Hey there, today I’m going to show you why the Carnival in Malta should be on your list.
- Why the festival is unique
- The 2021 schedule
- Personal Tips and View
- A complete section dedicated travel in Malta
Hey there, today I’m going to show you why the Carnival in Malta should be on your list.
Heading to Malta in February? If so, one of the stranger festivals awaits you there, the Carnival in Malta. The traditional festival in Valletta and the silenced version in Nadur Gozo are more than the regular floats.
I mean, floats, parades, and costumes are brilliant and one of the best parts of each carnival in the world. Don’t get me wrong. You’ll even have the bonus of beautiful beaches and a unique history exhibit. But why carnival Malta? I’ll tell you why:
While most carnivals celebrate sexy costumes (like Rio), in Malta they have a different point of view. Here the more grotesque, the better. Kind of an awe and shock factor. Weddings? The Valletta carnival puts a twist to with some mock weddings, different from the Burial of Sardine in Tenerife and Joselito in Barranquilla. In Nadur, there aren’t even any rules! Is there more? Definitely. To make it easier, see the schedule of the Valletta Malta carnival:
Before seeing the program, you should know the times and dates might change.
The Maltese carnival starts with a bang. The first day begins with the dance competitors, followed by the King’s float and the unique masks.
The first day of the Maltese festival in Valletta begins with dance shows in St George’s Square from 3 pm. After the local carnival dances, the strange floats and parades start, where they continue to Republic St. Nearby at 4 pm, you should hop to St John St (near the cathedral), to see the mock wedding, and finish off at Tritoni Sq from 7 pm with a party at a DJ set with the floats.
The second day of the Valletta Malta Carnival consists of parades from 9:30 am. The spectacle divides itself to Hamrun, the Grand Parade, and Carnival Special. The last one includes the King’s very own float.
The weird part of the day though is the sword dance (Parata) from 2 pm at St George’s Sq. It’s a unique dance celebration to reminiscence the victory of the Turks by the knights.
Similar to the first day of the carnival, but the King’s float and masks. On the other hand, you’ll get to see the dancers who were victorious from previous rounds.
In St George Sq, you can see all the dance crews and King’s float parading to Republic St, from 6 pm. But the real show is St Anne Street from 6 pm: The Grand Final. Floats and parades will display in the street to close the festival.
In Spanish, the word ‘gozar’ means to enjoy yourself. That’s exactly what the Nadur carnival is about: simply enjoy yourself. Schedule? No need. Tradition? Leave it for Valletta.
The Gozo festival is all about being spontaneous and celebrating with different masks and parties. The fun begins when the sun sets.
To get the most out of my Malta getaway, I would give myself 7 days to enjoy my time truly. The first 3 days I’ll spend in Valletta to see the carnival’s parades and floats, mock wedding, and the sword dance (that one really interests me). I also use the aid of a guide, because there’s too much history to ignore.
Apart from the carnival, I’ll wander the streets of Valletta eating, listening to live music and have a party. Also, check on the historical sites and of course see the beaches, since Valletta Malta is so small, I would prefer walking there.
At day no.4 I would hop to the small Comino Island for the day. How can I miss the best beaches in Malta? (I’ll mention more in the travel area).
For the next 2 days, I would want to see what the Nadur carnival is all about. I’ll go to a costume from Valletta and join in on the fun. While I’m in Gozo, I’d rent a car or a motor pad and check out the northern part of the Mediterranean Island.
After that, time to go back… Or continue to Sicily?
Time to give yourself some travel time to lovely Malta and see a unique carnival in Valletta and Nadur. Form Mock Weddings to random street festivals, the Mediterranean island will add an extra special memory in the box. Book your getaway for the Carnival in Malta.
You won’t get many chances to experience a festival like this, so why not wear a fun costume to make it even more fun?
2020 will always remind us of the horrid virus, but it doesn’t mean we can’t keep our area sterile. Make sure you have gloves, mask, gels, and stay safe. No disease is worth it.
Malta is relatively small, so you should consider renting a vehicle there to get to all the cool places, such as Comino, Hagar Qim. Just to give you an idea, driving from one end to the other is around 2 hours. Imagine that…
If you’re looking for a guide, I would recommend using Get Your Guide
Remembered I mentioned Malta is relatively small? You can easily travel within a very short distance to all the famous spots, such as the Blue Lagoon at Comino Island, Blue Cave, and many more.
But the main carnival is in Valletta, so that’s what we’ll be looking at.
Valletta is full of history, ancient and modern. If you want to start with some ancient history, have a visit to The National Museum of Archaeology.
