Amazing Day Trips to Take Around Malta by Boat

The Crystal Lagoon on Comino island is a major sailing hotspot in Malta
The Crystal Lagoon on Comino island is a major sailing hotspot in Malta | © Alizada Studios / Alamy
Celia Topping

With a temperate climate, warm winds and forgiving seas, Malta makes for an ideal year-round sailing destination. Admire the medieval architecture from the sea, as well as dolphins, whale sharks, and turtles. Then there are the perfect sandy beaches and explorable caves. With 7,000 years of history to discover, a sailing holiday here offers excellent cruising as well as fascinating sightseeing.

Marvel at Malta’s coastline by chartering a yacht with SamBoat.

1. A tour around the island

Natural Feature

View of skyline of Valletta , Malta
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Malta has so much to offer both on land and in the blue waters that surround this small archipelago. Due to its diminutive size, cruising around all three main islands is possible in a day and is a great way to get acquainted with the island nation. From the medieval splendour of Valletta to the quiet rocky coves and towering cliffs of Dingli. Be ready to drop anchor at any point to take a plunge, and remember to keep your eyes peeled for dolphins!

2. Dingli Cliffs and Mdina

Natural Feature

View of the Dingli Cliffs, Malta
© imageBROKER / Alamy

Head around the west coast of Malta’s largest island to marvel at the sheer enormity of Dingli Cliffs, with a tiny chapel perched on the top to mark the highest point. A little further north, anchor at Rabat, and we suggest you take a taxi through Rabat and into the Mdina Old Town. You’ll enter this historic city through the magnificently grand 18th-century Mdina Gate into the medieval capital’s heart and some of the most extravagant architecture in the country.

3. Um El-Faroud wreck and Ħaġar Qim

Architectural Landmark

Diver at the Wreck Of The Libyan Tanker Um El Faroud In Malta
© EyeEm / Alamy

If diving floats your boat, then head to the southwest of the island to explore the astonishing Um El-Faroud wreck, sailing around the picturesque caves of the Blue Grotto on your way. It’s worth dropping anchor here so you can hike up to the archaeological site of Ħaġar Qim, a megalithic temple built between 3600 and 3200 BC, one of the most ancient buildings in the world.

4. Popeye Village

Amusement Park

Malta, Mellieha, Anchor Bay, Popeye Village, general view of the village of Popeye used to shooting a feature film
© Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo

For something completely different, visit the Popeye Village in the northwest of Malta. Built as a film set for the 1980 Robin Williams film Popeye, the characters’ homes and shops remain charmingly intact. Whether you’re a Popeye fan or not, you can’t help getting drawn into the fun, with real-life Popeye, Bluto, and Olive Oyl characters on hand to get you in the swing of things with games, puppet shows, and dancing. There’s even the chance to star in your own Popeye movie!

5. Café del Mar

Nightclub, Bar, Cocktails

The pool at Cafe del Mar, Malta
© Jorge Arlandias / EyeEm / Getty

It may have begun in Ibiza, but Café del Mar Malta is still the glam place to see and be seen. This lounge club is arguably one of the best in the world, with music, colourful sunsets, and a chilled vibe. Hang out all day by the infinity reef pool, or arrive in the evening to dine and dance the night away to some of the best DJs around.

6. North Gozo

Natural Feature

Visitors at the sea arch, the Azure Window, Gozo, Malta, Mediterranean, Europe
© robertharding / Alamy

The second-largest island in the Maltese archipelago is Gozo, peppered with pretty churches and protected anchorages. Head up the east coast to the striking red sand beach of Ramala Bay and jump off here if you fancy stretching your legs with a walk up to the vast neolithic Ġgantija Temples. Sail around the north of the island to where one of the most famous landmarks of Malta once stood, the Azure Window. Although this infamous limestone arch, once a film location for Game of Thrones, collapsed in 2017, it now makes an interesting dive site in translucent blue waters.

7. South Gozo

Natural Feature

View over Mgarr Harbour in Gozo, Malta
© Rob Atherton / Alamy

Cruising around the south of Gozo offers many treats. Try stand-up paddleboarding near the small, sheltered Hondoq-ir-Rummien beach, or hike the splendid coastal hiking trail to Barbaggan Rocks for views of Comino, Malta, and beyond. For lunch, drop anchor at the newly renovated Mgarr harbour and seek out Tmun Mgarr, a popular beach-front restaurant overlooking the sea. The swordfish carpaccio and freshly caught queen scallops are to die for! For a lazy afternoon, sail slowly westward and enjoy the sunset at the majestic Sanap Cliffs.

8. Comino, and the Blue and Crystal Lagoons

Natural Feature

Boats in a panorama of the Blue Lagoon, Comino, Malta
© Evgenii Parilov / Alamy

No trip to Malta would be complete without visiting the island of Comino, sitting pretty between the islands of Malta and Gozo. This rocky, almost uninhabited island is a protected nature reserve and wildlife sanctuary. Named after the herb cumin, you’ll find the island carpeted with herbs and flowers, and with only a few cars allowed, it’s a peaceful place to spend a few hours. Don’t forget your snorkel to explore the exquisite Blue Lagoon on the northwest of the island and the Crystal Lagoon down south.

Explore more of Malta’s coastline when you hire a vessel with SamBoat.

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