Our Two Month Stay in Qawra Malta

Having arrived on a cold and wet morning at Malta airport, we hopped for a brighter couple of months ahead.

A wet overcast arrival in Malta

A wet overcast arrival in Malta

 

This was our third visit to the island of Malta, our previous adventures where only a short stay in Valletta port of call and when visiting Valletta by cruise ship.

Having enjoyed our previous Maltese experiences we thought it to be a good place to stay longer.

Air Malta flight over from Rome

Our Air Malta flight from Rome was comfortable. The plane was clean and new looking with smart and decent flight attendants. The seats were good and a magazine in the back of the chair in front. Not a great deal of leg room.

There was a sandwich and water provided and a menu if you wanted something else. Overall, a good flight experience with air Malta.

Sandwich on the plane & flying over Malta

Sandwich on the plane & flying over Malta

 

Where we stayed in Malta

We used the AirBnB site to secure a place to stay for our 2 month stay in Malta.

We decided on the place called Qawra which is pronounced ‘ow ra’ and is very close to Bugibba. In fact, they are almost one in the same.

The area is ideal for a stay on Malta especially if you’re a Brit or like to have a British feel to a place when going on holiday / vacation.

Things to know when staying in Qawra & Bugibba

Bugibba & Qawra (pronounced owra) are basically one in same place. Literally a stones throw apart yet not really apart at all, if you get what I mean. We could walk five minutes from our place and take a short cut through a small field which started to bloom in yellow while here, to get to the town center.

A sea of yellow

A sea of yellow

 

The path is clear and easy to find, everybody uses it. One thing to watch out for though are the ever popular land mines left from the dogs, not just here but all around. I would say that this area has a serious problem with rubbish.

Everyone leaves the plastic bags of rubbish along the roadside for collection however many of these bags are not secure, often overflowing. The slightest of windy days sends the light stuff on a journey around the neighbourhood, let alone the cats and dogs rummaging through them.

Collection is everyday but not a very careful collection and plenty is left behind. This is one very negative point to note about Bugibba & Qawra.

Bugibba has many places to eat & drink, be it just a coffee or a pub meal or something more up market. Choices are endless and here in Qawra, many within easy walking distance from everywhere. Nothing is really far away.

Lots of Brits in Bugibba

Bugibba and Qawra are at the northern tip of Malta near the waterfront. An ideal tourist spot perfect for a week or even longer. We did notice that towards the end of our stay here that more and more holiday makers from the UK were arriving by the day.

Even 30 odd years ago Malta was popular with the Brits and today I see it being no different. And why not, it’s got pretty much everything you need for a great escape.

The weather is nearly always fine with 320 days of sunshine each year. Plenty of places to stay to suit all budgets. A multitude of dining venues in Qawra, be it for pub meals or upmarket dining, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cafe’s and bars are on nearly every street and pretty much everyone speaks English.

Some good places to dine out in Qawra or Bugibba

Moni & I didn’t dine out that much, as we had a decent kitchen in our apartment and being a retired chef cooking meals is a breeze. Saying that, we did have a few meals out. A local pub meal which was decent, also a pizza at Luzzu restaurant which was huge but not the best and a few lunches here & there. Below are a few photos from our experiences.

Red Lion sports bar & grill

Red Lion sports bar & grill in Qawra

 

Pizza from Luzzu restaurant Qawra

Pizza from Luzzu restaurant Qawra

 

Great place for cooked breakfast in Bugibba and Qawra

We did find a couple of great places for breakfast. One along the beachfront road walking towards St Paul’s Bay away from Bugibba square. English breakfast here was €3.95.

Breakfast at Bayside Restaurant in Bugibba

Breakfast at Bayside Restaurant in Bugibba

 

The best value cooked breakfast was at Watsons Pub which is part of the Euro Hotel opposite the Trolee’s Carrefour supermarket in Qawra town. Here you can enjoy a full hot English cooked breakfast with a cup of tea & a biscuit for €4.

Cooked English breakfast at Watsons pub in Qawra

Cooked English breakfast at Watsons pub in Qawra

 

Most days we ventured in to town for our caffeine fix or for shopping or a bite to eat, and during our time we got to try out some of the best coffee places in Bugibba & Qawra in Malta.

A couple of places also served decent meals as well as good coffee like Knickerbocker cafe near the Bugibba bus station.

