Monday, 25 February 2013

Villa Del Porto – charming boutique hotel in a traditional town house


Villa del Porto is one of the best examples of how to transform an old building into a stylish, modern boutique hotel while keeping the old spirit of the place. The hotel despite of the modern equipment and amenities managed to keep the authentic atmosphere. The old, Maltese patterned floor tiles, the timber balcony and the original stone slab ceilings supported by iron beams all show the efforts made in order to preserve the place as it was at its peak.

Villa Del Porto can be found in Kalkara, next to the city of Birgu. It is believed by some historians that it was the first inhabited land in Malta.  In 1530, the Knights of St John started the development and fortification process of the area and made Kalkara a suburb of Cottonera and Birgu. Due to the rapid increase of the population, Kalkara became independent from Birgu in 1897. Many of the houses were built between 1850s and 1950s and represent the traditional terraced houses of the era.

During World War II, the town suffered a lot due to its proximity to the drydocks of Cottonera. Despite of the damages caused by the bombardment, Kalkara has lots of sights that it can be proud of. The Chapel of Our Saviour, the Parish Church, Fort Ricasoli, Fort Tas-Salvatur, Fort Rinella, Villa Bighi and Villa Portelli. 

Who wouldn’t like to spend some time in a beautifully restored town house surrounded by the remains of history? 
Aldo Camilleri, the managing director of Villa del Porto shares our view concerning the importance of conservation and preservation of the old traditions and he strives to provide this authentic atmosphere for his guests. Though the hotel has all the important amenities that one would require in the modern age, it still kept the charming and peaceful interior of a typical Maltese terraced house. The twelve rooms are very well equipped and the view on the harbour is truly breath taking. The family rooms are comfortable for families who intend to spend some time in a friendly and calm environment close to the historical centre of Valletta and the “Three Cities”. 

After our visit at the hotel, we can say with confidence, that Villa del Porto is unique in its way and conveys value to its guests. The hotel represents how well the modern and traditional items go together and promotes the simplicity and grandeur of the old times. It is also a way of keeping the culture alive and we are really glad to find places like this in the heart of Malta. 

For more information please visit the website of the hotel.

Betti :)

For more information about the whole range of experiences we offer, please 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.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Tal-Petut - fine dining in the traditional way

After a visit at the Tal-Petut restaurant we felt, we have experienced something truly unique that we have to share with you.


In the heart of Birgu, the oldest maritime capital of Malta, one can find this truly authentic restaurant in a tiny, hidden street. Birgu itself has a very rich historical background and wherever you look you will find the marks of the past hundreds of years.
The name Birgu derives from the 13th century. After the occupation of Malta by the Aragonese (1283), the people of Aragon found haven at the back of the peninsula of Il Borgo or Birgu. Thus the word signifies a town or suburb behind the castle (Fort St Angelo). The Parish of Birgu was the first parish in the Maltese Islands (11th century). Birgu’s main role in commerce was the reason why it became a parish earlier than the others. The numerous bastions, forts, gates, churches, monuments, palaces and other historical buildings of the area show that Birgu, just like other parts of Malta has survived wars and the invasion of the Ottoman Empire. It played a major role in the Siege of Malta in 1565 and despite of the battle the remains of history can still be seen today.

A night out spent in Birgu, at the Tal-Petut restaurant is an experience in itself. On the way to the Restaurant we already felt we went back in time. History, traditions, authenticity everywhere. By entering the restaurant one can feel a warm welcome. The owner Donald, is very passionate about what he is doing. He built up a concept that is unique and creative. His motto is the following: “Specialising in local dishes with a twist” It reflects the mission and vision of his business. “His private dining concept” is truly innovative and new. He hosts rather individuals and small groups in order to keep the cosy, friendly atmosphere of the place that is situated in a traditional, old town house creating a feeling that you are having dinner at a friend’s place.  The menu is based on fresh, seasonal and exclusively local products. The recipes are written in-house and reflect the taste of the chef. Individual requests concerning the menu are always welcome as the aim is to provide special and extraordinary service. During the dinner the guests can get to know more about the traditions and the local cuisine with the help of Donald. The restaurant has three separate dining areas and a bar all with traditional interior design. 

If you decide to book a table at Tal-Petut you will definitely won’t regret it. Professionalism, fresh local dishes, relaxing atmosphere and good company. What else do you need for a perfect dinner?

For more information please visit the website  of the restaurant.

