Friday, 16 November 2012

A group of students visit the Bingemma Olive Grove

View from the Olive Grove

We were pleased to host a group of students from the university association called "Youth for the Environment". Daniel Buhagiar is the current President of the organisation. The students all have the environment at heart and study at various faculties and institutes within the University of Malta including sciences, engineering and health. The scope of the association is to create environmental awareness, promote efficiency and contribute to sustainability in society. This rural experience was organised as one of their social events.

During the discussion

It was a splendid Sunday morning when John, a young farmer, and I met the group next to the Chapel of Our Lady of Ittria in Bingemma, Mgarr. After a brief introduction, we moved towards the Olive Grove where we were hosted by Nena, Tessie, Bella together with John. The youths were offered tea and coffee together with local jams and marmalades. Following that, the visit was complemented with an engaging discussion about rural tourism and agriculture. John, recalled how studying agriculture has kept him close to his family and the traditions they harness. Olive oil and other delicacies produced by the farmers within the Merill Network were also tasted during the experience. 

Olive oil tasting
Delicacy Tasting
At the olive grove

Photos by Kurt Cuschieri

To get involved in this student organisation visit their Facebook Fan Page:

For more information about the Olive Grove Experience, drop us a line on



Saturday, 3 November 2012

Merill Eco Tours hosts a dynamic team of Food and Beverage experts

Hello Merill fans,

October 2012 has now gone by, and it still feels like summer in Malta. Today has been an exceptionally clear and sunny day, perfect to enjoy the rural parts of the Maltese islands. Having been blessed with fantastic weather throughout September and October, we have enjoyed hosting more groups on our various farm venues around Malta. 

Amongst the groups we hosted in October, we had the pleasure of hosting the Food and Beverage managers and supervisors at Intercontinental Malta. This dynamic team of young people are experts in hotel and restaurant management. Now I'm looking even more forward to visit the various restaurants managed by Intercontinental Malta, such as Eastern Breeze, Paranga and Harruba, to taste the exquisite food prepared by this team :) 

We would like to show gratitude to Mr. Bradley Dingli, the Director of Food and Beverage, who entrusted us to organise a day out for his colleagues, and who took the time to write the 5 star review on our official Trip Advisor page seen below.


Smiling - Photo by Ms. Angie Borda
"We come from a very stressfull and demanding routine on a daily basis at work. Two groups of 20 persons each decided to organise 2 seperate but identical events with this company and Jeanette (together with her husband Chris) assisted us from the very start. We made it very clear that we want to enjoy a full day activity within peaceful surroundings, whereby a group of working colleagues would spend a full day away from the normal routine at work. What Jeanette organised was spot on....they took us to Bingemma Olive Grove to start off with. As a local i have been to this area, however this Olive Grove boasts one of the best views in Malta, apart from a surrounding area that is astounding to spend some hours at with friends. The group tasted some good olive oil, marmalade and consumed some local pastizzi accompanied by coffee and tea (which tastes delicious in this environment). The friendliness and hospitality experience by Charles and his wife at the Olive Grove is an experience not to be missed. Jeannette and Chris enhance the experience by thier knowledge on agriculture, explaining the different types of olive trees and some very interesting information on how the olive oil is pressed; how many olives you need to press a litre of olive oil etc etc. It did rain a bit when we were there with the 2nd group however no one hesitated as there was plenty of shelter for a group of 20.

Intercontinental F&B team - Group 1 - Photo by Ms. Angie Borda

After an hour and a half at the Olive Grove we proceeded to the limits of Rabat and visited a vineyard. Again Jeanette explained a lot about the type of grapes grown and the variety of wines produced. Being locals and having a group of people who's job is in Food & Beverage, she didn't need to elaborate a lot but it was very interersting. The lady at the vineyard prepared a selection of wines (red, white and rose) for us all to try, followed by a nice spread of a typical local table filled with Hobz biz-zejt (traditional Maltese Bread with tomato spread and olive oil), Goat's Cheese, Capers, Pickled Onions, Bigilla (a bean dip), Bruschetta Mix, Olives, and Sundried Tomatoes, which proved to be a very enjoyable meal in the afternoon. Views from the vineyard are exceptional, especially from the roof terrace. We spend at least 2 hours at the vineyard enjoying the wine, food and company. Jeanette and Chris finished it off with some nice local sweets and hot beverages before saying their good byes. 

This was the first time with Merill Eco Private Tours however it will not be the last. Jeannette and Chris you know have 40 ambassadors, promoting your services as you truly offered us a fantastic programme for our company outing. Above all the best thing is that Merill keep the local traditions and local produce alive and highly exposed to the selected few. thanks one again and hope to see you all soon."

