St. Paul's Bay

St. Paul's Bay (Maltese: San Pawl il-Baħar) is a town in the Northern Region of Malta, sixteen kilometres (9.9 miles) northwest of the capital Valletta. Saint Paul's Bay is the largest town in the Northern Region and the seat of the Northern Regional Committee.[1]

Saint Paul's Bay
San Pawl il-Baħar
From top, left to right: skyline, Buġibba Temple, St. Paul's Shipwreck Church, Wignacourt Tower, Buġibba square, Malta National Aquarium
From top, left to right: skyline, Buġibba Temple, St. Paul's Shipwreck Church, Wignacourt Tower, Buġibba square, Malta National Aquarium
Flag of Saint Paul's Bay
Coat of arms of Saint Paul's Bay
In Christo Renati Sumus
(Born again in Christ)
San Pawl il-Bahar in Malta.svg
Coordinates: 35°56′54″N 14°24′6″E / 35.94833°N 14.40167°E / 35.94833; 14.40167
Country Malta
RegionNorthern Region
DistrictNorthern District
BordersMellieħa, Mġarr, Mosta, Naxxar
 • MayorAlfred Grima (PL)
 • Total14.47 km2 (5.59 sq mi)
 • Total32,042
 • Density2,200/km2 (5,700/sq mi)
 Population exceeds 60,000 in summer[2]
Demonym(s)Pawlin (m), Pawlina (f), Pawlini (pl)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code356
ISO 3166 codeMT-51
Patron saintsOur Lady of Sorrows
Sacred Heart of Mary
St. Francis of Assisi
WebsiteOfficial website

Its name refers to the shipwreck of Saint Paul as documented in the Acts of the Apostles on St. Paul's Islands near St Paul's Bay, on his voyage from Caesarea to Rome, which laid the foundations of Christianity on the island.

Burmarrad, Wardija, Qawra, Buġibba, Xemxija, and San Martin, as well as parts of Bidnija and Mistra, form part of St. Paul's Bay Local Council.[3] The area of the locality is 14.47 km2 (6 sq mi).

The population in 2018 was 23,112. This goes up to about 60,000 between June and September with Maltese residents and tourists lodging in hotels, especially in Buġibba and Qawra.Heading north is Mistra Bay, its headland and St Paul's Island. Going west and crossing the island towards Ġnejna Bay and Golden Bay is the scenic Wardija Ridge.


Archaeological remains have been found in the limits of St. Paul's Bay, which go back to around 4000 BC. Among the remains there are the megalithic temples of Buġibba and Xemxija. In addition, Cart Ruts were found on the Wardija Ridge at Busewdien,[4] while Punic tombs and other Bronze Age remains were also found. During the Roman period, St. Paul's Bay became an important harbour. Remains of a Roman road, baths and beehives, have been found at Xemxija, while Roman anchors were found on the seabed.

By the late Middle Ages, St. Paul's Bay was abandoned since the area was unsafe due to corsair raids. The local militia maintained several watch posts in the area. One of these, known as Ta' Tabibu farmhouse, still survives today and is considered to be the oldest building in St. Paul's Bay.[5] A building of a church was also noted at the arrival of the Order of St John in 1530.[6]

A number of fortifications were built in the area during the rule of the Order of Saint John. The first of these was the Wignacourt Tower, built in 1610, which is now the oldest surviving watchtower in Malta. Qawra Tower was built by Grand Master Lascaris in 1638. In 1715, batteries were built around these two towers, while two batteries and a redoubt were built in other parts of the St. Paul's Bay coastline. Of these, only Arrias Battery survives today, since Dellia Battery and Perellos Redoubt were demolished in the 20th century.

The bay was one of the landing places during the French invasion of Malta in June 1798. After the Maltese uprising against the French, St. Paul's Bay became the main harbour of Malta since the Grand Harbour and Marsamxett were still under French control.[7]

In the 19th century, several villas were built in St. Paul's Bay. These were requisitioned by the British military in World War II and the bay became a rest camp. After the Italian armistice of 1943, 76 ships of the Regia Marina were anchored at St. Paul's Bay after surrendering to the British.

