The Fantasy Town at Popeye’s Village

Popeye's Village

Revisit your childhood with your kids at Popeye’s Village.

 A childhood favourite for many, we all know that Popeye is indeed the strongest sailor man you’ll ever come cross. While many grew up with Popeye’s comic strips and animated TV series, a live action film was produced in the 80s, and this film just happened to be filmed in Malta.

The film, starring Robin Williams, required a whole set to be constructed from scratch in order to recreate the fictional village of Sweethaven. In preparation for Popeye, the construction of Sweethaven began on Anchor Bay, a northern bay in Mellieha. 30 years after construction, Sweethaven and Anchor Bay have essentially become a walk-through museum and attraction that locals and tourists alike call Popeye’s Village.

The village, which consists of nineteen wooden buildings, is bursting with memorabilia and authentic artifacts dating back to the original film. Some of the houses in Popeye Village have been equipped with various items related to the filming, including props used in the film's production. So what did it take to construct Sweethaven? Oh, just a few hundred logs and several thousand wooden planks and wood shingles, eight tons of nails and two thousand gallons of paint.

Popeye Village is open to the public seven days a week and, apart from the film set itself, has a number of family attractions for visitors to enjoy. There are shows, rides and museums, as well as play houses where children can climb and explore the village. Children may also get to meet the main characters from the show such as Popeye and his lady friend Olive Oyl!

When the weather permits, visitors can enjoy a twenty-minute boat trip around Anchor Bay where one can photograph the scenery and view Popeye’s Village from the sea. Situated in the centre of Popeye Village's Lower Complex, visitors can also enjoy a twenty-minute audio-visual show, with clips from the actual film and the set's construction.

The park is open year-round, where there are plenty of activities organised throughout the off-season months. Santa’s Toy Town is a huge Christmas attraction that includes puppet show, parade, treasure hunts, and face painting. Sweethaven also caters for the summer heat by having a number of water-based attractions installed like water trampolines, play pool with slides as well as live animation shows.

Tickets to the park are very affordable, with special rates for children. Information about tickets, opening times and the location may be found here.

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Did you know?

  • The famous eight-pointed Maltese Cross symbolizes the 8 obligations of the Knights of St John: Truth, faith, repent of sins, humility, justice, merciful, sincere and enduring persecution.
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