What's on in Malta this Christmas
Malta is simply magical at Christmas!
Think Christmas carols, mulled wine, nativity scenes, and fairy lights, lots and lots of twinkling fairy lights which adorn the beautiful Maltese balconies churches and streets. The Christmas trees are an absolute joy to behold too, you'll find these in every town, village and hotel.
Today's blog post is my annual round up of all things festive happening across the Maltese islands this Christmas. I absolutely adore Christmas; this is truly my favourite travel blog post of the year to write as it always leaves me reaching for the mince pies and sherry as I'm in such a festive mood by the time I've finished it.
So, in no particular order, here we go,
Ċikku and the Chocolate Panto - 23 December to 8 January 23. Show time 1930
Teatru Manoel, Old Theatre Street, Valletta, Malta.
Malta’s crown jewel, Teatru Manoel, was built in 1731 and today stands as Europe’s oldest working theatre. By theatre standards this is an intimate venue with just 623 seats. It as an oval-shaped auditorium with three tiers of boxes constructed entirely of wood, decorated with gold leaf, and a pale blue trompe-l'œil ceiling that resembles a round cupola. Just beautiful and perfect to enjoy a Christmas Pantomime. This year's offering promises to be “A delightfully delicious Christmas treat”
Enter stage right Cikku!
Ċikku and the Chocolate Panto is the story of young Ċikku, a penniless young man who lives with his mother in a giant bajtra. Luckily his fortunes change when he finds a coveted golden ticket to visit Willy Wonder’s famous Chocolate Panto along with a group of other winners. Unfortunately, everything isn’t quite so splendiferous when he discovers that the show’s protagonist, the glamorous Diva Divine, is actually a frightsome witch who wants to destroy all the children in the audience! Will Ċikku and his new friends succeed in exposing Diva for the horrible person that she is and turn her own magic against her?
Prices start at €35pp, and you can book here,
Santas World Malta
Open evenings, now to 1st January 2023, 6PM – 10PM, daily except Christmas Day.
Malta Fairs & Conventions Centre, Ta Qali, Malta
“Santa’s World Malta is not just a Christmas village, it’s an Experience!”
This is a super weatherproof and unique experience for all of the family.
Children get to immerse themselves into the magical world of Santa and his elves.
Join in with Santas little helper's busy chores in the bakery store, laundry, their village store and hairdressers. You can also join them in their selfie Cinema, and catch one of the latest movies, as well as visiting the Elf on the Shelf Museum!
If you ever wanted to learn how to speak Elfin, here is your chance, as you have the opportunity to take part in an Elfin language class at the Elf’s school.
A super cool activity available is the ability for children to create a personalised video that they can send to Santa! They can let Santa know if they have been naughty or nice, along with sharing their Christmas toys wish list!
This video forms a really quirky part of their visit to Santa on the day. Stepping into Santas house, they can explore and watch their recording before jetting the big man himself, as well as leaving with a gift.
This is the spirit of traditional Christmas at its best. Time spent at Santa’s World Malta will also be filled with amazing entertainment – dancing elves, music, live shows and entertainment accompanied with lots of delicious festive food options and much, much more.
Adults €16.50, children aged 3-10 €10, infants free.
Book your visit to Santas World here,
Christmas in Valletta
Valletta at Christmas time is an absolute joy. Along with the spectacular Christmas lights, as in previous years, a large Christmas tree has been placed in parliament square, at Valletta’s entrance. You will also find a traditional nativity scene crib in St John's Square.
Friday also marks the start of the VCA’s programme of Christmas activities, which will run until December 31.
These include bands, choirs, and music performances by popular groups such as The New Victorians, MARA, Centrestage, Klinsmann, Tikka Banda, the Big Friends Guggen Musik, Tikka Banda, and Sterjotipi, among others.
NYE 2023 Valletta
The NYE celebrations have been so very noticeably absent from Valletta for a very long 2 years. Hurrah, they are back so you can see 2023 in with a bang (quite literally) this year.
Celebrations are centred around St George’s Square in the city, and best of all, they are free!
The entertainment commences at 10pm any buy do they have a line up for us. Kurt Calleja and Band, followed by The Brass House Unit led by Kevin Abela, together with an outstanding line-up of some of Malta’s top singers, including Aidan Drakard, Amanda Marie, Brooke, Gloriana Arpa Belli, Jasmine, Kevin Paul Calleja, Ludwig Galea, Owen Luellen, Ozzy Lino, Pawlu Borg Bonaci & Tiziana Calleja. Awesome!
To raise the atmosphere even further if that were indeed possible, The Brass House Unit accompanied by DJ Debrii will truly get the party started in the lead up to the midnight countdown. Then to welcome in 2023, you’ll be dazzled by spectacular fireworks in true Maltese style. The party continues with DJ Drey spinning the decks until the early hours.
For those who wish to watch the celebrations from the comfort of their accommodation, it will be televised on all local TV stations.
Fairyland - Santa's City
Now to 6 January 23
Triton Fountain - Valletta
It’s back, it’s back, it’s back, and bigger and better than ever! The pjazza surrounding the incredible Tritons Fountain in Valletta is again being transformed into Santa’s City!
