Tag Archives: maltese islands

A Mediterranean way of life: Music, Festivals and Fun

We’ve all heard the saying ‘find a balance between work and play’ and this is surely practised by many Maltese. The Maltese seek every possible occasion to celebrate, be it a personal celebration such as a family wedding, a local feast, carnival, and other yearly musical festivals. And come summer everyone is so eagerly waiting for the lazy months to relax by the beach and enjoy a lovely dip in the sea. But there is no exception for tourists that frequent the Maltese islands during the year seeking some quiet relaxation from the mundane life.

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Having an ideal climate with mild wet winters and warm dry summers, Malta is a well sought destination for many tourists from all around the globe. And come summer what better way to enjoy life than some lazy summer days with a nice glass of wine or a cold beer and some nice music in the background.

Tourists on holiday in Malta do not simply seek the rich history and culture of Malta or the warm climate, they also want to party and enjoy lovely music. So if you are a music lover Malta is perfect for you! All year round there are several activities and concerts that are suited for different age groups and tastes. These events are the perfect occasion for a night out with friends or family.

Cultural Events
Some of the annual cultural events include the Valletta Baroque Festival, the Malta Jazz Festival, the Malta International Choir Festival and other Operas and recitals.

Malta Jazz Festival

An annual musical event that has become increasingly popular in the local events calendar is the Malta International Jazz Festival which takes place on three evenings in July at the Ta’ Liesse in Valletta. This year the festival dates are from the 18th till the 20th July and includes a line-up of top international and Maltese artists. The Festival presents an eclectic mix of jazz styles from the current musical scene which suites various music tastes. The beauty of the Grand Harbour by night sets the backdrop and as described by Mike Stern who played at this venue, the place is magnificent: ‘I have never played in a postcard before’.

The Valletta Baroque Festival is another musical event centered around Valletta. It highlights Malta’s capital as a winter and cultural touristic destination. The aim of this Festival is to celebrate the baroque identity of our truly special capital city, Valletta.

The second edition of the Valletta Baroque Festival will take place between the 10th and the 26th January 2014. The Festival will be centered around the Manoel Theatre, however events will also extend to the magnificent St John’s Co-Cathedral, the atmospheric Valletta churches, the splendid Grandmasters’ Palace, the auberges and other baroque edifices. Although this is a musical event, the programme will also be touching on opera and theatre.

Malta International Choir Festival

The Malta International Choir Festival besides being a festival, it is also a competition. It sees various choirs from different nations, cultures and religions performing and competing in a friendly atmosphere. The choirs vary by style and level. This Festival serves as a means of meeting music lovers from all over the world in a friendship concert. This year the event will take place from the 31st October to the 3rd November 2013 and is open to various categories of choirs which hail from all over the world.

Music Concerts and Festivals
In the past years several artists such as Elton John, Zucchero, Ronan Keating, Tom Jones, Rod Stewart and Sir Cliff Richard have visited Malta to perform during a live concert.

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And the highlight of the music scene in Malta is the annual free live European Summer Music Concert, namely the Isle of MTV concert which is held at the Granaries in Floriana. Every year well known and world renowned artists perform at the yearly Isle of MTV concert. These concerts attract a huge audience consisting of both locals and tourists. In previous years, stars like Lady Gaga, Snoop Dog, Black Eyes Peas, LMFAO, and Scissor sisters have taken part.

This year the Isle of MTV concert took place on the 26th June and included top international artists Jessie J, Rita Ora, AfroJack and Rudimental. A local Maltese artist, Kristina Casolani, and the Maltese Eurovision star 2013 Gianluca Bezzina, also took part in this year’s well-sought concert. As was done in previous years the concert will be filmed and aired on MTV channels in the coming months.

For a fun-filled holiday in Malta stay in a Luxury Hotel in Malta close to Valletta and with easy access to all the attractions and events happening around Malta. And if you would like to enjoy a special five star holiday deal during next year’s Valletta International Baroque Festival check out our special Valletta Baroque Festival Offer

Photos courtesy of Viewingmalta.com & Rene Rossignaud.

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A Relaxing Holiday in Malta

Are you in need of a good break this Summer? If you are planning a summer holiday, look no further; Malta is your holiday destination. A 5 Star Beach Resort hotel on the doorstep of Valletta is definitely inviting. Below are some of the reasons why you should experience a holiday at the Grand Hotel Excelsior Malta.

st john cathedral maltaWhether on a business or a leisure trip this City Malta Hotel is ideally located on the doorstep of Valletta, the capital city of Malta. Valletta – a UNESCO World Heritage site offers sightseeing attractions, amongst which St John’s Co Cathedral and a range of restaurants, shops and cafeterias.  

 

Beach resizedDuring the summer months guests can enjoy some great relaxation and leisure time. The Grand Hotel Excelsior offers a small private sandy beach available only for its in-house guests. And for those that are more active they can enjoy some great outdoor sports such as scuba diving both in open waters and in our outdoor pool.

  

dining in maltaWith a great selection of outlets this superior Malta hotel offers great dining options throughout the day, ranging from Our Main Restaurant Spice Island which specialises in buffet style cuisine to the Admirals Landing which offers A La Carte Dining. And during the summer months diners can enjoy the picturesque sea views whilst dining at the Tiki Restaurant & Bar.

