Zebbug derives its name from the Maltese word, olive. It is situated in the northern part of Gozo and is about 3.5 km away from Victoria (Rabat). A steep road from the village leads downhill to the lovely bays of Marsalforn, Qbajjar and Xwejni. These bays, apart from sheltering local fishing vessels, are excellent swimming and diving zones, popular amongst locals and tourists alike.
Built on a hill “iz-Zebbug” is considered to be the highest village in Gozo, and enjoys impressive vistas of the Gozitan landscape, the Citadel and the Mediterranean.
The village is notable for a special 'marble' quarried in a field in its vicinity. The material is a type of alabaster, of an opaque yellowish hue, with a hard, consistent texture. Many churches in Malta and Gozo have works of art sculpted out of this onyx.
The history of iz-Zebbug goes back to very early times. So much so that next to the village on the flat-topped hill of Ta' Kuljat there was a Bronze Age settlement (1500-700 BC). This is proved from several Bronze Age silo pits that are still visible on top of the hill, as well as a wide scatter of pottery shreds datable to that period.
The area leading from the hill to Qbajjar, an inlet beyond the fishing village of Marsalforn, contained several Punic tombs (700-218 BC). Then for a millennium and a half, the place was probably inhabited only by a handful of farmers. From the time of the Aragonese onwards (AD 1282), a community began to take shape. This community built a chapel for its spiritual needs. The community was recognised as an autonomous entity in 1688 when the area of iz-Zebbug and its vicinities was raised into a separate parish.
The parish church of the Assumption dates from 1736, but it was modified and enlarged in recent years. It is in the usual baroque style, and stands in a fairly large square. As expected in such an isolated place, the village core is made up of winding streets and ancient rustic dwellings.
Nowadays, this little village (pop.2000), has become very popular with holiday-makers from Malta and from abroad. Several villas and vacation premises have been constructed on the hill-brow, with exceptional vistas around them. The scenic surroundings and the pure air on the hill make the village very attractive.
The villagers are well known for their bizzilla (lace), nsig (weaving) and kutri tas-suf (sheep's wool blankets). The nearby countryside is ideal for shepherds, whose sheep produce Gozo's finest gbejniet (cheeslets). Zebbug is a living example of a cottage industry.
Francesco’s, a little bar set in the village square, enjoys glorious sunset scenes from it terrace – as well as delicious pizzas. There is only one small grocery shop in the village with irregular opening hours, however the village is still frequented by a couple of hawker vans selling bread, local vegetables and many household goods – they usually announce their arrival by tooting their car horns!