A Frenchman in Gozo

In this 2-minute video, Frenchman Remi Jennequin works with short-film director Federico Chini to give a you tongue-in-cheek perspective of the small Mediterranean island of Gozo.

Jennequin takes it to complaining, perhaps in ways stereotypical to his co-nationals, but ultimately manages to portray a quaint and rather realistic picture of Gozo.

Play the short film and let us know what you think.

Book your Holiday Villa with Swimming Pool in Gozo

Where in Malta can you visit farm animals?

The Petting Farm is a family recreation facility situated on the southern part of the Ta’ Qali National Park. It covers a footprint of circa 11,600m2 and offers a great interaction experience with farm animals for children in a beautifully landscaped and relaxing environment. Indeed, the Farm is an opportunity for children to get up close with animals they are not used to in everyday life.

The main farm building hosts amongst other: Haze the horse, Bliss the pony and Muriel the donkey. Llamas, pigmy goats, sheep and Maltese goats are also housed in this building. Children are allowed to feed the animals some fodder which is specifically available on the Farm from dispensing machines.

The rabbit zoo is a separate building hosting as much as fifty different species of rabbits. All on display have, however, an option to sneak on the inside for cover, if they so wish. Occasionally, one is also able to see bunnies venturing outside their warm “burrow”, maybe for the first time.

The Aviary offers a wide variety of colourful avian species normally reared as pets, such as: the Cockatiel, Parakeets, Rosellas, Budgies, Zebra finches and many more. Close by the aviary we have the Emu, the Pheasant and the Helmeted Guinea fowl.

A pair of graciously flowing Swans are housed in the Farm pond, together with a couple of pairs of Red Crested Pochards and Rosy Billed Ducks.

Complementing the ambiance of the Farm are two activity sheds and play equipment integrated within farm animal structures ideal for children between 3-12 years of age.

Opening Hours:
Winter:    06:30 – 19:30
Summer:  06:30 – 20.30


Top 5 things to do in Malta with your family

Malta is a idyllic destination for holiday makers traveling with their family. The islands offer a variety of small sandy beaches perfect for the little ones, fun parks, natural parks and public gardens that offer hours of family fun and relaxation.


Playmobil Fun Park

Did you know that the popular Playmobil toys are manufactured in Malta? The factory is located just outside the village of Zejtun and adjacent to the manufacturing facility, Playmobil has dedicated a small theme park for children of all ages. The theme park may be enjoyed all year round with the facility offering both indoor and outdoor areas. Visit Playmobil Funpark website.


Popeye Village

The set from the 1980 film “Popeye” starring Robin Williams remains in its entirety cuddled in the cliffs off Mellieha. The film set has been transformed in a theme park with actors from the story offering shows and entertainment all year round. Visit Popeye Village website.


Splash & Fun Waterpark

Splash and Fun offers swimming pools and water slides in an outdoor facility by the sea on the outskirts of Naxxar. This Summer-only attraction is ideal for a family outing. Visit Splash & Fun website.


San Anton Gardens

The Presidential Gardens known locally as San Anton are located in the village of Attard and offers a natural setting for a stroll away from the Summer sun. The garden also hosts ponds with ducks, swans and turtles, whilst peacocks wander freely avoiding garden cats lazying round one of the many fountains. Learn more.


Petting Farm

This is a facility that offers the opportunity to interact with farm animals in a beautifully landscaped environment. The farm most popular attractions are Haze the horse, Bliss the pony and Muriel the donkey. Llamas, pigmy goats, sheep and Maltese goats are also housed in this building. Children are allowed to feed the animals some fodder which is specifically available on the Farm from dispensing machines. The Petting Farm is located in Ta’ Qali, close to Naxxar. Visit Petting Farm website.

Horse riding on Gozo

Horse riding is an exhilarating, fun and different way to experience the unspoilt countryside of Gozo. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced rider, horse riding stables can provide you with a suitable horse and a beautiful ride.

Discover the gorgeous landscape of this tiny island with a means of transport that was still in wide use until recently. You may choose to visit secluded beaches, explore green valleys or climb up hills to enjoy a soothing sunset.

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Gozo Stables

Triq Wied is-Simar, Il-Qala QLA2010, Gozo
(+356) 79064530, (+356) 79064522
[email protected]

Lino Stables
16, Triq is-Spiera, Ix-Xagħra, Gozo
(+356) 21562477, (+356) 79262280 (+356) 21555277,
[email protected]

Victor’s Horse & Carriage
Dreams of Horses Farm, Triq Wied l-Ghejjun, Ix-Xagħra, Malta
(+356) 21559229
(00356) 99858194



A feast of Strawberries

The picturesque parish square in the agricultural village of Imgarr, surrounded by lush green valleys will once again host ‘Festa Frawli’ – the annual Strawberry Fair . Now in its 8th edition, this event is now a much awaited fixture in the Maltese calendar.

