Qawra, Bugibba and St Paul's were three adjoining villages around a bay in the North of Malta.  Until  fifty years ago Qawra had just a few farmhouses and one bar,  Bugibba was practically non-existent and St Paul's Bay  had a few fishermen`s houses and villas which were the summer residences of the wealthy.  Gradually, building spread to Bugibba  as many Maltese were looking to buy or rent summer residences in the area and there was a boom in hotels/time-share apartments/holiday villas,etc.  Unfortunately, this has created a sprawl of (largely) unplanned or speculative building around the Bay that has robbed it of much of its character and which continues unabated up to today. Many of these properties are now showing signs of dilapidation or have never been completed due to lack of finance.

Basically nowadays Bugibba/Qawra is geared around tourism, but the resort is looking dated and out of the 'high season' of Summer seems to particularly be geared to (mainly British) pensioners . 

Bugibba is `invaded` by tourists (local and foreign)  in summer all enjoying the panoramic sea front promenade or having a drink in one of the many bars and pubs. It is still  a resort that caters for the whole family with numerous bars, pubs, disco`s, restaurants, diving schools, tour and car agencies and all the other amenities a tourist would appreciate. There is still a small bay with colourful fishing boats at the end of the Bugibba Promenade near the Gillieru Hotel.  This small, harbour front hotel dates from the early 20th century and many couples chose it for their honeymoon.  The area also has St. Paul's Bonfire church and the 1609 Wignacourt, part of a chain of coastal signal towers and is one of the few areas that still maintains more of a traditional maltese ambience . 

Many of its restaurants and cafes are geared towards fast food, pizza/pasta , etc .  There is a McDonalds with a children`s play area on the water`s edge. Recently  some more up-market restaurants have opened in St Pauls Bay;  Paulus Restaurant and  Tarragon are one of them.

A recent addition to the area is the new Malta National Aquarium at Qawra Point which also benefits from a newly constructed kids play area next door which is free to use.

The Dolmen Hotel has a quiet wine bar – Vintage Wine Bar . However, most of the bars are lively with a holiday atmosphere and often feature karaoke.  You will also find a modern cinema, a casino and a bingo hall. There are also some discos and clubs for those who are keen to party. The centre of the entertainment area is Bugibba Square and its side streets. Two of the most popular clubs in the area are Amazonia & Caesars in Bugibba.

www.visitmalta.com is the official Malta Tourist Authority. On the site under Views and Downloads you`ll find video clips including some on this area. There is also a complete guide to the Bugibba, Qawra & St Paul's Bay region at  www.bugibba-malta.com which contains every attraction, amenity, business & service in the area.

The hotels in the area also regularly offer entertainment in the evenings.

For those who are serious clubbers, then the place to go is Paceville in St Julians.  There are direct and night buses (www.atp.com.mt  or www.maltatransport.com  or http://www.visitmalta.com/transport).  http://www.maltabybus.com/ is also good. It`s about 20 min bus ride away along the coast road.

It`s hard to say where Qawra begins and Bugibba ends. Qawra has its share of hotels and apartments but is quieter than Bugibba with less bars, pubs etc . It doesn`t have a central square like Bugibba and many people choose it for their holiday for precisely that reason  After all, it`s just a few minutes walk to the centre of Bugibba.  It has a promenade but it`s narrower.

The Bugibba/Qawra Promenade has lovely views of the open sea and the land across the bay and St Paul`s Island.   The shore is rocky, but there are smooth places which are ideal for sun bathing and there is easy access to the sea.  Recently a man made sandy beach has been built.  There are also lido`s and resort clubs with pools and all amenities.  The whole area has all kinds of water sports available including diving schools.  Less than 10km away are the best sandy beaches of Mellieha and Golden Bay (among others). There is a regular bus service from Bugibba but remember that the buses do not have a/c.  You can also find cruise boats to Comino and fishing tours.  It is about 30 min bus ride to Sliema where there lots of cafes and shops. Also  Harbour Cruises and Hop On buses. It`s a pleasant bus ride along the coast line. 

The Xemxija Bay area of St Pauls Bay  has seen strong tourist and residential related development but the village core round the Church is largely unspoilt.  It gives visitors a chance to see what Maltese villages were like.  Fishing boats are still  to be seen in the bay.  Also popular is the Sirenes Water polo Club.

All in all, the whole area is that of a holiday area.  Malta is small so nowhere is really far.  Buses are cheap and nowadays, Bugibba Qawra and St Pauls Bay are connected to the main spots of Malta so travel isn`t a problem.  Even though it might be tempting to spend your holiday just relaxing, do make an effort and see and appreciate what Malta has to offer.

If you go to www.visitmalta.com you'll find an interactive map which is very useful . There are also video clips under 'Views and Downloads"