shoreline.
Bugibba has a 150m stretch of man-made sandy beach, but most of the coastline is rocky. For superior sandy beaches - the ones you might see as more familiar with Malta's image - head to Mellieha Bay, not far from Bugibba, or across on the ferry to Gozo and Ramla Bay, a large, red-sand beach.
The coast along St. Paul's Bay, although not sandy, is lined with two promenades at Qawra and Bugibba, a number of large, flat rocks ideal for sunbathing and a series of lidos, artificially installed to give holidaymakers somewhere to lounge.
Bugibba is the hub of nightlife in St. Paul's Bay, just edging out its neighbour, Qawra. Centred around the il-Baja or Bugibba Square, there's a number of bars, restaurants and nightclubs that are open into the early hours during the summer months. You'll also find a casino, bingo hall and even a casino, if you fancy it.
For the more full-on nightlife, Paceville in St. Julian's is probably more suitable. Known for its younger crowd, Paceville is where you want to head if you're looking for all-night clubbing.
Bugibba is a good spot for couples who want to balance the traditional holiday with some of the cultural or romantic activities on Malta. For example, you can get to Valletta in good time, take the ferry from nearby Cirkewwa to Gozo or Comino, and even explore the other resorts nearby, such as Qawra.
Malta is a romantic destination because there's many atmospheric restaurants, beaches to unwind on and a range of hotels catering from the most all inclusive luxury stay to the humble self-catering apartment.
Bugibba is a primarily a tourist resort. Much of the original Maltese character of the resort has disappeared underneath hotel development, but Malta in general has some of the best history and archaeology in the whole of the Mediterranean. With consistent human inhabitance for thousands of years, history on Malta spans the Neolithic, Roman and the height of the Crusader knights, just to name a few of the great empires and cultures that have resided on Malta.