When you think about living in Malta, first thing that comes up to your mind is the sunny all year round weather. To a point, this may be true, especially considering that the Maltese climate tends to be mild in most days of the year. It is not uncommon for us to have sunny days for about 300 of the 365 days in a year. But every once in awhile, you will get to experience a rainy day in Malta.
For instance, the month of February this year was quite wet, wetter than in past years. For many of us, we could not wait for the spring season to begin. But what options do you have when it is raining on a weekend and you are stuck in the house?
The following is a list of 6 top attractions to visit in Malta when it’s bad weather and get to hide from the Mediterranean rain during your off-days:
The Xarolla Windmill Located in Zurrieq
This is a one-of-a-kind attraction as it happens to be the only functioning windmill in all the Maltese islands. The Xarolla Windmill also acts as one of the prominent landmarks in Zurrieq. It is a windmill that was constructed in 1724 during the administration of Grandmaster Manoel de Vilhena.
It underwent some restoration works in 1994 which were meant to help restore it to its past glory. Visitors to this landmark will normally get a chance to visit their private rooms, such as bedrooms, dining rooms, and kitchen area to get a glimpse into how the miller lived with his family.
At this point, we should point out that weekly visits are only allowed after making an appointment. For weekend visits, the standard operating hours are between 8 am to 12 pm. Visitors are required to part with €3 to gain access. If you want a private tour organized for you, make sure you get in touch with the local council.
The Wignacourt Museum Located in Rabat
As the name suggests, this museum is located in Rabat and is housed in the eighteenth-century Baroque Building. The Wignacourt Museum in the past housed the Chaplains of the Knights of St. John. It was named after Alof de Wignacourt, a Grand Master. He ruled the Maltese Islands in the period between 1601 and 1622.
The building which consists of three levels was completed in 1749. The three levels are the underground level; comprising of a Christian and Roman Hypogea, as well as labyrinth of Punic. This is in addition to the World War II shelters complex.
On your visit to the ground level, you will come across a range of rooms that are used as offices. Minor collections are placed on one side while a spacious garden café is located on the other side. During the olden days, this space was used as a refectory of the Chaplains of the Order.
The first floor today serves as the main exhibition area. It features an impressive picture gallery that showcases work by artists such as Francesco Zahra, Antoine Favray, Mattia Preti, and many other European artists.
It is open every day of the week from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. The admission fee is €5 per adult.
Casa Bernard Located in Rabat
The Casa Bernard got its name from its first owner who worked as a doctor in Santo Spirito Hospital. He was gifted the house in 1720. At the time, the hospital only attended to Knights. The hospital which was located a few meters from the Palazzo also happens to be the oldest Maltese hospital ever documented.
It is currently owned by Georges & Josette Margi who purchased the Palazzo in 1994. After acquiring it, it took its current owners approximately four and a half years to restore it to its former glory as well as to have electricity and water installed. Georges in 2001 suggested to Josette that they consider opening the Casa Bernard to the public.
Malta Classic Car Museum Based in Qawra
The museum, which was officially opened to the public in 2005 is, in fact, Mr. Galea’s private collection. Mr. Galea started collecting cars more than forty years ago, and it happens to be the only car museum around. It has around 90 cars, with models ranging from 1955 Jaguar C Type to the Classic 1972 Fiat 500F.
Other items in the collection include 45 motorbikes and scooters. You will also find other items in the museum that include old car players, radios, cameras, and jukeboxes.
The Grandmaster’s Palace in Valletta
The palace was among the first buildings to be constructed in the city of Valletta. It is a building that sits at the centre of the World Heritage City of Valletta. In the period between 1530 to 1796, it was referred to as the Grandmaster’s Palace. Later on, it changed its name to become the Governor’s Palace in the period between 1800 to 1964 during the British occupation of the Maltese Islands.
It takes about two hours to visit every part of the palace. Visitors who would like to see the Armoury and the State Rooms will need to buy access tickets.
Xerri’s Grotto in Xaghra, Gozo
If you are ever in Gozo on a cold, windy, and rainy day, make sure to make a visit to the Xerri’s Grotto in Xaghra. One of the things that makes this attraction unique is the fact that it has a constant temperature which is set at 19degrees. You will, therefore, have ample time to warm up before you head back outside.
Mr. Anthony Xerri from Gozo is credited with discovering the Grotto in 1923. At the time, he was digging a well to supply him with water. And this is where he came across the Grotto. During the visit, everything that you will find here was dug by Mr. Xerri using his hands. He did, however, receive some help from his sons.
The whole tour takes a total of fifteen minutes and will only cost you €2,50. Walking through this Grotto on a rainy day in Malta will lead you seven meters below the ground level where you will see stalagmites that have been growing for thousands of years.