Marsaxlokk – Malta’s fishing village

Marsaxlokk (pronounced marsa-schlock – meaning southeastern port) is a small fishing village with a population of around 4,000 located on the south-eastern coast of Malta located at the shoreline of the second largest port in Malta.

At present, this important fishing village has the largest population of active fishermen with many traditional fishing boats of all sizes anchored in the port. The Malta fishing village is a very quiet location compared to others, with few cars passing through. But at the same time it has become a very touristic location with many fish restaurants and cafes lined along the promenade. Street hawkers set up their daily stalls here selling souvenirs, clothing and all kinds of things. You will also notice there are stalls selling fresh fish. Marsaxlokk is busiest on Sunday when many people flock to the Sunday market. Many locals come on this day to buy their weekly supply of fish and vegetables.

You will still see the usual souvenir stalls and the Maltese lace table-cloths with crochet finishing many of them depicting the cross of the Knights of Malta. For those with a sweet tooth, one will find many locally baked sweets to savour and purchase.

The most popular fish in Malta are the Swordfish and blue fin tuna. During spring and autumn dolphin fish or Dorado, known locally as ‘lampuki’ is caught in abundance and is very popular with the locals. If you are lucky enough you might see the fishermen tending to their nets before they go out to sea for their next catch.

It is a village where you can relax and gently stroll around. Despite having become very commercialized, the beauty is in its old houses laden with character and typical Maltese church with the large square at the front.

 

Five Enchanting Squares In The Maltese Islands

Malta is known for its stunning coastal landscapes, rich history, and charming towns and villages. Among this island nation’s many treasures, its beautiful town and village squares, or “pjazzez”, stand out as vibrant hubs of local life and culture.

Here are five of the most beautiful squares in Malta that you should explore during your visit.

St George’s Square, Valletta
Nestled in the heart of Malta’s capital city, Valletta, St George’s Square is a stunning example of Baroque architecture. It is lined with majestic buildings, including the Grandmaster’s Palace. The entire square exudes a sense of grandeur and history. This renowned square is both aesthetically pleasing and a social hub, as it hosts numerous events and concerts throughout the year including Valletta’s New Year’s Eve party. St George’s square is a perfect place to start your exploration of the capital’s historic streets.

Mesquita Square, Mdina
Known as the “Silent City,” Mdina is a fortified medieval town that transports visitors back in time. This small square is charming and serene, with its cobblestone streets, medieval architecture, and a well in the centre. TV enthusiasts will know this is the spot where several key Game of Thrones scenes were filmed.

Independence Square, Victoria, Gozo
The quaint island of Gozo boasts its own picturesque piazzas. Independence Square, also known as Pjazza Indipendenza, is the heart of Victoria, Gozo’s capital. It’s adorned with a beautiful fountain and surrounded by historic buildings within easy reach, including the stunning Gozo Cathedral. The square is a bustling hub of activity and a great place to soak up Gozo’s unique charm. Get up early, grab a te fit-tazza (tea in a glass) at a local bar and watch the world go by.

Pjazza San Nikola, Siġġiewi
Siġġiewi is a traditional Maltese village known for its agricultural heritage, and Pjazza San Nikola (St Nicholas) is its central square. Quaint houses, a statue of San Nikola and a lovely parish church surround the square. It’s a serene spot to experience the authentic Maltese way of life and take a leisurely stroll through the winding village streets.

St John’s Square, Valletta
Another gem in Valletta is St. John’s Square. It is home to the magnificent St. John’s Co-Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The historical facades and the impressive cathedral make it a must-visit destination for art and history enthusiasts. Inside the cathedral, you’ll find an incredible display of Baroque art and architecture and, of course, Caravaggio’s famous painting of The Beheading of St John the Baptist.

These five piazzas offer a glimpse into Malta’s rich history and culture while providing a tranquil and picturesque setting for visitors to enjoy. Each square has its unique charm, making them essential stops for anyone exploring the islands. You are sure to stumble across many more throughout your stay.

So, whether you’re sipping a coffee in Mdina, admiring the Baroque splendour of Valletta, or traversing the quieter streets of Gozo, Malta’s scenic squares are sure to leave a lasting impression on your journey.

The Phoenicia Malta Among Top 3 Hotels in Southern & Central Europe by Prestigious Platform

Malta’s very own The Phoenicia has placed amongst the Top 3 Hotels in Southern & Central Europe on prestigious travel platform Condé Nast Traveler.

The globally-renowned travel platform put one of Malta’s premier hotels in third place, with a score of 96.57, placing after Vienna’s Hotel Sacher and Park Hyatt, which placed in second and first respectively. Additionally, it was also named one of the Top 12 Hotels in the Rest of Europe by the publications Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2023.

