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.

The Changing Face of Folk

There is the music of course – a varied programme of foreign and local acts which this year will revolve around the gypsy theme, with bands from Spain, Croatia and Israel. And there is the gћana – in turn soulful or comical – but always heartfelt, which comes pouring from the stage. And then there is the ambience, too, the beautiful Argotti Gardens, decked with lights and life, providing a fairytale setting to the tunes, old and new, filling the air.

But perhaps the real reason which makes Gћanafest one of Malta’s fastest-growing festivals is the atmosphere: friendly and relaxed, families, young and not-so-young will feel equally at home here. Local artisans work at their crafts before your eyes, and will often chattily explain how they are made. This year, there’s a children’s workshop on tberfil too – the decorative painted lettering often found on the old buses which is rapidly dying out.

Yet despite its increasing popularity, the festival is still intimate enough for details to be curated lovingly. Even the food is carefully picked to a theme: no commercial entities are in sight: you are likelier to find pastizzi, imqaret and all things traditionally Maltese, making this festival – devoted to music, food and crafts – much more than just a series of concerts.

In such a setting, folk music can flourish. Folk’s power lies in its telling of simple stories, the stirring tunes, the stunning rich voices – and this year’s Gћanafest – which will run from 30 May to 1 June with a gypsy/klezmer music theme – promises plenty of all of those. The festival, which is supported by the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts and the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government, is organised under the auspices of Fondazzjoni Ċelebrazzjonijiet Nazzjonali (FCN) in collaboration with Valletta 2018 Foundation.

BGKO – Ghanafest 2014Foreign bands include BGKO (Barcelona Gypsy Klezmer Orchestra), an ever growing family of professional musicians and singers that are often invited for guest appearances. As musicians and singers from Turkey, Slovenia, Switzerland, England, Russia, Serbia, India, France, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Iran and Israel gave their contribution to the never-ending story, the BGKO brought Klezmer, Gipsy and Balkan music to all generations of Barcelona. Musical band Cinkuši has been playing ethno music for many years, combining their Kajkavian roots and heritage with contemporary trends using many different songwriters and lyrics from sources such as Croatian writer Miroslav Krleža, Joško Božanić, Carmina Burana, The Book of Genesis all the way to the clichés that stir collective emotions. Cinkuši’s music has been included in prestigious foreign and national song collections and the band has collaborated on numerous theatre and film projects. Cinkuši received an award for the best original music at the 13th Days of Croatian Cinema and they were the subject of a documentary by Croatian National Television. Cinkuši’s third album Spiritus Sanctus won the Croatian music award Porin in the category of best ethnic (world music) album of the year.

Ramzailech from Israel will play on Sunday; their formula is simple and highly effective: an unstoppable live act, band members that head-dive right into the crowd, hora-circles and mosh pits of happy people and hardcore klezmer music everywhere. Ramzailech carried the hardcore-klezmer gospel overseas to Europe and even Asia with the spicy mixture of rock, Yiddish, English, Arab, Hebrew and hardcore Klezmer. They will play at Gћanafest 2014 with the support of the Israeli embassy.

The Maltese bands, too, bring their own specific brand of contemporary folk rooted in tradition. From Mistura and Frank O’Neill on Friday night to Kantilena on Sunday night, these bands all bring a focus on the Maltese language and contemporary folk. The qarċilla, too – the wedding parody which was revived for this year’s Carnival – will make a return to this year’s Gћanafest, accompanied by a musical element, on Saturday evening.

Of course Gћanafest remains the biggest local showcase of gћana, offering a unique opportunity to experience the different styles of Maltese folk music. Simple but heartfelt, folk music is often about stories – from the personal to the universal, from the ancient to the modern, and gћana is particularly suited to this type of storytelling. As with gypsy folk music, there is a raw intensity which seems to pour out of a collective soul. Set against the beautiful setting of the Argotti Gardens, with its timeless themes, stirring tunes and rich voices, this is a festival that will not leave you unmoved.

The Festival will be held on 30 May-1 June at 7pm, Argotti Gardens, Floriana – within walking distance from Valletta. Tickets: €3 and €7 for a three-day block ticket available at the door.


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 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

Of Churches and Chapels

The Maltese are among the oldest Christians in the world and you can find an amazing 365 churches on the islands – a very high number for such a small space. Many are dedicated to St Paul, who was shipwrecked in Malta in 60 AD, and St John.

St John’s Co-Cathedral is a gem of Baroque art and architecture and boasts the stupendous painting by Caravaggio called The Beheading of St John. The dome of the Mosta Church is the fourth largest in the world. It is famous because, during WWII, a bomb pierced the dome and fell to the Church floor without exploding – saving the lives of those parishioners present.

The ornate Mdina Cathedral contains magnificent works by Mattia Preti, while pilgrims and any curious tourist should visit the Ta’ Pinu Basilica, which famous for supposedly saving Gozo from the plague and now home to hundreds of mementoes from grateful worshippers.

The Singular Taste of the ‘Gbejna’

One of the staple ingredients in the Maltese cuisine is the traditional ‘Gbejna’ – a small round cheese made from sheep’s milk. The small cheeses – known as Gbejniet – are usually bought right off the shepherd or local village convenience stores, and are seasonal.

The preparation of the cheese requires the milk to take the shape of the cheese hurdle which traditionally was made of dried reeds. These are then dried in a well ventilated area, protected by a special mosquito net.

Ġbejniet are prepared and served in a variety of forms: fresh (friski or tal-ilma), sundried (moxxa, bajda or t’Għawdex), salt cured (maħsula) or peppered (tal-bżar). The fresh variety have a smooth texture and a milky flavour and are kept in their own whey in a similar manner to mozzarella. The sundried variety have a more definite, nutty almost musky taste, and are fairly hard. The peppered variety are covered in crushed black pepper and cured, after which they may be stored in oil or pickled in vinegar. Their sharp taste becomes more piquant the more they age and they also develop a crumbly texture.

Ġbejna is an important element in a number of dishes such as soppa tal-armla. It is often added to pasta dishes or soup to enhance flavour as a pizza topping or the filling for ħobż biż-żejt.

Good Friday Pageant in Malta

Watch the TVM broadcast of the traditional Good Friday Pageant in Zejtun, Malta.

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Read More about it

Malta, being almost entirely Catholic, has strong religious traditions that are mostly evident during Holy Week and Easter. In this period of the year, even those less devout, get immersed in the local traditions that revolve around the Catholic feast of Easter.

The festivities for Easter start with Carnival, a 3-day fun fair before a lengthy 40-day lent period where devout Christians fast and refrain from eating meat. Following Carnival, the Church celebrates Ash Wednesday as the beginning ceremony for Lent. Read Full Article…