Betti :)

For more information about the whole range of experiences we offer, please 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.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Explorer la richesse de la nature et de la culture Maltaise avec nous

"Conserver à travers les loisirs" 

Notre devise reflète très bien les missions de Merill. Nature et culture sont étroitement liées et nous nous efforçons de ne pas séparer les deux notions. Promouvoir les traditions Maltaises et Méditerranéennes tout comme redynamiser l’agriculture de Malte et de son île voisine Gozo, sont le cœur de nos préoccupations. Nos activités impliquent la conservation, la préservation et l’éducation.

Nos clients vont expérimenter le meilleur que la nature a à offrir ainsi que l’Histoire et la culture, de manière durable et écologique. Nous portons beaucoup d’attention à réduire les émissions de carbone et les effets néfastes du tourisme sur l’environnement. Aider les communautés locales est aussi un concept très important dans notre travail. Sous la marque « Merill Local Products », nous promouvons les produits locaux et authentiques achetés directement auprès des agriculteurs et des artisans.

Chaque personne participant à nos excursions ou aux activités que nous organisons contribue à la préservation des anciennes traditions et vit une expérience unique. La vaste gamme d’expériences que nous proposons nous permet de cibler les groupes ou les personnes individuelles, tout en répondant au mieux aux attentes de chacun.

Voyons voir quel genre d’activités vous pourriez faire avec nous !

Vous souhaitez observer des oiseaux ? Rejoignez-nous pour une excursion à Buskett, qui est le bois le plus important de Malte, ou visitez les salines. Le printemps est la meilleure saison pour observer les hérons et les aigrettes au repos dans les marais salants, les fossés ou sur les arbres dans le bois lui-même. Les espèces les plus communes sont le Héron cendré, le Héron pourpré, le Héron de nuit et l’Aigrette Garzette.

Si vous préférez le calme des magnifiques paysages marins ou non, nos excursions à Gozo, Dingli et Mellieha sont faites pour vous. Les excursions ont été crées pour vous faire découvrir les authentiques terres agricoles et vous présentent la vie locale des villages Maltais. Nous choisissons avec beaucoup de précautions les itinéraires que nous empruntons afin de préserver les habitats et les beautés environnementales.

Vous pourriez aussi être intéressé par organiser un événement dans une exploitation viticole, une oliveraie, ou vous investir vous-même dans une récolte de fraises. Ces activités sont parfaites pour un séminaire de motivation et de cohésion d’équipes ou juste pour passer une agréable journée au grand air.

Pour conserver et faire découvrir les anciennes traditions telles que le tissage et la récolte de sel de mer, des ateliers sont fréquemment organisés. Toutes ces activités vous garantissent un moment interactif et éducatif avec votre famille, vos amis ou collègues.

N’hésitez pas à nous contacter à ou à visiter notre site internet pour plus de détails.

A très bientôt !  

Explore the richness of Malta's nature and culture with Us

„Conservation through leisure”

Our motto reflects the mission of Merill very well. We strive to link nature and culture in a unique and exceptional way. Promoting Malta’s Mediterranean traditions as well as reviving the agriculture of Malta and its sister island Gozo, is the core part of our mission. Our activities involve conservation, preservation and education. The clients will experience the very best of nature, history and culture all in an eco-friendly and sustainable way. We pay lots of attention for reducing the carbon footprint and the harmful effects of tourism on the environment. Providing benefits for the local community is also an important concept in our work. Under the brand name Merill Local Products we promote the local, authentic products bought directly from the farmers and craft persons. Each person who participates on our tours or takes part in one of the activities organized by us contributes to the preservation of old agricultural traditions and gains a life time experience. The wide range of experiences we offer makes it possible for us to target groups or individuals with different interests.

Let’s see a bunch of the activities one can enjoy with us!

Are you interested in birdwatching? Join us for a trip to Buskett which is the most important woodland in Malta or visit the Salina area. Spring is the best time to visit when a variety of herons and egrets can be spotted resting in the salt pans, the ditch or on the trees in the park itself, with the most common being Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Night Heron and Little Egret. 

In case if you wish to enjoy the calmness of the beautiful landscape and seascape, our Gozo, Dingli and Mellieha Eco Tours were made for you. The tours were designed to introduce the authentic agricultural lands and to represent the Maltese village life. We carefully choose the itinerary of the trips in order to preserve the natural beauties and habitats.

Should you be interested in the traditional way of land cultivation you may wish to organize an event taking place on a vineyard, olive grove or engage yourself in a strawberry picking session. These activities are perfect for team-building or just for a fun day out.

In order to keep the old traditions alive, such as weaving and sea salt harvesting workshops are organized regularly. All these options provide you an informative, interactive and interesting way of spending time with your family, friends and colleagues. 

For further information please visit our fan page

Betti :) 

For more information about the whole range of experiences we offer, please 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.

Subscribe to mailing list for free. Members are eligible for some great offers.