valletta and the blue waters of malta

Travel through Cinema: Malta

The Maltese islands are famous for cinematic shoots including Gladiator, Cutthroat Island, Troy and the Popeye musical.

The Maltese islands are made up of Malta, Comino and Gozo. Situated to the South of Italy and North of Tunisia the country has a vast history. The rugged cliff tops, clear blue waters and mixture of historical architecture has made it a desirable filming spot for television and cinema.

These are just some of the movies and shows to see Malta from home.

Located on Malta, the purpose-built set for the 1980’s musical movie of Popeye is now one of the most visited tourist attractions on the island. It sits in Mellieha’s Anchor Bay. Also known as Sweethaven Village it can be seen from the surrounding cliff top viewpoints.

view over the ramshackle buildings in malta's popeye village
Popeye Village

The cartoon character of Popeye the Sailor Man was brought to life by Robert Altman, Walt Disney Productions and Paramount Pictures.

Popeye arrived in the coastal town made up of ramshackle wooden buildings whilst on a mission to find his father. Instead, he falls in love with Olive Oyl who is supposed to marry Captain Bluto.

guests to popeye village in malt can enjoy a boat ride in the bay
Boats Rides at Popeye Village

Open all year, the movie characters can still be seen at the amusement park where guests can also enjoy boat trips in the bay and wander around the village. The park is also home to Popeye’s comic museum, a cinema, mini golf course and a silver smith.

Directed by Ridley Scott and co-produced by Universal and DreamWorks pictures, Gladiator was released in 2000. The historical drama was partly filmed in the areas of Birgu and Kalkara due to their similarity with Italy.

The movie trail in Valletta includes locations seen in Midnight Express (1978), Clash of the Titans (1981), Cutthroat Island (1995), World War Z (2013), 13 Hours (2016) and American Assassin (2017) but many more film crews have set up there since The Bedford Incident in 1964.

the blue waters of comino in malta where part of the movie troy was filmed
The Blue Waters of Comino

The small island of Comino attracts visitors to the blue bays and waters that were used in the filming of Troy in 2004.

Before collapsing into the sea during 2017, the Azure Window on Gozo was used in the filming of the popular television series, Game of Thrones. It was the setting for the wedding of Khal Drogo to Daenerys Targaryen. However, that is just one of the GoT locations, as various places were used across Malta. The old capital of Mdina was the walled city of King’s Landing in the first series.

malta's mdina was filmed as king's landing in the first season of game of thrones
Mdina / King’s Landing

Mdina was also used in the filming of The Count of Monte Cristo in 2002, as were other areas across the Maltese islands, including Comino.

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