7 Underrated Maltese and Gozitan villages worth exploring
Villages in Malta and Gozo have a unique charm that often goes unnoticed. The bigger towns, together with their landmarks, are usually the first places we think of when we talk about the Maltese islands with foreign friends and relatives. But what about the smaller villages, which sometimes are even richer in history and culture? Get ready to discover 7 Maltese and Gozitan villages you've probably never explored, or even visited, before!
Many call it the 'top of the world'... or, at least, of Malta. Located close to Naxxar, Għargħur is one of the smallest Maltese villages. Its vast rural areas and gorgeous valleys separate it from surrounding localities. Winding narrow streets and Arabic-styled architecture found all over Għargħur make it an extremely unique town. Be sure to take a walk along the Victoria Lines. Visit the Semaphore Signal Tower and admire the village's chapels and old, unchanged shops.
Isla, also known as Senglea, is the frequently forgotten member of the Cottonera trio. It's worth stopping by just to see the iconic Gardjola - a decorated watchtower overlooking the harbour. Because it's walled, Isla is best appreciated when explored on foot, either through a stroll along the coast or its alleyways. From the waterfront and marina, to the delicious restaurants offering beautiful sea views, every time you visit Isla you will surely experience a different side to this one-of-a-kind locality.
This village in the West of Gozo may be small, but it's got a very distinctive personality. The quaint village square is quintessentially Gozitan. The spectacular Ta' Pinu Basilica, very popular with locals and tourists, is perched on the periphery of Għarb. While wandering through the old streets of Għarb, remember to look up. That way you'll spot the impressive designs on most of the stone balconies, especially if you're planning to go to Gozo before the summer ends.
As you head out of the hustle and bustle of Bugibba towards St. Paul's Bay, you will come across the tiny suburb of Xemxija. Packed with hidden wonders, Xemxija also offers a pleasant stroll along the old Roman Road. At the end of Xemxija, after walking through the Miżip forest and around the hill towards the lovely Mistra Bay, you will find the remarkable remains of the Roman baths, accompanied by a breathtaking sea view.
Dingli is a nature-filled village renowned for its majestic cliffs, spectacular views and historical significance. Dedicate a day to explore Għar il-Kbir, a set of interconnecting caves inside the upper ridges of Dingli cliffs, as well as the agricultural areas of Wied Hażrun and Il-Qattara, where you can spot remains of ancient irrigation systems. You can also travel back to Medieval times by paying a visit to the rural dwellings above the Simblija valley, or back to World War II by visiting one of the underground shelters.
This tiny seaside village on the outskirts of Zabbar is slowly becoming a popular summer resort for locals living in the South of Malta. In just a couple of hours, you can discover most of Xgħajra's fascinating locations. These include Saint Rocco Church and the gorgeous sea view by the rocky area known as Swali. Xgħajra is a remote place, which is why it rarely attracts any attention. But if you like to go off the beaten track, it can prove to be an interesting and rewarding trip.
Gozo is the diamond of the Maltese islands. Għasri is the rare gem hidden within Gozo itself. The Gozitan village with the smallest population, the green-haven of Għasri has an abundance of fields and valleys. Enjoy a peaceful walk through Wied il-Għasri, and then down to a secluded rocky area by the sea that is perfect for swimming, snorkelling and diving. Għasri is known for its rich agricultural community, so you might want to get your hands on some of the local produce as well. We have some great smoothie and ice cream recipes you can try with your Għasri-purchased fruits and vegetables!
In case you're on your way to one of these underrated Maltese or Gozitan locations, and you find yourself low on fuel, take note of the 60 Petrol Service Stations listed on Yellow.
You can even narrow them down according tolocation by using the Yellow app that will surely come in handy while you're out and about!
Visit www.yellow.com.mt to discover local!