Despite the island’s optimistic average calculation of 300 sunny days a year if you decide to visit Malta during the off-season, you might happen to hit a streak of windy and/or partially rainy days. Do not be disheartened by a bunch of ominous purple clouds announcing a potential storm. Yes even our stormy clouds possess a special island charm. Our island, beautiful inside ‘n’ out and rich in historical artifacts and ample entertainment opportunities has plenty to offer in all seasons and all weather conditions.
Located in the heart of Naxxar (an affluent town in the northern part of Malta), Palazzo Parisio (built by Paolo Parisio), originally served as a hunting lodge, a residence and also as a college before it was bought and rebuilt by Marquis Scicluna and renamed Scicluna Palace (Palazzo Scicluna). Today the palace is officially known as Palazzo Parisio and Gardens and is open for:
• visiting if you are a history buff or just a connoisseur of beauty,
• high-end shopping if you are looking for original and precious gifts,
• and fine dining if you wish to spend a cozy afternoon having high tea or delicious multiple-course lunch with a glass of bubbly.
The palace itself (used as a filming location in movies such as Cutthroat Island and The Count of Monte Cristo) is an architectural marvel and hosts a delightful assortment of artifacts. It also gives you a sneak peek into the fascinating lives and contributions of Malta’s historic nobility.
If the weather permits, be sure to visit the lavish estate gardens, considered among the finest in Malta. Lovingly tended to all year around, the gardens will truly surprise and enchant you with their exotic variety of plants and flowers.
The impeccable conditions of the estate and its magnificent gardens are the labor of love of a mother and daughter duo: Christina Ramsay Scicluna, Baroness of Tabria and her daughter Justine Pergola who are personally involved in management operations and take great pride in their work on their estate.
Looking for a fancy yet cozy getaway from the rain and wind? Visit Palazzo Parisio’s Tea Room (also known as “a queen among cafes”) for an afternoon high tea, a lovely English tradition initiated by the baroness and her daughter Justine. Start off with your selection of a hot cuppa from the word’s finest teas and some delicious finger sandwiches (cucumber and egg for vegetarians or ham and cheese and smoked salmon for omnivores). No matter how hard you try to be on your best behavior, you won’t be able to resist their three-tier tower of delectable pastry variations including their signature homemade carrot and pineapple cakes. Craving something decadently rich and naughty on a rainy afternoon? The Heaven Sent Chocolate Cake will shock your senses alive. And of course, there is plenty of bubbly to go around to add a little glamour to your afternoon.
Prefer to warm up with a full on meal? Palazzo Parisio’s Luna Collection restaurants are famous for their fine cuisine and chic ambiance.
Don’t say good-bye to Palazzo Parisio without checking out the La Boutique boasting luxury clothing and accessories carefully selected by the Baroness Scicluna herself twice a year from international fashion fairs.
Whatever your interests may be, the glamorous Palazzo Parisio has something in store for everyone.
Valletta Museums and Art Galleries
If rain deters you from exploring outdoors, head to the capital of Malta for a day of museum crawl. Valletta is a World Heritage site and offers a wealth of history, culture, architecture and of course, endless chances of fine dining experiences.
Malta National Community Art Museum, Valletta.
In light of the closing of the National Museum of Fine Arts, the MUZA (a.k.a. the legacy project of Valletta 2018: the European Capital of Culture) has been chosen to be Malta’s new art museum and has made the Guardian’s list of top 15 must-see new galleries and museums.
Aside from galleries of fine arts collections, MUZA also offers interactive experiences via visuals and audios where you can learn about specific techniques of creating art based on works of contemporary Maltese artists, and even try your own hand at creating still life. You are also welcome to join a live class where you can study the works of masters before creating your own.
National War Museum, Valletta
Located in Fort Saint Elmo, Valletta, the National War Museum is one of the most visited museums in Malta largely owing to the fort itself, which played a crucial role during the Great Siege of 1565 and the World War II and today serves as a vantage point for magnificent views. The National War Museum covers all major events having affected the Maltese Isles starting with exhibits from Bronze Age, World Wars I and II all the way to Malta’s modern history.
Malta 5D (Old Bakery Street, Valletta) is yet another innovative, exciting and ultimately educational treat for all ages. The 5D experience entails an enthralling 3D movie presentation of Maltese history as an active participant meaning you will be soaring above the Isles, diving deep into the seas and hiding into the narrow city streets anxiously awaiting possible attackers with spears or bomb attacks. The 3D experience will be further enhanced by special effects such as your seats suddenly moving, unexpected scents and aromas wafting up, water being sprayed on you, sudden air blasts and your legs being tickled. A real thriller indeed!
Malta Toy Museum, Valletta
Located across from Casa Rocca Piccola, the three-story toy museum boasts a monumental collection of toys starting from 1950s. The collection includes dolls, farm animals, planes, trains, matchbox cars and boats. All these memorabilia belong to Vincent Brown who had the idea of opening this museum to display his own sizable toy collection. Maybe it is not your cup of tea but we believe this enchanting three-floor house with its a bittersweet aura has the ability to evoke memories of simpler yet more magical times of our lives.
