Mqabba is one of those tiny Maltese towns which you can easily go years without visiting. Tucked deep in the southern region of the island between the airport, Kirkop, Siġġiewi and Żurrieq, the tiny town of Mqabba has a population of just over 3,000 people. What it lacks in size, however, it more than makes up for with its sheer beauty.
If you’ve been meaning to revisit (or if you’ve never even been), here’s why Mqabba might very well be one of Malta’s most precious hidden gems.
1. It’s steeped in history
Overlooking Mqabba is particularly a shame if you’re into history and archaeology.
Extinct animals were found in quarries just off the Ta’ Kandja areas. Late pre-historic burials were found in a natural cave in the town’s peripheries (in the site known as Bur Megħeż. And that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface.
An expanse of Paleo Christian catacombs were discovered in the late 1860s, covering a total area of 4,909 cubic feet.
And while it technically forms part of Żurrieq, the now-forgotten village of Ħal Millieri is just a stone’s throw away and on many locals’ walk route. Medieval chapels from the 1480s? Check.
Not too shabby for a town some people can’t even point to on a map.
2. Just because it’s quiet doesn’t mean it’s in the middle of nowhere
Even in such a tiny spit of land, it gets very tough to achieve this perfect balance. There are a few Maltese towns out there (much like Għargħur further up north) that also manage to do this.
Mqabba is by no means a central location, and that’s great because it offers some of the quietest afternoons you can get on this overcrowded island. But that also doesn’t mean it’s too cut-off to discourage visitors or prospective homebuyers. Just one short road away from the airport (and another, just as short one in the other direction to Siġġiewi), Mqabba isn’t as far south as you’d think. At the same time, all it takes is one straight road to get you to Żurrieq and unobstructed views of Filfla. And it literally doesn’t get any more south than that, because you’d have run out of Malta by then.
3. It’s got views for days
The problem with the Maltese countryside is that the more densely-populated, urban areas are never more than a short walk away. Mqabba takes that all-too-familiar concept and adds an extra layer of green to the whole mix.
Surrounded by beautiful ODZ views (at least for now), most rooftops on Mqabba have a view to die for. And when it’s not fields and general greenery, it’s a
4. And it’s the perfect place for a countryside walk
If it looks beautiful from the terrace, then it’s going to look even more breathtaking up in person.
There’s an endless list of different walks you can talk in and around Mqabba, and even the town centre is quiet enough for a relaxed evening stroll. Of course, the countryside is where it’s at, and Mqabba has got enough of that for everyone.
5. The streets ooze vintage cool
Frequently hosting classic car shows and boasting some awesome retro wheels of its own, Mqabba manages to bring its own brand of cool to the mix.
And while American muscle cars and old buses are effortlessly beautiful,
6. Sunsets and sunrises over Mqabba are as glorious as they get
We’re just going to let the photos speak for themselves for this one.
7. Did you think we’d forget Mqabba’s festas? We didn’t.
Known for their impressive pyrotechnic displays, Mqabba celebrates not one, but two feasts! The first in June, Our Lady of the Lily, and Santa Marija Assunta in August. The latter is itself one of the most popular feasts on the island, but Mqabba still manage to break through the mould with their award-winning displays.
Back in 2007, the town had won the International World Fireworks Competition, and they haven’t stopped for a break ever since. Last year saw an insane, 50-metre tower show up in the town’s outskirts ahead of the summer festa. What followed was Fireworks Spectacular, an hour-and-a-half long marathon of light and colour which saw over 10,000 non-stop shots synchronised to music.
And if that sounds awesome, it’s because it really is.