Żejtun is a picturesque city in south-east Malta. The city holds the title, Città Beland given by the Grand Master of the Order of the Knights of Malta in 1797. Located on a hilltop overlooking the southern island harbours, Żejtun is a city of great beauty. With narrow streets lined with Maltese style houses, botanical gardens and intriguing churches, it’s easy to see why tourists flock to the city.
Żejtun has several significant heritage sites. St. Gregory’s Church, also known as the Old Parish Church of St. Catherine, is perhaps one of the most striking. Designed by Lorenzo Gafa, a famous Maltese architect, it is an impressive structure. Residents of the city were so keen to see their church completed that many offered to work on the construction during their weekends for free. The church was used as part of the defences of the Hospitaller Knights, and it contains several mysterious, secret passageways and a watchtower. Visitors can walk the charming narrow streets of Ta' Xejba neighbourhood to discover the Malta of old. Colourful shutters and wooden doorways hide quaint shops only known to locals. Those wishing to reflect on their day in Żejtun can do so at Luqa Briffa Garden. The Italian style botanical gardens are home to ornamental fountains and rare species of trees and plants. At dusk, find a local bar and enjoy traditional Maltese folk singing for which Żejtun is famous. Indulge in a glass of wine, courtesy of the local vineyard, and a nibble on plates of olives from surrounding groves.
Reaching Żejtun is easy from the Maltese capital Valletta. Several buses operate to the city from here and surrounding towns. The journey time from Valletta is around 25 minutes. Taxis and car hire are also available. While in Żejtun, the easiest way to explore the city is on foot. Many attractions are just several minutes’ walk from one another. Buses operate throughout the centre. To reach St. Gregory’s Church and Luqa Briffa Garden, disembark at Girgor bus stop.
Żejtun was a strategic city, located between three ancient harbours. A major cotton trader and an olive producer with vast acres of arable land, Żejtun produced most of the food for the island. Today, the city is visited by tourists eager to explore its rich heritage, experience its vibrant festivals or simply to escape from the tourist resorts and step back in time.