This magnificent feat not only served as a first for the hotel and Maltese Islands, but was also called “the result of years of investment, not only in the property, but a substantial investment in The Phoenicia Malta team.”

In a recent statement, The Phoenicia Malta owner Mark Shaw stated the following: “We are deeply honoured to be included on this prestigious list, especially as it reflects the votes and feedback of our guests. At The Phoenicia Malta, we take great pride in providing warm, personalised hospitality, and it’s truly a source of pride to see valued guests returning year after year.”

The ranking comes after more than 520,000 readers submitted responses of their travel experiences across the globe, resulting in the results of The Readers’ Choice Awards.

New airline replacing Air Malta to fly on March 31, 2024

The “new” airline which will replace Air Malta has officially been announced… and it’s bringing with it a number of changes.

The new airline will operate 17 routes instead of 37 and use eight planes instead of 10, but this time round, it’s all about the company actually registering a profit.

Three of the airline’s Airbus 320NEOs aircrafts will be brand new, bought directly from Airbus and owned by the new company.

Total employees within the company, meanwhile, went from just under 1,400 in 2010 to less than 400 this year.

As part of the revamped structure within the new airline, a series of cost cutting (also down to a smaller workforce) will see the airline’s wage costs go from a spend of €48 million to less than half of that, €22 million.

With Brussels turning down the Maltese government’s request for a €290-million State aid injection into the struggling Air Malta, the islands instead opted for a model which was used by neighbouring Italy, who recently replaced Alitalia with ITA. In fact, the European Commission gave Malta three years to run this… after which time a business partner needs to be allowed in so that it’s not state-funded.

Everything from aircraft maintenance to direct flying costs will be reduced, with a substantial change in the airline’s business model aimed at registering that long-sought-after profit margin.

Designing “the most commercially efficient network”, the new airline has also increased frequencies to existing routes like Rome, Munich, Paris (CDG), Zurich and Vienna… but other routes are now not on the roster.

Palermo, Naples, Nice, Geneva, Lisbon and Tel Aviv are the six routes which have been cancelled.

The remaining routes are now Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Catania, Dusseldorf, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Lyon, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Paris CDG, Paris Orly, Prague, Rome, Vienna and Zurich.

With a workforce of 375 employees, the airline’s new €350 million investment (and €90 million for staff and pilots) also includes the acquisition of the London Heathrow and Gatwick slots from Med-Air.

By the third year of operations (2026/7), Copenhagen will also be added as a route.

Air Malta’s final flight will be on 30th March 2024, with the new airline’s first flights leaving the following day.

As of November 2023, Air Malta customers can apply for refund of tickets post 30th March 2024, with a recruitment process of the new airline kicking off in December.

On 1st December 2023, the new airline will start receiving bookings.

As for Air Malta’s current pilots, these will have four years to decide if they want to leave and not be a part of the new airline… but if they do, they won’t be able to ever join again.

As part of a clause in their contracts, the pilots will be given these four years to decide if they want a sum payment as part of their departure. If they do choose this, they won’t be able to work as pilots with the new airline, or Med-Air, ever again. A six-year “ban” from working within the public sector will also apply.

Read the full article: https://lovinmalta.com/news/air-maltas-final-flight-will-be-on-30th-march-2024-as-new-downsized-national-airline-announced/

 

An evening at the Phoenicia

Last night we spent an enchanting evening at Phoenicia Malta – the ideal setting for unforgettable moments. A big thanks to the exceptional team for their warm hospitality! Here’s to cherished conversations about business, current affairs, and building stronger connections.

The new Malta Marriot outdoor pool
Introducing the newly opened Malta Marriot Hotel & Spa outdoor pool. This amenity adds a touch of luxury to any guest staying at the Malta Marriott.
Local overnight packages are also available here.
Malta International Airport reports busiest ever month

Malta’s blockbuster year for tourism is showing no signs of slowing down, with Malta International Airport (MIA) registering its busiest ever month in July 2023, beating the previous monthly record, held by August 2019, by more than 25,000 passenger movement.

The airport welcomed 848,716 passengers in July, a new record that may be overtaken as soon as this month, with the August holiday rush “set to bring busier days”.

Traffic is expected to peak on 17 and 24 August, with each one of these days forecast to see more than 32,000 passengers, the airport said.

In its announcement, MIA said that aircraft movements during the month remained in line with July 2019 levels, while seat capacity saw an increase of 3.8 per cent as a result of larger aircraft being operated on flights to Malta.

