Explore The Village

Popeye Village has grown from its days as the 1980's film set to one of Malta's major tourist attractions.

    • History



      'Popeye Village Malta', the Film Set of the 1980 Musical Production “Popeye”, also known as 'Popeye Village' today is one of Malta's major tourist attractions. The film set was constructed in Anchor Bay during the last 7 months of 1979.

      To construct this authentic wooden village, tree trunk logs were trailered overland from Holland, and wood shingles, used in the construction of the roof tops, were imported all the way from Canada. A 165 international construction crew consumed eight tons of nails and two thousand gallons of paint to finish off this massive Set.

      No less than 20 wooden structures had to be built. Before construction could begin, an access road leading to the Set had to be constructed. Also, Anchor Bay needed a 200-250 foot Breakwater at its mouth, to protect the Set from high seas during the shooting months of the Film Production. Filming commenced on the 23rd of January, 1980.




    • Film Set

      Popeye the Sailor Man cartoon character was introduced by Elzie Segar in 1929 in a comic strip named “Thimble Theatre”. After numerous successful Popeye cartoon strips and features loved by fans worldwide the decision to make a film was taken in the mid 1970’s. The musical film was based on a story written by Jules Fieffer, directed by Robert Altman and produced by Robert Evans. The Production Film Company was Lions Gate Films and the Distributors were Paramount Pictures and Walt Disney Productions.

      The story relates to Popeye, a muscled one-eyed spinach loving sailor, coming to Sweet haven Village in the quest to find his father. During his time in Sweet haven Village, Popeye has many encounters with the village folk and naturally meets Olive Oyl, who was to be officially engaged to Captain Bluto. Olive Oyl as always is hesitant to get engaged and meets up with Popeye as she runs away from her own engagement party. Together they find an abandoned baby by the name of SWEE'PEA, who becomes a cupid to the unlikely pair. A courtship blossoms amongst the two loved main characters and in time Popeye does find his father. Olive Oyl is later kidnapped by the jealous captain Bluto who is in his way to steal Popeye’s father buried treasure. Popeye and gang are soon in pursuit and a final bout between Popeye and Bluto ends up by Popeye saving the day. The story ends with Popeye’s original motto: I YAM WHAT I YAM.

      Main cast:

      • Robin Williams as Popeye the Sailor
      • Shelley Duvall as Olive Oyl
      • Ray Walston as Poopdeck Pappy
      • Paul L. Smith as Bluto
      • Paul Dooley as J. Wellington Wimpy
      • Richard Libertini as George W. Geezil
      • Peter Bray as Oxblood Oxheart
      • Linda Hunt as Mrs. Oxheart
      • Donald Moffat as The Taxman
      • MacIntyre Dixon as Cole Oyl
      • Roberta Maxwell as Nana Oyl
      • Donovan Scott as Castor Oyl
      • Bill Irwin as Ham Gravy
      • Wesley Ivan Hurt as Swee'Pea
      • Dennis Franz as Spike (a bully)




    • Film Set Today

      Access Statement

      Today the film Set still exists and has been converted into a primary tourist attraction for all young at heart.

      Once you walk into this captivating, almost 42 year old village, you will be greeted by Popeye the sailorman and his friends, who will be your hosts and entertain you all trough out your visit. The whole family can be part of a unique filming experience with the animation crew and giving you the opportunity to see yourself on the big screen.

       One can enjoy a number of other attractions including the ever so popular Santa’s toy town; a unique attraction of its sort in Malta where you can get a glimpse of Santa’s elves preparing toys for the festive season, boat rides, water trampolines, sun bathing decks, beach lido, silver smith demonstrations, food outlets and much more. Children can have a blast in Malta’s largest jump around found at the upper part of the complex.

       This fun atmosphere is ideal for your kid’s parties and for school outings. With lots of educational and creative games, your kids will have a great time learning and making new friends in the company of Popeye and the gang.

       Popeye Village grandiosely celebrates yearly activities with a bang as it is highly decorated and themed according to the season. Meet Rickey the rabbit during Easter, be spooked during Halloween and amuse yourself during carnival. 

