Malta has welcomed yet another star, as actress Tori Spelling landed on the island yesterday. Having starred as Donna Martin on Beverly Hills, 90210, which started in 1990, Spelling has become a household name for many.
She is now staying in a St. Julian’s hotel in Malta for the rest of the month, appearing happy to have arrived to her welcome treat and warm evenings. And Spelling seems to have fallen in love with the island at first sight: “It’s already a love story”, she wrote on her Instagram story.
She is the latest celebrity spotted on the island, just a week after the Mediterranean Below Deck crew was seen filming on a superyacht.
In any given year, October is the perfect month to get away. Schools are back, so airports are less crowded, it’s sunny and dry everywhere from southern Europe to South America, and prices are set at shoulder season. In 2021 however, things are noticeably different. While the temperatures of a far-flung escape remain appealing, the rules around where we can actually travel have made things more complicated. For optimistic inspiration, see our classic picks for where is hot in October, below.
AZORES ISLANDS, PORTUGAL
AVERAGE OCTOBER TEMPERATURE: 21℃
Thrillingly elemental, the Azores absorb you in nature: though Portuguese, they’re 1,000 miles from the mainland, cast gloriously adrift in the mid-Atlantic. Here, explorers (or, rather, clued-in Lisboetas and surfers) find a lost world of blue-green crater lakes, bubbling mud pools, and waterfalls rushing down green cliffs – a sort of Iceland through the looking-glass, where a subtropical climate brings year-round sunshine (a land of fire, without the ice). São Miguel, the largest island, has the hushed feel of uncharted territory, but with creature comforts. Try wellness boutique Furnas, in the hot-springs town of the same name; or Santa Bárbara Eco-Beach Resort, sitting secluded among tea plantations and commanding serious sea vistas.
LA GOMERA, CANARY ISLANDS
AVERAGE OCTOBER TEMPERATURE: 20℃
The ‘secret’ Canary Island is a far cry from its classic winter-sun siblings. Muted and secluded, it’s a heaven for adventure seekers: spectacular hiking paths probe jungly valleys and range up rough-cut cliffs. It’s accessible only via ferry from Tenerife – passengers leave resorts and packed-out beaches behind, swapping them for sleepy villages, tangled trails and rural boutiques. It’s not a fly-and-flop sort of place – though happily exhausted hikers seem content to end at the pebble beach in laid-back Playa Santiago – but October’s ideal walking weather pretty much guarantees a sunny expedition. Plus, there’s plenty of relaxing to be had joining locals at harbourside seafood restaurants, or ambling between capital San Sebastián’s pastel-painted houses.
COSTA BRAVA, SPAIN
AVERAGE OCTOBER TEMPERATURE: 21℃
No, not the Costa Brava you think you know, with the high-rise resorts and beaches so full you can barely see sand. We’re talking about the Costa Brava the Catalans keep to themselves – where secret coves stash golden shores, stone-cut medieval towns crest every hill and charming boutique hotels are de rigueur. Head for Begur and its Cuban-style mansions, close to Caribbean-esque Aiguablava beach and Amalfi-like Sa Tuna. Then tootle inland to Peratallada: its medieval streets are movie-set perfect, and every menu’s a stunner. A short drive from here, big-city Girona’s Old Town starred in Game of Thrones, and you can dine at twice-world’s-best-restaurant El Celler De Can Roca. Who needs Barcelona?
AVERAGE OCTOBER TEMPERATURE: 25℃
As intoxicating as Morocco’s chaotic cities can be, there’s nothing like soaking up the sunny vibes of its Atlantic coast. Particularly in Taghazout, a drowsy fishing village that’s quietly transforming from decades-old scruffy-surfer hangout to the cosmo-boho’s chill-hang of choice. Make no mistake, it’s still about the breaks: a surplus of ‘surf and yoga’ camps sculpt beach bodies year-round. But a rush of natty new crash pads is smartening up the offering: see Amouage, with its ocean-facing infinity pool and Berber-meets-industrial styling; or Munga Guesthouse, a masterclass in ‘driftwood chic’. The yogi-surfer retreat is completed by the likes of Cafe Mouja, meeting all your smoothie and avocado breakfast needs.
