Travel Blog - Popeye Village and Anchor Bay, Malta.
Updated: Oct 5, 2020
Diary Entry - 13 March 2020
I honestly can’t believe that in 40 years of travelling to the Maltese islands, I have NEVER visited the Popeye Village. Shame on me 😮
Popeye Village or #Sweethaven Village, is the film set of the 1980 musical production of “Popeye” and is now one of Malta’s most loved and visited tourist attractions.
The film set was constructed in nearby Anchor Bay, just 2 miles from #Mellieha, between the months of June and December of 1979. (1979 was the very first time I visited Malta ☺️)
The full address and opening times are,
P: (+356) 2152 4782 / 3 / 4
Winter Season (Nov- Mar) : 9.30am to 4.30pm
Spring & Autumn Season (April - June / Sep & Oct) : 9.30am to 5.30pm
Summer (July - August) 9.30am to 7.00pm
Trivia moment! 🚨
The logs used to construct the village were brought overland from the #Netherlands, and the wood shingles used to construct the rooftops were imported from #Canada! With a staggering construction crew of 165 from all corners of the #world, eight tons of nails and two thousand gallons of paint were used to finish off the massive set which encompasses 20 structures!
Cameras 🎥 began rolling on the 23rd of January 1980 🎬 and the movie was distributed by none other than Walt Disney Productions. The stars of the movie were the late great Robin Williams as Popeye the Sailor and Shelley Duvall as Olive Oyl.
The movie follows #Popeye, a one eyed muscly spinach loving sailor, who arrives at Sweethaven Village hoping to find his father! He does of course encounter along the way the infamous characters #Bluto and Olive Oyl!
Following a deep and extremely comfortable sleep, I’ve woken to another beautifully sunny day here in Mellieha. The rain shower in my room is just magnificent!
The restaurant isn’t too busy, and passing the buffet as I walk to my table, my tummy starts to rumble, it all looks delicious!
My eyes are drawn immediately to the ample Maltese bread station 😍 oh my!
There is so much choice! I can see cold cuts and cheeses, fruit, yoghurts, salads, muffins, pastizzi, and of course a hot station serving the good old English breakfast 🍳. There are also a number of self service #coffee machines serving everything from black coffee to mocha, and nearby is a large selection of fruit juices to choose from.
Oodles of natural light stream in through the large windows brightening an already cheerful room even more ☀️
I don’t have too long to linger as I really need to find some suntan 🧴 lotion. It’s incredibly hot for this time of year and I still haven’t been lucky enough on my travels so far to find a store with any for sale. My shoulders are slightly frazzled 🔥😆
I have also booked a door to door transfer to Popeye Village at 9am. The Solana Hotel offers lots of different transfers to the islands various attractions, at an extremely reasonable cost, todays journey is only €3!
I’m truly in love with this hotel 🏨🥰
I have only booked a one way journey as I’m really not too sure of my plans for the rest of the day.
It’s still early so the chemist and gift stores are closed, but my friendly grocer is open! Hurrah a whole display to choose from! My shoulders are exceedingly happy with my purchase 😆
Sinking into a very comfortable seat on one of the plush velvet sofas it’s not too long before my name is called by my driver.
As I board the minibus he tells me I’m the only passenger this morning so I actually have a private transfer 😊
We chat throughout the short journey and he tells me how worried everyone is on the island due to the increase in Covid-19 cases. A lot of the islanders are extremely worried for the future of their jobs. The Maltese islands really do rely on #tourism, and this I fear is going to take a huge hit. But for now I intend to boost the coffers of local businesses as much as I can for the short time I’m still here.
I’m the first to arrive at Popeye Village, I’m a little too eager today, as it doesn’t open until 0930 😆
You can easily reach Popeye Village by public bus too, the bus stop is right outside. I adore the #inspirational quote on the bus stop sign.
First you need to take the pus to Mellieha or Mellieha Bay (Ghadira) and then take another bus the short hop to the Village. Bus numbers are as follows,
To Mellieha / Mellieha Bay
From Valletta: 41, 42
From Sliema : 222
From Bugibba : 221
From Mellieha to the Village
Route : 101
There is plenty of car parking onsite too.
I’m actually glad I arrived early as the #sea at Anchor Bay is breath-taking, shades of azure and turquoise blue, and sea foam and emerald green. I could literally dive right in, it’s so alluring.
