Żebbuġ – History

The village of Żebbuġ is situated about 3.5 km away from Rabat, the Capital of Gozo and is situated in the northern part of the island. Considered as the highest village in Gozo above sea level, Żebbuġ is first recorded as ‘zebugi’ in a document dated 1st September 1492. However, various archaeological finds in the area suggest that the village might have been inhabited since prehistory.

Żebbuġ, which also covers the coast including Marsalforn Bay, has also been recorded as a tourist destination since the 17th Century. Żebbuġ derives its name from a Maltese word olive tree or else from food products or tools, which were used to produce olive oil. Zebbug is Maltese for ‘olives’ or ‘olive trees’, olea europeaea, in Arabic Zejtun. It In Arabic, Żebbuġ means ‘wild olives’, olea silvestris, that differs from the cultivated variety mainly in the spiny lower branches and small leaves and drupes. Some wild olive trees must have been growing beneath the southeast ridge of the village and not on its top, where the northwesterly winds are strong enough to uproot them. It was from these żebbuġ that eventually the hill got its name.

Marsalforn is one of the best-known fishing village of the Maltese islands. Part of Żebbuġ, Marsalforn is the most popular resort with both locals and tourists. Marsalforn, as a name might be a composite word of Arabic derivation. Marsa, derived from an obsolete Arabic verb rasa’a, means, “to be at anchor”, hence marsa means “a harbour where ships come to anchor”. It might also be likely that this name, like that of other Gozitan ports, might refer to a type of ship. In that case it would derive from Liburna. An Illyrian type of a ship, which became livurna in Greek, and lifurna in Arabic, thence Marsalforn means “the vessels’ harbour”. The name might also have been derived from forna, a word used by Gozitan fishermen to refer to ” a cave hollowed out by the sea”. There were more than one of these at Marsalforn, the best known being Għar Qawqla, “the cave at the steep hill”.

Attractions in Żebbuġ

1. Ta’ Kuljat Bronze Age Settlement
Address: Near Żebbuġ, Ta’ Kuljat Hilltop

2. WWII Air-Raid Shelters

Address: Triq Iz- Żebbuġ
Contact Person: Żebbuġ Local Council
Telephone: +356 2156 3056

3. The Modernist Żebbuġ Primary School

Address: Triq San Andrija
Telephone: +356 2155 1522

4. Stella Maris Retreat House

Address: Mrg. G DePiro Street
Telephone: Director: +356 2155 1159

5. The Parish Church of the Assumption

Address: Pjazza Santa Marija
Telephone: +356 9924 5080

6. Saliba Store

Address: Triq Skapuccina
Telephone: +356 2155 2682
Opening hours: 8.30am – 12.00pm and 4.30pm – 7.00pm

7. The Albaster Quarry

Address: Near the Żebbuġ Parish Church

8. The Farmhouse Art Gallery

Address: Triq Skapuccina
Telephone: +356 2156 6172
Opening hours: Weekends

9. The Clockmaker’s Saltworks

Address: Wied Il-Ghasri

10. The Salt Pens

Address: Xwejni Bay

11. Marsalforn Summer Resort

12. St. Paul’s Church, Malsaforn

Telephone: +356 9943 6073

13. Żebbuġ Local Council

Address: Triq Il-Knisja
Telephone: +356 2156 3056
Email: zebbug.gozo.lc@gov.mt


Local Information Żebbuġ

Żebbuġ Local Council
Address: Triq Il-Knisja
Telephone: +356 2156 3322
Email: zebbug.gozo.lc@gov.mt
Opening hours: Winter: 8.00am – 4.45pm (Weekdays) and 8.00am – 11:30am (Saturdays)
Summer: 8.00am – 2.00pm

Żebbuġ Police Station

Address: Triq Il-Knisja
Telephone: +356 2155 6429


Arriva Bus
From Valletta to Malta ferry terminal: Bus


From Malta ferry terminal to Gozo terminal
Website: www.gozochannel.com

Arriva Bus

From Gozo ferry terminal to Victoria/Rabat: Bus 322
From Victoria /Rabat to Żebbuġ: Bus 309
Bus stop: Abram
Customer Care: +356 2122 2000
Email: enquiries@arriva.com.mt
Website: www.arriva.com.mt

Zebbug Location Map

View Larger Map

Places of Refreshment Żebbuġ

St. Mary Philharmonic Society Bar and Restaurant
Address: Triq Il-Knisja c/w Triq Goma
Telephone: +356 2155 0488
Opening hours: 8.30am – 2.00pm and 4.30pm – 11.00pm

Francesco’s Pizza

Address: Triq Il-Knisja
Telephone: +356 2155 9568
Opening hours: 6.00pm – 11.00pm

Żebbuġ Rovers Football Club

Address: Triq San Andrija
Telephone: +356 2155 9986
Opening hours: Weekdays from 5.00pm

Additional Information: In Marsalforn, one finds a huge number of bars and restaurants specializing in European, Mediterranean and Asian cuisines. (This is a 10 minute drive to the village.)