Embraced by the azure Mediterranean Sea, Malta is a sailor's paradise. Its location, unique archipelago, and the sea's inviting hues make it a dream destination for many sea lovers.
Navigating the Idyllic Maltese Waters
No sound but the wind in your sails, the sight of Malta's sun-drenched coastline receding and appearing as you sail from bay to bay, the sensation of the Mediterranean salt air – these are the unforgettable experiences that make sailing in Malta so rewarding. But what makes Malta an excellent sailing destination?
Is Malta good for sailing?
Yes, without a doubt! Malta is a dream come true for sailing enthusiasts. The island's position in the heart of the Mediterranean has made it a crucial seafaring hub for centuries. Combine that with its favourable winds, 300 sunny days a year, warm, turquoise waters, and stunningly beautiful coastline, and you have a sailing haven.
Moreover, sailing in Malta offers a blend of captivating culture and exciting history. Each harbor and bay carry a story, from ancient shipwrecks to tales of historic battles.
Anchoring in the Maltese Islands
Malta, Gozo, and Comino are the three stars of the Maltese archipelago. Each offers unique experiences, scenic beauty, and excellent mooring spots.
- Malta: Being the largest island, Malta offers diverse sailing locations. Sliema, St. Julian’s, and Valletta present cityscape views, with marinas providing high-end facilities. In contrast, anchorages like Mellieha Bay and St. Paul’s Bay offer serene vistas.
- Gozo: The rural charm of Gozo, with its green landscapes, makes for a peaceful sailing escape. Anchor in Mgarr Harbour, or near the stunning Dwejra Bay, famous for the Azure Window, which collapsed but left a striking seascape.
- Comino: This tiny island offers the most famous anchorage spot in Malta - the Blue Lagoon, a slice of paradise with crystal-clear cyan waters.
How Long is the Sailing Journey from Malta to Italy and Greece?
Sailing across the Mediterranean is an adventure in itself. Italy, particularly Sicily, is approximately 58 nautical miles north of Malta - about 50-60 hours of sailing, depending on the boat's speed and weather conditions.
In contrast, Greece lies farther east. Sailing from Malta to Athens is around 600 nautical miles, approximately a 4-5 day journey on a yacht. Again, this is subject to weather conditions and the boat's speed.
Chartering a Yacht in Malta: An Affordable Luxury
Surprisingly, chartering a yacht in Malta can be quite budget-friendly. The cost varies significantly based on the yacht type, duration, and the season. A day-long charter for a small yacht could cost as little as 200 euros, whereas a week on a luxury motor yacht could run into thousands. A sailing holiday in Malta can thus be as affordable or as opulent as you want it to be.
The Best Time for Sailing in Malta
The sailing season in Malta generally begins in April and goes on until October, with July and August being the peak months. The winds are predominantly northwesterly and moderate during this period.
The Unseen Malta: Sailing Offers a Different Perspective
When you choose to explore Malta by sea, you open up a world of possibilities that land-based travel cannot offer. You can visit isolated bays, snorkel in uncrow ertain underwater caves, or find your own secluded beach. Sailing gives you the freedom to explore the hidden gems of Malta, such as the mesmerizing Blue Grotto, the secluded bays of Fomm ir-Rih and Gnejna, and the serenity of the small islet of Filfla.
Sailing Schools and Courses in Malta
Malta also boasts several accredited sailing schools for those wanting to learn sailing or improve their skills. From basic courses for beginners to advanced navigation courses for experienced sailors, there's something for everyone. Courses include theory lessons and practical sessions, ensuring that students learn the ropes literally and figuratively.
Sailing Regattas and Races
Malta's sailing calendar is sprinkled with several races and regattas that add an exciting layer to your sailing experience. The Rolex Middle Sea Race is an international offshore classic, attracting many sailors globally for its challenging yet stunning course. Local regattas, like the Malta-Syracuse and the Gozo Regatta, also bring out the competitive spirit of the sailing community.
Is Sailing in Malta Safe?
Sailing in Malta is generally safe. The islands have a rescue coordination center and several marinas equipped with modern facilities. However, as with any water-based activity, safety should be a top priority. Always check weather forecasts, follow local regulations, and ensure your vessel is well-maintained.
Top 5 Trending Questions About Sailing in Malta
What is the best time to sail in Malta?
The best time to sail in Malta is during the spring and summer months from April to October when the sea is calm, and the weather is warm. However, Malta's generally mild weather allows for sailing activities nearly all year round.
Do you need a license to sail in Malta?
Yes, you do. To sail a yacht in Malta, you need to have the appropriate International Certificate of Competence or a national equivalent. There are several sailing schools in Malta where you can obtain these qualifications.
Can you sail to Sicily from Malta?
Absolutely! The trip is about 90 nautical miles, which makes for a perfect long weekend sailing trip. Be sure to plan your voyage carefully and check the weather conditions.
Is it possible to charter a yacht in Malta without a crew?
Yes, if you have the necessary sailing qualifications, you can charter a bareboat yacht. However, if you prefer, there are options to charter a crewed yacht as well.
What marinas are there in Malta?
Malta has several well-equipped marinas like the Valletta Grand Harbour Marina, Msida Marina, and Mgarr Marina in Gozo. They offer various services including berthing, maintenance, and refueling.
These answers should provide a well-rounded view of what sailing in Malta entails, but the sea itself is the best teacher. Happy sailing!
In conclusion, whether you're an experienced sailor planning a Mediterranean journey, or an enthusiastic beginner ready for your first sailing experience, Malta offers a dynamic sailing environment with its steady winds, crystal clear waters, and captivating coastline.
By now, your wanderlust must be piqued, and the sea's call hard to ignore. So chart your course, raise your sails, and embark on an unforgettable Maltese sailing adventure