With Brikkuni’s latest song about the mists of Mġarr doing the rounds on Facebook, we just couldn’t get the little village out of our heads. With a population of only around 3,000, Mġarr is a hidden secret just waiting to take your breath away. Here are seven reasons why.
1. One of Malta’s smallest towns has a Parish Church with one of the largest oval domes in the world
At the beginning of the 20th century, when the town became a parish, the church dedicated to St. Mary was built. The story goes that to do so, funds were gathered from the sale of more than 300,000 eggs and an unspeakably large amount of poultry and animals.
The Mġarr Parish Church boasts a unique oval dome that to this day is one of the largest in the world. And we’ll be damned if it’s not one of the most photogenic churches out there.
2. It’s the perfect place to go for a walk… or bike ride
With largely unobstructed views of the countryside (and at certain points, even the sea), the only problem you’ll have in Mġarr is choosing with route to take.
If you’re looking for a bit more of a challenge, then this is still the place to be. Buckle up!
3. Mġarr is a perfect snapshot of Malta’s history throughout the centuries
Did we say centuries? Make that millennia. Within a couple of miles, Mġarr offers immaculately kept representatives of Malta’s long history. Lippija Tower in the limits of Mġarr (overlooking Ġnejna Bay) was actually the first of the Lascaris towers to be completed, built in 1637.
Closer to the town centre, beautiful historical buildings from later centuries dot the landscape, reminding everyone that this is one town that refuses to let go of its roots. A little ways from the town centre towards the East, Ta’ Ħaġrat Temples appear. Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the temples are amongst the most ancient religious sites on Earth, doing back to more than 3,000BC.
And all of this is located less than a kilometre away from the megalithic Skorba Temples (which are more than a thousand years older!) and down the road from the mysterious ancient cart ruts that are scattered around the town.
4. Some of Malta’s most beautiful beaches are all just down the road
Ask any local which Maltese beach is his favourite, and they’ll probably say Ġnejna, Golden Bay or Għajn Tuffieħa. All three are less than a five minute drive away from Mġarr’s town centre, and while some of them might be considered as part of Marfa (and by extension Mellieħa), beautiful Mġarr feels closer and is nearly always how people access these beaches.
5. It’s the place to be for a fenkata… or to taste horse meat
One of Malta’s traditional meals is the fenkata, a delicious rabbit stew that most locals have a near-religious devotion towards. If you want to try out the best that the island has to offer, go for one of the small, family-run restaurants around Mġarr. One of the most popular of these, il-Barri, also boasts a great horse meat dish. Yep, horse.
6. There are views… then there’s this
Being a rural village surrounded by some of the most fertile agricultural land and vineyards in Malta, it’s easy to say Mġarr is going to have a couple of breathtaking views. The reality might still leave you pleasantly surprised, and with Binġemma, Wardija, Ġnejna Valley and Fomm ir-Riħ all a stone’s throw away, you’re only going to be spoilt for choice as to which perfect panorama you’re going to take in first.
Fog or mist in Malta always proves to be as magical an experience as you’d expect it to be. A lot of people have at least one memory of being in the Rabat / Mġarr area at the perfect time when fog descends onto the fertile valleys in the Northwest of Malta, and Mario Vella reminds us of this beauty in his latest song, “Ċpar, fi triqti lejn l-Imġarr, nistħajlu duħħan.”