Qawra (pronounced ‘awra’) sits pretty on gorgeous St Paul’s Bay in the north of Malta, and boasts fabulous year-round sunshine, fantastic water sports, and a great range of restaurants, shops and bars. It’s a relaxed resort that appeals especially to families and couples, but it’s nudged up against vibrant Bugibba, where you should head if you’re in the mood for some crazy nightlife. The rocky coast is lined with wonderful lidos for a dip, and you’ll find sandy beaches within a short drive. There are lots of great day trips within easy reach, including the historic cities of Valetta and Mdina, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and both immortalised in the first series of ‘Game of Thrones’. And if you want some inspiration for your Qawra visit, we’ve listed our top ten reasons to love Malta here.
At a glance
- Time Zone: GMT +
- Average flight time: 3h 25m
When to go
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Malta is a world-renowned diving destination and Qawra is a fantastic spot for snorkelling and diving. Most of the water-based action is focused on Qawra Point, where there’s a small sandy beach that has earned a Blue Flag for its transparent waters and fabulous amenities. Along the rocky coast you’ll find lots of lidos, where you can jump in and cool off, and the palm-shaded promenade that runs along it is perfect for evening strolls. If you want to explore, head to enchanting Mdina, a beautiful walled city that has barely changed in centuries or visit the spectacular Maltese capital of Valletta.
Qawra has restaurants offering cuisines from all around the globe, whether you fancy a spicy curry or a crispy pizza. There are plenty of traditional restaurants serving tasty local specialities, such as torta tal lampuki (fish pie) or bragioli (parcels of beef filled with vegetables and herbs). For a snack, you can’t beat Hobz biz-zeit, chunks of crusty local bread drizzled with olive oil and stuffed with all kinds of fillings. The delicious local nougat, qubbajt, makes a great dessert. Buzzy Bugibba, which is nudged up next to Qawra, and linked by a lovely seafront promenade, offers even more options for dining out, so you’ll certainly be spoilt for choice.
Families come back time and time again to Qawra, thanks to its reliable sunshine, reasonable prices and relaxed atmosphere. Kids will adore jumping off the rocks into the sea, and, if you’re travelling with infants, they can splash about in the lidos. Mellieha Bay, the biggest sandy beach on the island, is a short bus-ride or a 15-minute drive away. Family-friendly attractions in the area include the Mediterraneao Marine Park, where you can swim with dolphins, and the Splash and Fun Water Park, which has slides, thrills and spills. The Popeye Village, a film-set turned visitor attraction, is about 20 minutes away by car.
Action & Adventure
If you like diving and snorkelling, you’re in for a treat. Malta and Gozo have some of the clearest waters you’ll find anywhere in the Mediterranean. There are numerous diving centres in Qawra, offering equipment rental, diving courses and trips to some of the most popular diving sites on the islands. Thanks to superb underwater visibility (up to 30 metres), you’ll be able to enjoy a gorgeous aquatic spectacle around the reefs, caves and wrecks. Other top activities for the energetic or the adrenaline-junkie include all kinds of water sports, from water skiing to jet-skiing.
Like much of the island, Qawra and the surrounding bay of St Paul’s has few sandy beaches but more than makes up for that with fun-filled lidos, flat rocks where you can lay out your towel and soak up the sun, and a host of water sports. If you’re looking for more extensive sandy bays, head to Malta’s biggest beach at Mellieha Bay, just 15 minutes away by car. Don’t miss the chance to see Malta’s wonderful underwater marvels: there are numerous diving companies offering equipment rental and courses for divers of all levels. If diving doesn’t appeal, just strap on the snorkel and you’ll still see a stunning underwater universe.
Qawra’s nightlife is relaxed and easy going, with lots of bars and pubs where you can relax over a quiet drink, join in a quiz night or belt out some hits at the karaoke. Some also have live gigs or other live entertainment during the summer months, and there are a few clubs if you want to dance the night away. If you’re looking for some serious nightlife, you’ll find it in the neighbouring resort of Bugibba, just a few minutes’ walk away. It is a seriously lively party hot spot with scores of bars and clubs where you can dance until dawn.
For a relaxed holiday in a gorgeous destination with plenty of sunshine, Qawra hits the spot. You and your partner will enjoy the laid-back vibe of this appealing resort, which offers plenty to see and do within easy reach. You can stroll along the seafront, stop for a glass of wine as the sun sets, and enjoy a candle-lit dinner somewhere romantic. For the ultimate romantic day trip, head to enchanting Mdina, a gorgeous city of golden stone enclosed by ancient walls. Climb them for amazing views, and linger over lunch at a courtyard restaurant.
Malta is an island that oozes history and culture. In Qawra itself, there’s a 16th-century fort that once guarded this strategic coastline. Just 15 minutes away by car is the hauntingly lovely walled town of Mdina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which still bears the imprint of its medieval Arabic rulers in its sinuous streets and captivating courtyards. Less than half an hour away is the magnificent island capital of Valletta, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, replete with handsome palaces raised by the Knights of St John. And of course the island is also filled with spectacular prehistoric monuments, including the mysterious Hypogeum, just outside Valletta, which dates back to 3000–3,300 BC.