      Organizing event from a BBQ to a costumed fancy dress gathering, a day of fun or team building activity, our menus and catering outlets are ideal for that something different to make your event a success. And for that couple looking for a unique wedding venue by the sea – Popeye Village is the ideal location for them.

      Professional Photo shoots and filming are at an additional fee other than normal entrance fee and ideally they have to be booked beforehand.

       Make sure that you will be part of this enjoyable experience – and visit Popeye Village. 


      Popeye Village, also known as Sweethaven Village was built as the film set of the 1980 Musical Production ‘Popeye’ produced by Paramount Pictures and Walt Disney Productions. It is located in Anchor Bay, just three kilometres from the village of Mellieha and was constructed in 1979. The village consists of nineteen wooden buildings. Filming for the musical production commenced on the 23rd of January, 1980. Today, the film set has been converted into a tourist attraction and is open to the public as an open-air museum and a family entertainment complex all throughout the year. 


      Pre-arrival services and information

      Promotional material is distributed to all the Malta Tourism Authority offices around Malta and Gozo and can also be found in all bucket shops in tourist areas such as Valletta, Sliema and Bugibba. We also have two agents who distribute promotional material in all hotels around Malta as well as in rental apartments too. 


      Wheelchair users and people with impaired mobility can be driven down to the film set to avoid the steep ramp. Suitcases and buggies can be left at reception to be kept in a store whilst one explores the film set.


      Should the refrigeration of medication be required please address reception who will store it. 


      Small dogs are allowed to accompany their owner as long as they are on a leash at all times.


      There are a few restrictions to use the facilities for people who cannot stay in the sun for long periods of time because the film set is mainly outdoors. The film set might also be seen as infringing for people with mobility issues due to the steep ramps and stairs all over the film set. 


      Prices can be found online via the Popeye Village website: www.popeyemalta.com


      Opening Hours:
      Winter (Nov- Feb): 10.00am-4.30pm 
      Spring & Autumn (Mar- Jun, Oct): 10.00am-5.30pm
      Summer (1st July – 30th September ) 10.00am-6.00pm


      Contact information:

      E-mail: info@popeyemalta.com
      Telephone Number: 
      (+356) 2152 4782 / 3 / 4


      Transport & parking


      By car:

      Drive towards Mellieha and follow the signs to Anchor Bay and Popeye Village – direction towards Ghadira Bay (Mellieha Bay).


      There is a gravel car park which offers plenty of parking spaces and is wheelchair accessible.


      There is ample parking available that is only meters away from the reception booth.


      By bus:


      The film set can also be reached by public transport. Take any of the following buses to (Ghadira) Mellieha Bay or Cirkewwa: X1, X1A, 41, 42, 49, 101, 221, 222 or 250. From Ghadira Bay take the bus number 101 to Mgarr which stops at Popeye Village.


      A bus stop can be found just outside the premises’ gate.


      If needed, taxis can be booked at reception from a local taxi company. In peak periods takes can usually be found by the reception booth too.


      Inside the building (entrance, reception, ticketing area etc.)

      The main entrance and ticket area are accessible by means of 3 steps or a ramp. After purchasing tickets there are five steps which are approximately 6 inches high and a ramp. The film set is accessible to all by means of a steep ramp or 30 steps which are roughly 4 inches each in height.


      One must climb an average of 10 steps to enter a number of the wooden houses. 


      Maps are available and given to visitors at reception to allow guests to be able to explore the film set. There is also clear and pictorial signage throughout to direct visitors.  


      The reception desk is of around 1 meter in height and there is a small bench for seating.


      Every wooden house has fire extinguishers.


      Since the film set is mainly outdoors, lighting is not needed during the day as we make use of the natural sunlight. Dim lighting can be found inside each of the wooden houses. Bright light can be found in other indoor places such as the reception area and public toilets.


      The flooring all over the film set is wooden or paved.  Wooden benches and handrails are available along the pathway throughout the film set.


      Since flooring is paved or wooden, it does get a little slippery in the rain.


      Exhibits and interpretation


      Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the premises for all our guests.