Get a bird's eye view of the architecturally stunning city of Valletta from the top of Rudolph’s Ferris Wheel, take to the ice on Penguins Ice Rink and for anyone who is a little bit anxious to do so, check out the helper penguins!
There is an awesome Christmas Market, where you can find everything from traditional nougat to a beautiful artisan gift or stocking filler, and there are oodles of delicious festive food and drink options too.
Of course, Santa Claus is in residence, together with his elves, and he’s ready to meet you in his Grotto.
All footie fans are catered for too, you won’t have to miss a moment of World Cup magic, as there is a World Cup Village where supporters from every nation can join together and cheer on their favourite team whilst enjoying a beer.
The Ferris Wheel, Skating Rink, Carousel and Santas Grotto all require tickets which can be purchased here
Tip - whilst visiting Fairyland I’d strongly encourage you to pop into the iconic Hotel Phoenicia. It’s absolutely beautiful, and the Palm Court Lounge with its fabulous Christmas tree is a beautifully comfortable sanctuary to take the weight off your feet and enjoy a warming cup of your favourite tea, or a festive flute of your favourite fizz.
The Magical Illuminated Trail
Now to 7 January
Verdala Palace, Buskett, Malta
This beautiful and magical after dark experience returns for 2022 in the ethereal setting of the Verdala Palace in Buskett. Once darkness sets in the gardens come to light!
Enjoy glittering structures of the North Pole, Santa’s Toy Shop, Family of Pandas, Sea life, and lots of other marvellous creatures. There is also a cool UV Zone, which twinkles with thousands of pretty fairy-lights. Search out the truly Instagram worthy irresistible selfie scenes too!
This year you will also find a new Christmas Village where you can pick out some unique Christmas gifts, including personalised Christmas baubles, candles, and of course toys. You'll also find an array of dining options, delicious festive treats and fun games for all of the family to take part in.
So that you can thoroughly enjoy and indulge in the trail, ticket numbers are controlled, and entry times are staggered by 20-minute intervals.
Secure your spot here
Journey times through the trail take around 50-70 minutes, depending upon how many selfies you take!
Christmas Village Malta
Now to 6 January 23
Ta Xbiex Marina Malta
Ta’ Xbiex Marina which is located midway between Sliema and Valletta shall be transformed into a unique Christmas village this year.
Visitors can look forward to an eclectic mix of attractions, including an ice rink, ice bumping cars, (not sure about that one) virtual rides, flying chairs, trampolines, trains, pony rides, spectacular drone shows, live entertainment, magicians, jugglers, Christmas carols, and a World Cup area so you never miss any of the action.
There is also an illuminated nativity scene with live animals, and at the North Pole, Santa's Elves will be waiting to receive letters for Santa, and guide children through to meet Santa himself.
More information can be found here
Hopping across to Gozo...................
Villa Rundle Christmas Market
Various dates in December Villa Rundle Gardens - Victoria - Gozo
Villa Rundle Garden is a garden located in the lower part of Republic Street, Victoria, Gozo.
A beautiful setting for a Christmas Market which runs at various dates throughout the festive season. Meander through the fairy lit palm trees and source unique artisan Christmas gifts for your friends and loved ones or take home a tasty Gozitan treat.
The market provides a wonderful opportunity to buy from crafters and sellers who are usually tucked away in their workshops in the smaller villages of the island.
Jack and the Beanstalk - a Rock n Roll Panto
Teatru Astra - Victoria - Gozo
Teatru Astra is as stunning on the inside as it is on the outside. It's centrally located in Gozo's historic capital, Victoria.
For the first time in panto history, FM Theatre Productions are bringing panto to the Teatru Astra in Gozo from the 26 to the 30 of December.
This will be Jack and the Beanstalk with a difference, as the actor/musicians will be playing some awesome tunes from music legends such as Queen, Bruno Mars, Fleetwood Mac and James Brown! #getmetherenow
Promising to "delight adults and children alike, the classic tale is infused with the humour and charm that one would expect of a Christmas Pantomime together with the electric excitement of a rock and roll concert."
Ticket prices start at just €31pp and can be purchased here
Last and by no means least we have,
Various dates - now to 8 January 2023
Ghajnsielem Main Square - Gozo - 5 minutes' walk from Gozo Mgarr Harbour (It's an uphill walk so do beware)
This enchanting event returns for 2022 and celebrates its 10th anniversary.
It's an animated Nativity Village, re-enacted on a 20,000 sqm site. A visit to Bethlehem Għajnsielem with its cast of around 150 actors whisks visitors back 2,000 years to life in Judea!
This is a truly unique site.... horses turn mills, villagers go about their jobs, shepherds inhabit caves, animals roam in enclosed spaces and a poor unknown couple tend to their newly born baby in a grotto…....
Traditional Christmas at its best! Check out the Facebook page for more information
There we go my lovelies, so much to see, do and look forward to this Christmas on the islands.
For more information as to what to expect at Christmas in Malta please check out my related post detailed in the footer.
Photo credits to Visit Malta, Visit Gozo, Valletta Cultural Agency, Fairyland Malta, Fairyland Malta, Teatru Manoel, Teatru Astra, Santa's World, Fairyland Malta, Bethlehem Ghajnsielem, Villa Rundle, Christmas Village Malta, Magical Illuminated Trail Malta.