Inside the museum, you’ll find artefacts dating from 5000 BC until 400 BC from the middle Phoenician period. The museum itself is one of the most impressing structures from the 16th century, named the Auberge de Provence.
A more modern history lesson of Malta, the Grand Master Palace (now where President’s and the representatives of Malta) was the home for Master Pierre de Monte. The structure completed in 1574 was housed eventually by Jean de la Cassière. The most impressive sections are the throne room, armoury and courtyards.
If you’re a scuba diving fan, then this must be on your list. Malta offers so many diving options that it could be hard to decide. Well, I’ll choose anyway. My first one is Blue Lagoon ranges at Comino island, where you might see an octopus and many other marine animals. My second choice would be the shipwreck Um el Faroud, at the lower area of Malta near the blue cave.
No, I didn’t forget you. Comino Island has to be a ‘must’ on your Malta list. the best beaches and some brilliant dives are on the tiny piece of land. Some of the most noticeable beaches and dive are:
You won’t want to miss out on this paradise island.
Valletta has some wonderful accommodation next to all the carnival action and the beaches. Nadur has fewer options, but some are worth having a look. There are 4 places though that really stand out:
Just 5 minutes walking from the carnival action, the lavish boutique hotel is the best place to relax after partying all day and witnessing the Maltese celebration. The hotel offers all the commodities you’ll need + free breakfast and free cancellation (until a month before).
If you want the complete luxury pack at a great price, then meet Hotel Phoenicia Malta. Situated next to the Triton Fountain and 10-15 minutes walking from St George Sq, you’ll have a spacious room with everything you’ll need and a beautiful city view. There’s also an active winter pool. The hotel offers free cancellation.
La Falconeria has a beautiful modern yet retro style about it. Up to 10 minutes-walk from the carnival, the hotel offers the regular commodities + a fitness centre where you can keep your shape after all the Maltese dishes. One of the advantages of the hotel is that the food is just fantastic, and breakfast is included. The hotel offers free cancellation and an option to pay at the property.
Even though there aren’t many accommodation options in Nadur, this apartment stands out. With a spacious 88m2, ocean view and terrace, not much can go wrong with this location. This option is especially useful if you’re a large group, as it can host 5 people.
When it comes to dining in Valletta, you can expect a rich Mediterranean influence on the meals. Most of the best places to eat in Valletta are right next to the carnival action, near St George Square. Here are 3 options that stand out:
You can describe Noni as a chef restaurant. Located at the Republic St, the mixed cuisine is prepared by a Michelin Star chef, so don’t expect the menu to be the same! Some of Noni’s most famous dishes include the Octopus Tagine and Cote de Beouf. The service is of high quality, and the décor is beautiful.
A high rated local food restaurant, with a taste menu that depends on the market (and the mood of the chef). The restaurant located in the heart of Valletta also offers a vast wine option to choose from.
If you want to grab a fast-food bite, then the Submarine is one of the better options in Valletta. The Italian and Mediterranean food will fill you up well, and it’s right next to the carnival action. The staff there is considered one of the friendliest in Valletta.
Gugar Hangout Bar is one of the top places for vegan and vegetarians. The relaxed vibe eatery offers some tasty meals, including a fajita filled with vegetables and topped by cheese. People also mention the good service of the eatery.
Since most of you will arrive by air, I have good news: the airport is close to Valletta. Around a 15-minute drive or 25 minutes by bus, you’ll find yourself at the heart of your preferred accommodation. Better yet, you can pre-order a shuttle from your accommodation to save you from the hassle.
If you decided to go straight to Nadur, it would take you around 1:30-2 hours with a bus or car to the ferry from Cirkewwa till Mgarr terminal. From there, Nadur is around 10 minutes-drive.
You have taxis and bus line 133, but to be honest here: everything you need there is a short (very short) walking distance.
Similar from the airport, you can take a bus or from your car rental board a ferry at Cirkewwa till Mgarr terminal.
If you’re heading to Comino island either from Cirkewwa or Mgarr, there’s a ferry around every 30 minutes to Blue Lagoon. From Cirkewwa it’s around 25-35 minutes at €4.65 one way, and from Mgarr 15-20 minutes at €6.95 for a round trip.
The Malta Carnival is a lent holiday festival since the end of the 14th century. When the knights of Malta had spare time in the 16th century, they decided to make pageants and tournaments, thus pushing the carnival forward.
It wasn’t easy though for the Maltese knights. Throughout the years, the knights had prohibitions and other laws from the leading Grand Masters. But most of the times, the knights got their way leading to the carnival we know today in Valletta.