If you are headed from Valletta down to the Blue Grotto, you might want to make a detour for the Zurrieq Windmill Walk. The Maltese town is known for its handful of original windmills, a fortified residential tower and ancient temple ruins. So unless you are not interested in history at all and hate (easy) hiking, this might be right up your alley! Here’s what you need to know
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Essential Zurrieq Travel Information
How to Get to Zurrieq
In Valletta, you head to the central bus station outside the southern city gates and next to the Trion Fountain. It’s hard to miss. From there, you take the 71 , 73 or 74 and get off at bus stop “Zurrieq”. (Click the bus numbers to get to the bus schedule).
How to Get Around Malta
If you are staying for a week in Malta, it’s a great idea to get a 7 day bus ticket. You pay 21€ once and then can use buses on Malta and Gozo as much and whenever you want. Don’t forget to tap them each time you stop on the bus though.
Should you not stay that long but fear that individual rides quickly add up, try the 12-ride ticket. For 15€ you can get 12 rides, which is also a good deal. Just now that for nightly rides, it deducts 2 rides instead of 1.
The cards can be purchased at the Malta’s public transport sales and info booths, such as in front of the ferry at Sliema or the main bus station in Valletta. They work righaway. You can read more here.
Individual bus rides cost 1.50€ in winter and 2€ in summer. At night, it’s 3€. If you need those, you can buy them on the bus with the driver. Just make sure you have coins ready.
More tips: What to pack for Malta
What Makes Zurrieq Special?
For starters, Zurrieq is one of the oldest towns in Malta. Zurrieq is not just a town but also a region in the South of Malta, which includes several neighbouring villags and the island of Filfla. It was first mentioned in 1436 as a parish praying to St Catherine of Alexandria.
The name supposedly derives from the colour blue, which translates to zoroq in the Maltese language. The town motto is “From the blue sea I took my name” (“Sic a Cyaneo Aequore Vocor”). Fun fact: the people of Zurrieq have a tendency of having blue eyes.
What to Pack for Your Zurrieq Walk
As for hikes in general, you gotta have the right walking shoes. There are a few cobblestone streets and a little bit of an incline, but it’s not a difficult walk at all.
Should you want to enter a church, make sure you wear appropriate clothing. Cover your shoulders and knees, take off hat and sunglasses. Have a few coins ready for church donations or the bus if you don’t already have a bus card.
On hot, sunny days, don’t forget your sunglasses and sunscreen. To know your location and have an overview of the country walks and bus stops, I recommend downloading the free maps.me app. It works offline and seems to be more reliable than Google Maps in Malta.
What to See in Zurrieq Malta
Zurrieq Windmill Walk
If you have over an hour to spare, you can start the walk around Zurrieq. Note that buses go every hour, so why not schedule in 2-3 hours for this from the start?
I found a helpful and detailed walking map in the form of an official brochure, which I highly recommend you get. It’s available in official tourism information offices and in the info wall of most Malta attractions.
The walk includes the five windmills. The only one of which has its windmill sails left, Xarolla Windmill, is also the only windmill in Malta that is still able to function properly.
There are quite a lot of windmill remains standing all over Malta and one prominent architect was Chev. Guze Galea, who erected five such windmills in 1674. In Zurrieq he placed tal-Qaret and a few decades later he added ta’ Marmara.
Along the way, you will also stop by the curious Bubaqra Tower. It was built in 1579 by a Chaplain of the Order of St. John. Just to give you a little heads up, when I visited, the tower was currently under construction.
And even so, it’s been private property and used for residential purposes from its very origins. But the fact that this tower was built as a house but during a time when it was too dangerous to stay outside of the town walls – it had to be fortified to ensure safety – makes it rather intriguing.
However, all that aside, a real gem when visiting Zurrieq in Malta are the Bakkari Remains. Malta is well known for its many prehistoric and UNESCO Heritage sites. Zurrieq’s ruins of a former double edifice seem to have belonged to two pre-Christian shrines.
Żurrieq began unearthing the past as early back as 1885, when a Phoenician tomb containing pottery and human remains was discovered in an area known as Ta’ Danieri. Other findings include the cart ruts of Tal-Bakkari, a number of Punic-Roman towers, and Paleo-Christian tombs.
- Xarolla Windmill
- Salib Windmill
- Zurrieq Parish Church
- Marmara Windmill and millstone
- Qaret Windmill
- Palazzo Ganbatist
- the Wardija Tower
- Bubaqra Tower
- Bubaqra Church
- Bakkari Remains
- St Agatha Church
- Wied iż-Żurrieq beach and tower
- The Blue Grotto
Are there hotels in Zurrieq?
It may be a small town but there is a fair share of guest houses and accommodation in Zurrieq, Malta.
For the perk of having an entire villa to yourself, including outdoor swimming pool and BBQ facilities, check yourself into Il Kiostro. This is perfect if you are planning a getaway with friends as it has 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. Plus, there is a fully equipped kitchen with a dishwasher. Check availability here[A6] .
For half the price, you can reside in a farmhouse that likewise comes with a private pool as well as oceanviews from the terrace. Even continental breakfast is included in your stay. Check more details here[A7] .
Of course, there are also affordable budget options if you are solo travelling and really just want to have a place to stay to explore the region. Try the Luxury Room in the South Malta for around $45 a night. It includes free wifi, a TV, a terrace and you can rent a bike, too. Check current rates here[A8] .
Just a little outside of Zurrieq’s city centre, in adjacent Safi, there are cosy rooms to rent as well. It’s closer to the airport if that is a criterion for you. The bus stop at the homestay M’Anglu is only a 2 minute walk away. It’s an original Maltese house and its extremely friendly host will make you feel like home away from home. View photos and availability here[A9] .
What Else to See Near Zurrieq
From Zurrieq you can take the bus 71 or 74 straight over to the Blue Grotto panorama and Hagar Qim temple ruins. They are right on the way up to Valletta and are absolutely worth a visit in Malta.
- Blue Grotto
- Hagar Quim & Mneijdra
- Pretty Bay
- Filfla Island
Is a Visit to Zurrieq Worth It?
Well, I had mixed feelings visiting. It was a quite sunny and warm day and the town seems to be entirely made from stone with only a few trees, so it was extra bright and there wasn’t much shadow.
The town itself isn’t pretty, you really have to stick to the walking path to see the key buildings. Plus, towards the ruins in the southeast of town, you get to walk in nature too. Again, stick to the paths or else you might be trespassing on someone’s land.