Malta National Aquarium
If it’s dark and rainy outside, surround yourself with a burst of colors anyway by walking through a tunnel and being greeted by sharks and various other species of fish at Malta National Aquarium hosting a wide array of marine creatures in over 41 tanks. To help you orient yourself, the aquarium is divided into 5 zones. Zones 1 and 2 display fish native to different parts of Malta. Zone 3 covers tropical oceans. Zone 4 goes back to Roman times where along with fish you will find St. Paul’s anchor (St. Paul is believed to have shipwrecked in Malta) donated to Malta National Aquarium by Malta Maritime Museum. Zone 5 displays the colorful diversity of fish native to islands of Gozo and Comino. Aside from fish, a new section has opened (since 2015) presenting reptiles and amphibians including snakes, geckos, lizards, insects etc.
Spas and Saunas
On a day when the weather is particularly volatile and you are not in the mood to snap pictures of the waves swallowing the Sliema Promenade, why not immerse your self in a blissful tranquility and relaxation at one of Malta’s or Gozo’s most luxurious spa facilities?!
Myoka Lotus Spa
Winner of Malta’s Leading Spa Resort 2013; award by the annual World Travel Awards 2016 Enjoy your well-deserved escape from busy-ness and daily hassles at the Myoka Lotus Spa (Myoka means “mysterious flower” in ancient Japanese). Located at the heart of St. Julian’s, this Balinese style spa is open daily from 9am-8pm on workdays and 9am-7pm on Saturdays and Sundays. By integrating and perfecting Oriental, Mediterranean and Nordic holistic healing and beauty practices, Myoka offers a wide range of wellness treatments for your body, mind and soul including phyto-therapy, hydrotherapy, aromatherapy, Ayurveda treatments, body scrubs, wraps and anti-cellulite treatments, a variety of facial treatments, hands and feet rituals, signature and custom tailored packages.Moreover, do not hesitate to take advantage of their fitness center, aerobic studios, steam rooms, sauna, Jacuzzi and a gorgeous heated indoor pool.
Ta’ Cenc Spa
Located on the magnificent island of Gozo, this refined Trullo style island spa offers beach access (maybe not for rainy days), fitness facilities including personal trainer assistance and consultations, indoor and outdoor lagoon-style heated pools, and a fine dining experience. Wait!!! Let us give you a sneak peak of their extravagant offer of exotic treatments: Facials with enticing names such as Purity Ritual, Glow and Shine, Mythical, and Day Dreaming just to name a few. Hand Care with Cleopatra’s Milk Soak, Flower Blossom and Nature’s Elements. Body Massages with seductive titles such as Deep in the Ocean, Garden Flavors, Candlelight, Hot Lava and Hot Sand Massage. If you are adventurous enough, go for one of their more exotic alternative treatments. Check out the Hopi Ear Candles: a facial with focus on sinus, neuralgic pain and excessive earwax relief; Touch Therapy: healing hands finding and relieving pain, and accumulated tensions in your body; Stairway to Heaven: a slow rhythm massage for a profound stress relief. Feeling like pampering yourself or a loved one? Book a delicious peel or a body scrub from the most enchanting ones: Exotic island, From Vineyard to Silk or Sweet and Sour. Intrigued? For more details check out treatments under http://www.tacenc.com
Kempinski Luxury Spa & Ayurveda Center (a.k.a The Oasis of Rejuvenation)
Visiting Gozo and feeling like escaping the world for a couple of hours by cozily tucking yourself away on an 1,700 sqm estate situated in the picturesque town of San Lawrenz on the exotic island of Gozo? The Kempinski Luxury Spa has fabulous treats in store for your. Equipped with a myriad of spa and Ayurveda treatment facilities, Hammam room, steam room, heated indoor pools, a Jacuzzi and relaxation areas, this is an ideal place for unwinding and recharging your batteries. The appeal is particularly irresistible on stormy, rainy Mediterranean winter days after an outdoor hike. Pamper yourself and warm up with the energizing Winter Warmer deep tissue massage particularly beneficial for loosening and relaxing painful and stiff joints and muscles. It comes with a complimentary warming Shea and Mango butter foot balm. Another option to relieve sore muscles is to try a Hot Stone Massage where heated stones are strategically placed on body’s energy points to rejuvenate and release tensions. Or maybe you’d like to check out their array of Oriental Hammam treatments: Classic Moroccan, Royal or Turkish Hammam?
Feeling like going all out? The Definitive Treatment is a must then! Regain your limberness and sense of vitality, by indulging in this hot stone massage accompanied by a unique blend of essential oils of Rosemary, Grapefruit and Juniper berries. The massage slowly moves upwards from the body to your face to cleanse, moisturize and rejuvenate your face to leave your fresh and happy from toe to head.
Whatever your body needs are, a team expert therapists will ensure your journey to healing and rejuvenation is not only pleasurable, but also lasting and effective.
When visiting Malta during our off –season (particularly during rainy days), we are here to help you find bits and pieces of our Mediterranean magic to take with you.