Originally designed in 1980 as the movie set for Robert Altman’s Popeye, starring the late Robin Williams, the Popeye Village (also known as Sweethaven Village) is on the north-western tip of Malta and is one of the island’s foremost family-friendly days out. The daily activities at the stylishly revamped wooden village include play sessions, face painting, puppet shows and story telling sessions for toddlers; encounters with carton characters including Olive Oyl, Bluto, Swee’Pea and of course Popeye the Sailor himself; mini-golf; animation and audio-visual shows; and the opportunity for older children to star in their own movie version of Popeye, which includes the chance to dress the sets and choose props. There are also plenty of distractions for adults, including a free punch at the Winery, sunbathing in Anchor Bay Lido and watching craftsmen create the fine filigree silver jewelry that Malta is famous for.
Summer packages at Popeye Village Malta include water trampolines, boat trips across Anchor Bay (weather permitting) and a play pool for young kids. Special seasonal events take place throughout the year, including spooky haunted houses for Halloween and Santa’s Toytown, treasure trails and the Mascot Parade at Christmas. Recent innovation has seen the launch of a party package for teenagers, including team-building activities, taking part in the daily movie filming and boat rides (again, weather permitting).
Opening times daily: summer 9.30am–7pm; spring & fall 9.30am 5.30pm; winter 9.30am–4.30pm. Admission summer (June to mid Oct) adults €14.50, seniors & children aged 3–12 €10.50; spring, fall & winter (mid Oct–May) adults €10.50, seniors & children aged 3–12 €8.50. The Popeye Express picks up from hotels in Sliema, Bugibba and Il-Mellieħa each morning at a return cost of €6.50, children under age of 12 €5.50 (free for children under the age of 2). The return service leaves the resort around 4pm each afternoon. If driving, follow the signs to Anchor Bay and Popeye Village. By bus, take services 44 or 45 from Valleta; 645 from Sliema; 48 from Qawra; 43, 44, 45, 48 or 645 from St Paul’s Bay; or Bus 441 from Il-Mellieħa.