“Where?” I hear you cry? While Qawra may not be the first Maltese destination that comes to mind when you think of this charming Mediterranean island, it’s one of Malta‘s best kept secrets. This little resort on the north coast near St Pauls Bay sure packs a punch, so we thought we’d shine a light on what makes this town worth the visit.
Malta National Aquarium
Image © Baxys
If you don’t fancy donning an uncomfortably tight wet-suit after a week of all inclusive binging, (fair enough) why not make things a whole lot easier and take a trip to the local aquarium. Among its 41 tanks full of reptiles, insects and amphibians, there are plenty of fascinating Mediterranean fish, including colourful species commonly found in Maltese waters. Its star tank has to be the aquarium’s main walk-through tank, which houses creatures from the Indo-Pacific Ocean, including black tip sharks, zebra sharks, leopard sharks, bamboo sharks, rays, eels and other exotic species.
Image © By TheLiftCreativeServices
Of course you should be spending your holiday remarking on Malta‘s splendid architecture and musing over its incredible history and culture, but are you really on holiday until you’ve had an elaborate cocktail complete with an umbrella? We think not, which is why we suggest letting your hair down in one of Qawra’s many bars. Among the favourites are the lively Irish pub Mona Vale, the Grapevine which is known for throwing some raucous parties, and the more traditional Plum Tree which also has an extensive menu of authentic Maltese meals.
Malta Classic Car Museum
Image © Giannis Papanikos
It may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you envisage a fun day out on your holibobs, but actually the Classic Car Museum is a fun way to spend an afternoon. Whether you’re a total petrol-head or not, a trip here is a real journey back in time, with fantastically preserved models reflecting every golden era of the motoring world. As well as a range of T-Birds and Spitfires, main collector Carol Galea has collected memorabilia from the 1950s, 60s and 70s, such as gramophones and jukeboxes to really transport you to another time.
With winding cobbled alleys and glorious sandy-coloured buildings that TV fans may recognise from scenes in Game of Thrones, this enchanting old town is just half an hour away from Qawra and definitely worth a day trip. The town has a real timeless atmosphere what with its heritage as an ancient fortified city and the magnificent cathedral that takes centre stage. Visitors can climb the city walls and get great views of the island. Be sure to stay for the evenings when the town is bathed in a warm golden light from the hundreds of lanterns that flood the city streets.
With its rocky coves and pebbly beaches, the Maltese coastline is ideal for scuba diving, with crystal clear waters that make for some of the most excellent conditions in the Mediterranean. There are a variety of scuba diving organisations in Qawra, such as Dawn Diving, Scubanauts Dive School and Buddies Dive Cove. All offer a range of packages including one day adventure dives to the full PADI qualification if you feel that the scuba life is your destiny.
With an enchanting vista around every corner, there are plenty of photo opportunities on Malta that will seriously enhance your Instagram. Why not get a little help from uMalta, a company who offer guided tours of the island’s top tourist spots in search of the ultimate travel snap. They’ll take you to see the unique architecture that reflects the island’s changing of hands over the centuries, as well as Malta’s magnificent beaches. They have an office in Qawra and run a range of tours including a sunrise seaside tour, an architecture tour and a trip to Malta’s sister island of Gozo.
This is the most northern tip of St Paul’s Bay where you’ll find a rocky beach awarded with a Blue Flag to certify its cleanliness. The beach has a great view out to the Mediterranean and you’ll find holiday makers flocking to this point of the island during the summer months. There are sun loungers available for hire, as well as bars and restaurants aplenty.