Every one of us as a kid has fancied owning a toy house which had none of the luxuries we aspire today but well stocked with our favorite soft toy characters or puppets amidst a splash of vivid and glittering colors. Would you today fancy a day frolicking around such a toy house village and its rustic whimsical aura? Then a visit to the Popeye Village is unmissable.
After exploring the Maltese capital Valletta and the old capital Mdina and its neighborhood on the first day we decided to spend the second day driving around the island of Gozo and exploring its charm. To reach Gozo one has to take a ferry from Cirkewwa ferry terminal situated at the northernmost part of Malta. Popeye Village an abandoned film set of 1980 musical film Popeye and today a popular amusement park is located around 10 minutes drive from the Cirkewwa ferry terminal. This enchanting little village has all the toy house charm to allure anyone to stop by and make a visit.
We started from Valletta. For much of the journey, we followed the sign boards to Popeye Village through the dry countryside with no signs of inhabitation or even sea.
After around half an hour we spotted a hazy horizon with a stretch of the blue sea but still no glimpse of the prismatic village.
Soon we found a parking for Popeye Village and parked our car. In the parking stood a small house which had a ticket counter and an information center. Just beside it was the Popeye’s boat.
We sauntered around a bit before heading to the village entrance. Around the corner of the road, we drove through were a couple of people standing at the edge of the road and peering down and we thought to have a look too. And we stood spellbound and bewitched by the vistas which looked as much surreal as a fairytale.
The edge of the road we stood overlooked the anchor bay. And the colorful little village of Popeye with around 20 vibrant wooden cottages perched beautifully on the slopes of the hill.
Popeye Village is also known as Sweethaven Village based on the fictional village of Sweethaven where the sailor Popeye arrives looking for his lost father. Popeye Village which is open all through the year (but with different opening times check here) is an open-air recreation center for a quality family time.
Kids can have loads of fun with a myriad of activities in the water park, fun rides, puppet shows, cartoon museum, playhouses and props wears or even meet one of the favorite characters from Popeye movie.
The visitors can also hop onto one of the boats and take a 15-minute boat ride around the bay admiring the mesmerizing beauty of popeye village and its surrounding.
And finally, do not miss the interesting documentary on the history of the construction of the film set. The documentary provides an insight into amazing facts of how a team of more than 150 crew was employed, on how the wood required in construction were trailered from Holland and imported from Canada and how around 2k gallons of paint was used and much more.
To reach the Popeye Village one can take a bus from the capital city Valletta to Mellieha center or Mellieha Bay (no 41, 42, 49) and then a bus no 101 to Popeye Village.
Our next stop was the Mellieha Bay, also known as Ghadira Bay, is the largest sandy beach in Malta. The shallow waters of the Mellieha Bay stretching out for a mile and the multitude of watersport activities make it one of the best beaches for the family. The waves rolling out the of the cerulean spectrum of the waters onto the golden sandy beaches punctuated with colorful umbrellas and surrounded by rocky cliffs is a spectacular view to behold.
The stunning paradise bay is located around a km away from the Cirkewwa ferry terminal. The small secluded beach with crystal clear water is surrounded by rugged landscape. To reach the bay one can park the car at the top of the cliff overlooking the beach and descend down through a set of stairs. The beach has wonderful views of the nearby islands of Gozo and of Comino along with various water activities including snorkeling.
We spent some time watching the scenic vistas and drove towards the ferry terminal. We were right on time and could even spot the ferry to Gozo sailing towards the terminal in the distance.
Popeye Village is definitely a not to miss attraction on your visit to Malta. And the proximity to popular beaches of Mellieha Bay and Golden Bay and the prominent ferry terminal of Cirkewwa makes it much easier to add it to your bucket list.
Have you already been to the Popeye Village? Or if you are planning a trip to Malta, then do make sure you do not miss a visit to this pretty little village of Popeye.
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