A constant supply of freshly picked strawberries will be on sale throughout the day, ferried regularly to the square by the farmers themselves. A wide variety of desserts, snacks and beverages will be available in our open air kitchen, all made with fresh Imgarr strawberries. Professional chefs will also be preparing novelty strawberry based gourmet dishes such as ravioli and a non-alcoholic cocktail bar. Home made strawberry wine, jams, conserves and other typical products will also be on sale. Souvenirs, artworks and crafts will be exhibited by the craftsmen themselves. A second open air kitchen will be offering typical Maltese dishes.

Folk and Ethnic music performed by leading Maltese artists using traditional instruments, and folk dance troupes from all around Malta and Gozo will provide fitting entertainment for this unique celebration of Maltese agricultural heritage. Special activities will also take place throughout the day; among which is the unveiling of a record breaking (Malta’s largest ever) strawberry gateau and a strawberry cupcake competition and a painting competition open to all.

The Colours of Marsaxlokk

Marsaxlokk Bay is Malta’s second largest natural harbour. In this typical fishing village, it is easy to spot the colourful, traditional Maltese fishing boats, the Luzzus, with the mythical Osiris eye painted on their prows.

The village is the Islands’ main fishing harbour; its Sunday fish market a fascinating insight into local life and a traditional industry. The stalls brim with the night’s catch – fish of all shapes, colours and sizes. The village itself has many good fish restaurants lined along the village’s promenade and renowned not just for their quality but also for their value-for-money.

Marsaxlokk derives its name from the Arabic word marsa, meaning harbour, and Maltese for the South-Easterly Mediterranean wind, the Xlokk (Sirocco in Italian). Marsaxlokk, with its sheltered habour, was an easy landing place for pirates and the Ottoman Turks. It was here that the Ottoman Turks landed for an attack which ended in the Great Siege of 1565.

In 1978 Napoleon’s army used this bay to land on the island and take over it’s governance from the Knights of St. John.

Very close to the picturesque fishing village, there are a few secluded beaches, amongst which the most popular with the locals is St Peter’s Pool in the area knows as Delimara Point.

MaltaVillageHolidays recommends staying at Bellavista Holiday Apartment in Marsaxlokk.

[alerts title=”Fireworks Festival” type=”info”]Marsaxlokk will be hosting the Malta International Fireworks Festival on  25th April 2014

More info about the Malta International Fireworks Festival here.[/alerts]

The Maltese Village for Hollywood Stars

Like everywhere else, life has become fast-paced in Malta. People seem to be in a rush everywhere. The buzz of activity in the commercial centres of Valletta and Sliema is living proof of this. No doubt it’s all fun if you’re on holiday and people watching is your kind of thing. And if it does get tiring you can always try an altogether different scene…

Just outside the quaint village is Palazzo Guarena – a knight’s summer residence of some elegance but of more interest to film buffs. Hollywood’s most glamorous couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie stayed here for some time in 2011 while Pitt was filming World War Z in various locations in Malta.  A year later actor Tom Hanks, no doubt on reputable recommendation, chose to use the same palazzo as his base for fourteen weeks while filming Captain Philips.

Some of the villages further out of the harbour areas seem to escape this madness completely, and once most of their inhabitants have driven off to their work places, an oasis of calm descends on these villages with very few (understandably mostly elderly) people about. The commercial activity in these places is also on a much slower level with a couple of grocery shops, the odd bar and the obligatory confectionery – the Maltese are big on their sweetmeats.

The village of Qrendi on the way to Hagar Qim is one such place and makes for a pleasant diversion before or after visiting the hallowed megalithic site. Tracing its origins to at least as far back as 1417, Qrendi became a parish in 1618.  An elegant parish church was built around 1720, and this takes pride of place right in the centre of the village. The church is flanked on both sides by a series of picturesque narrow streets. Some two hundred meters to the church’s right one can find a unique octagonal tower known as the Captain’s Tower on Triq it-Torri (translates as Tower Street appropriately enough) with features like drop boxes which are unknown on other defensive buildings here. In the area is also a largish chapel, St.Saviour’s which during the Second World War served as a dormitory for people made homeless by the enemy raids in the Grand Harbour area.

