Exploring Buskett Gardens: 7 Reasons to Visit Now

Buskett Gardens

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Buskett Gardens in Malta is where nature meets history. Living here since 2011, I know the area well. I’m into history, hiking, and nature, and I want to show you Buskett’s most outstanding parts.

Buskett is Malta’s only forest. It’s full of different plants and birds. You might even see unique creatures like painted frogs and chameleons. It’s a dream spot for nature lovers and birdwatchers.

I often come to Buskett and notice people stick to the main paths. So, I’ve added a map of the garden paths to this post. The trails are surrounded by lush greenery, with opportunities for picnics and quiet moments.

A Brief History of Buskett Woodland

The Knights of St. John planted Buskett Gardens for hunting. The name “Buskett” comes from the Italian word ‘boschetto’, meaning “small wood”. The gardens are over 47 hectares in the Wied il-Luq Valley, near Dingli and Siġġiewi.

Buskett is the only woodland in Malta. It’s a special place with lots of greenery and wildlife. It’s also a vital spot for birds, especially those migrating. If you’re lucky, you might see painted frogs, hedgehogs and chameleons.

The Knights of Malta also built Verdala Palace in the 16th century, next to the gardens. It was first a summer house and hunting lodge, built by Grand Master Hughes de Verdalle. Today, Malta’s President uses it in the summer.

Buskett Gardens - Lush Greenery
Lush Greenery

Why Visit Buskett Gardens?

Rich biodiversity: Buskett Gardens is a natural haven with a diverse ecosystem. It’s filled with different trees like holm oak, Aleppo pine, olive and orange trees. These trees shelter many types of wildlife, especially birds. Birdwatchers would love this place because of birds like honey-buzzards and marsh harriers. You can also find turtle doves and common cuckoos here.

Natural shade: As someone from Lithuania, a land of forests, I feel at home in Buskett. The thick trees offer lots of shade, making it cooler than most places in Malta. It’s a great place to relax, especially when it’s hot.

Scenic walking trails: Buskett Gardens’ walking paths are short but lovely. You can walk for 30-45 minutes, surrounded by plants and nature’s sounds. These paths are great for those who love greenery. You can also wander around and explore the area. I suggest walking from Buskett to Dingli. For the full route, check out my guide.

Buskett Gardens - Walking Paths
Walking Paths

Outdoor activities: Buskett is my favourite spot for fun outside, especially in spring. It’s great for picnics and playing ball with friends. There’s lots of room and it looks beautiful. I often take my dog too, who enjoys it very much.

Orange trees: They make Buskett Woodland special. They are full of bright oranges that look amazing against the garden’s greenery. I love taking photos next to these colourful and pretty trees.

Buskett Gardens - Orange Trees
Orange Trees

A peaceful escape: The Buskett Gardens are quiet and calm, away from city noise. You can enjoy nature, listen to birds, and breathe fresh air here.

Family-friendly: Buskett offers plenty of parking, toilets and snack kiosks (available on weekends).

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How to Get to Buskett Gardens

By Bus: Getting to Buskett Gardens by bus is doable. You can catch a direct bus from Valletta. If not, take a bus to Rabat and get another one there. Remember, it might take about an hour from Valletta. For bus schedules and routes, check Google Maps.

By Car: Driving is the fastest way to reach Buskett Gardens. It’s easy and saves time. There’s a parking area too, so you don’t have to worry about where to leave your car.

Malta’s public transport works well but can be slow for visiting natural spots. Renting a car would be a wise idea, especially if you plan to spend a week or more in Malta. It’s faster and easier. I’ve got a guide to car rentals in Malta that might help.

Getting There:

  • Location: link to Google Maps
  • Nearest bus stop: Buskett
  • Walking distance from the bus stop: 5 minutes
  • Frequency of the buses: every hour or less
  • Parking available: car park location. If no space is available, there is plenty of it here

Navigating Buskett Gardens

I’ve included a map of my recent walk in Buskett Gardens, the longest trail there. This path is full of greenery and well-marked routes. As you walk, you’ll see lots of trees and even Verdala Palace in the distance.

The trail is surrounded by nature. The trees provide shade and make the walk enjoyable. It’s a peaceful journey where you can immerse yourself in the gardens’ natural beauty.

Along the path, you’ll find areas suitable for picnics. Some spots are close to the parking area, while others are further away. These spots are quieter and ideal for relaxing and enjoying a meal amidst nature.

I recommend downloading the Komoot app. This app can help you follow the map. It’s a handy tool and it will ensure you don’t miss out on any of the garden’s beautiful spots.

Verdala Palace: A Historical Landmark

Verdala Palace was built in 1586 by Grand Master Hugues Loubenx de Verdalle. French castles of that time inspired its design.

Buskett Gardens - Verdala Palace
Verdala Palace

First, the palace was a two-story building surrounded by a ditch. It had four towers, one on each corner, making it look like a fortress. Later, Grand Master António Manuel de Vilhena added a third floor. He also built stables and other buildings around it.

The palace was filled with silk and fine furnishings. But the palace wasn’t always so grand. It became a prison in the French period and needed repairs in the 18th century.

Over the years, the palace was home to Grand Masters and British Governors. It also welcomed many prominent visitors. Since 1974, when Malta became a Republic, it’s been part of the President’s residence.

Buskett Gardens: Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Buskett in Malta?

Buskett Gardens are in the Wied il-Luq Valley, between Dingli and Siġġiewi in Malta. It is one of the few woodland areas on the island, making it a unique natural attraction.

Why is Buskett important?

Buskett Gardens holds significant ecological, historical, and cultural value. It is the only woodland in Malta. The gardens provide a unique ecosystem that supports a variety of wildlife. You can find there several bird species and rare animals like painted frogs and chameleons. The Knights of St. John planted the Buskett woodland for hunting. Later they built Verdala Palace. Now people visit the gardens for picnics and nature walks.

How big is Buskett?

Buskett Gardens covers an area of approximately 47 hectares. This expansive space allows for a diverse range of flora and fauna to thrive. Also, it offers visitors a vast area to explore and enjoy the natural beauty of Malta.

What plants are in Buskett Malta?

Buskett Gardens is full of many kinds of plants. You’ll see trees like holm oak, Aleppo pine, olive, and orange trees. Plus, there are lots of other plants that make it a great place for people who love nature and taking photos.

Buskett Gardens Orange Trees
Buskett Gardens

Buskett Gardens in Malta is a place where history and nature intertwine. I’ve explored every corner of Malta and can say it’s a must-visit for anyone who likes the outdoors.

If you’re planning to explore more of Malta’s natural beauty, don’t miss my other guides. I’ve covered everything from Blue Grotto to Coral Lagoon, and Comino. Also, check out our guides to Malta’s gardens, hidden gems and the most scenic hikes.

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