Category Archives: Gozo

Summer Feasts in Malta

Will you be visiting the Maltese islands this summer? During the summer months, almost every weekend or even during the week, there is a feast in some village or another in Malta and Gozo. Have a look at some of the Feasts that will be taking place around Malta and Gozo during your holidays.

grand life Spring july2015 small-page-006View the 2015 Summer Feasts in Malta

The Grand Hotel Excelsior, a superior 5 star hotel in Malta has a prime location, which allows for easy access to all locations around the Maltese Islands. If you would like to visit any of these feasts during your holidays please feel free to contact our Chauffeur driven service and they will surely assist you with your travelling needs.

 

 

Share Button

Carnival Celebrations in Malta

Carnival in Malta

Carnival is a very important part of the Maltese culture. It dates back to almost five centuries ago, when it was first introduced by Grand Master Piero de Ponte. Since then, although it has undergone several changes over the years, Carnival has remained very popular among the locals. In accordance to tradition, celebrations begin one week prior and up to Ash Wednesday. In fact, the name Carnival was derived from ‘Carne vale’ which when translated literally means ‘meat is allowed’. This was due to the fact that Catholicism forbade the consumption of meat during the forty days of Lent. As a result, Roman Catholic countries celebrated Carnival just before the commencement of the fasting period.

Carnival CelebrationsNowadays, thousands of residents gather in the streets of numerous villages and towns to celebrate Carnival. Some of the most popular venues are Valletta and Floriana in Malta and Nadur in Gozo. The festivities held in Valletta, the capital of Malta and Victoria, the capital of Gozo, also feature various costume competitions together with dances, and various floats in all colours and shapes. The Carnival taking place in Nadur, Gozo, differs to those held in Malta. This has a more modern feel to it, which makes it very popular among young people. In fact, several individuals travel from Malta to Gozo for the celebrations. The festivities in Nadur take place mainly in St. Peter and St. Paul’s Square. The streets are filled with individuals dressed in costumes of which many are outrageous. The Nadur Carnival has become renowned across Europe.

If you’re visiting Malta during the Carnival festivities, take the opportunity to visit the City and experience the Carnival celebrations first-hand. The Grand Hotel Excelsior is located close to Valletta, just a few minutes’ walk from the activities.

Share Button

Do you love Nature? Explore the Maltese Countryside…

Natural Attractions in Malta

malta nature

The natural environment of the Maltese Islands differs from the other European countries. Whereas most of them are rich in features such as mountains, forests, rivers or lakes, one will hardly find here. On the other hand, the islands’ landscape is dominated by cliffs, valleys, fields, rocks, beaches and bays.

The cliffs can be found on the western side of both islands, sharply rising from the sea to heights of 80 to 130 meters above sea level and down to 80 meters below in some places. Due to the difficult accessibility, the cliffs are home to many unusual Mediterranean coastal habitats. Maltese fauna and flora definitely have plenty to offer for visitors to view and enjoy.

malta nature 2

So If you’re looking for things to do in Malta one of the must see is a natural trio of spectacular phenomena – the Azure Window, Inland Sea and Fungus Rock. They can be found in the same location and are spread over a space of a few meters from each other. If you also enjoy the more adventurous activities, Malta is the place for you. Unlike other countries, the Maltese Islands conceal many attractions under water. So whether it is snorkeling or diving that you prefer, the Mediterranean waters are host to the extraordinary underwater landscapes surrounding the islands.

These are some of places worth visiting when staying in Malta:
Dingli Cliffs
This countryside is an ideal site for walking; with views of Verdala Palace and Buskett Gardens or Filfla Island. The cliffs are few kilometers long and 200 meters high at some points and were the Island’s natural fortress during the Knights’ occupation. Dingli Cliffs is one of the most beautiful locations in Malta, especially at Sunset, when its charming and breathtaking views are unparalleled.

Buskett Gardens
This is one of the few woodland areas in Malta. The 30ha site lies south of Rabat and east of Dingli. There are many different trees and shrubs growing in the area. These gardens were originally planted by the Knights Hospitaler as a hunting ground. Nowadays, it is a beautiful place to go for a walk in winter or simply just hide in the shade from the sun.

Marsaxlokk Saline Marshland
In all there are only six salt marsh habitats in a good condition found on the Islands. Due to the
very limited number of the saline marshlands, a great importance is paid to this natural heritage.
These sites are recognized as conservation areas. The Marsaxlokk Saline Marshlands were listed as Nature Reserve in 1983. They evolve in isolated area on sediments overplayed with surface water. It is a process which happens during the growth season. The distance between the sea and the Saline Marshland is very important as they are the link between the marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments.

Manikata
Manikata is a location in the Northern part of Malta in the limits of Mellieha, run by a group of local farmers and its residents known as Koperattiva Rurali Manikata (KRM). The group was set up in order to protect the locality and to maintain its natural beauty. The organization is currently working on four projects. These are running of the Rural Heritage Trail, restoration of Razzett tal-Qasan and the Armoury and also the promotion of the local products. The Historic Farmstead (Ir-Razzett tal-Qasan) is a relatively large rural complex comprising of caves and rooms of which many are now in ruins. Although most of these rooms originated during the Knights’ period, it is believed that some of these date back to the Medieval period. These rooms were used by farmers residing in the
location throughout the year. KRM also offer a Heritage trail, which is an educational visitor programme for both students and adults. This walk along Manikata Rural Heritage Trail is a way for everyone to experience and learn about the Maltese nature and agriculture. Whilst viewing historical and archeological sites, taste local Maltese bread with olive oil and sun-dried tomatoes. You can also take an opportunity and purchase the local produce.

Once in the locality you might want to consider visiting the Majjistral Nature and History Park which borders with the Manikata, and is known as the first Natural Park set up on the Maltese Islands. The beauty of the pure Maltese nature gives its visitors a rare experience in very developed Malta; of walking in history and wilderness. It is located in the Northwest Malta and includes the coastal area from Golden Bay to il-Prajjet and ix- Xagħra l-Ħamra. This park includes 6 km of designated Natura 2000 area, historical and archeological site.

If you’re in love with nature or would like to enjoy some quiet time in typical Maltese gardens during your holidays in Malta, the Grand Hotel Excelsior offers some unique Malta Holiday Packages for your enjoyment. Browse through our inspirational holiday ideas.

Photo courtesy www.viewingmalta.com

Share Button