Pergola Hotel & Spa, Mellieha, Malta
Mellieha is one of Malta's most picturesque tourist destinations!
Megaliths, medieval dungeons and Calypso's Cave – The Maltese Islands are positively mythic. The narrow meandering streets of their towns and villages lead to the main square, which is invariably dominated by the huge baroque church. As the countryside is dotted with medieval towers, wayside chapels and the oldest known human structures in the world, the Islands have rightly been described as an open-air museum.
The Maltese archipelago lies virtually at the centre of the Mediterranean, 93 km south of Sicily and 288 km north of Africa. The archipelago consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino with a total population of over 400,000 inhabitants occupying an area of 316 square kilometers.
Malta is the largest island and the cultural, commercial and administrative centre. Gozo is the second largest island and is more rural, characterised by fishing, tourism, crafts and agriculture. Comino, the smallest of the trio, has one hotel and is largely uninhabited.
With superbly sunny weather, attractive beaches, a thriving nightlife and 7,000 years of intriguing history, there is a great deal to see and do.
Malta is holidaying as the mood takes you. And with near year-round sun, you can indulge in outdoor living at its best.
A small seaside town with a few main tourist orientated streets. Great access to northern beaches and bays of Malta, and close to the ferry and cruises to Gozo.
Mellieha was first inhabited in around 3000 BC, during the Neolithic. Several megalithic remains have been found, including the temple of Ghajn Zejtuna, as well as several caves and tombs, in which tools and pottery fragments were found. During the Roman period, troglodytes began to live in the caves of Mellieha's valleys. The cave settlements continued to exist during Byzantine rule, but were abandoned in the early medieval period.
According to the Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul was shipwrecked in Malta in around 60 AD, possibly in the nearby St. Paul's Bay. According to local tradition, St. Luke, who was accompanying St. Paul, came across one of Mellieha's caves and painted the figure of Our Lady on the rock face. In 409 AD, the cave was consecrated as a church, and it is now known as the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha.
Mellieha is one of the northernmost villages of main island Malta and overlooks Malta’s largest sandy beach called Mellieha Bay, also referred to as Ghadira.
The village has a lovely character and picturesque scenes that provide you with a view of life in Malta as well as offering you all amenities for a comfortable holiday. Mellieha is situated on top of a hill, surrounded by fertile valleys providing beautiful panoramas and village scenes not seen frequently in the Maltese islands.
Places of interest in Mellieha:
Popeye Village is an entertainment park based on the real film set used in Paramount Pictures 1980’s Popeye movie starring Robin Williams is a great place for families with children.
It offers great views of the bay and the on-site restaurant is quite popular. Within the set itself, one can enjoy various reenactments by actors. Visitors can also use the beach facilities to swim in Anchor Bay or just lie down by the beach.
Parish Church of Mellieha
The Mellieha parish church is a 19th-century baroque style building built in traditional Maltese stone. It is dedicated to the birth of The Nativity Of Our Lady with a feast celebrated annually on the 8th of September. The church boasts five bells that were brought over from Milan. The major attraction within this church are the five paintings by the famous Maltese artist Giuseppe Calì.
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha
Once a small Augustinian monastery, the sanctuary dates back to the 16th century. The crypt within, originally one of the many natural caves found in this area, was excavated by Mario de Vasi, a Sicilian wine merchant who contributed to the erection of the statue of Our Lady of the Grotto.
According to local legend, the cave was visited by St Luke and St Paul when they were shipwrecked on the island – two splendid marble sculptures of the two apostles are among the many items within the sanctuary. Other religious items include letters from devoted visitors asking for a miracle, icons, frescoes, oil paintings dating as far back as the 17th century, as well as a small museum dedicated to Pope John Paul II, who visited this sanctuary in 1990.
The Red Tower
St. Agatha’s Tower, or as it’s most commonly known, the Red Tower stands guard over Mellieha Bay. It was built as a signalling post for communication with Gozo. It was capable of housing 30 soldiers. From the top of St Agatha’s Tower, the view is absolutely stunning. You can see right up to Gozo on one side and down past Mosta on the other. For a small entrance fee, visitors can climb to the top of the tower and also visit a small section with the history of the tower and the restoration process.
The White Tower
Built in 1658, the White Tower (Maltese: Torri l-Abjad) is a small watchtower overlooking Armier Bay. It is one of 13 watchtowers, built under the rule of Grand Master Martin de Redin to defend the Maltese coast. In 2009, it was passed on to the local council as part of the area’s cultural heritage.
Ghajn Tuffieha Tower
The tower that guards Ghajn Tuffieha (Riviera bay) and Il-Mixquqa (Golden Bay) was built in 1637. It’s very similar to Lippija Tower, its close counterpart overlooking Gnejna bay. The Ghajn Tuffieha Tower is longish in shape and the ground floor room is larger than the second floor one. It was armed with ½-pdr cannon and manned by four men, a captain and three men, who were paid by the University of Mdina.
Ghadira Nature Reserve
The Ghadira Nature Reserve, with its rare habitat, is the only place in Malta where you can go bird watching. Located inland from Mellieha Bay, it has been in operation since 1978. Various species of migrating birds visit the wetland and the salt marsh each year and nature lovers can observe them from two hides opposite each other.