AVERAGE OCTOBER TEMPERATURE: 25℃
Sitting in the Med between Sicily and the Tunisian coast, Malta is blessed with an outrageously sunny climate (even in December, you’ll see more than five hours of sunshine a day). Its capital, Valletta, is a delight: honey-coloured forts and cobbled streets, sun-dappled squares and back-alley wine bars, churches hung with Caravaggio originals and a budding crop of high-design hotels (such as the forthcoming Iniala Malta). All that, and it’s on the water. Speaking of which, make time to explore outside the city walls, where you’ll find sandy beaches, quaint fishing villages and true-blue lagoons to laze around. Take our advice: go slow.
LAS VEGAS, USA
AVERAGE OCTOBER TEMPERATURE: 27℃
Want to banish all memory of UK temperatures and escape to somewhere that feels like another planet entirely? Vegas is a good bet. The Nevada desert is still scorching in October, and the Strip is outright bananas year-round. Do it right with cocktails in Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan hotel: a bar inside a giant chandelier. Then dine at Picasso at the Bellagio, the Vegas version of artsy where an over-the-top dining room is plastered with original Pablos (dinner is all wagyu, lobster and foie gras.)
AVERAGE OCTOBER TEMPERATURE: 27℃
You don’t need us to tell you to go to Bali. But we can help you find out where the island’s natural magic hasn’t been eclipsed by crowds and traffic. In short: go east, friends – where traditional villages, wild beaches and peaceful water palaces are undisturbed by the south-coast rabble. As luck would have it, this is also where you’ll find one of Bali’s best hotels. Amankila, meaning ‘peaceful hill’, is just that: a quiet hilltop hideaway with a killer three-tiered infinity pool, thatched-roof suites on stilts and a private beach. Surrounded by nothing but green and sea, it’s the Bali of your dreams.
AVERAGE OCTOBER TEMPERATURE: 27℃
Perhaps it’s the lingering shadow of political turmoil that gives Beirut its unique energy – this glamorous city’s party people certainly make a point of living life to the full. By turns chic and hipster, good-looking locals pout up a storm in the beach clubs and rooftop bars; arty types spill out of live-music shows and spoken-word events in the Mar Mikhael district; and everyone ends the night at BO18, the legendary ‘secret bunker’ club with a retractable roof. Soothe morning-after blues with a pillowy manakish (Arabic bread stuffed with insanely gooey cheese), then hunker down at the opulent Phoenicia (did someone say colonnaded swimming pool?). Or opt for a residential feel in the elegant, all-suite Albergo.
AVERAGE OCTOBER TEMPERATURE: 27℃
It’s known as the Brazilian Tulum, but Trancoso’s pleasures are simpler than that. It’s the absence of pretension that brings São Paulo society – not to mention high-rollin’ celebs like Leonardo DiCaprio and Naomi Campbell – to this languid clifftop town on the Bahian coast. No resorts, no velvet-roped clubs. Just a sprinkling of modest restaurants spilling onto the village green, and a hell of a beach fringed with coconut palms and ochre bluffs. It’s a place where the hottest bar in town serves cocktails from an old wooden boat. High season – Christmas and New Year – brings traffic and queues. But arrive any other time and you’ll call it your own.
ABC ISLANDS, CARIBBEAN
AVERAGE OCTOBER TEMPERATURE: 31℃
Some like it really hot – if that’s you, October in the Caribbean could be your thing. Sitting safely outside the hurricane belt, the ABC Islands offer all the brochure-blue seas and white-sand stretches you could ask for, without the extreme weather that typically keeps people away at this time of year. Aruba is all-inclusive country, Bonaire a laid-back dive destination – but we’d be tempted to plump for Curaçao. Rows of colourful Dutch houses and colonial-style hotels add a dash of European charm to this particular paradise, and no one will judge if your drink is blue.
Article credits: https://www.cntraveller.com/gallery/where-is-hot-in-octoberBelow Deck Mediterranean Crew Filming Next Season On Superyacht In Malta
The crew behind a popular maritime series have been spotted filming in Malta – and local fans most definitely noticed.