Ms. Angie Borda who is part of the Intercontinental Malta team, has also left us a review and a photo, and for this we would like to say thank you.

We hope to host this team again very soon and in the mean time we wish them all the best for the coming hectic Christmas season!



Visited October 2012

Friday, 28 September 2012

Maltese Vines and Wines

Wine tasting at Bingemma Olive Grove

Hello Merill fans!

We have three vine growers within the Merill Network.

Many of our guests who taste their wines, are impressed about the quality.

Here are some photos to whet your appetite :)

Groups visiting Malta for leisure or for work, can visit one of our vineyards and spend some quality time with the farmer and taste local delicacies such as olive oil and honey.

Do not hesitate to get in touch by email on or call us on 00356 21411388!



View from Tal-Virtu Vineyard

Updates from the Merill Farmers' Network

Hello Merill fans,

John Gauci, one of our young farmers and myself
Though summer was officially over on the 21st of September, we are still enjoying blue skies and warm temperatures here in Malta. All the grapes have been harvested and the wine makers are now busy monitoring their new wines. Pomegranates are ripening and it will soon be time to harvest the olives with which the new olive oil will be made. 

We're happy to announce that our network is getting bigger! We now have 20 farmers and artisans around Malta who form part of the Merill Rural Network. 

Tess Gauci - an expert of Maltese local delicacies

All our partners forming the network are authentic farmers and herdsmen, while some are artisans. During the eco and agri experiences we organise, we visit farm venues with guests who wish to enjoy agri-tourism activities, or simply to relax, or to learn about the Maltese culture. 

Nenu Farrugia - One of the very few
Karozzini (horse-cabs) makers left in Malta

Here are some photos of some members of the network. More coming up soon!

Stay in touch through our website or facebook fan page, or drop us a line on

Take care

Jeanette :)

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Cosa c'è a Malta?

Se vi interessa Malta come destinazione per vacanza o lavoro, avrete di sicuro intenzione di visitare la Valletta u Mdina. Queste due città sono una chicca di storia e cultura, piene di chiese, monumenti e piazze. 

Non molti italiani sanno che a Malta c'e tanto altro da vedere e visitare, come ad esempio i villaggi e la costa, molto interessanti. 

Il paesaggio rurale, offre una scelta di attivita agro-turistiche e sportive. Noi di Merill Eco Tours, siamo specializzati nell'organizzare esperienze agri ed eco turistiche, per piccoli gruppi (10 - 40 persone).

Lasciatevi immergere nelle zone rurali di Malta, tra fitti bosci e muretti. Guidati da una guida esperta, vi porteremo in posti che non si vedono sulle cartoline di Malta, perchè  solo in pochi 
conoscono i tesori nascosti di Malta. 

Le nostre gite sono un'assaggio di quello che ha da offrire la terra di Malta. Potrete gustare delle delizie popolari prodotte dagli stessi maltesi e godere di panorami mozzafiato.

I villaggi più belli sono quelli in cui gli agricoltori coltivano la terra ancora con pratiche tradizionali. Ci sono venti agricoltori e artigiani nel nostro network. Con loro organizziamo esperienze di degustazione, e attività di recreazione e relax. I vigneti, oliveti, allevamenti di capre e bovini, sono luoghi eccellenti per vedere il cuore di Malta e assaggiare prodotti tipici maltesi. La nostra cucina è un cocktail di sapori mediterranei e di sicuro troverete la nostra ospitalità molto gradevole. 

Se in caso volete contattarci, lo potete fare tramite il nostro sito web o dalla pagine su Facebook. 

Vi aspettiamo questo autunno!

Cari saluti

Jeanette Borg
Merill Eco Tours

Monday, 17 September 2012

A farmers’ eco-network for tourism in Malta

An article published on the Sunday Times of Malta, September 16, 2012 by Anne Zammit

click here to read the article online

the Merill Rural Network as at June 2012

Friday, 24 August 2012

Summer in Malta with Merill Eco Tours

Come and have a coffee with Nena!

Choose your favourite fruit

Taste Seasonal Fruits of Malta

Harvest Grapes

Enjoy the freshness of rural areas

Meet our sea salt harvester

Here are a few photos to keep you posted with what we've been doing at Merill. Our farmers are busy harvesting delicious summer fruits while we've been hopping from one farm to another with guests to taste all the goodies the land has to offer.

As licensed excursion organisers we offer experiences for groups of locals and tourists together with the farmers and artisans in our network. 

