Malta is a collection of small islands, 50NM south of Italy in the Medditerean Sea. Known for dramatic landscapes, stunning ancient architecture and vibrant culture, the islands have been a favourite of holidaymakers wanting to add something a little special to their adventure.
For sailing, you can’t get much better than Malta. Year round sun, a consistent moderate breeze and dry conditions make these islands a great destination for both cruisers and racers alike. The jagged coastline creates well-protected bays with beautiful beaches and you’re never short of activities when venturing ashore either.
1. SAIL INTO VALLETTA
Sailing into the ancient city of Valletta is something of cinematic dreams. Located between Marsamxett Harbour to the west and the Grand Harbour to the east this micro-city has a population of just 6,444 making it Europe’s 2nd smallest capital. Officially recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980, the city’s 16th Century architecture is stunning and best viewed from the water.
2. HIKE THE XEMXIJA HERITAGE TRAIL
Starting in St. Paul’s bay, this trail – also known as “The Roman Road” – explores some of Malta’s oldest relics with some dating back as far as 4,000BC. The highlight of the trail is the view from the top of the Roman Apiary. Stunning. Just remember to wear a good pair of shoes and take plenty of water as there aren’t any places to top up en route.
3. SWIM IN THE BLUE LAGOON
Located on the island of Comino (between Malta and Gozo), is a bucket-list location known for its crystal clear turquoise waters and rocky cliffs. Drop the anchor here for some Instagram-worthy swimming pictures and explore the caves on a SUP or by Kayak. If you have time, a hop ashore is worthwhile, even if it’s just to see the Santa Marija Tower which dates back to the 17th century and was built to warn islanders of imminent invasions.
4. ROLEX MIDDLE SEA RACE
An autumnal highlight of the offshore racing calendar, the Rolex Middle Sea Race takes in a 608 Nautical Miles loop of Scilly. Starting in Malta at Marsamxett Harbour, the fleet heads north along the Eastern coasts of Sicily up towards the Straits of Messina, where Mt.Etna is visible on the fleet’s port side. Once through the Straits, the course leads north to the Aeolian Islands and the active volcano of Stromboli where the yachts turn West to the Egadi Islands. Passing between Marettimo and Favignana the crews head south towards the island of Lampedusa leaving Pantelleria to port. Finish the race in spectacular surroundings back on Malta as you pass beneath Fort St Angelo and the Saluting Battery in Valletta. True bucket list racing.
5. DIVE IN DWEJRA BAY
The Dwejra Bay area is a geological and ecological haven. Located on the island of Gozo, it is the ideal place to Scuba dive, snorkel or just swim. The rocky landscape has created numerous rockpools and grottos, perfect for some subaqua exploration. The “Blue Hole” is rated as one of Europe’s best diving sites, and with a large number of dive schools nearby, renting kit or joining a guided dive is easy.
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