Below Deck and its various spinoffs, including Below Deck Mediterranean, have had viewers at the edge of their seats as drama unfolds around Captain Sandy and her crew as the rich and wealthy live out their best lives aboard glamorous superyachts around the world.
Though the newest season is all about Croatia, the crew was spotted by some keen-eyed Maltese fans doing some work while enjoying some sun and fun in Mellieħa.
The crew was seen aboard the superyacht, named HOME, whilst possibly shooting their next big scene. Sources have revealed that the crew will be shooting scenes across Malta, Gozo, and Comino in the coming weeks. The crew is also expected to dine at local restaurants.
Some local crew members are even working alongside the Below Deck Mediterranean team.
Below Deck is an American reality television series on Bravo that debuted in 2013. It shows the crew as they deal with their personal issues in order to make their professional careers work and can be streamed on Netflix!Air Malta launches new website and booking engine
Air Malta has re-launched its popular website airmalta.com, and upgraded its internet booking engine as part of wide-ranging initiatives to transform its digital ecosystem.
“With a fresh, clean, intuitive, modern design and navigation layout, the site is optimised for a better user experience with components of personalisation depending on customer preferences, such as country of residence and preferred language”, Malta’s national carrier said in an announcement on Monday.
The website and booking engine are now fully integrated with the airline’s customer relationship management platform giving Air Malta a 360-degree view of its online customers that will assist it in offering personalised offers and best fares depending on previous purchases and booking preferences.
The redesigned website offers customers an array of increased capabilities and services that include features to plan holidays, manage bookings, check-in online and buy ancillary items including inflight menu products and boutique items that will be delivered on board. The site also allows users to book car hire and hotel accommodation in Malta and throughout the airline’s network through its partners as well as holiday packages through ‘Air Malta Holidays’.
Commenting on this launch, Air Malta’s Executive Chairman David G Curmi said, “We are very excited to announce the launch of our newly designed website. After months of hard work and dedication, we are delighted to deliver a customer experience that is faster, more intuitive, easier to navigate, and more user-friendly. The website incorporates a refreshed new look and features which will enhance the overall experience whether accessed from desktop, mobile or any tablet device. This platform will now enable us to launch our first mobile app and a redesigned Loyalty Programme in the coming months.”
Air Malta’s Chief Commercial Officer Roy Kinnear added, “Online services have today become indispensable tools to showcase one’s products and services and facilitate sales. This project’s aim was simple: to offer an outstanding user experience when browsing and booking through our website. We wanted the site to be the best in class, with simple and clear navigation by personalising the user experience through appropriate content and offers.
“The website showcases the Maltese Islands through its ‘Discover’ section which is full of interesting articles and information about the Maltese Islands. This section also incorporates the digital edition of the airline’s monthly inflight magazine ‘Il-Bizzilla’ Mr Kinnear added.
Wayne Grixti, Air Malta’s Chief Technology Officer added, “Digitalisation and modernisation are strategically important for the Airline in its journey to become sustainable. Our main goal is to leverage technology to provide the Airline with a set of tools required to ultimately serve our Customers in a digitally secure environment and make their online experience unique. This digital ecosystem initiative is a proof that Air Malta’s mindset is Customer First”.
airmalta.com attracts around five million visitors every year, the national carrier revealed. The website is available in seven languages (Maltese, English, German, Italian, French, Russian, and Dutch).
The application of new technologies will facilitate future upgrades including a unified check-in experience, integration of the loyalty programme, online shop for ancillary products, a B2B portal and a mobile app.
Article credits: https://whoswho.mt/en/air-malta-launches-new-website-and-booking-engine
‘To Catch a Spy’, Hallmark’s mystery film based in ‘beautiful Malta’ is now out
‘To Catch a Spy’, a Hallmark TV film that takes place on our very own island with a host of Maltese actors, is out now.
The film was directed by Jeff Beesley and written by Rick Garman. It stars Nathalie Kelley, Patti Murin and Colin Donnell who referred to the country as “beautiful Malta”. Donnell and Murin are real-life husband and wife. They have one daughter.
