After Madagascar, we are excited to announce our newest bareboat yacht charter location, which is in Malta. This small Mediterranean archipelago is located between Sicily and North Africa and our new base is in Port Roland Marina at Ta’Xbiex Creek, Marsamxetto Harbour.
This destination offers a warm, dry Mediterranean climate with a long sailing season where temperatures can hit 77ºF even in mid-October. The archipelago’s three main islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino offers so much with ancient history, a welcoming atmosphere, gourmet cuisine, easy sailing conditions, safe anchorage and extraordinary diving.
We’ve picked out five of the archipelago’s highlights that are perfect stop-offs, as you’ll get to explore the best diving in Malta.
1. The blue hole of Gozo
Wondering where to dive in Malta? Head straight to this iconic site northwest of Gozo Island (also known as Calypso Island). The blue hole is a natural, tube-shaped rock formation that plunges steeply into the azure sea. Like all the blue holes in the world, Gozo’s was formed during the last ice age, when the sea level was 100m lower than what it is today. Rainwater runoff slowly eroded a 15m cavity, which filled with water when its ceiling finally collapsed.
Head here to enjoy one of the best diving spots in the archipelago with a rich underwater world, including plenty of groupers. The spot is suitable for experienced divers and beginners and includes a vast cave with spectacular scenery. Nearby is a magnificent arch that used to be called the azure window, which you can stop by afterwards. The arch partially collapsed after a storm in 2017, but is still well worth the visit.
2. The blue lagoon of Comino
During your cruise in Malta, make plans to visit the blue lagoon of Comino, which offers an experience that feels like a more exotic location. One of the best dive sites in Malta, Comino is a nature reserve where cars are forbidden. This island has an enchanting scent of cumin and its unspoiled beauty is home to a wonderful azure lagoon.
The beach near the lagoon is often very popular in summer, so enjoy the huge advantage visiting by yacht gives you. The lagoon also offers many spots for snorkeling, from the beaches or rocks.
3. Fungus Rock, west of Gozo
The imposing 60m-high Fungus Rock (also known as Mushroom Rock or General’s Rock) is at the entrance to the beautiful Dwejra Bay, Gozo. It takes its name from the presence of Malta Fungus, a medicinal plant long-confused with mushrooms, which grows there. The fungus was discovered by the Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem and its properties are still being investigated today by scientists. Today the rock is a reserve and groupers and sea slugs have made homes in the holes and cracks at its foot.
If you are an experienced sailor on a two-week charter, you can sail to nearby Sicily, which is north of Gozo to experience Fungus Rock, one of the best dive sites in Malta.
4. The caves of Santa Maria, Comino
This Maltese diving spot is suitable for all levels and very popular thanks to the many caves in the area. They are illuminated by the intense blue of the water which reflects on all the cave walls around you. This labyrinth of underwater passages transports you to another world where thousands of octopuses, red mullet, eels, shrimps, moray eels and crabs surround you.
5. The wreck of oil tanker Um El Faroud, Malta
For those who love underwater exploration, there are many shipwrecks off the Maltese coast. For the best diving in Malta, head to the tanker Um El Faroud, over 115m long, which was deliberately sunk in 1995 to serve as an artificial reef to encourage a healthy ecosystem.
It is now one of the best diving wrecks in Malta and suitable for intermediate divers, as the underwater currents can be strong. Make sure you pair with a local diver who knows the place well. Marine life has developed and colonized the wreck, so you will be greeted by congers, squid and barracuda.
As you sail the archipelago, don’t miss the delicious seafood and typical Maltese dishes, such as Bigilla, Kapunata and Fenkata. Head ashore to absorb a culture that is over 7,000 years old by exploring historic Valletta, the walled city of Mdina and Rabat’s Roman catacombs.
If you’re thinking about experiencing Malta, check out our Maltese fleet and our new Ta’Xbiex base. If you can’t sail then don’t worry, as you can hire a skipper. Get in touch with our team today on 833.609.5372 or email [email protected] for more information. Alternatively, for the latest vacation inspiration, head on over to our blog.