For more information feel free to email us on or visit our website for more details.

Stay cool


Saturday, 18 August 2012

An Even Greener Outlook of Gozo

Hello Merill fans,

Here's some sizzling news from our end! 

We have updated our brochure and guess what...a new Eco Tour is finally dedicated to Gozo. It is very different from all the other conventional Gozo tours commonly promoted. We visit locations that are off the beaten track, while making sure that group sizes do not compromise the livelihood and fragile ecosystems in the areas.

The lush green valleys, traditional agriculture and genuine local products produced in Gozo form an excellent combination for all those who want to experience the Mediterreanean. The short trip with the ferry exposes the beauty of the coastline of Malta, Gozo and Comino.

Once you're in Gozo, leave it to us to take you to secluded areas where you can enjoy the best views and taste the best goodies on the island.

For more details, send us an email on or call us on 00356 2141 1388


Photos by Jonathan Henwood

Monday, 6 August 2012


Wir hoffen Ihnen geht es Bestens! Hier in Malta ist es hell und sonnig ... nicht einmal eine Wolke am Himmel!

Gern möchten wir Ihnen unsere Öko-und Agrar-Erlebnisse auf Malta und Gozo vorstellen. Ein Besuch in Valletta und Mdina ist ein Muss. Zusätzlich ist ein weiteres Erlebnis an einer unseren aussergewöhnlichen Touren teilzunehmen.  Einheimische Bauern treten als Gastgeber während dieser Erlebnisse auf. Ihre Olivenhainen und Weinbergen genießen einen atemberaubenden Blick auf die Landschaft Maltas und ihre schmackhaften Köstlichkeiten.

Die „Olivenöl und Weinprobe“ sind die bevorzugte Erfahrungen unserer Stammkunden. Dieser Link stellt eine typische Tour rund um Rabat und Mdina dar, die die „Wein und Rebenerfahrung“ beeinhaltet. Klicken Sie HIER um den Clip anzusehen.

Wir bieten auch spezielle Touren wie landwirtschaftliche Themenführungen, Gartenbesichtigungen, Rinder- und Pferdetouren, Meersalz Ernte, Webtouren oder unkonventionelle sonstige Erfahrungen abseits der touristischen Wege. Sollten Sie weitere Details benötigen, zögern Sie nicht, sich mit uns in Verbindung zu setzen.  
Nicht zuletzt, verfügen wir über ein umfangreiches Angebot an lokalen Spezialitäten aus Malta, die unsere Besucher mit nach Hause als besonderes Geschenk nehmen möchten. 

Wir freuen uns von Ihnen zu hören! 

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Family Tours in Malta

While the temperatures keep rising, more and more tourists come over to the Malta for a well deserved break. The clear blue sky and sea are ideal to drain down the stress accumulated during winter.

For all those families coming over to Malta for a break, we are offering half and full day tours tailor made to feature the very best of Malta. Some families would have already visited Valletta and Mdina, as the main historical sites in Malta. We have a lot more to show you! ....villages, way side chapels, view points, places rich in nature, archaeology, traditions and culture. We are aware that some places are difficult to get to, by using public transport. While recommending the hiring of a car or a chauffeur driven service, we can organise an experience and have you escorted by one of our expert guides.

Send us an email for more info on or call us on 00356 7941 1388.

P.S...we also organise these experiences for locals...have a look at this clip to get a feel of what we do.

Beat the heat this summer...stay fresh with us at Merill Eco Tours!

Traditionally baked foods 

Ausflug für Familien
Escursione per famiglie
Excursie voor gezinnen
Экскурсия для семей
εκδρομή για οικογένειες

Summer in Malta

Enjoy some photos of summer in Malta :)

Wild Thyme adds a touch of purple to the Maltese Landscape

Sea Salt Harvesting at it's best

Local Product Tasting to keep us fresh

Swimming in secluded beaches...we know where to take you ;)

Enjoying stunning views

Friday, 1 June 2012

A stunning video clip about the beauty of the Maltese Coast

Deep within Malta's blue sea lies a galaxy of marine wildlife coming in all shapes, sizes and colours, or so we're told. For despite the rich heritage, most Maltese know little of the underwater world encircling the island's 300-kilometre coastline.

But two 15-minute-long underwater documentaries released this week are seeking to change that and bring Malta's submarine treasures to light.

Venomous stargazers, eels, bearded fireworms, eerie John Dory, barracuda and colonies of salps (a type of plankton) all feature. Viewers can observe mutualism at work first-hand, as a sea anemone and hermit crab benefit from one another.

