Another 7 underrated Maltese and Gozitan villages worth exploring
by Yellow 144 Days
Spring is upon us. Days are getting warmer and sunnier, and so it starts becoming easier to spend time outdoors exploring what our tiny islands have to offer.
We’ve already delved into a few underrated Maltese and Gozitan towns. Despite our country’s size, there are many other scenic villages oozing character. So here are 7 more worth visiting!
Santa LucijaBridging the south of the island to the more central areas, the relatively young village of Santa Lucija is truly a diamond in the rough.
Known as the ‘Garden City’, this quaint town stands out thanks to its impressive greenery. The Chinese Garden of Serenity is at the heart of Santa Lucija, a unique and relaxing location everyone should visit.
The town is ideal for a stroll in one of its parks, or a walk along its charming streets - where most houses have picturesque patios and front gardens. The residents of Santa Lucija sure have a green thumb!
BalzanLooking for a quiet but interesting day out somewhere off the radar, but also central enough to find plenty of shops and eateries nearby? Then Balzan fits the brief.
This small village is extremely rich in both history and beauty. It has countless palaces and other grand buildings, home to Maltese historical figures many moons ago. Most notable of all is Palazzo Antonio in Providence Street, an important residence to a number of elite figures throughout history.
After counting all the niches and statues of saints you can possibly find all over Balzan (and there are many), be sure to visit the town’s gorgeous fruit orchards, or try the locally produced citrus-flavoured honey it has become famous for!
GhajnsielemAs you leave the Mgarr Harbour and head into the heart of Gozo, you will be greeted by the peaceful village of Ghajnsielem.
Apart from its breathtaking views of Mgarr, and its easy access to Xatt l-Ahmar Bay, this Gozitan gem is mostly known for its old religious buildings and the variety of restaurants.
Within the tranquil streets of Ghajnsielem, you can explore the gothic-style parish church, the distinctive Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel and the stunning church of St. Anthony of Padua.
KalkaraLocated in the south, Malta’s Three Cities — Birgu, Bormla and Isla — are truly iconic. But few people take notice of the neighbouring fishing village of Kalkara.
Visiting this charming town feels like pressing the rewind button and experiencing Maltese traditions in real time. With picturesque sea views over the Grand Harbour, and several restaurants along the seafront promenade, you will surely enjoy spending a sunny afternoon in Kalkara.
And of course, don’t forget about Fort Rinella! Formerly used as a fortification and a prison by the Knights and the British, Fort Rinella now boasts accurate re-enactments and many historical treasures simply waiting to be discovered.
FontanaIn Gozo, it doesn’t get greener than Fontana. With the most fertile land in all of the island, this tiny village is full of fields and working farmers.
Apart from the magnificent Lunzjata valley in the lower part of Fontana, you should also pay a visit to the old washhouse, or l-Ghajn tal-Hasselin, where you can still spot locals doing their laundry even today. No need for a time machine to experience the good old days!
TarxienTarxien is home to the Tarxien Temples, which are among the oldest freestanding structures in the whole world. But the temples, that are recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are not the only historical treasure in Tarxien.
Together with its numerous churches, old villas and niches tucked away in street corners, the town is also home to the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, an underground pre-historic burial site — a truly unique place not many people have been lucky enough to experience.
As you wander through the streets of Tarxien and get a raw feel of busy Maltese village life, look out for Dar tal-Kejka in Xintill Street. This very old farmhouse is treasured by the locals for its beautifully intricate facade.
LijaWhen it comes to pretty and underrated Maltese villages, Lija outshines the rest. Great efforts have been made to conserve the old town centre.
Full of charming alleys, baroque palaces and impressive churches, Balzan’s beloved neighbour is a village to be reckoned with.
And remember that the first week of August is an ideal time to head to Lija. This is when the annual feast is celebrated with dazzling internationally renowned fireworks displays.
If you’re planning to explore all these different villages, you might need to snap some photos to capture those unique moments. Buy a camera from any of these stores listed on Yellow.
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