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7 days exploring Malta by superyacht
Valetta: Explore ancient Malta
The indented Mediterranean coastline of Malta, Gozo and Comino stretches for 200km offering a range of harbours and anchorages (depending on the prevailing wind) so that a visit here allows you to lazily cruise and explore the islands.
Whether visiting the islands with your own yacht or chartering a superyacht in Malta the area gives you a chance to explore ancient Europe while enjoying great diving and swimming in turquoise waters.
Day 1 — Valetta: Explore ancient Malta
Use your first day to explore the citadel of Valetta. This is good opportunity to do some shopping — most of the old town is pedestrianised, or perhaps take a horse and carriage ride to explore the sights. Further inland you can visit the ancient capital Mdina — known as the Silent City.
This ancient fortress is testament to Malta’s long and sometimes troubled history. The views are wonderful. St John’s Cathedral, built by the Knights Hospitaller is worth visiting: its treasures include Caravaggios, tapestries and ancient relics.
Malat’s Meglithic temples make the Knights’ building seem pretty modern — these monuments date back nearly 6000 years — they’re older than the pyramins and are thought to be the oldest free-standing structures on earth.
Picture courtesy of Lisey Kina/Shutterstock.com
Valetta to Island Bay / Marsaxlokk
Leaving the harbour of Valetta behind, you’ll pass between brooding castles and fortifications before you reach the open sea. If conditions allow you can drop anchor at Marsascala — this small bay is home to a picturesque fishing village.
This is a good chance to head ashore and discover the southern part of Malta, the least touched by modern mass tourism. Finally, you’ll settle in at Island Bay. There are some beautiful anchoring spots, and there is a natural rock arch. If the wind is from the Northwest you may tuck into Marsaxlokk instead…
Picture courtesy of Gordon Bell/Shutterstock.com
Island Bay / Marsaxlokk to Golden Bay / Gnejna
Begin the day in Marsaxlokk, a beautiful, colourful fishing village, perhaps pick up some seafood for lunch… This bay is also home to the container port including petroleum products, so swimming might have to wait. Remains of megalithic tombs can be found on the hills above Marsaxlokk.
You’ll have more of a chance to cool off at the Blue Grotto and Wied Iz-Zurrieq. If you get to the series of caves that make up the Blue Grotto at 1pm, you’ll find some of the caverns mirroring the bright colours of the sea-life, while others will glow deep blue; a great spot for kayaking.
In the afternoon you can swim off Golden Bay, one of the best beaches in the Mediterranean, and anchor here or in Gnejna depending on the conditions. This secluded bay with clay and limestone cliffs is popular with locals for a spot of night fishing — bobbing lights illuminate the bay.
Picture courtesy of Esinel/Shutterstock.com
Golden Bay / Gnejna to Comino
There’s time for a morning swim before the short hop to the island of Comino, but you might wish to wait as you’re heading for two of the best bathing spots in the archipelago.
Paradise bay is a lovely anchorage with clear waters over sand, and is only eclipsed by the famous Blue Lagoon. This is a very well protected anchorage with crystal clear waters. Stay for the night and enjoy the bay after the day trippers have left for the evening.
Picture courtesty of Science Photo/Shutterstock.com
Gozo Mgarr Harbour
Spend the day exploring the sleepy island of Gozo while the yacht waits for you in Mgarr marina. The countryside is pretty; dotted with churches, megalithic monuments and historic forts covering 6 millennia of civilisation.
Victoria (also known as Rabat) is the only real town — there are some small villages, which are often deserted when the second homers leave at the end of summer. Gozo is a glimpse back in time — to how Malta must have been before rampant development took over and it lost some aspects of its traditional way of life.
Around Gozo to Mellieha
Circumnavigate Gozo beginning at Mgarr… There are one or two bays where you can take a tender ride to explore the shoreline and perhaps take a dip. Depending on conditions, you may decide to head back to the Blue Lagoon for a dip before making towards Malta itself.
Picture courtesy of Malcolm Grima/Shutterstock.com
North coast of Malta to Valetta
Depending on conditions, you could have spent the night in any one of several bays on the North coast. Today you can explore these bays: Mellieha has a sandy beach for those who wish to stretch out; Selmun is a beautiful anchorage; St Paul’s Bay offers good shelter and is reputed to be the spot where St Paul as shipwrecked on his way to Rome to face charges.
Finally you’ll head back into the ancient harbour of Valetta, back to the lively heart of Malta and perhaps head ashore for a little more shopping and to try some local delicacies. Mostly based on Italian cuisine — one of the specialities of Malta is rabbit.
PIcture courtesy of Malcolm Grima/Shutterstock.com