After the war, the area began to be further developed. Today, St. Paul's Bay, Qawra, Buġibba, Xemxija and Burmarrad form a large cluster of buildings. The area is a popular entertainment spot.[2]


As of 2020, St. Paul's Bay has the largest number of reported thefts in Malta, amounting to 423 out of 4,037 thefts, and the largest amount of domestic violence incidents, amounting to 93 out of 1,409.[8][9]


Zones in St. Paul's BayEdit

Main roadsEdit

St. Paul's BayEdit

  • Dawret San Pawl (St Paul By-Pass)
  • Triq Għajn Tuffieħa (Golden Bay Road)
  • Triq Parades
  • Triq San Pawl (St Paul Street)
  • Triq il-Mosta


  • Dawret il-Gżejjer (Islet Promanade)
  • Triq il-Bajja (Bay Street)
  • Triq Bordino (Bordino Street)
  • Triq l-Erba' Mwieżeb (Erba' Mwiezeb Road)
  • Triq il-Korp tal-Pijunieri (Pioneer Corps Road)
  • Triq il-Kaħli
  • Triq il-Knisja (Church Street)
  • Triq il-Mosta (Mosta Road)
  • Triq il-Plajja ta' Bognor (Bognor Beach Street)
  • Triq ir-Rebbiegħa (Spring Street)
  • Triq Sir Luigi Preziosi (Sir Luigi Preziosi Street)
  • Triq Sant' Antnin (St Anthony Street)
  • Triq Toni Bajada (Toni Bajada Street)


  • Triq Burmarrad (Burmarrad Road)
  • Triq il-Wardija (Wardija Road)
  • Triq il-Witja
  • Triq Toni Camilleri {Burmarrad Road to Mosta}


  • Dawret il-Gżejjer (Islet Promenade)
  • Dawret il-Qawra (Qawra Promenade)
  • Triq Cassarino (Cassarino Street)
  • Triq Għawdex (Gozo Street)
  • Triq il-Ħalel (Waves Street)
  • Triq il-Wileġ
  • Triq J. F. Kennedy (J. F. Kennedy Street)
  • Triq is-Salina (Salina Road) or (Kennedy Drive)
  • Triq it-Trunċiera (Entrenchment Street)
  • Triq it-Turisti (Tourist Street)


  • Telgħa tal-Mistra (Mistra Hill)
  • Telgħa tax-Xemxija (Xemxija Hill)
  • Xatt il-Pwales (Pwales Strand)

Twin towns – sister citiesEdit

Saint Paul's Bay is twinned with:[10]


  1. ^ a b "Gazzetta tal-Gvern ta' Malta" (PDF) (in Maltese). 3 September 2019. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  2. ^ a b "San Pawl il-Baħar". Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  3. ^ S. Formosa; S. Scicluna; J. Azzopardi (January 2013). Saviour Formosa; Sandra Scicluna; Jacqueline Azzopardi (eds.). Realities of Crime, Society and Landuse in the Mediterranean: JANUS I (PDF). Msida: Department of Criminology, University of Malta. pp. 96–98. doi:10.13140/2.1.1230.4322. ISBN 978-99957-834-0-2. Archived from the original on 15 March 2017.
  4. ^ Dillon, Paddy Walking in Malta Cicerone Press (1 October 2004) ISBN 978-1-85284-422-6 p.107
  5. ^ "Development near oldest building in St Paul's Bay refused". Times of Malta. 23 October 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  6. ^ Leopardi, E. R. (1949). "The First Printed Description of Malta : Lyons 1536" (PDF). Scientia. 15 (2): 56, 58.
  7. ^ Spiteri, Stephen C. (May 2008). "Maltese 'siege' batteries of the blockade 1798-1800" (PDF). Arx - Online Journal of Military Architecture and Fortification (6): 15. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 November 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  8. ^ "More police for St Paul's Bay – Graziella Galea". Times of Malta. Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  9. ^ "St Paul's Bay with highest number of domestic violence, theft reports in 2020 - The Malta Independent". Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  10. ^ "Twinning". Government of Malta. Retrieved 18 September 2019.