You know the old adage 'good things come in small packages'? The Mediterranean island of Malta may be small, but it sure packs in an incredible variety of things to see and do - there are Medieval cities, Prehistoric temples, stunning Baroque churches, country villages, stunning beaches and opportunities to hike, dive, climb and enjoy many land and sea-based adventures. Malta is a wonderful sailing destination - the comfort and convenience of having your own private charter will allow you to escape the summer crowds, enjoying new, stunning landscapes and fun adventures every day. Planning to go sailing around Malta? Read on!

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People of Malta

Malta is located smack-bang in the center of the Mediterranean, and it has a long turbulent history of wars, invasions, and conquests - from the Arabs to the Swabians, from the Knights Hospitalier to the British, each culture has brought to Malta a layer of demographic history that produced what Maltese culture is today. Nowadays, there are approximately 400,000 people living in Malta, and the official languages are English and Maltese - the latter is the only European language with Arabic roots, also including Sicilian, Italian and English influences. Maltese people have emigrated from their homeland all throughout the 19th and 20th century, mainly to the US, Australia and Europan countries such as Belgium. In these countries, sizeable Maltese diaspora communities survive to this day.


Places in Malta


Valletta

Malta’s capital is truly a city of culture and art. Built in the 16th century by the Knights Hospitaller, it’s a tiny place that’s absolutely packed with sights and highlights popping around every corner. The architecture is a stunning mix of modern and baroque, with restaurants and shops on every street, but the real stars are the old historic buildings, like St. John’s Co-Cathedral, the Upper Barrakka Gardens, and the Grand Harbour. With a perfect climate and welcoming culture, Valletta is a destination that shouldn't be missed while sailing Malta!


Three Cities

What is commonly known as the Three Cities are actually three different cities, going by the names of Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua. They’re old towns, the oldest of which – Vittoriosa, formerly known as Birgu – has stood since the Middle Ages. Collectively they represent a vertical slice of Maltese culture, and because they’re not quite on the tourist radar, and they exude a certain unique ambiance. Today they bloom with trade, commerce, and art, and are some of the finest examples of Maltese culture – with narrow winding streets, a historic connection with the Knights of St. John, Baroque churches, and so much more.


Mdina

A most peculiar destination, Mdina is a city with long and detailed history. It was the capital of Malta, but previously it was a Phoenician city in ancient times, then a large Roman center in the days of the Roman Empire, with finally to be taken by the Arabs in the Middle Ages. It was then that it was renamed to Mdina, meaning Walled City – which is a moniker that the city is known for. But because the Knights of St. John chose the Grand Harbour as their center of operations, Mdina because a holiday spot for the nobles, and became known as the Silent City – an appropriate name that properly illustrates its nightlife. Better head to Valletta if you want to party in Malta!


Dingli Cliffs

The spectacular Dingli Cliffs offer some of the finest views in all of Malta. They’re a place of isolation and solitude, as they’re a bit secluded, with the nearest town being Dingli village. There’s not much else to see, other than breathtaking nature and views of the Mediterranean, but what is there is a place where your soul can rest while you gaze towards the horizon. As a place for recollection and meditative walks, Dingli Cliffs are unforgettable.


Silema/St. Julian's

Two resort towns that are virtually in the same neighborhood, they’re easily within walking distance between one another. But what they lack in size they more than compensate with spirit and fun, as both of them are absolutely packed with restaurants, excellent hotels, boat rides, and bars. They’re a unique combination, not only because they’re practically glued together, but because they feel both like tourist destinations while still having a local feel about them. Quite affordable, they’re energetic places, that many tourists opt to see or stay at to enjoy the vibe and nightlife.


Mellieha

A picturesque location that’s been deemed a destination for all season, Mellieha is a small town in the northern parts of Malta that’s surrounded by warm, sandy beaches, and pristine waters. The town itself isn’t very large, and it has been overdeveloped yet – that’s thanks to the distance from the beaches, which are the longest in all of Malta. This means that the town itself will never feels very crowded, and outside its strict center, there’s a relaxed atmosphere in the air that feels quite Maltese – easy and relaxed.


Marsaxlokk

A quiet little fishing village in the southern parts of Malta, this is one of those ideal spots to just experience Malta and its culture. Marsaxlokk is truly unique and charming, with plenty of old traditions and history being felt on every street. The fish markets offer fresh fish all the time, mainly because in the past its inhabitants worked mostly as fishermen, and fishing is a great part of the local culture.


