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The Maltese Islands - Authentic and Sustainable

There are many ways one can visit Malta, the hidden gem of the Mediterranean. One way to explore the archipelago’s sister islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino, is to live like a local. Providing a more authentic Maltese experience, one can rent historic farmhouses in Gozo or luxurious palazzos and villas in Malta. These private stays also provide guests with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in local culture and cuisine.

Authentic Gozo, One of Malta’s Sister Islands

Mgarr Harbor, Gozo - Photograph by Albert Camiller

Nicknamed ‘the Eco Island’ by many, Gozo itself has retained a charming authenticity. Gozo is small compared to its sister island of Malta, with beautiful beaches and coves, world-class diving, historic sites, including the city of Vittoriosa and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ġgantija Temples. Everything is only a short drive away. Farm to table cuisine IS Gozo, either opting for shopping at the local markets for Gozitan specialties, like the famous Gozitan cheeselets, locally grown olive oil, Maltese wine, or enjoying the many neighborhood restaurants. Gozo offers a wide range of farmhouses, most with modern amenities, private pools and stunning views. There are even private Chef Services that can pre-stock the kitchens with fresh, local ingredients or cook gourmet meals.

Xara Gardens at Xara Lodge in Rabat

The Xara Collection’s Xara Gardens is a great example of a hospitality group developing innovative farm to table and sustainability initiatives. Its primary goal is to produce tasteful and healthy home-grown food using sustainable methods including recycled food as fuel for new crops and through regenerative farming. Through sharing of knowledge, the Xara Group looks at starting internal education in order for all team members to fully understand the loop that is created from food growth, to waste disposal, to new food growth. The produce from the Gardens will find themselves in delectable menus served throughout the various venues of the Xara Collection in Malta.

Diar il-Bniet - Farm to Table Cooking Classes

Photograph by Dair il-Bniet

Organized hands-on cooking classes are held at the Diar il-Bniet farmhouse kitchen studio located in Dingli, a rustic village on the island. Classes are for anyone interested in learning about traditional Maltese dishes from Diar il-Bniet’s own homegrown produce and enjoy learning the story behind each dish. Classes include Maltese rural cooking, farm to table, ravioli making, and traditional ftira & bread making.

Taste History - Recipes from History

In 2021, Heritage Malta introduced a gastronomic twist to its historic sites. Taste History is an opportunity for guests to indulge in traditional Maltese food with recipes from history. The menus are carefully curated by a team of professional Maltese chefs, coming together for a private dining experience where the chefs recreate culinary delights in the actual venues where Inquisitors, Corsairs, Knights, and Libertines once dined. Taste History is the closest thing to time travel, as guests get the chance to go back in time to fully experience Maltese history, culture & gastronomy – with all the senses.

Farmer’s Lunch at Tan Nixxiegha Olive Grove by Merill Rural Network

Tan-Nixxiegha Olive Grove

The Tan-Nixxiegha Olive Grove is located in the heart of a rural area in Malta, called Binġemma. Originally intended just for olive cultivation, today this hidden gem hosts many endemic and indigenous plants and trees, providing a much needed safe haven for local fauna, and is an ideal place to spend a day learning about eco and agri-experiences. This site is managed by a local farming family within the Merill Eco-Tourism Network, which aims to increase awareness about local agriculture, revive traditions, and empower the rural community to diversify their income in a sustainable manner. Visitors to the Olive Grove can also enjoy a true Farmer’s lunch, a unique experience where guests have the chance to enjoy an unpretentious, yet abundant meal composed of seasonal, fresh, genuine local products that farmers would typically eat for lunch.

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