It was filmed in various Maltese spots and a whopping 90% of the cast and crew were Maltese. The local talent included: Clare Agius, Michael Basmadjian, Gianni Selvaggi, Antonella Axisa, Becky Camilleri, Jonathan Dunn, Joe Azzopardi, Edward Thorpe, Erica Muscat, Paul Portelli and Michelle Martin.
The story kicks off with the arrival of a journalist Chloe (Kelley), who is covering the opening of a hotel in Malta. On her first night on the island, Chloe witnesses someone fall to their death, after hearing a fight happening in another room. The journalist starts to help an FBI agent (Donnell) to solve the mystery of what happened and to catch the killer.
To Catch A Spy had a budget of €2 million and it was produced by Agnes Bristow, Colin Azzopardi, Borga Dorter and associate producer Christopher Landry. The film premiered on 20th June.
This is the latest Hallmark original to film in Malta, following February’s Mix Up in the Mediterranean, which starred Jessica Lowndes and Jeremy Jordan.
Over 100,000 people flock to The Blue Grotto on Malta’s south westerly point each year, mainly by boat, exploring the caves and arches beneath – and as soon as you clap eyes on it, you can see why.
Both the Wied iz-Zurrieq harbour and Blue Grotto sea caves are located on the coastline opposite to the small uninhabited islet of Filfla which is a bird sanctuary.
The location of the caves lead to the seawater reflecting shades of blue on the cave walls and ceilings. Several caverns also mirror the brilliant phosphorescent colours of the underwater flora, whilst other caverns show a deep dark shade of blue. Underwater, different colors of red, mauve, green, orange and yellow give an impressive picture to visitors.
Make your way down to the tiny harbour village of Wied Iż-Żurrieq, where tours to the Blue Grotto depart. Be sure to pull over at the parking lot and take it all in.
Boat tours of the Blue Grotto in Malta run frequently from Wied Iż-Żurrieq – depending on the weather of course. Head down the boat ramp and over to the kiosk to buy a ticket. From there you’re taken on a tour of the coast including the Blue Grotto. Tours last about 20 minutes and cost roughly €8.
Scuba diving on the nearby scuttled wreck Um El Faroud, and snorkeling along the coastline, together with rock climbing, are the most popular activities practiced here. No need for a boat, you can just jump directly into the water from there.Pros and Cons to renting a car in Malta
Driving in Malta is seen as challenging at best by a lot of people, not least by the Maltese themselves. This article aims to give you some insight as to what you can expect to find if you choose to hire a car for your holiday.
Let’s start with the pros:
- There’s a lot to see and discover within relatively short distances, and although hop on/hop off buses can be a good alternative, you’ll never have as much flexibility as you’d have driving yourself.
- Although you’ll have easy access to public transport (a network of bus routes) wherever you stay in Malta, the way that some of the routes are laid out means that trips can take far longer than if you were to drive yourself.
- Public transport is reasonably worry-free but often times not too punctual and can make for a hot ride in summer, when air conditioning doesn’t always work.
- If you want to see the real Malta, the small quaint and relatively quiet villages and village life, you’re going to have to get out of your comfort zone and get away from the tourist hotspots. If you’re a curious traveller, it’ll be worth it.
And now with the cons:
- Traffic congestion – during rush hour mostly
- Parking – Lots of cars, not enough spaces in busy areas
- Hot-headed or ignorant drivers who are looking to cut off 1-2 minutes from their trip time, whatever the cost may be.
- Narrow roads in old city centres. Not the type that will cost you a side mirror, but the type with semi-blind corners.
- In Malta we drive on the left hand side of the road. So, unless you’re from the UK that will take some getting used to (as well as driving a right-hand drive car).
- Rules and signs are sometimes seen as mere suggestions
Still not sure? Here’s some further advice:
If you’re a confident driver with at least a couple of years of solid experience on the road in your home country, you should be able to drive around by car in Malta pretty easily.
If you’ve driven on motorways in Italy, inside city centres like Naples and in different parts of Sicily, driving in Malta will feel like a breeze. It’s predictable as long as you expect other drivers to misbehave and anticipate them doing so. If you get worked up and stressed out easily behind the wheel, driving in Malta is probably not for you.