 

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The Grand Hotel Excelsior offers breathtaking sea views of Marsamxett Harbour and Manoel Island. Whilst relaxing by the outdoor pool or having a dip in the sea you can also enjoy the boats sailing by. And when you stay in a Deluxe Seafront Room you can enjoy lovely panoramic views from the comfort of your hotel room balcony.

 

accommodation maltaSuperior Accommodation in Malta – This Luxury Hotel in Malta offers a range of accoommodation ranging from Standard rooms to the Presidential Suite. All rooms and suites enjoy a harmonious blend of classic and contemporary design mixed with modern 5-star convenience including multi-channel flat screen TV.  

 

malta spa treatmentsLe Grand Spa Malta is managed by a team of professional therapists, and offers a range of services from beauty to specialized spa treatments. Our therapists have a wealth of experience in local and international spas, and are committed to creating the perfect ambience, ensuring that each treatment exceeds our clients expectations.

  

Hypogeum MaltaThe Grand Hotel Excelsior’s central position allows for easy travel to all parts of the Maltese islands. In fact buses leave Valletta to all areas around Malta all throughout the day. The Excelsior Hotel Malta also offers the opportunity to discover the beauty of Malta & Gozo with our executive chauffeur driven service where you can choose one of our self-guided Malta tours and excursions to enjoy during your holiday in Malta.

private marina in maltaMalta is considered as a superior Mediterranean Cruising Destination and it has one of the finest marina locations in the world. Besides it is only a few hours flight from most European cities. The Grand Hotel Excelsior offers a private 30-berth marina for its guests. Thus guests travelling to Malta in their own private yachts can berth their yacht at the Excelsior Marina and enjoy a luxury stay whilst keeping an eye on their boat.
 

Photos courtesy of Visit Malta and Reporting Globe Network.

There’s a lot to see and do in Malta during your stay so if you’re still unsure on what to do in Malta during your holidays contact Our Concierge and they will ensure you enjoy an unforgettable Malta holiday.

 

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Things to do in Malta: Prehistoric temples in Malta

 Malta History
 
 
The Mediterranean island of Malta figures in the historical record of Europe due to its association with the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. However this small island, of 243 square kilometres, has a far greater importance in European prehistory due to its extraordinary collection of megalithic temples.
  
Malta Archeology
According to the studies of orthodox archaeologists, the remains of bones, fragments of pottery, and marks of fire indicate that human beings have lived on Malta since at least 5200 BC. Evidence suggests, these early people lived in caves, but later built huts and villages. Approximately 1600 years after their arrival in Malta, these people began the formation of stupendous megalithic temples. The ruins now remaining are the bare skeletons of once magnificent structures, mostly roofed over, paved, furnished with doors and curtains, and beautifully decorated with sculptures and paintings.
 
On the Islands of Malta and Gozo, one may find around 23 temples in various states of preservation although the remains of 50 temples have been found. No particular pattern emerges from the distribution of these temples and this may be explained by the probability that numerous temples were destroyed in antiquity and that others remain to be discovered.
 
History of Malta
Amongst these 23 temples is the Hypogeum which is situated in Paola, and was discovered surprisingly by workmen digging at about 3.5 m under the road surface. The word Hypogeum comes from the Greek word “Ipogaina”, which means, “an underground construction sunk into the solid rock.” It is a UNESCO World Heritage site like the other temples in Malta. This underground temple is made up from a set of rooms and caves dug by Copper Age people, most probably between the years 4100 B.C. and 2500 B.C. At the beginning of its existence, the Hypogeum was used as a temple or sanctuary as well as a burial place. This is known due to its architectural resemblance to the freestanding Megalithic Temples outside. However the greatest evidence present is the number of statuettes of the Fat Lady, their goddess of Fertility. A big statue of a “sleeping Lady” was also found in this temple. The discoveries of some 7,000 human bones were also found in the temple and many dead people were found buried with their personal belongings.
 
The megalithic temple of Hagar Qim is another historical wonder situated in the West of Malta, near the village of Qrendi and was built between 3600 B.C. and 3000 B.C. The name Hagar Qim means “free-standing boulders” and was first explored in 1839. Hagar Qim was the third temple to be built in the Maltese Islands and its layout is very similar in shape to the other temples. The original alters previously found in the temple can now be found in the Museum of Archaeology.
 
Though of more recent origin than the great megalithic temples, the Romanesque basilica of Ta’ Pinu in Gozo is of importance as a pilgrimage site. Legends relate that in 1883, a local woman named Carmel Grima heard a voice telling her to pray by a 16th century chapel. A friend, Francesco Portelli, confirmed that he had also heard the voice and thus they prayed together for Francesco’s bedridden mother and she soon experienced a miraculous recovery. More miraculous healings were thereafter reported and from thanksgiving offerings the present sanctuary was built in the 1920’s.The sanctuary incorporates the early chapel, whose original caretaker, Pinu Gauci, lent his name to the site. The Ta’ Pinu Shrine is visited for its healing qualities and is also sacred to sailors. Many locals as well as foreigners visit the site to offer thanksgiving and pay for healings.
 
If you enjoy reading about Malta and its interesting history, contact the chauffeur driven service at one of the top Malta hotels. With a list of Malta Tours and Excursions they will surely help you enjoy unique and memorable Malta holidays.
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