Paceville Malta (pronounced patch-y-ville) is only a neighborhood in the northwestern part of the town of St Julians, but has become such a popular destination in its own right, that it has nearly reached the status of a separate town. This little neighborhood was name for a prominent Maltese lawyer and politician Giuseppe (or Joseph) Pace who was also a leader in local urban development. He chose this area to build a few seaside villas during the 1920s and 1930s, the beginnings of development that today boasts scores of hotels and many Paceville clubs that have become the most happening spots in the country. The main things to do in Paceville involve nightlife and … more nightlife. This is also home to some of the best dining spots on the island.
The numerous Paceville night clubs and discos came after the Sheraton and Hilton chains built five star properties here in the 1960s. The Hilton remains, and the Sheraton is now the Westin. They still are the among the finest luxury hotels in the area. Paceville Malta occupies the area between Spinola Point and Dragonara Point, and lies both on Spinola Bay and St Julian’s Bay. One of the Paceville clubs also sits on the end of Dragonara Point, and is part of the area’s history. This is the Dragonara Palace Casino, originally an opulent summer mansion built in 1870 for a member of the Maltese aristocracy. Today it is the oldest casino in the country, having opened in 1964. There are several dining spots and entertainment every night of the year.
Some of the Paceville night clubs have state-of-the-art sound systems like the famous clubs in Ibiza. In fact, many of the world’s top disc jockeys, like Tiesto, have Paceville Malta as wells as Ibiza on their tour itineraries. The Axis Disco is the largest of the Paceville night clubs and boasts one of the best light and sound systems in all of Europe. Only the Gianpula in Mdina is larger.
Other popular Paceville clubs include the original Fuego Salsa Bar. This smart casual nightspot is unusual in that there is an 18 year age limit (the drinking age here is 16) as well as a dress code. This helped the club to overcome the more unsavory reputation of some of the other venues, allowing it to successfully open similar clubs that cater to older tourists in Qawra and in Mellieha to the north of St Julians. Something else that helped to give this famous night spot a better reputation was the recent banning of drinking on public streets—something primarily done by the underage.
Other things to do in Paceville include sailing, and St Julians Bay is still full of gaily colored traditional fishing boats, called luzzus, that can be chartered for trips around the island. This area is also one of the best spots on the eastern coast for snorkeling and scuba diving. The largest population centers on Malta Island are around Valletta and St Julians, and these areas have few sandy beaches. However, St. George’s Bay is the exception and boasts an excellent large sandy beach that is excellent for children, meaning more families now enjoy their vacations here.