Parks & Recreation
Buskett gardens is Malta’s biggest and only woodland area, Buskett is located in the outskirts of Rabat and the area is dominated by the famous Palace Verdala which is the Presidents’ summer residence. The gardens are located in the fertile valley of Luqa, south of Rabat and just east of Dingli, and they were originally created as an area for hunting. The Gardens, designed by Grand Master Lascaris, includes vineyards, orange groves, acres of olive groves and lemon trees. The public garden is ideal for long country walks throughout all the year. The Verdala Palace is an old maltese baroque building, situated on a hill overlooking the Buskett gardens. It was built by the maltese architect Girolamo Cassar, commissioned by Grand Master Hughes de Verdalle in 1588, to serve as a summer residence. The interior of the palace is notable for the frescos of Filippo Paladini, and many portraits of some of his successors, painted by Peter Paul Busuttil and Salvatore Caruana. The halls and rooms are richly decorated and furnished. The palace comprises of three floors with square towers at the four corners. From the terrace one can admire an impressive 360° panoramic view of Malta which extends even to Gozo. Within its court is the interesting chapel of St. Anthony Abbot. The building, recently restored, is not open to the public, but offers a significant landmark clearly visible from the Dingli Cliffs. The Buskett Gardens hosts one of the oldest feast in Malta and Gozo, known as L-Imnarja. The feast, celebrated in June, commemorates two important saints in Maltese religious lore, St Peter and St Paul.
San Anton Gardens were designed by Grand Master Antoine de Paule to embellish his summer residence, San Anton Palace which was built in the 17th century. The botanical garden is a delight with mature trees, old stone urns, fountains, ponds and flower beds. The garden, in full formal style but with rustic touches, holds a wide variety of plants and flowers, including Jacaranda trees, Norfolk Pines, bougainvillea and roses.
The Upper Barrakka Garden in Valletta is most beautiful garden in Malta offering spectacular views over the Grand harbour and two of Malta’s oldest towns, which are Senglea and Vittoriosa. The Barrakka gardens are divided into two sections: the lower and upper part. The Upper garden is the most interesting part with an interesting structure of Sir Winston Churchill, a british politician who in times of war had a special relationship with Malta. The garden is a perfect place for relaxation while enjoying beautiful views both during the day and night of the fortifications of Fort St Angelo and the Three Old Cities, namely Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua. Beneath the balcony, there is the saluting battery where one can see 19th century guns. A re-enactment of the firing of the guns is done every day at noon. Make sure you are there a bit early to find a good place by the balcony.
The garden of the magnificent Parisio palace is amongst the most beautiful in Malta. While strolling through the small garden, one will come across several fruit trees and local plants while enjoying the refreshing scent of flowers. The garden is renowned for its baroque setting and colourful flowers. The palace to which this garden pertains is worth a visit. Located in central Naxxar, opposite the Parish Church, it has an extravagant interior with sumptuous rooms in gold style rich in works of art.
The Bird Park in Salina is siituated within Salina national park. This privately owned bird park is home to a range of over 200 exotic birds and some animals. This guarantees a fun day out for children and adults alike. Visitors will be able to interact with the wildlife in a tranquil and perfectly laid out environment.
Villa Rundle Gardens is Gozo’s biggest public Garden. It has been renovated and inaugurated in May 2012. The garden includes a number of palm trees and various plants and flowers put in different named sections. It offers also a small playground for children and a Greek-style amphitheatre. The garden offers a relaxing experience to its visitors.