Things To Do In Qawra, Malta
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What And Where Is Qawra?
Qawra is a Maltese resort town popular for its coastal scenery and great value cafes, bars and restaurants. Many of its eateries are within close walking distance of a wide variety of accommodation choices. Accommodation options range from 2 star apartments to 4 star hotels and resorts, so there’s something for every budget.
Qawra is one of three adjoining villages located in the Northern region of Malta along shores of St Paul’s Bay. Bugibba and St Pauls comprise the other two. The capital of Malta, Valetta, is only 17.6km (10.9 miles) away, making it easily accessible by public transport or the City Sightseeing Malta bus tour.
Qawra sunset viewed from the Qawra Palace Hotel.
Things To Do In Qawra:
In spite of its modern, tourist-centric image, Qawra boasts its fair share of beautiful old buildings. Qawra Watch Tower was built back in 1638 by the Order of St John. The battery was added in 1715. The tower is now home to a restaurant (Ta' Fra Ben Bar & Restaurant), and the battery a swimming pool. Many visitors find it relaxing to take an evening stroll along the waterfront. Along the seafront you can choose from a wide variety of restaurants for an evening meal or a few drinks.
Qawra Tower | Photo Credit: Ta' Fra Ben Bar & Restaurant.
With its Mediterranean themed exhibitions, Malta National Aquarium is another must-see attraction. A major highlight is the underwater ocean tunnel, where you can walk beneath the waves without ever getting wet! Its on-site restaurant serves a selection of dishes to entice you in after a busy few hours exploring the enclosures.
The shop is well stocked with marine themed souvenirs. There is also a fenced playground for children, a cafe and public toilets in the square outside the aquarium. If you have children aged 6 to 14 years they can even sleep over at the aquarium as part of the ‘Night at the Aquarium’ tour.
Malta National Aquarium Main Entrance.
Whether you’re a motoring enthusiast or are simply looking to escape Malta’s summer sun, the Classic Car Museum is popular with all kinds of visitors. Discover a remarkable collection of vintage automobiles including many rare models. The whole museum is expertly laid out with vintage clothing displayed alongside the vehicles.
Malta Classic Car Museum.
While wandering the streets of Qawra you may be lucky enough to time your visit with one of the many festivals of the Patron Saints. Festivals often feature magnificent firework displays, decorated streets, food stalls and entertainment.
Eating Out In Qawra:
In Qawra there are a number of options for eating out. To dine somewhere with a bit of history you could try the restaurant in the 350-year-old watch tower. Local restaurants tend to have a strong Italian influence yet can cater to most tastes. For example, pizza and pasta dishes feature prominently alongside mixed grills, salads and all-day breakfasts.
There are just as many opportunities to sample local cuisine as many restaurants have local options with Bragioli (beef olives), rabbit stew and Lampuki pie (fish pie) being popular choices. Fresh seafood is a common inclusion on most restaurant menus.
Maltese Bragioli | Photo Credit: Eleonora Chiavini.
Many restaurants located along the promenade offer spectacular seaside views. The Luzzu complex is one such place that’s popular among tourists both international and local. It features a cafe, restaurant and pool (lido) with stunning coastal scenery. Depending on the facilities in your accommodation you may also choose to prepare some meals using supplies from the local supermarkets.
Bars, pubs, cinemas, casinos and a bingo hall can all be found in Qawra. Clubs aren’t a major feature, but the town still has plenty to offer tourists seeking lively evening entertainment. English is widely spoken given that it’s one of the nation’s official languages, so you’re guaranteed to pass at least one or two pubs showing the footie in a familiar tongue.
Qawra has its own man-made sandy beach that’s accessible to sunbathers and swimmers. Strolling along the shore front you’ll notice that water sports are a common pastime. Favoured activities include: scuba diving and snorkelling, banana boat rides, kayaks and jet-skis. You can also join a boat trip to the Blue Lagoon, Comino or a fishing tour.
Snorkelling in Qawra | Photo Credit: Eleri Griffiths.
If you have a hire car you can easily access the whole island for day trips and even take the inexpensive ferry over to Gozo from Cirkewwa. The public bus network is another hassle-free way to explore Malta. It’s a quick and extremely cost-effective service. Sadly, however, the traditional Maltese buses have been phased out in favour of larger, air conditioned vehicles.
A modern public bus in Malta.
Week long passes can be bought which allow you to save on day fares- great for a quick trip to Valetta or the ancient walled city of Mdina. Malta’s public bus system allows access further afield. The capital Valetta is only 17.6km away and buses frequently depart Bugibba bus station as well as various stops throughout Qawra.
City Sightseeing Malta Bus Tour:
One popular way to discover the sights of Malta is to use the City Sightseeing Malta hop-on hop-off bus tour. Regular tours provide easy access to most of the country’s main landmarks and attractions. Recognisable by their bright red livery, the sightseeing buses can be boarded at two convenient stops in Qawra.
One is outside the Qawra Palace Hotel and another is on the Qawra Seafront. There are actually two routes: North (blue) and South (red). With a total of 38 stops there’s no shortage of exciting places to visit. Continuing your journey is easy once you’ve explored on-foot, simply hop aboard the next available bus.
Choose a self-catering apartment or hotel with a pool, restaurant, gym and more facilities for your stay in Qawra. Prices vary depending on location, star rating and facilities. Although many hotels in Qawra have sea view rooms you can expect to pay a premium for these. When selecting your accommodation ensure you check the location.
Reading online reviews to get an idea of what the facilities are like in terms of cleanliness and maintenance is a good idea. The Qawra Palace Hotel, the Seaview Hotel, the Sunflower Hotel, the Euroclub hotel, Il Palazzin and the White Dolphin Hotel are just a few of the hotels that have pools.
Qawra Palace Hotel Entrance.
The St Paul’s Bay area of Malta is exceptionally picturesque, allowing for stunning photographs of the Mediterranean Sea in every shade of blue imaginable. It’s a place where you can still see traditional Maltese fishing boats bobbing around the bays as they do on so many colourful postcards. Any visitor to Qawra would find it hard to believe that only 50 years ago there was just one bar and a few farmhouses!