The documentaries, which cover marine protected areas Rdum Majjiesa and Dwejra, are not available for sale. Instead, they will be distributed to all schools as of the next scholastic year.
Public screenings of the documentaries are also planned, with the footage eventually being projected continuously within a number of environmental information areas, including one set to be established at Dwejra.
Produced by Shaun Arrigo and Monolith Ltd, the documentaries were commissioned by the University of Malta's International Ocean Institute centre as part of the EU-funded Panacea project.

The Panacea -- or Promotion of Marine Protected Areas Through Environmental Education Centres -- project will run until 2013. It seeks to promote sound management of marine ecosystems through education.

IOI-Malta marine biologist Alan Deidun praised the documentary, saying: "It marks an unprecedented local attempt at projecting Malta's stunning underwater assets to students through unrivalled video quality."

Monday, 21 May 2012

Too cute to be true!

The farmer is proud about his latest addition in the family

90" Eco Seconds - #2 Mdina & Rabat : Vine and wine experience

        Amoureux de nature et de gastronomie, venez vivre une expérience hors du commun dans la campagne maltaise autour de la fabrication du vin. En voici un aperçu en images.

Découvrez Mdina l'ancienne capitale de l'île, qui vous offre un incroyable voyage dans le temps grâce à son architecture traditionnelle, ses étroites ruelles et l'impressionnante cathédrale Saint Paul. Depuis ses remparts, profitez d'un panorama exceptionnel sur Malte.

Notre expérience se poursuit non loin de là au milieu des vignes de Rabat où vous recevrez l'accueil chaleureux d'un agriculteur local qui prendra le soin de vous faire visiter sa ferme entretenue depuis des générations. Vous déambulerez au coeur de l'exploitation et notre guide expert vous expliquera tous les secrets de l'activité viticole. Dans ce cadre idyllique vous aurez le privilège de déguster les nombreux produits locaux et notamment vous succomberez au savoureux vin fruité produit à base du raisin issu d’un terroir baigné de soleil.
Enfin, à proximité, rejoignez le village de Dingli et ses falaises escarpées qui surplombent la splendide Méditerranée. Promenez-vous sur les landes et découvrez une nature préservée dans laquelle cohabitent une faune et une flore unique.

Emotions garanties pour cette expérience insolite !

Si vous souhaitez recevoir plus de renseignements sur nos excursions, n'hésitez pas à visiter notre site internet ou écrivez nous à notre adresse internet à 

Retrouvez-nous sur Facebook et sur Twitter.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

An Apple a Day

Hey Merill fans,

A proud young farmer happy about his ripening apples
After Thursday's local TV episode of "Ilsien in-Nisa" featuring Merill Eco Tours, we are very happy with all the positive comments received by email and on our Facebook fan page. This gave us fuel to keep working hard to bring about the best agri and eco experiences for locals and tourists all year round.

The grey and windy weekend in Malta did not discourage people from going out to enjoy the countryside.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit some fields in Mosta where John Gauci, is cultivating some delicious fruits and vegetables. Onions, courgettes, olives and pomegranates are grown with great care, making sure good farming practices are followed.

John, is a 19 year-old young farmer who is still pursuing his studies. The fields he's taking care of are located in an area where rural structures with impressive architecture are found. Unfortunately most of these are crumbling down and are in need restoration urgently. Urban sprawl and the continuous struggle with the Planning Authority are the major set backs of farmers in the area. 

Nonetheless, John is not discouraged and with a lot of hard work and continuous encouragement from his family, he keeps on doing his best to improve the land. During the visit he showed me around and at one point in time he directed our attention towards a small tree sheltered by reeds. It was the indigenous apple tree variety of Malta known as Ta' Belludja. It reminded me of a University assignment I prepared some years back which dealt about this particular tree. I remember my disappointment when at the time I discovered how much little literature was available on the subject. The picture above shows John and the apples, ripening nicely in time for the summer months ahead.

I was really fascinated about the history behind this variety. Will keep you all posted about the ripening apples. Rest assured that I will be one of the first to taste them :)


Friday, 18 May 2012

An annual event not to be missed!

You can't miss this event! This is the third time round that an open weekend is being set up. 

Though I am not as physically present as I used to be at MCAST Agribusiness, I am still very attached to lecturing, being with a dynamic team of lecturers and students. This will be a good opportunity for me to come and say hello :)

This is an event for all the Maltese people and foreigners living in Malta who want to learn about the great job these students are doing. 

See you there.


