L-Għarb means West and this typical old Gozitan village unsurprisingly lies in the West of the Island. It started life as a small hamlet centuries ago. You can see its ancient roots in the centre of the village where some houses have fine examples of decorated stone balconies. The population of l-Għarb is of about 1266 people with a total of 400 families. The area of l-Għarb is about 14.3sq kms. L-Għarb is surrounded by two villages, that of St Lawrence and Għasri, and the sea. L-Għarb was made a parish in 1679.
GHARB is a place of natural beauty especially the area surrounding the ancient chapel of San Dimitri. The legend associated with San Dimitri Chapel narrates that after an old woman beseeched the Saint to save her single son from slavery, San Dimitri left the altar piece on his flying stallion and brought back her son Matthew. The alter piece can still be seen in the chapel.
Gharb is one of the oldest Gozitan villages, where various archaeological excavations exposed the remains of Neolithic and Bronze Age settlements in the area. The name Gharb is purely Arabic, denoting the establishment of an early but organised community during Arab domination between 870 and 1090 AD. However, names of early Christian devotion such as St. Demetrius and St.Publius, indicate that pre-Arab Roman and Byzantine settlements existed before this westerly village took its present name.
There are no significant historical episodes related with Gharb. However the people of this village with their coastal lookouts, have the merit of being the first to signal the arrival of reinforcements to the beleaguered Maltese under the Knights of St. John in the Great Siege of Malta of 1565. During those terrible years, the Gharb lookouts constantly relayed smoke signals to Malta, alarming the entire population from the constant perils of marauding Berber and Turkish pirates.
Another attraction of the village of Gharb is the Ta' Dbiegi Crafts Village, where various handcrafts are made and sold. Visitors can find hand-made pottery, mouth-blown glass, Gozo lace and filigree. Gharb is the place where glass blowing and pottery could be watched being made.
With all the above attractions, Gharb is the village that the visitor to Gozo should not miss. Its panoramic countryside tracks and valleys are ideal for walks and for relaxing. If one is not interested in museums, a walk to the cliffs at Wied il-Mielah, is worth every second spent. There, a spectacular natural "window", not as exploited, but similar to the Azure Window of Dwejra is found. Otherwise one could opt to sit relaxed in the peaceful and picturesque village square, enjoying the view of the church, the lethargic strokes of its clock tower, or curiously study the unique shape of old hand sculptured balconies that adorn the village's oldest homes.