Prehistoric Temples

Malta’s history begins thousands of years ago when it was first settled in the Neolithic. As a result, Europe’s oldest standing structures can now be found on the archipelago – old megalithic monuments that are even older than some of the pyramids in Egypt. The civilization that used to live in those parts fashioned these giant temples that are today classified as UNESCO World Heritage sites, and are fascinating structures the likes of which are rarely seen in the world, especially in such a good condition.


Gozo

The second largest island in the archipelago, Gozo is a relaxing destination that feels quite different than the rest of Malta. It has a more rural feel about it, as if time passes slower while on the island. The natural beauty is only enforced by the great history present on the island – inhabited since the Stone Age, it’s been a place of interest throughout most of history, and a good number of features films and television has been shot on Gozo. It’s perfect not only for swimming, but also for long relaxing walks.


Comino

Reportedly once a home for swashbuckling pirates, Comino is a tranquil island that’s located between Malta and Gozo. It’s an ideal getaway spot, because apart from a single hotel the island is practically uninhabited. This tiny island might not feel like it has much to offer, but it has some of the best waters for diving and snorkeling in all of Malta, as well as one of Malta’s largest natural treasures – the Blue Lagoon.


Pleasures in Malta


Diving and Climbing in Gozo

Gozo, Malta's 'little sister'  located just to the north, is a true adventurer's paradise - it's possible to hike, dive, climb, kayak and go mountain biking all within 10 minutes of one another. One of Gozo's best-known sights was the Azure Window, collapsed a few years ago - but the stretch of coastline where it used to be located is still worth a visit. Gozo is home to more than 50 dive sites, including wrecks, and it is possible to spot barracudas, parrotfish, and shoals of sardines. 


Swim the Blue Lagoon

If you're visiting during shoulder season, don't miss visiting Comino, the tiny island located between Malta and Gozo and home to a full-time population of just three - three lucky souls, may we add! Comino's claim to fame is its stunning Blue Lagoon, a shallow bay with a thousand shades of azure and aquamarine and transparent waters, perfect for snorkeling. If you're visiting during high season, plan to reach it as early as possible, as it's packed with visitors. 


Enjoy Maltese Cuisine

Maltese cuisine is truly unique, and it is influenced by Sicilian, Arabic, French, Spanish, and British flavors, while making use of ingredients found on the island. Malta's most famous dish is probably stuffat tal-fenek (stewed rabbit), a slow-cooked rabbit with herbs and spices said to have originated as a form of protests against hunting restrictions during the time of the Knights of St John. Other popular Maltese dishes are bragioli (beef olives), Kapunata (the Maltese version of ratatouille, from the Sicilian caponata), lampuki (fish pie, a popular Lent dish) and many more. Ask the crew on your private charter to whip up some Maltese gourmet delicacies, or let them point out the best local restaurants!  


Do

Do go hiking and exploring away from the coast - some of the best local restaurants are found in inland villages, waterfront cafes in places like Sliema and St. Julian's mainly cater to a tourist clientele. 

Do spend an evening bar-hopping along Valletta's Strait Street, once famous for being the hangout of choice of British sailors and locals, now returing to its former 'grandeur' after falling in disrepair for decades. 


Don't

Don't visit the main attractions in the island like Marsaxlokk, Gozo, and Comino during the weekend, when they are crowded with locals and language students - head there during the week instead, and spend weekends exploring hidden coves or sunbathing on your yacht!

Don't think that Malta is small, so it must take only a short time to drive from place to place - the traffic is absolutely horrendous. Sailing is a lot quicker and less stressful!


Best time to go

Malta is truly a year-round destination - temperatures remain mild even in winter, and rarely go below 10-15°. Naturally, if you're planning to swim, go snorkeling and enjoy water adventures, winter will probably be too cold. Spring and Autumn are ideal, the weather is largely dry and sunny and the weather is warm without being stifling hot. In summer, the island is very busy - but you can always find some hidden getaways onboard your private charter!


Best way to go

There are regular flights to Malta from all over Europe, on national and low-cost airlines. If you prefer traveling by ferry, there are two companies offering ferry service from Sicily (Catania and Pozzallo) to Valletta, operating every day in high season. Malta is also an ideal location to combine to a Sicily cruise or sailing adventure, since the two islands are only a few km from one another. 

Looking for an unforgettable holiday?
Get in direct contact with local operators!
Receive and compare multiple offers today!

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