St. Paul's Bay is both a village and a municipality in northern Malta, an area that encompasses both Bugibba and Qawra, two of the most popular resorts in Malta. When we say village we're talking about what St Paul's Bay once was, but now rather than fishing village, St. Paul's Bay is upscale resort hub with plenty of activities and facilities for extended family holidays to Malta.
It should be said that St. Paul's Bay village is a little quieter than Bugibba and Qawra, and it's here and along the bay's wilder areas that you'll find more elements of traditional Maltese life.
At a glance
- Time Zone: GMT +
- Average flight time: 3h 15m
When to go
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St Paul's Bay, as a region, is comprised of three main villages, St. Paul's Bay, Bugibba and Qawra, but they've all sort of conglomerated into one huge tourist hotspot. The original St. Paul's Bay is definitely the quieter of the three, and is the only village in the area that holds a traditional Maltese festa at end of July. If you're looking for an all inclusive Malta holiday, than either Bugibba or Qawra is a better bet, as although St. Paul's village isn't exactly an old-world Maltese village, it's not a full-blown tourist resort either.
Some of the attractions around St. Paul's Bay include the oldest standing tower in Malta, the Wignacourt tower, constructed by a Grandmaster in the early 17th century. Nearby is one of the few nature reserves in Malta, the is-Simar reserve. Only open at specific times (the November - May, only on Sundays, 10 in the morning til 4 in the afternoon) the reserve is worth a visit if you really want to escape the more hectic elements of this corner of Malta.
It should be noted that if you choose to stay in the St. Paul's Bay village or region, you're not far from the resort of Mellieha and the popular Mellieha Bay, boasting some of the best beaches and most touristy facilities in Malta. Alternatively, the port of Cirkewwa (where you can get the ferry to Gozo or Comino) is around a 35 minute drive from St. Paul's Bay.
Most of the St. Paul's Bay area, including the Old Town, the resorts of Qawra and Bugibba, and the long stretches of coast in between, all cater to an international array of tourists. A wide range of cuisines are on offer, everything from tradtional Maltese snacks to quick, greasy bites in Bugibba, to gourmet cuisine in St. Paul's Bay Old Town.
The entire St. Paul's region is perfect for a family holiday. Despite the lack of sandy beaches, the range of activities, sights and facilities more than make up for it. If you're really craving that beach day out, Mellieha and Golden Bay are just a short distance away, more than suitable for a daytrip.
Action & Adventure
The St. Paul's Bay coastline is popular with watersports because of the warm waters and extensive rocks for snorkelling and diving. Every activity you can imagine is available here, from hiking to diving. The Blue Lagoon on Comino is one of the best diving spots in the Mediterranean, and if you're a fan of diving then you'll be a fan of the Blue Lagoon.
St. Paul's Bay itself, as in the Old Town, doesn't have sandy beaches but rather a series of rocks that are popular spots for sunbathing. They're large and flat and there's plenty of space to lay down a towel. There is a very small beach at the very tip of St. Paul's Bay
The largest nearby sandy beaches are at Mellieha Bay and then further at Golden Bay. Both Bugibba and Qawra have rocky seafronts, too, but there are long, lovely promenades where you can still get those beach vibes.
St. Paul's Bay Old Town is home to a series of cafes and bars, but generally is a bit more laid-back than its louder sisters, Bugibba and Qawra. It's here in the Old Town that you'll want to enjoy a slow, sophisticated cocktail, some live music and an evening by the cool seafront.
If you want something more exciting and go-go, Bugibba is your best bet. Catering to a host of tourists, Bugibba is buzzing in the evenings. There are bars, karaoke bars and night clubs. You'll find most of the hotspots in Bugibba Square at the heart of the resort, but there's also a cinema, bingo hall and casino dotted around.
St. Paul's Bay village and Old Town is the most relaxed of the three St. Paul's Bay resorts and therefore the most suitable for a romantic getaway. Although there's a lack of all inclusive accommodation, St. Paul's is an area more suited for those who want to get out and explore Malta, hitting top destinations such as Gozo, Valletta and the Blue Lagoon in Comino.
Archaelogical discoveries suggest that the St. Paul's area was inhabited way back in 4000 BC. Roman ruins have been found, Punic tombs and cart tracks from farmers thousands of years ago still carve a path through the landscapes. Presenting an almost continuous history of human industry, there's a significant presence of towers, forts and defences put in place by the Knights of the Order of St John after they had to flee Rhodes in the 16th-17th centuries.
Things to Do in St. Paul's Bay
If you're planning a stay in St. Paul's Bay and are wondering what you can get up to, loveholidays.com have come up with some of the attractions to visit on Malta holidays.
Discover the Delights
Of all the resorts on the island of Malta, St. Paul’s Bay is possibly the most serene and alluring to those looking for a quieter destination. The natural splendour is pervasive in the town, and many are initially attracted to the Golden Sands Beach for understandable reasons. The open stretch consists of the holidaymaker’s archetypal vision of paradise. Golden by name, golden by nature, the bright sand is there to dig your toes in to, with blue seas to dip them in when the Mediterranean climate gets a bit much. Alternatively you can always retreat to one of our 4-star hotels or trendy apartments located nearby if you’ve forgotten your sun tan lotion! The many scuba diving centres will satisfy your cravings to get away from the land and get among the unknown. Frequented by families in search of discovery, the Scubatech Diving Centre and New Dimension Scuba allow an invigorating and exciting visit to the deep sea, catering for both beginners and experts of all ages looking for stimulating things to do. Holidays to St. Paul’s Bay provide a welcomed contrast to Malta’s party towns such as Paceville. The balance is perfect for those looking for a mixture of events. Similar to Mellieha, holidays in St. Paul’s are sprinkled with bars and restaurants with a calm atmosphere. The odd British pub pops up here and there too for those feeling a little homesick. There are plenty of restaurants serving native cuisine for those eager to grasp the Mediterranean way, such as Ta’ Bertu and L’Artista, with alternatives coming in the way of Italian and Greek food. Those in search of romance must visit Damiano’s in the early evening, where you can watch the sun setting over the vast sea of St. Paul’s Bay.