Last week in collaboration with our partners at Visit Malta, we invited a handful of top French agencies to experience a few days discovering the Maltese Islands from cover to cover. A mix of history, culture, adrenaline activities, top dining, and the most idyllic October weather, set the perfect backdrop for this French educational.
We thank all our preferred suppliers for supporting us with their hospitality and creativity in order to give our guests a memory of our islands that will never fade!10 hidden gems in Malta
From finding secret beaches on which to enjoy Malta’s stunningly clear waters to knowing the best places to find a cup of coffee with a view or tuck into a late-night pastizzi-fest, this guide has got you covered when it comes to discovering hidden Malta.
The capital of Malta is, of course, a popular place to begin your visit to the islands. But for the authentic Maltese experience, stray from the busy thoroughfares and get lost in the winding, pretty backstreets of Valletta. Here family-run cafes, tiny restaurants and kitsch little shops are dotted around, just begging to be explored.
2. Ghasri Valley
Malta has no shortage of beautiful coastal spots for a swim, but the Ghasri Valley on Gozo is a must-visit. Here crystal clear, turquoise waters gently run through a steep-sided winding valley to create a secluded, natural s-shaped swimming pool complete with a tiny pebble beach. It’s also a great place for snorkelers and divers, as the creek hides several impressive underwater caves.
3. The Secret Passage at St Gregory’s Church
Malta has its own secret tunnel to rival Paris’ spooky catacombs; the thick stone walls of St Gregory’s Church in Zejtun have a hidden passageway inside, filled with human bones. With the skeletons believed to date back to the 1600s, the passageway was hidden for centuries before being re-discovered in the 1960s. Watch out for holidays and events when the church is open for visitors.
4. Fontanella Tea Garden
When visiting the city of Mdina, there’s only one place to stop for refreshments. The Fontanella Tea Garden is situated up high on the city’s stone bastions, meaning these al-fresco coffees come with the best views across Malta. Oh, and it’s also famous on the island for its delicious selection of home-made cakes – yes, please.
5. Il-Hofra L-Kbira
If you’re looking for a private slice of coastline, Il-Hofra L-Kbira will not disappoint. From the parking lot on the cliffs above, the beach is almost completely hidden below. Shallow warm waters and a flat, rocky beach with a little cave area providing some shade await visitors who find it. It’s not far from the super popular St Peter’s Pool in Marsaxlokk, so you could enjoy its hidden beauty after visiting the touristy site.
6. Crystal Palace Pastizzis
Pastizzi, a soft filo-pastry filled with mushy peas or soft ricotta, is Malta’s go-to snack. You’ll find them on sale pretty much everywhere, from bars to street food vendors, but Crystal Palace Tea and Coffee Bar has become a bit of a pastizzi icon. On the outskirts of Rabat, this cafe is open pretty much 24/7, so you can get your fix any time of the day or night!
7. Mnajdra Temple Complex
Malta has a long and rich history so the country boasts some incredible Roman ruins and beautiful crumbling architectural sites from different periods of its past, many of which get very busy with visitors. One hidden gem amongst these sites is the Mnajdra Temple Complex, near the village of Qrendi, where one of the three beautiful neolithic temples was built and designed around the movements of the sun. If you can, plan your visit during an equinox or solstice when special events are held.
8. The Jesus Tree
Yep, this is literally a tree that looks a bit like Jesus on the cross. Local legend says that the tree changed shape after being struck by lightning and locals now place flowers and gifts in homage at its feet. After being uprooted during a storm, it unfortunately lost its “head” and roots but the trunk was afterwards secured into a concrete base, so its holy shape can still be admired. If you’re after a quirky afternoon activity, set off to find the tree just outside of Mdina.
9. Seafood in Marsaskala
It’s no surprise that the seafood in Malta is famous for making travellers’ mouths water – with a huge array of Mediterranean fish and shellfish caught offshore each day, dishes here could hardly get any fresher! A great place to sample local dishes is in the small, relaxed fishing village of Marsaskala. Tuck into a swordfish steak or try traditional spaghetti with octopus sauce, before wandering along the promenade to spy the colourful fishermen’s houses and the boats that bob in the harbor.
10. Coral Lagoon
This perfectly-circular sea cave with an open roof is B.E.A.utiful. Either swim or kayak through what looks like a small cave from the sea next to Little Armier Bay and you’ll find yourself in a little round lagoon, harboring bright blue, clear waters. It’s worth getting there early before the tourists arrive – this highly Instagrammable hideaway isn’t going to stay a secret for much longer!
Article credits: https://www.ef.com/wwen/blog/language/10-hidden-gems-in-malta/7 feasts in one day, all dedicated to the Assumption of Our Lady
The Maltese summer festa season hits its peak on 15th August with the feast of Santa Marija or, to give it its official title, the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady, which is celebrated in no fewer than seven towns: Mqabba, Qrendi, Mosta, Attard, Gudja, Ghaxaq, and Victoria in Gozo.
It’s not just a religious feast but also a public holiday marking the mid-point of our long hot summer, when most businesses shut up shop to give employees a breather as the thermometer continues to sizzle.