A selection of meals from Knickerbocker cafe

A selection of meals from Knickerbocker cafe

 

Oh and not to forget, the prices are reasonable which makes your pound or dollar go further with the exchange to the Euro which is the local currency of the Maltese islands.

We spent a total of €3590.28 over nearly two months living here and in this post I break down the costs and what we spent in more detail.

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flying into Malta staying 2 months

Let’s talk about our AirBnB apartment

Our AirBnB apartment was ideally located just away from the main town area yet only a 7 minute walk to everything. A couple of pubs on the same street below for a quick drink.

The apartment was huge and Mario the host decent. I’m not going to go into too much detail because Mario has informed us that he has now sold the property which he had owned for many years and I guess it will no longer be available on AirBnB.

Front terrace view in Malta

Front terrace view in Malta

 

However… The best part of this place was easily the verandah at the front and back. We spent as much time out here as possible. It was just perfect with a shade umbrella when the sun blazing down and ideal on the colder days especially at the beginning of February when we needed every bit of sunshine to warm up.

If you want to check out more photos of the apartment we stayed in, then look at the AirBnB apartment in Malta post.

Odyssey Tip; Note that most Maltese homes don’t have central heating. They are built for a warm climate and hence stay cool in summer. For this reason, the winter or colder months are very cold inside. Most places just use gas heaters to warm up the places.

Anyway, we really enjoyed the time in Malta and would certainly return but probably from mid March onwards.

Qawra town

The town itself is pretty small and getting around on foot is reasonably easy, although the foot paths need a bit of TLC. You will certainly notice the amount of tour offices and also the hawkers that want to offer you a deal on this or that excursion. They are often around the bus station area.

Qawra town

Qawra town

 

Tourism is huge for Malta and the neighbouring islands of Gozo & Comino and it seems that every man & his dog wants a bit of your cash.

Tour booking places galore in Qawra & Bugibba

Tour booking places galore in Qawra & Bugibba

 

We almost booked a day trip to Gozo with one of the boat trips over, but after reading some pretty average reviews decided against it. Also worth a mention is that the boat trips are dependant on the state of the sea, especially if joining a boat trip from Bugibba and not Valletta.

The boats all leave from Valletta and the tour sellers will persuade you to join the boat in Valletta saying that the boats sometimes can not pick up from the Bugibba pier due to choppy seas.

Bugibba pier where the day trips boat tours leave from

Bugibba pier where the day trips boat tours leave from

 

We did however make a day trip to Gozo island where we enjoyed the Gozo Hop on Hop off bus around the island and were fortunate enough to see the Azure window a week before it collapsed.

Azure Window in Gozo

Azure Window in Gozo

 

Bugibba is the home to Malta’s’ Aquarium, and on weekends this place is very busy.

Malta Aquarium and the waterfront walk

Malta Aquarium and the waterfront walk

 

From the Aquarium you can have a very pleasant walk all the way into town of Qawra or Bugibba.

Qawra seafront in Malta

Qawra seafront in Malta

 

Along the waterfront you’ll find some of the popular hotels and resorts of this area, along with many restaurants and cafes.

Qawra beachfront Malta

Qawra beachfront Malta

 

The beachfront along here is very rocky and the council bring in tons of sand to make the sandy beach area.

Sand ready to make the beach in Qawra

Sand ready to make the beach in Qawra

 

A local game of Bocci at Bugibba Bocci club

If the beach is not your thing then maybe a game of local Bocci at the Bugibba Bocci club just along the road. It looks similar to boules (petanque) but with some cylinder shaped balls thrown into the mix. Not sure how it scores, but looks like fun to pass some time and make new friends.

Bugibba Bocci club

Bugibba Bocci club

 

If that doesn’t rock your boat during the day, then put your boogie shoes on and get in the mood, to hit the night life… some of the pubs and bars have nightly entertainment ranging from standard duke box music to live DJ’s to karaoke and even a mixed bunch of live acts that do the circuit.

Elvis lives on here in Qawra Malta

Elvis lives on here in Qawra Malta

 

Looking across the bay in Qawra Malta

Looking across the bay in Qawra Malta

 

Malta has lots to offer, be it just a day visit or one of much longer. We had a closer look at the fishing village of Marsaxlokk which we can recommend for a few hours. Also St Julian’s with Sliema and not to forget Valletta are all worth spending some time if you can.

Is Malta on your travel radar? Would Qawra or Bugibba be a place that you’d consider staying? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this spot or any other place in Malta. Let us know in the comments below.

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