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Malta Yacht Charter

Malta has long sat on the periphery of the Mediterranean yachting scene, but this superb charter destination is now set to get hotter than hot, with its crystal clear waters promising spectacular cruising, the best diving in Europe, and a history so magnificent that a Malta yacht charter is like traveling through time.

As you float between the islands of Malta, you can dive WWII bomber planes, explore glowing blue grottos, see Caravaggio’s masterpieces and visit megalithic temples. Add in stunning fortress cities, colorful fishing villages, blissful blue lagoons and a burgeoning luxury scene, and you’ve got a yacht charter destination that will not fail to enchant.

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Day 1: Valletta, Malta

Valletta Grand Harbour is one of the world’s most awe-inspiring ports. Barely visible from the sea, this huge natural harbor hides the fortress city of Valletta, with a distinctly medieval feel that made it a perfect site for filming Game of Thrones.

Yet despite its ancient cobbled streets, baroque palaces, exotic gardens and soaring spires, this city is undergoing a luxury renaissance perfectly suited to the elite yacht traveler, with fine restaurants and hip whiskey bars alongside boutique hotels and opera theaters.

In the late afternoon, be sure to take the 25-minute drive inland to the ancient capital of Mdina, known as “The Silent City.” Built by the Knights of Malta on the site of a 4,000-year-old Phoenician city, this opulent white city stands on a hilltop like a Renaissance vision.

With only 300 noble residents, very few cars, and signs everywhere asking for quiet, this city is unlike anywhere else on earth. A visit to the mighty baroque Saint John’s Cathedral to see Caravaggio’s “Beheading of St. John the Baptist” and “St. Jerome” is a must, while we also recommend staying until nightfall to enjoy the silence of the lamp-lit streets before returning to your yacht for dinner on deck looking out at the walled city of Valletta.

Those less interested in human landscapes might prefer to spend their afternoon scuba diving the wreck of the HMS Maori at nearby St. Elmo Bay.

Day 2: Valletta to Island Bay, Malta

The yacht will depart early to transport you to a different side of Malta — one where the rugged cliffs of the coast fall away into crystal clear water, sea caves glimmer ethereal blue, and colorful fishing villages beckon from the shore.

Have breakfast on deck as you enjoy the scenery of the undeveloped south floating by before anchoring for a swim at the breathtaking St. Peter’s Pool, named for the apostle who is believed to have been shipwrecked on Malta on his way to Rome around 60 AD.

You might wander the streets of nearby Marsacala fishing village before enjoying lunch on deck and water toys in the afternoon. Alternatively, advanced divers can discover the wreck of the Blenheim Bomber plane lying in 40m of water offshore before anchoring for the night in gorgeous Island Bay.

Day 3: Island Bay to Gnedja Bay

More glorious cruising awaits you this morning as you make your way up the stunning west coast of Malta. Start your day exploring the colorful fishing village of Marsaxlokk, where brightly painted fishing boats bob in clear water in front of a film-set skyline of baroque church domes, palm trees, and Moorish facades. Then relax on deck as your yacht makes its way to the famous Blue Grotto, where the light around lunchtime makes the sea cave glow a haunting blue.

The captain will then head north to Cirkewwa, where divers will be torn between diving the wreck of the Rozi tugboat or the P29 gunboat wreck, where the gun turrets make for some atmospheric underwater photography.

After your day of adventure, the yacht will head to the enchanting cove of Gnedja Bay, where a secluded anchorage is surrounded by limestone cliffs, creating the perfect spot for an elegant dinner under the stars as you listen to the water lap gently at the hull. If you’re in the mood to dine out or relax in a spa, anchor off the Radisson Blu Hotel at Golden Bay.

Day 4: Gnegja Bay to the Blue Lagoon, Comino

Today is pure beach bliss. Beach lovers will want to spend the morning on either Golden Beach or at the quieter Paradise Bay, while divers might want to return to Cirkewwa to dive the reef.

After a long, lazy lunch at anchor, the yacht will make the short trip across to the island of Comino, to arrive at the Blue Lagoon just past 4 pm, when the tour boats have departed. This is one of the most photographed lagoons in the Mediterranean, and little wonder, with startlingly azure waters contrasting vividly with the limestone formations all around.

Have a swim in the translucent sea before getting dressed for canapés and cocktails, enjoying the sunset as it falls across the wildly beautiful, rugged landscape.

Day 5: Comino to Mgarr, Gozo

Get up early and enjoy the tranquillity of the lagoon with a wake-up swim before breakfasting on deck, saltwater drying on your skin in the morning light. The captain will move the yacht before 8 am to avoid the crowds arriving and ruining the peace and quiet.

If you’re in the mood for more lagoon action, then Comino’s much lesser known Emerald Lagoon (or Crystal Lagoon) is a superb option, as there’s no beach so people can only swim from boats, while scuba divers might prefer motoring to the northeast of the island to explore the Santa Maria Caves.

The yacht will then make the hop across to Gozo, the third island in the Maltese archipelago, a dreamy island where time seems to have stood still. The first stop will be Mgarr Ix-Xini Cove, an idyllic little fjord lined with cliffs, a beach, and stone buildings at its end.

This cove has been used as a film set in Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s film By The Sea, and it makes for the perfect backdrop as you swim and sunbathe and eat a delicious seafood lunch at the little beach shack café. The yacht will then move to Mgarr Marina for the night, where you might dine at the Yacht Club or wander the waterfront with an ice cream.

Day 6: Gozo

Choices abound for your day on Gozo. A must-see for divers and snorkelers is Dwerga, once the home of Malta’s iconic Azure Window. Those upset about the collapse of the famous limestone arch will be consoled to discover that the rockfall has created an underwater paradise for divers, with huge limestone blocks creating passageways and an almost eerie topography. The site also offers the Blue Hole, one of the great dive sites of Europe, the inland sea lagoon, and a beautiful natural swimming pool.

Gozo also is home to the UNESCO-listed Ggantija temples, a megalithic temple complex that is more than 5,000 years old, while history lovers will also want to visit the capital of Victoria, where a spectacular citadel sits atop the hill.

If you’d prefer to stay by the coast, the beach of Ramla Bay has beautiful red-gold sand, Ghajn Barrani has lush green fields rolling down to the sea, and snorkelers will find their heaven at Wied il-Għasri beach, where a stunning narrow chasm cut through the cliffs makes for an extremely memorable snorkeling experience.

Day 7:

The yacht will leave early for the return to Valetta, perhaps stopping for a swim at St. Paul’s Bay, the place where St. Paul’s ship was believed to be wrecked. Advanced divers can also dive the Imperial Eagle Wreck and the Jesus statue on the seabed, rounding out an exceptional yacht charter in Malta.

 

 

 

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