Despite the increase in the number of seats available, the monthly seat load factor rose by 2.1 per cent over pre-pandemic levels to reach 89.1 per cent, as demand for travel remained very strong for yet another month.

Being Malta’s most connected market through flights to 20 airports, Italy showed no signs of ceding the top spot to the United Kingdom, which was the second most popular market for the month.

The French market continued to perform exceptionally well, registering growth of 52 per cent over 2019 and outperforming Germany to rank third. Five airlines currently connect Malta International Airport to 10 French airports, contributing to this market’s increasing popularity.

Passenger traffic from Spain grew by a marginal 1.2 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels, with this market retaining the same position it has held since May 2023.

Article credits: https://whoswho.mt/en/malta-international-airport-reports-busiest-ever-month
Our visit to the new AX ODYCY

Yesterday, we visited the newly re-opened AX Odycy hotel in Qawra, Malta, which was originally the Seashells Resort at Suncrest. It has amazing restaurants, recreational amenities, and accommodations with sea views.

This waterfront hotel in Qawra is located on St. Paul’s Bay and offers views of the Mediterranean. It provides a kids’ area and an outdoor family swimming pool with two slides. Dedicated adult-only areas, over 11 catering establishments, conference facilities, and much more.

As one of Malta’s finest brand-new hotels, we will undoubtedly recommend this to our clients.

We appreciate the Sales team’s hospitality and the wonderful evening spent together.

Balluta Buildings: One of Malta’s last few exhibits of Art Nouveau architecture

St Julian’s has been a hub for construction and staggering development in recent years, with residential blocks, hotels, catering establishments and retail stores now dominating its landscape.

However, a deep dive into the seaside town’s past shows that away from recent developments, St Julian’s has a  rich history, perfectly characterised by the iconic Balluta Buildings.

Located in the area overlooking Balluta Bay, Balluta Buildings is an apartment block that was built in 1928 in the Art Nouveau style for the Marquis John Scicluna. Constructed to the designs of Maltese Architect Giuseppe Psaila, it is one of the finest, and last remaining examples of the architectural style in the Maltese Islands.

While Mr Psaila had worked on various other buildings in the Art Nouveau style, including a townhouse on Dingli Street, Sliema, which now belongs to Lombard Bank, Balluta Buildings is considered by many to be his greatest, and one of Malta’s most iconic buildings.

The block used to house some of Europe’s most beautiful and captivating apartments at the time, with high ceilings, spacious living areas, Maltese tiles, and also stunning sea views.

Comprised of three vertical structures each containing arched openings at the centre, together with rows of double windows on either side, the block’s façade is truly indicative of the elegance that characterised the wealthier communities of the early 20th century.

When first built, most of the apartments were occupied by Marquis Scicluna’s associates, with some of the tenants’ heirs still occupying the apartments to this day. At the block’s street level, there are some cafés and restaurants, including recently-opened L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele Malta.

Balluta Buildings has undergone renovation over recent years, with various sections of its façade and interior requiring restoration.

Classed as a Grade 1 monument, meaning it is of particular national, architectural and historical importance, and listed on the National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands, Balluta Buildings truly stands out as an architectural gem amongst St Julian’s mountains of concrete.

Article credits: https://whoswho.mt/en/balluta-buildings-one-of-malta-s-last-few-exhibits-of-art-nouveau-architecture
Malta International Airport’s traffic up to 3.4 million in first half of 2023

Malta International Airport plc (MIA) recorded a positive first half of 2023, registering 3.4 million passenger movements during the six months.

This meant that the airport’s traffic volumes during the period exceeded those of the first half of 2019 (3.2 million) by 5.6 per cent. This year’s figure also represents a sharp 48 per cent increase from the one recorded in the opening six months of 2022 (2.3 million).

In June 2023 alone, the airport saw 754,258 passenger movements, representing a substantial increase of 4.5 per cent over passenger traffic handled in the same month in 2019. June also became the third consecutive month during which the 700,000-passenger mark was reached.

The peak was reached on 29th June, as 30,419 departing and arriving passengers took advantage of the four-day bridge weekend due to the Mnarja feast, which also coincided with the end of the academic year for various educational institutions in Malta.

Seat capacity surpassed 2019 volumes by 1.8 per cent, standing at 873,580 seats, while load factor also showed a marked improvement, increasing from 84.1 per cent in June 2019 to 86.3 per cent last month.

MIA top five markets remained largely consistent with the previous year, as Italy retained top spot of the market leaderboard for June with a market share of 24.5 per cent. It was followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Spain.

Article credits: https://whoswho.mt/en/malta-international-airport-s-traffic-up-to-3-4-million-in-first-half-of-2023

 

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