Summary of Sailing in Malta 1

What follows is a short summary of our favourite bits of sailing in Malta during May.

We would definitely visit again if we happened to be passing. However, our planned route back out of the Med won’t take us that way. Although we’re now behind the boats who left MdR straight for the Adriatic we’re glad we made the detour south.

The people we met

Everyone we met was friendly, helpful and cheerful.

Clear, Blue Water

The water was beautifully clear and blue. In the anchorages we could see the anchor sitting on the bottom and watch shoals of tiny, tiny fish darting around the boat.

Clear blue water
Clear blue water


The countryside was unfortunately a bit parched when we were there. There were a few wild flowers in the fields adding brightness. In addition, bougainvillea garnished the walls of houses with brilliantly garish pinks and purples. Out in the countryside the wild thyme was blossoming with pretty purple flowers. But largely, the land was brown and dusty. On the plus side, roadside verges and public gardens were bursting with planted flowers. We saw snakes and a chameleon and I was glad to hear plenty of birdsong having heard they have a thing for shooting birds in Malta.

Pretty, purple wild thyme (I think!)
Pretty, purple wild thyme (I think!)

The Sounds of Malta

The Maltese like their bangs and pyrotechnics in Malta. Even more so than the Spanish who set off flashbangs at all times of the day and night, especially on a Sunday! Perhaps they are celebrating the end of church. We also had the pleasure of seeing and hearing smoke flares let off in the street as a group of football fans celebrated. The screech of tyres was heard regularly. Maybe they have special screechy tyres fitted to their cars here or maybe its the way they drive….

Colourful old truck at Marsaxlokk market
Colourful old truck at Marsaxlokk market

Cheap Transport

On the subject of transport, gone are the old Maltese buses, which is a shame. I would have liked to have seen them. Now a fleet of modern buses with air conditioning crosses the island. For the fantastic price of €1.50 we could get pretty much anywhere on the island, with regular services. They could be a bit of a rollercoaster ride though – hold on tight if standing!! Horses and traps clip-clopped along the roads and ancient cars kept on trundling along.

A Wide Variety of Activities

We passed our time with countryside walks, museums, history and visiting ancient monuments. Plus more active pursuits such as scuba diving is readily available which unfortunately I didn’t get the time or weather to arrange a trip. The Valletta area was busy and bustling but out on the south of the island we found a more peaceful landscape.

Maltese bread
Maltese bread

Memories From Home

British goods – oooh so many lovely products in the supermarkets. We went mad buying lots of Cheddar cheese, curry and Chinese ingredients, cereals and sauces Emerald is significantly heavier than when she arrived. Seeing red phone boxes and post boxes reminded us of home. Price wise fresh produce was more expensive than in Sicily. The jars and sauces we bought were also a little more than UK prices, but then that’s to be expected if most goods are imported.

Birthday celebrations, joined by Casiopee and Pruveda
Birthday celebrations, with the crew from Casiopee and Pruveda

Local Food

Neither of us like the taste of rabbit so that Maltese delicacy was wasted on us, but we did enjoy the little cheese pastries and pies. The fish meal at a restaurant in Marsaxlockk for my birthday washed down with a Maltese white wine was good. For beer the local lager Cisk suited Colin whilst I was very happy to find a locally brewed pale ale called Hopleaf.

Easy to Communicate

The language – everyone we spoke to had some English which made it easy for us. Hello was the same with an easily remembered bonju for good morning. Thank you was the same as in Italian. Otherwise the language had a much more Arabic sound to it, all flowing and lyrical.

The Sailing and Anchorages

There are anchorages to suit every wind direction. We only went to four during our three weeks but then when we found Birzebbuga it was hard to leave. It scored almost perfectly for us and allowed us to visit places ashore knowing Emerald was safe.

There were plenty of chandlers and sailing service providers around Sliema. We managed to fix our woeful list of breakages ourselves but did need to buy parts which were easily found in the shops.

Farmers hut next to fields ready for planting
Farmers hut where they can get shade, next to fields ready for planting

Thank you Malta, it was fab!

One thought on “Summary of Sailing in Malta

  • Philip Owen

    Hi Nic. Your blog and pics were interesting as always. We have been to Malta a couple of times diving in the early part of the year and found very much as you have done. It can be hot and dusty when travelling around but it is a place worthy of a visit. The diving we did there was good ( given our experience level at that time ) in that the water was clear and not too choppy most of the time with some marine life to view. It was a good training place to develop buoyancy skills as we used 5mm semi dri suits and 12 Litre steel tanks !!

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