Mellieha Air Raid Shelter
The Mellieha air raid shelter is the largest of 46 shelters dug in Mellieha during World War Two, reaching a length of over 500 metres. It was recently opened to the public by the Maria Bambina Choral and Orchestral Society of Mellieha. The shelter includes waxwork characters in various rooms, showing how the Maltese took shelter during the bombing.
A little interesting fishing museum with various exhibits and history. Originally a fort, the place was later used in the second world war as a defensive position. It has since been restored and converted into a museum by a number of local volunteers to explain the complex job of tuna fishing by Mellieha fishermen.
If you happen to be in Malta around the 8th of September, then you might want to visit the Mellieha village feast. The feast is dedicated to Our Lady of Victories and fills Mellieha full of life during the feast with musical concerts, fireworks, folk singing, food stands and art exhibitions as well as religious processions.
Beaches near Mellieha:
One of the major benefits of holidaying in Mellieha is that you’ll be close some of the most gorgeous beaches of Malta within an area of a few square kilometres. If you choose to stay in this village, beaches like Golden Bay and Ghajn Tuffieha are within easy reach by bus as well.
The most popular is Mellieha Bay (or Ghadira), also Malta’s largest sandy beach. Its crystal clear waters are very shallow which makes it ideal for families with little children. Public toilets and several snack bars can be found on the beach and for a couple of Euros, you can rent an umbrella and sunbeds for the day.
Paradise Bay is a small sandy beach surrounded by high cliffs and a view of Gozo in the distance. It lies over the hill beyond Mellieha Bay, on the road towards the Gozo ferry which departs at cirkewwa. It is easier to reach if you’re renting a car. Public toilets, as well as a large snack bar, are available on location.
Armier and Little Armier
This is a popular beach among locals especially. Armier Bay is located on the north side of Malta’s figurative tail fin. The minute you get up on the hill past Mellieha Bay, take a turn to your right onto a bumpy road and take a turn to your left when you see the sign pointing towards Armier. Here you’ll find a beautiful sandy beach, with clean sands and waters and a large snack bar at the edge of the beach for refreshments.
Slugs Bay is a small secluded beach off the beaten track. It lies on the same ridge as Armier bay, but on the opposite side. The name of the bay comes from the sea slugs found there. It is accessible from a winding path which takes you down through the cliff boulders to the bay. The clarity of the sea at this bay and the abundance of marine life make it very popular with divers.
Another secluded beach with clear waters is Imgiebah Bay, accessible from a narrow road opposite the Selmun Palace. It is not a popular beach and there are no facilities on site, however, it is very peaceful and excellent for swimming and snorkelling.
Anchor Bay Dive Site
On the opposite side of Popeye’s Village, one can find an excellent dive site, very popular amongst the local aficionados. Divers have a chance to see interesting caves and rock formations in the area and a wide variety of marine life such as octopus, groupers, parrot fish, moray eels, scorpion fish, cuckoo wrasse and many other species.
It’s also a great location for snorkelling.
Pergola Hotel & Spa is situated in the center of Mellieha in 25 minutes walking distance from Popeye Village. The spectacular hotel represents modern architecture in Mellieha.
The center of Mellieha can be reached in 10 minutes' walk from the hotel. There are restaurants, cafés and bars in the area.
It offers tasteful rooms equipped with individual climate control, a laptop-size safe, a mini-refrigerator, a kitchenette and a dressing room and kitchens with a microwave, an electric kettle and a stove. The rooms command a panoramic view over the sea. The rooms feature rustic décor and en suite bathrooms with a bathtub, a shower and a hairdryer.
Wining and dining at the Pergola Hotel and Spa promises a wonderful range of flavours to suit all palates, as well as great food, fantastic prices and a lovely atmosphere.
You can choose to dine in our main restaurant, the Bonaventura, or relax and enjoy the view at Haus of P, where a wide choice of dishes are available. Alternatively, try something different in our unique Cave Bar or savour a choice of delicacies at the Da Ciccio Cucina.
Da Ciccio specializes in Fresh Pasta, mouthwatering Pizzas & Pizzotti and Fresh Fish. This outlets gives our guests an alternative to the buffet restaurant in casual ambience. The food is all genuinely home-made with an Italian theme and there is a selection of freshly prepared specialities and fresh fish of the day prepared by the chefs.
With an excellent choice of pasta dishes, grill specialities and a wide selection of pizzas, the soothing Da Ciccio is ideal for those seeking a relaxing evening with their partner or friends. We also serve a variety of local and foreign wines to compliment any dish you order.
The most popular Restaurant, the Bonaventura is open daily for buffet breakfasts and dinners. At the Bonaventura we serve a daily English and Continental Breakfast, buffet based on most occasions whilst dinner is differently themed. With themes varying from grill nights, Carvery nights, Maltese nights and Italian nights we surely have enough variety for everyone to enjoy! Our chefs are known for their fabulous cuisine, complemented by fantastic service and selected local and foreign wines. The Bonaventura is popular with both in-house guests and locals and those intending to visit the Bonaventura frequently are most welcome to purchase discounted breakfast or dinner tickets from the Hotel’s Front Desk. During the peak summer months, we frequently make the best of our weather and open the Al Fresco Terrace during the evenings instead.
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