      Verbal interpretation is available at reception or through one of the many daily guided tours by the Animation department along the film set explaining briefly the vision of the film set of the director of the 1980 movie.


      Graphic interpretation is available on maps and printed material in the form of signage all along the film set which is always printed in font sizes of 14-20.


      Audio interpretation is available by animators on the PA system during announcements and shows. A documentary is played on loop at the Cinema explaining how the filmset was built as well as the original movie is played continuously in the comic museum.


      Information is available on information and display boards.


      Public Toilets

      There are public conveniences located in both the upper part and lower part of the complex.  One may find 3 male and 3 female conveniences located in the upper part of the complex and 8 female and 5 male public conveniences in the lower part of the complex these are via a 60cm wide door. Both the male and female conveniences all contain baby changing facilities. There is one wheelchair accessible toilet in the lower part of the complex and all the toilets located in the upper complex are wheelchair accessible. 


      The type of flooring in the toilets is non-slip tiles.


      Catering Outlets


      Location within the property


      There are three catering outlets on the premises.

      One catering outlet can be found at the top part of the complex. This is a Diner which has both indoor and outdoor seating facilities. It also hosts Malta’s largest jump around game for children.


      A snack bar is available on the film set which again has both indoor and outdoor dining facilities as well as verandas facing Anchor Bay.


      In summer there is also a small bar on the Bay which serves as an ice-cream parlour, beverages and also serves light snacks. It is also overlooking Anchor Bay.


      Tables in each catering outlet are all movable and each have a cashier service.

      The menus are available in English, clearly indicating all ingredients in each dish in font size 14.


      All the catering outlets are wheelchair accessible and they provide gluten free options upon request. Thick handled cutlery is also available.


      Future Plans

      The village is constantly being upgraded in order to improve its tourist attraction. At the moment the film set is under going a project to transform all of the wooden houses into an attraction – at the moment final work is being carried out on the Robin Williams memorial museum.  

    • Village Map







      1. Souvenir Shop

      Various Popeye related souvenir items on sale here, suprise your family and friends back at home with a nice memory from Sweethaven Village

      16. Anchor Square
      This platform is used for sunbathing

      2. Firehouse
      The interior of this room is not used at the moment but we have upcoming projects which will involve the interior of this three storey building.

      17. Anchorage Rest
      Closed at the moment waiting to be refurbished.

      3. Schoolhouse Robin Williams Museum 
      This room is a work in progress should be ready by dec 2023

      18. Winery
      The tipsy and son's winery is located in one of the best locations, having a cellar style interior and a front terrace facing the sea. Enjoy some nice cocktails, a good snack and of course a nice view! open only in Summer season

      4. Anchor Lodge
      This lodge is divided into two from the inside the part facing the film set is used as a store and the other part is used as the Living room for the elves in Santa’s toy town.

      19. Sawmill
      The area is quite unique and is normally one of the main show locations because of its atmosphere and location, set as an old sawmill just meters from the sea and has a beautiful view over Anchor Bay. At the moment it is hosting games for all the family to enjoy.

      5. Post Office
      The room is divided into two areas from the inside the part facing the film set is used as an exhibit and the other part is the paint and sewing section in Santa’s toy town.

      20. Silversmith
      Situated in the heart of Sweet haven, we find the Silver Smith, an option to enjoy some of the Island’s finest silver filigree works, in the name of Magro Brothers. This building used to house the Barber Shop.

      6. Bakery
      The room is divided into two areas from the inside the part facing the film set is used as a bakers exhibit and the other part is the Carpenters section in Santa’s toy town.

      21. Cinema 

      Here you can watch a documentary about the filming process and how beautiful Sweethaven was build. A must see

      7. Shoemaker
      The room is divided into two areas from the inside the part facing the film set is used as a shoemakers exhibit and the other part is the mail and design room in Santa’s toy town.

      22. Main Square
      This is where it all begins. The Main Square hosts the major activities, such as ‘welcome shows’ and ’Take 2 Filming’. It is truly the passageway to this fantastic Village, offering 360 degree views of the whole location.

      8. Popeye the comic museum
      Visit and discover some of the most amusing Popeye memorabilia and go through the most vintage Popeye the cartoon comics. Over 200 comics on display, ranging from the years of the 60's, 70's and 80's.