At the village’s southern end is the quaint chapel of St. Matthew with a regenerated piazza ideal for some quality lazing. Of more interest is a huge “hole in the ground” behind the chapel, known locally as Il-Maqluba. In reality this is a karstic depression created by a collapse of huge underground caves creating a sizable sinkhole. Reputably the collapse occurred during a storm in 1343 and was superstitiously seen as a sort of heavenly warning – thus the building of the chapel as a conciliatory gesture. Steps lead down some way down this sinkhole where one can appreciate its sheer size.

Quite near to St.Matthew’s  and on the village periphery is the ancient sanctuary of Our Lady of Mercies – a church with origins dating back to the 13th century – ironically before Qrendi came into being and the area was then a long lost hamlet going by the name of Hal Lew. It’s a robust church with a lovely porticoed façade bordering some lovely country lanes.

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Places to visit nearby include

Stay at this Traditional Village Townhouse in Zurrieq.


The Quaint Village of Nadur

Nadur is situated on the easternmost hill of the small island of Gozo, Malta’s sister-island. Nadur, a lofty, lookout plateau, has a population of around 4,000 people which makes Nadur one of the largest localities in Gozo.

In Nadur, you can still find a lot of farmers and seafarers.  Quantities of fresh fruit like apples, peaches, pears, plums, oranges, lemon and melons from the fields of Nadur are distributed around all Malta and Gozo. Along Nadur’s coastline one can see the peaceful bays of San Blas, Dahlet Qorrot and Ramla.  Dahlet Qorrot is a delightful small bay from where a lot of fishermen set sail every day.  The picturesque boathouses in Dahlet Qorrot were converted from the original caves and ledges underneath the cliffs.  It is a wonderful place for all those who love the quite spot.

Ta’ Sopu Tower lies half way through Dahlet Qorrot and San Blas.  As the village motto has it, Nadur is in itself a watch house for the island. The Nadurin were watchful sentries who could spot danger in time and call the alarm. There is another tower known as Kenuna Tower. This was built in 1848, and served as a telegraph link between Malta and Gozo and not as a fort. Recently Kenuna tower was completely restored and is now serving for communication purposes.

The new Maltese Garden at Kenuna makes this area a must-see for all visitors. From here one can enjoy one of the most magnificent views in the Maltese Islands.

The feast of Nadur “Mnarja”is celebrated on the 29th of June and by the 1720’s a beautiful area known as “Il-Buskett” (meaning little forest) was the site of the celebrations. The feast was very popular with honeymooners and it’s name seems to suggest that there is a possible connection with the beginning of Summer. It is derived from luminaria (illumination), and in fact it is a festival rooted in Maltese seasonal rituals and customs.

Stay in a Villa Farmhouse in Nadur

Ghadira Nature Reserve

Most of the sun worshippers that visit Malta know Ghadira for it’s busy sandy beach but just across the road lies one of the most ecologically important areas on the islands.

Ghadire Nature Reserve has significant ecological importance since it encircles wetland and saltmarsh areas, two habitats which are quite scarce in the Maltese Islands. In fact this area of shallow, reedy ponds surrounded by scrub is also an important resting area for migrating birds (over 200 species have been recorded at the site). The name, pronounced aa-dee -ra, means ‘marsh’, and this was Malta’s first national nature reserve an 1978.

The 6-hectare Nature Reserve is open to the public and volunteers accompany visitors for a walk along a nature trail that leads to a birdwatching hide.

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[alerts title=”Useful information for visiting the Ghadira Nature Reserve:” type=”info”]

  •     Opening Times: Saturdays and Sundays from November until May. Visiting hours are 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.
  •     Public Transport from/to Valletta: Check Arriva.com.mt for latest routes
  •     Entrance is free.



Malta steps into agri-tourism

Recently we attended the launch of a pioneering new project in the village of Had Dingli, Malta. The area known as “Diar il-Bniet”  is to become the first agritourism experience of its kind on the Mediterranean island.

Centred around a cafe, restaurant and grocery, Diar il-Bniet will provide an exciting platform for Malta’s finest produce to be sold straight from the farm, in an environment that celebrates the family tradition that encompasses farming in Malta.

While the project has already attracted vaunted interest and investment, Diar il-Bniet is keen to retain the rustic charm that makes it such a special and rare place. The site overlooks a shallow valley on the outskirts of Dingli, where one family has tended the land for generations, but only recently, with the advent of agritourism in Malta, has it become a viable option for the farm to open its doors to the public. The result is a beautiful example of Maltese artisan labour presented through a rustic, traditional and appealing medium.

Among the food that the farm produces, Diar il-Bniet boasts olive oil that would have the finest chef’s from around the world curling their toes. A Maltese staple that has recently attracted interest from names such as Jamie Oliver, the launch of this project is happening at a time where Maltese cuisine is arguably taking its place at the global table.

Stay in a typical village home holiday accommodation.