If you’re considering renting a car, you’re probably looking to do some exploring. If that’s the case, Sliema, St. Julian’s, Buġibba, Qawra and St. Paul’s Bay shouldn’t be on your list to consider staying at in the first place. However, if you are staying at one of these places, you’ll be making it difficult for yourself when it comes to driving in and out of these areas as well as to find parking (unless facilities are provided by the hotel or place you’re staying at).
If you plan to spend most or all of your time in Gozo, there’s no need to worry in the first place. Although rules are still not obeyed as closely as they might be at home, it’s a lot more peaceful driving around the island. Really and truly, you’d be missing out if you don’t rent a car in Gozo. It’s a great place to explore on four wheels. Or two, if you prefer.
Read the full article here: https://www.maltauncovered.com/malta-car-hire/tips-driving-in-malta/Joaquin Phoenix To Return To Malta For Ridley Scott’s ‘Kitbag’
Oscar-winning actor Joaquin Phoenix is set for a return to Malta next year to film ‘Kitbag’, the latest film by Ridley Scott about Napoleon and his rise from humble beginnings to emperor.
Phoenix had previously teamed up with Scott for 2000’s ‘Gladiator’, large parts of which were filmed in Malta.
Scott is the filmmaker behind Alien, Hannibal and Blade Runner while Phoenix has starred in Joker, Gladiator, and Hotel Rwanda among others.
The film’s title is derived from the saying “there is a general’s staff hidden in every soldier’s kitbag”.
While some industry sources have said that the film being shot in Malta isn’t a done deal, Scott himself has revealed that at least some parts of the film will be shot on the island.
Plans for this latest war epic have been underway for some time, with cinematographer Dariusz Adam Wolski having visited Malta in May to scout locations for the film. Wolski is known for his work on the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ film series.
Kitbag was acquired by Apple Studios early this year with filming set to begin in early 2022.
The film’s screenplay was written by David Scarpa, who also wrote ‘All the Money’ – another film directed by Scott.
“Napoleon is a man I’ve always been fascinated by,” Scott had told the publication Deadline earlier this year. “He came out of nowhere to rule everything — but all the while he was waging a romantic war with his adulterous wife Josephine. He conquered the world to try to win her love, and when he couldn’t, he conquered it to destroy her, and destroyed himself in the process.”
Read the full article here: https://lovinmalta.com/lifestyle/film/gladiator-and-joker-star-joaquin-phoenix-to-return-to-malta-for-ridley-scotts-napoleon-epic-kitbagJoseph Calleja 2021: Sanremo 70 years of dreams
Joseph Calleja’s 2021 concert, set for September 4, celebrates the 70th anniversary of Italy’s most iconic music festival, Sanremo.
Seven decades of history will be celebrated in the form of a musical fairy tale with Malta’s world-famous tenor Joseph Calleja, the Malta Philharmonic orchestra and the legendary rhythm section of Sanremo, conducted by Maestro Leonardo De Amicis.
Boasting numerous television collaborations and an endless repertoire with Italian talent, De Amicis will lead a Calleja edition featuring past participants Fiorella Mannoia, Michela Zarillo and NEK. X Factor Malta star Destiny will also join the headline.
“Sanremo 70 years of dreams”, produced by Eurovisione Eventi and Palco R, in collaboration with Mint Media, is a spectacle of musical theatre written by Paolo Logli, screenwriter, television author and theatre writer.
Sanremo’s immortal notes from its protagonists, including songs that have become famous classics since their debut in Sanremo, will grace the Granaries in Floriana. Limited tickets are available exclusively and attendance will only be allowed for people in possession of a vaccination certificate. A maximum six-person bubble segmentation will be implemented in all areas. The organisers said this is a ticketed seated event in line with the latest covid regulations.
Read the full article here: https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/joseph-calleja-2021-sanremo-70-anni-di-sogni.894688Standing events allowed as of 6th September
Standing events are back with a limit of 100 vaccinated attendees while the roll-out of booster doses will begin next month, Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne said yesterday morning.
Fearne provided the news during an MEIA meeting, more information on the specific structure will be elaborated in the coming days.