Secret Gardens

Ornamental vases, water features and shaded glades all feature in this green-fingered guide to the prettiest gardens in Malta.

Malta isn’t just about sun, sea, sand and heritage. Among its grand edifices and steeples lie gorgeous gardens that add a flourish of green to the sun-baked streets. Often attached to palaces, churches and other lofty locations, these patches of paradise are perfect for a leisurely stroll, a picnic or a spot of shade. Here, we’ve picked some of the prettiest gardens in Malta to explore on your next trip to the archipelago.

San Anton

Stretching between Attard and Balzan, San Anton is named after the palace which once owned the grounds. Now the official residence of Malta’s President, the garden’s big enough to offer fun and games for the young and boisterous, as well as peace and quiet for those who prefer a slower tempo. Particularly lovely are the orange and lemon groves, which give off an incredible aroma in spring.

The Upper and Lower Barrakka

Originally constructed for Italian knights in the Order of St John, British occupation in 1800 opened the Barrakka gardens up to the public. Possessing panoramic views of the Grand Harbour, Fort St. Angelo and beyond, the inquisitive will find plaques and memorials in both gardens that commemorate some of the big names of history, such as Sir Alexander Ball and Sir Winston Churchill.

Buskett Gardens

Growing out of a hunting lodge that was built by Grand Master La Vallette in the mid-1500s, Buskett Gardens is one of the only wooded areas on the whole island. Especially popular at festival-times, when everybody congregates in the fertile gardens to share food and catch up on local news, the real spectacle is Verdala Palace which, though not open to the public, makes for a gorgeous backdrop.

Argotti Botanic Gardens

Once the private garden of Grand Master Pinto and now part of the University of Malta, Argotti is perhaps Malta’s finest example of a botanical garden. Visitors from all over the Island arrive to see its collection of native species and its purpose-built herbarium, as well as a lily pond that hosts a variety of rare and aquatic plant species.

Melita Gardens

Part of Salina Parks, the Melita gardens are full of pine trees, picnic benches, little bridges and waterways. One of its most popular features is the water fountain, which provides welcome relief for kids from the summer heat, as parents look on from the shade of its nearby restaurant.

Palazzo Parisio

No guide to gardens in Malta could count itself complete without including Palazzo Parisio. The only garden outside of Italy to have featured in the prestigious Grandi Giardini Italiani manual, its gardens are the handiwork of the Baroness of Tabria, Christiane Ramsay Scicluna. Offering explosions of colour, water fountains, ornamental vases and vine-covered archways, it’s hard not to get carried away by the romance of the place. 

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