As I wander along the cliff path, I notice the large prickly pear #cacti 🌵where lovers have carved their undying love for one another into the pads 🥰
Some may say it’s an assault on #nature, but I’m rather taken by it. Love shouldn’t be hidden away, or shied away from, it should be shouted from the rooftops for all to hear! 🎶 What the world needs now, is #love, sweet love 🎶 💕
The view of Popeye Village from this vantage point is spectacular, as I zoom in on my #Canon, I’ve spotted Olive Oyl on her way to work 😆 and from what I can see from here, the detail of the buildings looks absolutely amazing.
My excitement is now nearing fever point 😆 Why oh why have I never been here before? 🤔 🤷♀️
A handful more people have arrived now too, and the ticket office is opening its doors to a bundle of excited faces!
The #winter entry package is only €11 and this also includes a photograph, a collectible postcard and #popcorn 🍿 The cashier here is also abiding by #COVID guidelines, we have to take our own tickets and map 🎫 rather than be handed them, and some of the attractions which would usually be open are closed, but this is in no way going to retract from our experience today!
I adore the comical signs and posters everywhere, you really can't help but #smile as you explore.
There is also a full #cinema onsite where you can collect your popcorn from an authentic old style popcorn machine. Due to the Covid-19 situation I choose to skip the movie and the popcorn just to be on the safe side but did have a peek inside.
There’s free WiFi across the whole site, so it’s really easy to video call friends or post a #selfie 🤳 There are ample toilets and it’s also buggy friendly, the majority is wheelchair friendly too but there are areas which are inaccessible due to steps.
I wander down to see if the small #beach is open, ah, it’s closed off today which is a shame. It’s enthralling at this level, although I’m actually not sure I should be wandering around down here 😆 There is a cute duck 🦆 having a right old chitter chatter, she’s hilarious!
An old guy is approaching me and he has a bag of bread, ohhhhh now I understand, she’s shouting for her breakfast 😆. What a lovely scene this is, I sense they are the best of friends. 😊
I love how much in character they all are too!
Carrying on through the village I’ve just found a serene spot to chill in at Anchor Square. I take a seat in one of the super comfortable lounge chairs and slowly exhale.
I’m so very #happy and #relaxed, enjoying the deliciously warm #sunshine and listening to the water lapping the shore below. I close my eyes and applaud Walt Disney on their choice of setting, they simply could not have found a more perfect bay!
After around an hours #chillax, contemplating life and realising how lucky I am, I reluctantly head back towards the Silversmith, I could honestly sit here all day! But I spotted a gorgeous #filigree ring earlier and during my relaxing I’ve decided I’m going to treat myself ☺️
The shop is so cute and has so much on display considering it’s size. I say hello to the #Silversmith who is hard at work. I’m intrigued as it’s such a skill to make such intricate and beautiful items of #jewellery. I ask what it is he’s making! Oh wow, he’s making tiny anchors for pendants! I’m mesmerised! I admire his ring making skills, one ring in particular which I have fallen in love with, and he invites me to find one that fits. I try on so many but disappointingly I have such slender fingers they are all too big 😔 I’m so sad, as they are incredibly delicate and simply stunning.
I bid my new friend farewell and as it’s now noon, I do think it’s time for liquid refreshment 😁.
I’m really tempted by the Tipsy and Sons #Winery 😆 but I’ve spotted a terrific terrace overlooking Anchor Bay in the Seafarers Restaurant.
I order a glass of Maltese white #wine, and take a seat out on the stunning terrace. The wine is delicious and chilled to perfection, and the view is staggeringly beautiful.
I can hear a lot of #Geordie (native #Newcastle) speakers around me, which warms my heart. There is a song which begins 🎶 Wherivvor ye gan ye’re sure te find a Geordie, Wherivvor ye gan ye'll hear the Georde twang 🎶
Translation for none Geordies 😆 🎶 wherever you go you’re sure to find a Geordie, wherever you go, you’ll hear the Geordie accent 🎶 😆
I have a little chuckle to myself and relax further into my chair.
Now to plan the rest of my day whilst enjoying the fruits of the vine, soaking up my whimsical location and drinking in the jovial atmosphere. ☺️
I'm deliriously happy that UK passport holders have been reallowed entry to #Malta from July the 15th 🥳 , my beloved islands and friends, I will see you again very soon!
Until next week my lovelies when I continue my #adventure ☺️ stay safe and take care