spotlight on: Qrendi

Qrendi is arguably one of the most under-the-radar places to visit in Malta. Located in the South West of the island, this small and quaint village is a place where history, culture, scenery and nature intertwine.

The village of Qrendi has a population of approximately 2,752 people. It was first historically documented in 1417, when it appeared in the Militia List and was described as having 26 ‘households’. However, Qrendi was a habited site much earlier on, with a long history tied to pre-historic sites dating back to around 3800BC.

Within the bounds of the village are the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage historic sites; the temples of Mnajdra and Hagar Qim. is places them among the oldest free-standing structures in the world. Remains of shaft graves, field catacombs, and other archaeological evidence also testify to settlements which continued to these days.

Qrendi’s religious culture is at its best during the summer months with the celebration of two feasts; that of the village’s patron Santa Marija in August, and that of our Lady of Lourdes in July.

Qrendi, featuring the Maqluba sink hole

Photo: James Bianchi

The village of Qrendi is typical of the small villages that emerged during the rule of the Order of St. John. Rural life was hard and many struggled to make ends meet. Until recent years, the villagers made ends meet by farming, quarrying and fishing. Narrow winding streets, typical courtyard houses adjacent to small fields with ‘rural rooms’ became the physical features of Qrendi.

The village has been altered considerably in recent years, with a substantial bypass road, and modern housing round its outskirts; the bus terminus as well as an open space in front of the Parish Church; nevertheless the village continues to maintain its core characteristics.

The Neolithic Temples of agar Qim, Mnajdra, the Blue Grotto, Maqluba Sinkhole, Hamrija Tower as well as Sciuta Tower are all worthy attractions located in Qrendi. So we hope you’ve dedicated a full day to this gem of a village, as well as its surroundings.

some spots in qrendi worth visiting

Ħaġar qim and mnajdra

Haġar Qim temples

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra Temples were built around 3600-3000 BC and are inscribed as part of ‘The Megalithic Temples of Malta’ in the World Heritage List.

They are the best preserved and most evocative of Malta’s prehistoric sites, with an unparalleled location atop sea cliffs. The Ħaġar Qim complex consists of a main temple and three megalithic structures made from globerina limestone, the second oldest rock in Malta.

The Mnajdra complex consists of the remains of three temples, made of coralline limestone, which is harder than the so limestone of Ħaġar Qim. There’s also an informative hands-on visitors centre on site, a children’s room where kids can build a temple out of blocks, and an atmospheric 4D lm introduction.

Ħamrija tower

Ħamrija Tower

Photo: James Bianchi

Ħamrija Tower was built by the Knights of St. John in 1659, on a steep cliff on the South Western coast of Malta.

It was once one of the key lookout points for defending medieval Malta. It is located in the vicinity of Mnajdra and Ħaġar Qim, although they had not been yet discovered when it was built.

From its position, you can absorb the wonderful views of the uninhabited island of Fila, as well as check out the interesting rock formations in the bay below.

blue grotto

Blue Grotto

This popular site attracts over 100,000 visitors per year, with tourists flocking here to see the grotto via local boat trips from Wied iz-Żurrieq. It’s also an extremely popular diving and snorkelling spot, with very clear, deep waters. Blue Grotto is a complex of seven caves found along the southern coast of the island, right across from the little islet of Filfa.

The boat trip will take you into the caves themselves, where you will be able to see the glorious colours of the varying shades of blue. It got its name in the 1950s, when a British soldier visited the area and compared it to Capri’s famous ‘Grotta Azzura’, which means ‘Blue Grotto’, because of its clear, bright blue waters. If you are a fan of natural wonders, then one of the things furthest up on your list should be the Blue Grotto.

sciutu tower (torri xutu)

Sciutu Tower

Photo: Karmenu Camilleri

Sciutu Tower was built in 1638 in Wied iz-Żurrieq, on the site of a medieval watch post. It served as the prototype for the De Redin towers.

Following the British take-over in 1800, the tower remained in use and was manned by the Royal Malta Fencible Regiment, later referred to as the Royal Malta Fencible Artillery.

The tower was abandoned in 1873. By the Second World War, it was handed over to the Coastal Police and used as a police station until 2002. Even though neglect left this once proud and strong watchtower a sorry sight, it has recently been restored and is now a view to behold!