For festa enthusiasts, Santa Marija is the queen of the season, and the usual competition between the parishes goes up a notch or three as towns vie with each other to produce the biggest, most colourful celebration punctuated by the loudest and most creative fireworks.
In some towns, celebrations start two weeks prior to the big day, and culminate in spectacular fireworks displays on the 14th and 15th of August. One of the best pyrotechnic shows to watch will be the one produced by the St Mary’s Fireworks Factory of Mqabba, which is renowned for its ingenious displays. Get there early on the evening of 14th August to grab a good viewing post, as it will get very crowded. Not to be outdone by its neighbour, Qrendi’s Santa Marija celebrations are drawn out over four weeks from 30th July to 22nd August.
The famous Mosta dome, or Rotunda as the locals refer to it, glows bright as it becomes the focal point for all Santa Marija celebrations, with High Mass celebrated by the Archbishop on 15th August at 9:15am. The mechanised ground fireworks display is held outside the church on the eve starting at 11:30pm, while the procession with the titular statue starts at 6:45pm on 15th August, with the brass band playing the Ave Maria.
The elegant residential town of Attard is also en fête. Make sure to take a peek inside the parish church, which was built between 1613 and 1624 on designs by architect and sculptor Tommaso Dingli and is regarded as the finest Renaissance church on the island. A concert by the brass band La Stella Levantina will be held on the eve at 8pm in the parish square, followed by fireworks at 11:15pm. The procession with the titular statue starts at about 6:45pm on 15th August and finishes at around 10:30pm.
Another church built by Tommaso Dingli is that of the parish of Gudja, which is also celebrating the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady. Completed in 1666, it is the only church in Malta with three bell towers. When it comes to Santa Marija festa processions, Gudja holds the record for the oldest titular statue of the Assumption, sculpted out of solid wood in 1807 by Maltese sculptor Vincenzo Dimech. Sacred music will be performed by the Assumpta Est choir every day from 11th August in the church at 6:30pm, culminating in the pontifical mass on 15th August at 9am. There will also be two concerts by the La stella Band Club and Maria Assunta Band Club on 14th August from 9pm. The procession with the titular statue on 15th August starts at 7:30pm.
Ghaxaq goes to town with its street decorations for the Santa Marija festa, which is documented to have been celebrated in this village since at least the start of the 1800s. Many of its elaborate street decorations, including statues and pedestals, are over 100 years old. Celebrations actually kick off two weeks before on 30th July at precisely 12pm, when the church bells go wild, flags are hoisted up above the rooftops triggered by a 21-gun salute. A powerful siren, a World War II relic, is sounded from the St Mary’s Club in memory of the joyful arrival of the SS Ohio, which quite literally saved the island at the height of the Siege of Malta.
Head over to Ghaxaq on 13th August from 10pm for a street party like no other, where a procession with the statue of Our Lady ends with a confetti and fireworks show followed by a gig by DJ Armani. And on 14th August, bag yourself a vantage point on Valletta Road just outside the town to watch the “pyro-musical” spectacle “The Convoy” from 9pm, followed by mechanised ground fireworks at 11pm. At noon on 15th August, make sure you don’t miss a little tradition dating back to the 19th century when a mini statuette of the Assumption pops out of its elaborate sarcophagus on top of a grandfather-clock-like structure!
The capital of the sister island, Victoria, is also celebrating the feast of Santa Marija. The cathedral at the Citadel is the focal point for this festa, which also features traditional horse races along Republic Street as well as an agricultural fair at Villa Rundle on 14th and 15th August. Don’t miss the concerts by the Leone Philharmonic Society brass band which is based in the Aurora Theatre, one of Victoria’s two opera houses.9 beautiful beaches in Malta – Lonely Planet
The beaches in Malta tend to be dramatic, rocky and sea-sculpted, with fewer soft and sandy curves of Mediterranean coastline than you might expect. Despite this, the Maltese make the most of every swimming spot, and on these compact islands, water sports abound, and you’re never far from the sea.
With crystalline waters, historic wrecks, and interesting underwater formations, Malta is also Europe’s best diving destination, but even snorkeling from the island nation’s coastline offers a remarkable insight into an underwater world.
Whether you’re keen on splashing around in the waves, spending an afternoon relaxing on the sand, or enjoying a leisurely lunch of local seafood, here are the beaches to head to in Malta, and its smaller sister islands of Gozo and Comino.
View the Lonely Planet top 9 beaches in Malta here.Exciting new Venue and Activity – OPENING SOON
There’s always something brewing.
The Brewhouse is one of Malta’s most iconic industrial buildings and exciting regeneration projects. Occupying the site of the former Farsons Brewery and designed by world renowned Ian Ritchie Architects, The Brewhouse is being transformed into an inspirational mixed-use destination which will include a variety of unique spaces, unlike anything found on the island.
The Brewhouse is a standout venue for your next event. On Level 4, one finds a fully equipped and flexible 300 sqms space for small to medium sized events such as seminars, workshops, networking events or private parties. These is also The Brewhall, a breathtaking two-tiered brewing room featuring the original boiling coppers.