Ilsien in-Nisa goes Eco

Hello Merill Fans,

Hope you're all doing great! We're as busy as bees and looking forward for the summer season to begin. Here are a few words and pics about yesterday's programme of "Ilsien in-Nisa" which was aired on One TV.  By popular demand the station will air it once again tomorrow morning, Saturday 19th May at 8.45am.

"Ilsien in-Nisa" is a fresh programme presented by four dynanic well known personalities. Clare Agius is the leader who ignited the idea and takes care of the production. The other ladies are full of charm and energy bringing about interesting topics every week.

This week the programme featured Ecotourism in Malta. As Merill Eco Tours we took the ladies out for day  in the heart of the Maltese countryside. I met Moira Delia, Claire Agius Ordway, Pauline Agius and Valerie Borg in Mgarr early in the morning. First we went to pick some delicious strawberries for which Mgarr is famous for, and then went to meet a family of farmers who manage a beautiful olive grove. There we all had some tea and coffee with traditional Biskuttini tar-Rahal, which is literally translates to Village Biscuits. After touring around the olive grove where free range chickens are reared, we tasted some local delicacies such as extra virgin olive oil, sun dried tomatoes and pickles onions. It was great enjoying a beautiful day with all the four ladies, and the family who hosted us.  

The programme highlighted the Principles of Ecotourism, and how Merill Eco Tours started off in January 2011 by creating a network of farmers to bring about a wave of fresh experiences to locals and tourists. The concept behind all this is to create awareness about agriculture in Malta and to draw towards the rural community a new source of income. 

I would like to say a big thank you for this opportunity to the production team of "Ilsien in-Nisa" and One TV.  

Stay tuned :)


Fresh fruits and veg and many other goodies

The banana tree made a hit!

Claire Agius Ordway followed by the rest

I was honoured to be with four such lovely ladies
Photos by Steve Gauci

For more information about the whole range of experiences we offer, one can visit the Merill Eco Tours website. We organise experiences upon request for small and medium sized groups. Feel free to email us on or call us on 21/27411388.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Good Vines and Wines in Malta

Hello Merill fans,

Hope you're all doing great! Just a short update about our activities in Malta. The weather is perfect...sunny and warm in the morning and cool in the evening. Vines have now greened the valleys and hills of the Maltese countryside. We're keeping our farmers busy with agri experiences right now. Visiting Valletta and Mdina is a must if you come to Malta, and so are our experiences which take place just a few kilometers away from these well known cultural sites. In just a a matter of hours we accompany our guests at the best locations of our island. 

Our network of hard-working farmers, enables us to choose the perfect venue, be it a secluded olive grove or a vineyard with stunning views in the heart of a rural area. Here are some photos for all of you to enjoy!

Should you need more info about our alternative experiences, visit our website and send us an email on


Vines have now turned the landscape in Malta green

A boy's toy!
One last strawberry... et voila!


Wie Merill Lokale Produkte, arbeiten wir mit den lokalen Bauern, um Erfahrungen zu Einheimischen und Touristen bieten, sowie vertreibt eine breite Palette von Produkten während der Besuche auf Bauernhöfen. Unser Sortiment umfasst Olivenöl, Wein, getrockneten Tomaten, Meersalz, Zwiebeln Gewürzgurken und Honig.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Vines, Wines and Stunning views in Malta

Vines look splendid at this time of the year!

Preparing the local products display

Ready to be tasted!

Seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables

Spring weather is a blessing after a rainy winter. We're as busy as bees preparing for experiences to take place in the next few weeks. Tasting of delicious local products and relaxing in farm setups, is an excellent treat whether you're a local or a foreigner who is luck enough to be in Malta. Extra virgin olive oil, honey and strawberries all make tasting sessions uniquely Mediterranean. Strawberry picking activities are also in full swing and we're now very eager to hold the first sea salt harvesting sessions of the season in June.

If you're thinking of organising a stress-free eco experience, give us a call on 00356 79411388 or email on

For more details please visit our website!


Wie Merill Lokale Produkte, arbeiten wir mit den lokalen Bauern, um Erfahrungen zu Einheimischen und Touristen bieten, sowie vertreibt eine breite Palette von Produkten während der Besuche auf Bauernhöfen. Unser Sortiment umfasst Olivenöl, Wein, getrockneten Tomaten, Meersalz, Zwiebeln Gewürzgurken und Honig.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

German Agriculturalists Training in Malta

Display of agricultural products from Malta

Anzeige von landwirtschaftlichen Erzeugnissen aus Malta

Explanation about the location

Erklärung über den Standort

Visiting small fields where Mediterranean fruit trees are grown

Visiting kleine Felder, auf denen mediterrane Obstbäume angebaut werden

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