Situated in the west of Malta, Mġarr is renowned as a quaint and sleepy town far-flung from the chaotic hubbub of Malta’s busier towns and cities, even if it has grown significantly in recent years.
With a population of around 3,629 people, Mġarr offers a look at life in a traditional Maltese village surrounded by vast, rural countryside, spectacular views and some of the best coastline views on the island.
Not to mention, it’s a renowned place to enjoy a traditional Fenkata or just genuine Maltese food in general while also being the hometowns of Christabelle Borg and Gaia Cauchi.
With the help of Ryde Malta, Lovin Malta took a deeper look at the agricultural heartland that has tonnes to offer!
1. From Prehistoric roots to agricultural heartland
Like many of Malta’s towns, there is evidence of Mġarr being inhabited since prehistoric times, with cart ruts able to be found all across the town and its outskirts.
It is also home to two important prehistoric sites; Ta’ Ħaġrat and Ta’ Skorba. The former can be found standing in a field near Mġarr’s centre and remains in a good state of preservation.
Meanwhile, Ta’ Skorba lies just outside of the village and holds a place in the Guinness Book of Records as one of the two oldest free-standing structures in the world.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site is renowned especially for detailed and informative insights into one of the earliest periods in Malta’s history and our Neolithic culture.
Mġarr itself dates its history back to being a farming community that was given patronage by the various noble families of Mdina.
It was granted to the Inguanez family by the King of Sicily who eventually sold it to the Falsone family. In turn, Mġarr’s land was split up and given to all descendants of the Falsone line.
The nearby inlets of Fomm Ir-Riħ and Għajn Tuffieħa were also places favoured by pirates for shelter, which gave rise to the need for the construction of the Lippija Tower in 1657 in light of Grand Master Lascaris wishing to protect Ġnejna Bay and the few families who called Mġarr home.
2. The Festa of Mġarr
Though a church dedicated to the Assumption of Mary has existed in Mġarr since around 1400, the village remained part of the parish of Mosta until 1898 when Mġarr became its own parish.
This move was followed by a lengthy campaign by residents to raise funds for the erection of the church that we can see today, with the egg-shaped dome being designed to help encourage the sale of eggs to raise funds for its construction.
The full construction of the famed, egg-shaped, oval domed church was completed in 1946 and allegedly the sale of more than 300,000 eggs and a huge number of poultry and animals by the residents helped fund its construction.
Mġarr celebrates the feast of the Assumption of Mary, which is celebrated on the Sunday that follows 15th August each year.
3. A trove of natural heritage
As you would expect from a scenic, stunning countryside town Mġarr is surrounded by beautiful sites perfect for beachgoers, history buffs and even those who simply wish to walk around and take in all that nature has to offer.
For history buffs, the megalithic temples of Ta’ Ħaġrat and Ta’ Skorba are must-see sites for anyone interested in Malta’s prehistory and Neolithic culture – especially if you also have visited any of the other temples around Malta.
Meanwhile, the Roman Thermal Baths offer a perfect example of thermal baths in Malta, featuring various rooms that comprise the full scope of a typical Roman bath with a latrine and a corridor connecting small rooms utilised for what was likely changing rooms or bedrooms being noted.
On the other hand, especially for beach lovers, Għajn Tuffieħa and Ġnejna Bay offer some of Malta’s best spots for swimming on the island alongside scenic views as you bathe in the azure waters.
Ġnejna is most notable for its striking clay slopes and limestone cliffs with the nearby Wied il-Ġnejna acting as one of Malta’s few remaining freshwater springs. Ġnejna Bay is also known for its secluded strip of shore beneath the northern cliffs that is a popular nudist beach and gay-friendly area.
Għajn Tuffieħa on the other hand offers a quieter beach experience frequented by both locals and tourists. What may be even more memorable than the beach itself is descending down the staircase of 200 steps.
Meanwhile, Fomm Ir-Riħ is a small bay at the limits of Mġarr that is characterised by a fault line that has created a unique landscape of vertical cliffs and a pebble beach.
In this sense, Fomm Ir-Riħ is considered to boast some of the most stunning natural views of the area and a clear sign of Malta’s varied geology. That said, public access to the bay is disputed with access to the road that leads down to the bay having been illegally blocked.
4. The heart of traditional Maltese cooking
Though it may not be people’s obvious choice for the best place to enjoy a meal, Mġarr is famous for its traditional Maltese food – being one of the best places to enjoy a Fenkata or Bebbux among a series of other genuine Maltese dishes with no extra frills.
United Restaurant is considered the best restaurant in Mġarr, ranking number one on TripAdvisor for the village. They serve a variety of traditional Maltese and Mediterranean dishes including everyone’s favourite Soppa tal-Armla and a grand variety of rabbit dishes.
Meanwhile, for those wanting a quick yet tasty meal at a cheap price, Farmer’s Bar is your choice – especially with their selection of ftiras alongside traditional Maltese dishes.
What is your favourite part of Mġarr? Let us know in the comments