      23. Boat Trip Departure / Arrival
      Weather permitting all year round. Enjoy a twenty minute boat trip around Anchor Bay where one can take photos of the beautiful scenery and see the Film Set from a sailors point of view. (not operational due to covid restrictions )


      24. Toilets


      11. Bluto House (Film Information Room)
      This room brings back the memories of the film itself the room is filled with actual pictures and information, a place that should not be missed whilst on your visit.

      26. Rough House
      This is truly a ‘chameleon’ building. It was originally used as a ‘Cafe’ for the movie, now can be used as virtually anything. It is easily, the largest indoor open space available in the whole village. Now with added outdoor verandas.


      27. Anchor Bay Lido
      The lido equipped with sun beds, surrounds the crystal clear waters of Anchor bay, allowing a beautiful way to freshen up during the hot summer months. So bring your swim wear along and relax in the sun. (Summer only)

      13. Toilets

      This room is a work in progress should be ready by AUG 2023

      28. Visitor's Book
      We take your comments and suggestions very seriously. Help us improve our service. Whilst thanking you for visiting this lovely village. Please call again.

      14. Olive Oyl's House
      Olive house is being refurbished and setup as was used in the movie.

      29. Ticket Booth / Information
      The place where the tickets can be bought for the Entrance to the Popeye Film Set and on the second floor the director’s office.

      15. Splash Pool
      Relax in the splash pool while keeping a watchful eye on your young ones whilst they play in our playpool just a few metres away. (Summer only)

      30. Bar and Restaurant
      Situated in the upper part of the complex one can enjoy a quick snack or easy lunch in peace whilst the children can play in the islands biggest Indoor Jump around or the fun park a few meters away.

    • In Remembrance

      Robin Williams

      Date of Birth 21 July 1951, Chicago, Illinois, USA
      Date of Death 11 August 2014, Tiburon, California, USA
      Birth Name Robin McLaurin Williams
      Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

      “You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.”

      Robin McLaurin Williams was born on Saturday, July 21st, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois, a great-great-grandson of Mississippi Governor and Senator, Anselm J. McLaurin. His mother, Laurie McLaurin, was a former model from Mississippi, and his father, Robert Fitzgerald Williams, was a Ford Motor Company executive from Indiana. 

      Robin briefly studied political science before enrolling at Juilliard School to study theatre. After leaving Juilliard, he performed in nightclubs where he was discovered for the role of "Mork, from Ork", in an episode of Happy Days (1974). The episode, Happy Days: My Favorite Orkan (1978), led to his famous spin-off weekly TV series, Mork & Mindy (1978). He made his feature starring debut playing the title role in Popeye (1980), directed by Robert Altman.

      Williams' continuous comedies and wild comic talents involved a great deal of improvisation, following in the footsteps of his idol Jonathan Winters. Williams also proved to be an effective dramatic actor, receiving Academy Award nominations for Best Actor in a Leading Role in Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989), and The Fisher King (1991), before winning the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in Good Will Hunting (1997).


      During the 1990s, Williams became a beloved hero to children the world over for his roles in a string of hit family-oriented films, including Hook (1991), FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992), Aladdin (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Jumanji (1995), Flubber (1997), and Bicentennial Man (1999). He continued entertaining children and families into the 21st century with his work in Robots (2005), Happy Feet (2006), Night at the Museum (2006), Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009), Happy Feet 2 (2011), and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014). Other more adult-oriented films for which Williams received acclaim include The World According to Garp (1982), Moscow on the Hudson (1984), Awakenings (1990), The Birdcage (1996), Insomnia (2002), One Hour Photo (2002), World's Greatest Dad (2009), and Boulevard (2014).


      On Monday, August 11th, 2014, Robin Williams was found dead at his home in Tiburon, California USA, the victim of an apparent suicide, according to the Marin County Sheriff's Department. A 911 call was received at 11:55 AM PDT, firefighters and paramedics arrived at his home at 12:00 p.m., and he was pronounced dead at 12:02 p.m.


      Credits: http://www.imdb.com