February’s extravagant Carnival floats; the local village festas in summer; food and wine-tasting festivals; military tattoos and historical re-enactments – Malta’s cultural calendar is a busy one, and one which ensures that an event takes place whenever you make a visit to the islands. At Drifter, we strive to make travelling to Malta’s main cultural events an easy and affordable proposition. Our Special Event shuttle buses are catered for such a purpose: cheaper than a cab, but quicker and more comfortable than Malta’s route buses, they will get you and your family and friends safely to your destination.
Below is a list of some of Malta’s major cultural events for your perusal - for more information, we recommend you visit www.visitmalta.com to find out more about what’s on during the time of your stay.
Carnival (February): Carnival in Malta comes in two flavours: The exuberant carnival floats of the celebrations in the capital, Valletta, and the free-wheeling revelery of the festivities in Nadur, Gozo. The former is the more family-friendly option, with more mature themes being explored in the Nadur festivities. Whichever one you opt for, don’t leave your Carnival mask behind; you are in for a treat.
Village Festas (summer): Popular with locals and tourists alike, village festas see the local community come together for a 6-day celebration of local, pyrotechnic talent and Catholic values. Concentrated during the summer months, festas take place in a different village every week. Expect fireworks, Catherine wheels, philharmonic performances by the local marching bands and plenty of merrymaking.
Mdina Gran Prix (October): Ride Malta’s streets on any given Sunday and you would be forgiven to think you have wound up at an open-air car museum. Vintage cars are a big deal in Malta and the Maltese take pride in the upkeep of their vehicles. The Mdina Gran Prix is a distillation of this passion for all things four wheels. A timed event is followed by a race with Mdina as the backdrop.
Notte Bianca (October): This event highlights the best of local Maltese talent in a celebration of local food, art and culture. An annual event, Valletta’s streets are turned into performance spaces for actors and musicians with the facades of the city’s iconic buildings becoming tapestries for light shows and other experimental digital displays. Fireworks, wine and art galleries round off an unforgettable experience.
Did you know?: Maltese is a fusion of semitic, Sicilian, English and French. The Maltese twist? We often pronounce loan-words differently by omitting or changing the last sound of a word or by conjugating English words using Maltese prefixes and suffixes. The French ‘bonjour’ is therefore an abrupt ‘bongu’ (bon-joo), and phrases like ‘I missed you’ result in phrases like ‘immissjajtek’ (im-miss-yaay-tek). A word you should learn? ‘Grazzi’ (gra-tsee); Maltese for ‘thank you’.
Top tip: Visit our hotel representative in the hotel lobby to learn more about current events.
Key events: Carnival, Village Festas, Mdina Gran Prix, Notte Bianca, Malta Fireworks FestivalBack