Located in the South Eastern part of the Maltese Islands, the picturesque seaside resort of Birzebbugia has long been a favourite get-away for the Maltese.Since 1436 Birzebbugia fell under the jurisdiction of the Parish of Gudja and it was only in 1913 that Birzebbugia was recognised as a Parish in its own right. It also incorporates the nearby villages of Hal Far, Binghasa and Kalafrana.In 1913 when it was established as a Parish, the population was around 1,000 people and by 1961 this had grown to 5,239 and current estimates of the population of Birzebbugia stand at C. 8,000.
The name "Birzebbugia" is related to the olive trade since in Maltese, olives are called "zebbug". Since the Middle Ages, olive groves were abundant in this area. Many maintain that 'Birzebbugia' is the result of the transformation of the words "Bur" "Zebbug" - which means land of the olives. Another interpretation is that 'Birzebbugia' meant 'Bir Taz-Zebbug' i.e. a well of olive oil. Whatever the real reason, it is clear that Birzebbugia has always been associated with olives although today the olive trees are noticeable by their absence!Birzebbugia is only six miles away from the capital city of Valletta and is the main promontory in the large bay of Marsaxlokk. The first bay is that of Kalafrana, whilst the second is that of Birzebbugia and the third inlet in that known as "St. George".
In the region there are a number of places of interest amongst which are:
This is a cave which dates back to the earliest times and infact served as a "depository cave" of various fossils dating back to neolithic times. Ghar Dalam is 750 feet deep and was discovered in 1865 although later excavations in the early 1900's would reap major archeological finds including the remains of "omo neanderthalensis" - Neanderthal man.
BORG IN NADUR
In 1922 the 'Borg In Nadur' site was found although unfortunately this has not been very well preserved over the years as this was left exposed to the elements. In the site various megalithic pottery shards and other items of domestic life in those far off Stone Age days were found. The remains found there date back to the Bronze Age and to the later Stone Age.
On the Southern coast close to Birzebbugia is Ghar Hasan's cave. The entrance to this cave is found in the cliff face about 60 feet above sea level although a pathway and steps have been cut into the cliff face. The site is rich in geological formations and legend has it, that when Count Roger led the the attack against the Arabs in Malta in the late 9th Century, an Arab named, Hassan, kidnapped a beautiful young Maltese girl and kept her with him in this cave.
Malta's Freeport is in the vicinity of Birzebbugia. This a major source of maritime and economic activity in the southern part of the Island. This ultra modern, high-tech trans-shipment centre provides Malta with a key resource to maintain its role as a hub in the centre of the Mediterranean.In the Southern part of the Island nearby villages worth a visit are Marsaxlokk, with its very popular Sunday market which is of particular attraction to tourists in Malta. Another neighbouring town, Marsascala is also worth a look at, especially if its time to eat as Marsascala is renowned for its many exquisite fish restaurants.