Both the ‘Blue Grotto’ and ‘Popeye Village’ are quite frequented destinations for a daytrip, even in summer, because of having the opportunity for a cool-down just by the sea.
You may be curious about the story behind the ‘Popeye’ place. Well… Anchor Bay or Popeye Village is the film set of the Popeye movie performed by actor Robin Williams in 1980, and furthermore, one of Malta’s major tourist attractions.
Not just once I stumbled in the web over quite romantic images of the village; reason enough for a mental note. Eventually, the note became a two times experience. First time I wanted to see it anyway – and the second time was because my father spontaneously visited me in Malta. The Popeye cartoons at least are a childhood memory for him. Certainly we went there for a second time together. Was fun though.
Honestly, my feelings about the village are mixed. I loved the surrounding of the area and the view from the Anchor Bay over the skewed and colourful houses, lovely decorated, undoubtedly charming. But the touristy part of it didn’t attract me much. A man dressed up as Popeye acting ‘funny’ and the overpriced restaurants with improve able service – not really what I look for. For kids definitely a place to be – for me more a run through for capturing some lovely architecture. Hmmm… I just realize I saw that village a third time J, but from the sea side from a boat. That’s what I can really recommend! A boat ride is always a great idea worth an upcoming post on…. the Blue Lagoon and Gozo island.
Well… why waiting. Let’s join for a boat trip to the Blue Grotto, located in the south of Malta, just some more kilometres after Marsaxlokk. I mention Marsaxlokk because its popular too; a fishermen’s village and well-known tourist spot in Malta. For me the village has none of what I had in mind before seeing it – just tons of people squeezing through the alleys and the coastline with quite an industrial harbour in the background – which nobody seem to notice while strolling, and perhaps thoroughly photoshop when returning from the vacation. I mean that’s just my opinion. Some of the people I met on the island indeed loved this place. I certainly don’t like to take such beloved impression of anyone. But the only thing I could appreciate were the many colourful and typically decorated Dgħajsa or Luzzu boats around the harbour. Nice scene on the water…
Not too impressed from that short stop and continuing the trip further south eventually led us to the Blue Grotto. A first highlight was the panorama view overwhelming us when driving down the cliffy street. I enjoyed that moment very much – which unfortunately also means no great photos for you.
Finally, at the cliff edge terrace, the area before you enter Wied iz-Zurrieq (the area where the boats are), you can enjoy a first view towards the famous Blue Grotto. Kind of excited about the forthcoming boat trip we directly went to the landing site. Lucky me, I got a place in the first line. The trip took around 20 minutes with crystal clear and blue shimmering water on its agenda. Of course the rocky Grotto too.
Later that day we enjoyed some fresh food and certainly cold drinks at the small village at the cliffy street on our way back. Another place for staying a little longer, just relaxing or even for a swim.
Cheers with sunbeams.