Malta’s best attraction.
So, as the followers of my Instagram Account (thewaygabounds) might know, I’ve been to Malta some time ago. It was all in all a very nice experience, but what I enjoyed most was visiting Popeye Village.Okay, there’s not really a village called like that; it’s an old film set, also known as Sweethaven Village, located in Anchor Bay, at the north-west-corner of the little island Malta, which is surrounded by the Mediterranean Ocean. The area got it’s nickname due to the Popeye-Movie of 1980, starring (a very young) Robin Williams as Popeye.
What it really is is a collection of ramshackle wooden buildings that were props for the Paramount & Walt-Disney film. What I didn’t know but learned in Malta was the fact, that due to it’s dry and sunny climate, the island is often used as a location for film productions. And that’s also the reason why they decided to not tear the film set down but to turn it into an open air attraction for family entertainment. The village, featuring 19 buildings, was designed by the Danish architect Hans Munk Hansen. It took seven months, eight tons of nails, wood that was shipped in from the Netherlands and 165 workers to actually make his vision reality.
After filming was done it was turned into a tourist attraction. And as it turned out, it’s a very lovely one. From the parking lot you can’t really see what to expect, because first you have to walk up a little street; up there you have a breathtaking view of the bay and Popeye village from above. And then you start walking down the main (and only) street of the village; colorful wooden houses to your right and left.
You can walk into some of the houses, for example in Popeye’s. Once inside you can freely walk around it, see and touch (and take pictures of) the props, which were arrayed with an eye for details. In one of the other dens they have a little cinema where the movie and a documentation about the filming process is shown in an almost endless loop. Aside from restaurants and a small water play area at the end of the village, there’s also the ocean and Anchor Bay itself where you can hang out. There are trampolines in the water and deck chairs at the beach. And you might also run into Popeye and Olive themselves!
I spent an amazing time there; my advice for all that go to Popeye Village: Make sure you bring your bathing suits, a lot of time and your camera. There’s a lot to explore, to see and a sweet little bay to relax. To be honest: I dare to say that Popeye Village was and is my most favorite spot on the whole island of malta.
Opening hours are from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm during the winter (November to March) and from 9:30 am to 7 pm during the summer season (July and August). In between they’re open from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. It’s wheelchair accessible and great fun for all ages. There are seasonal events you’ll have to pay an entrance fee for. Check out their website for packages: www.popeyemalta.com