Mellieħa is Malta’s most Northern town, nestled in the gentle hills overlooking Gozo and Comino. Like many names in Malta, it has semitic roots, and its name suggests link to salt, a precious and sought after raw material even in Punic and Roman times.
Whilst the town has grown significantly in the last century, it maintains its own character. Hilly wooded areas keep it apart from other bustling cities in Malta, and this allows it to retain its own qualities and history. It is estimated that villagers have lived in Mellieħa for over 5,000 years, and numerous findings of primitive tools and other artefacts confirm this theory.
Over the millennia, Mellieħa has experienced occupations, liberations, and significant accomplishments. For example, during the reign of the Order of St. John in the 16th to 18th centuries, the village chapel was considered to be one of the holiest sites in Malta. The arrival of the British Empire revitalised the village and led to significant growth in its population.
Mellieħa continues to attract new residents and visitors all year round. Today, it offers all modern amenities and services, including schools, hotels, and souvenir shops. The village maintains its religious traditions and is home to band clubs, a parish community centre, and other religious societies. Its annual feast, celebrated on the 8th of September, celebrates Our Lady and coincides with festivities surrounding the country’s victory over the Ottoman Turks in 1565.
The weeks leading up to this date feature outdoor activities and eagerly-anticipated events. This is a particularly busy period for Square Gastro Bar which plays hosts to hundreds of local and returning visitors. Located in a traffic-free square next to the church, the bar provides a great atmosphere where to take in all the fun and cheer Mellieħa and its residents have to offer.