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Often referred to as the jewel of the Mediterranean, Malta sits in the heart of this magnificent sea and offers wonderful year round sailing opportunities.
The beautiful sandy beaches, clear azure sea, eeries caves and protected anchorages provide the perfect ground for a relaxed sailing holiday where winds are soft and the climate warm. Snorkelling and scuba diving are a must in some of the clearest waters in the Med, where visitors can see hundreds of species of fish and sealife including turtles, dolphins and whale sharks.
With over 7,000 years of history to explore, Malta is not just a sailors playground. The majestic architecture, megalithic temples and ancient cities all offer decades of historical significance and make for the ideal place to mix sailing with sightseeing.
With so much history to explore and sailing to appreciate, we’ve pulled together a guide on the best places to visit and provision on a Malta yacht charter.
All Maltese fishing boats are painted with a pair of eyes on each side of the bow. These are the ‘Eyes of Osiris’ and are said to protect the boats from evil spirits.
Our top five places to visit when sailing Malta
Located on the south-east coast of the island, Valletta is the capital of Malta and home to some of the country’s most opulent architecture. The quaint streets are lined with cute little boutiques and the magnificent forts take place as guards around the harbours.
Visit the 16th century baroque styles St. John’s Cathedral where you can admire the elaborately decorated interior and head to the Grandmaster’s Palace, where the head of the Order of St. John resided during the 16th-18th centuries.
Almost half of the entire population of Malta live in Valletta
Largely uninhabited, Comino is a small island to the north of Malta and the perfect place for a day’s sailing and relaxation. A snorkelers paradise, the island is surrounded by beautifully clear azure water that enable great visibility when in search of the local sealife. Take a hike around the island and see some of the rare wildlife on offer before heading back to your yacht.
No visit to Comino would be complete without a stop off at the Blue Lagoon, the island’s star attraction. The pristine white sandy beaches are met with the bluest waters and provide excellent anchorages for sailors.
There are no cars on the island of Comino
The second largest island in the Maltese archipelago, Gozo is a popular destination for sailors thanks to it’s protected anchorages and excellent diving and snorkelling opportunities. The island is full of history and intrigue and a visit to the Ġgantija Temples, two monstrous neolithic structures built entirely of limestone is a must.
Head to the red sandy beaches of Ramala Bay for a spot of sunbathing and snorkelling and dine at one of the nearby restaurants that line the shore before heading to the old site of the famous Azure Window which, having collapsed in 2017, now acts as an extraordinary diving site.
There are 46 churches on the island of Gozo – that’s one every 0.7 miles!
On the south-west coast of the island of Malta you will find Ħaġar Qim, a megalithic temple ground built around 3600-3200 BC. Among the most ancient buildings on the globe, the temples are made from limestone and attract thousands of visitors every year.
The complex consists of one main temple with three additional structures surrounding it, including a women’s chamber. Due to its construction, the temples have experienced extensive weather damage over the years so in 2009 a protective tent was erected in an attempt to maintain the site.
Ħaġar Qim contains the largest stone used in any Maltese architecture weighing 57 tons
Travel to the north of Malta and spend a day in Mdina. This historical city was the capital of the country during the medieval period and is home to some of the most lavish architecture in Malta. Visit the church of St. Paul, one of the oldest catholic buildings on the island featuring ornate engravings and lavish artwork and St. Paul’s Catacombs, an ancient Roman underground burial chamber dating back to third century BC.
Enter the city through the magnificent Mdina Gate, a huge stone structure designed by architect Charles François de Mondion in 1724 and marvel at its grandeur.
Mdina Gate is used as the entrance to King’s Landing in Game of Thrones
Top five places to eat and drink in Malta
- La Reggia, Marsaxlokk – Situated on the Marsaxlokk seafront, La Reggia is the perfect place to visit for a romantic meal overlooking the beautiful azure sea..Enjoy restaurant favourites such as Lumpuka fish or the local red shrimp ravioli
- Tmun Mgarr, Gozo – Located on the beach, the Tmun Mgarr is a popular restaurant on the island of Gozo and makes the perfect place for an evening meal. Dine in the beautifully decorated interior or outside overlooking the sea. Dishes include locally caught queen scallops and swordfish carpaccio.
- Ta’ Frenc, Gozo – SItting majestically through a stone archway, Ta’ Frenc is the epitome of an exceptional dining experience. Sit amongst the herb garden and enjoy the fresh scent of lemon, marjoram and basil and enjoy dishes including roasted rack of lamb or chateaubriand. You can also choose from over 700 different wines from the extensive wine cellar.
- The Rootz, Valetta – A traditional Italian restaurants located in one of Valletta’s most beautiful streets, The Rootz is a quaint eatery and moderately priced. Enjoy freshly cooked pasta with a range of sauces while listening to the local musicians who play at the venue regularly.
- Venus Restaurant, Bugibba– Enjoy a first class meal at the Venus Restaurant in Bugibba, where you can enjoy locally caught fish, tender steaks and fresh vegetables in a quiet surrounding. Try the trio of fish or the ribeye steak with pumpkin puree.
One week Malta sailing itinerary
Day 1: Embark your yacht at the Birgu Grand Harbour Marina
Day 2: Sail from Grand Harbour Marina to Mgarr Gozo (15nm)
Day 3: Enjoy a day at leisure on Gozo (25nm)
Day 4: Sail from Gozo to Comino (4nm)
Day 5: Sail from the Blue Lagoon to Cominotto Island. Enjoy some watersports before sailing back to Comino (10nm)
Day 6: Sail to Malta and enjoy a day at leisure discovering the island (40nm)
Day 7: Sail to the Blue Lagoon and spend the day snorkelling and swimming in the clear waters. Head back to the Marina (12nm)
Day 8: Disembark
Flying to Malta
Flights to Malta are available from London Gatwick Airport (LGW) and most regional airports to Malta International Airport (MLA) with British Airways and other low cost airlines. Transfers from Malta Airport to Birgu Grand Harbour Marina via taxi take around 20 mins and can be booked in advance. Speak to us if you would like help arranging your transfer.