Depending on your requirements, The Brewhouse has the right meeting facility for you. Take The Redler Room, a 20-person boardroom anchored around authentic industrial equipment in situ. Users of this amazing space will also enjoy private access to the adjoining terrace and have a full range of Food and Beverage packages at their fingertips.
The lifestyle offering housed within this historical landmark will have something for everyone. Office tenants will no doubt enjoy the convenience of the several food and beverage outlets on site for working lunches and after-hours networking, while families and tourists will easily make a day out of their visit to The Brewhouse with a stop at the upcoming Farsons Brewery Visitor Experience, a browse through the flagship Brandstore and a bite to eat at the upcoming Microbrewery and beer garden.
New Malta-Sicily route
The much-anticipated service between Wine Wharf quay in Valletta and Augusta will initially operate five trips a week. Ponte Ferries kick-started its service between Malta and Sicily a few days ago and the itinerary allows for flexible and late departure times to enable passengers to bridge public holidays.
“We’re very appreciative of our clients’ patience and understanding during the past weeks and thank all the parties involved for their continuous support and cooperation to give Ponte Ferries the green light to set sail,” a company spokesman said.
The port of Augusta is located less than five minutes away from the autostrada, giving those wishing to reach or explore areas closer to Catania, Taormina and Syracuse quicker and easier access.
Read the full article: https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2021-11-18/local-news/Ponte-Ferries-inaugurates-new-Malta-Sicily-route-6736238390MICE are back in Malta
Over the past 5 weeks, we at Colours of Malta, have hosted 6 groups with a total of 500 people coming from Italy, France, Germany and the UK. Each of our groups stayed at 4 and 5 star hotels and had some great incentive programmes planned out whilst enjoying the warm weather.
It’s been so exciting to see that the Beauty, Finance and Hospitality industries, to mention a few, are back on track, fully energised and investing in their business and employees again.
Learn more about our events on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/coloursofmaltaOutdoor Living – Trekking
This week we met Josanne and joined her for a trek in the beautiful Maltese countryside. Josanne is one of the key event planners with Outdoor Living and has joined us on hundreds of activities throughout the years!
Away from the resorts and urban areas of central Malta, there is a surprising amount of countryside, some left almost untouched by modernity. You may be surprised to learn that only around one-fifth of the Maltese Islands is urbanised.
The Islands offer some of the most stunning views anywhere in the Mediterranean. The first thing to do is to decide what sort of view you prefer – dramatic cliffs plunging into waves, the rocky, scrubland of the garrigue or hidden, lush valleys. En route, you’ll come across mysterious, prehistoric sites, cave chapels and secluded palaces of the Knights.
Josanne showed us a trekking route along the cliff edge of the Rabat region, here she explained how ODL can also offer abseiling, climbing, zip lining and more for those that wish for an adrenaline rush!
Together we experienced a myriad of colours and breath taking views that we are sure our guests would love to experience as the ultimate time out from busy lifestyles!
At ODL the main mission is to Develop Winning Teams through Innovative Fun Team Challenges.
Using fun and innovative team events, at Outdoor Living the aim is to connect, engage and invigorate teams.
Be it a nature trail, a high adrenaline activity, a technological team building or a hybrid event ODL have what to offer and can we can vouch for an unforgettable experience.
We invite you to join us to explore the other side of our islands on your next trip!
*Drone footage courtesy of Antoine Azzopardi
Merill Rural Network
This week we ventured out into the countryside with Christian who explained to us the concept behind Merill Rural Network.
Merill brings together a number of farmers, breeders and artisans. Through this network, tourists and locals have the opportunity to experience the Maltese Islands’ beautiful rural areas and consume genuine local products.
The network operates as a social enterprise and its main aim is to increase awareness about local agriculture, revive traditions, and empower the rural community to diversify their income in a sustainable manner. The two main pillars of the network are Rural Tours and Local Products.
The mission is to nurture alternative experiences for locals and tourists, which contribute directly towards the conservation of the environment and empowerment of the rural communities.
During our busy morning we visited a number of local artisans as we collected local products that were then served for lunch at an idyllic traditional farm where we enjoyed local cheeses, seasonal vegetables, Maltese bread with olive oil and of course local wine!
Over the years we have brainstormed and created a number of very interesting artisanal experiences for our guests, a great combination of local traditional visits and artisanal workshops ending off with a culinary experience set in a secret hideaway!
We love to show our guests this side of the Maltese culture and we know that in turn visitors love to mingle with local people, so all in all these ‘ECO’ activities have become a very integral part of our Malta programmes, and we are very happy about this!
Our countryside is limited but it is still the perfect location for a rest from the hustle and bustle and enjoying one of these tailor made tours is a great contribution to our local society.
Virtual Team Building Activities
Teamwork is the ability to work together towards a common vision. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results – Andrew Carnegie.
Can’t meet your team in person right now? Let’s help you meet VIRTUALLY!
How can we tempt you?
Virtual Food and Wine Pairing
Virtual Cooking Challenge
Virtual Cocktail Making
Virtual Trivia Games
— and lots more!
Contact us for your tailor-made quotation on email@example.com
Embracing the new normal… just for the time being!