Closer to Africa than the other countries of the Mediterranean, there is a particular exoticism about Malta. The secluded bays, warm waters and uninhabited islands of the archipelago are perfect for a private yacht charter vacation. As you sail into the stunning harbor of Valetta you will be greeted by the imposing sight of the fortress, shining golden in the Maltese sun. The local limestone lends a yellow hue to the buildings, giving the towns a special ambience. Rent a boat to explore the caves and rock formations of Gozo Island, sail to the Blue Grotto before sunrise, or moor up in the port of Marsaxlokk among brightly colored fishing boats. On land, the islands are full of historic and cultural treasures – see the incredible designs of St Johns Co-Cathedral that rival the Sistine Chapel, the ancient ruins of Hagar Qim temple, and dine on delicious fresh lampuki and other local delicacies.
Key Cruising Areas: The islands of the archipelago offer a nice selection of modern marinas and many great anchorages and are an ideal place from which to venture to the Ionian Islands.
Don’t Miss: One of the top attractions of Malta, and something that cannot be missed, is the stunning Blue Grotto. The network of caves carved out by deep blue water now shimmer with the reflection of the sky and flashes of phosphorescence as you paddle through. A private yacht is perfect for visiting the grotto – head out early to make the most of the morning light, in which the waters shine with every shade of blue.
Best Spots for Wining and Dining: Wander around the winding streets of the ancient capital of Valetta and you will find award-winning fine dining, delicious street food and charming tavernas, as well as some appealing bars for later in the evening. For a taste of French haute cuisine with spectacular views of the island, book a table on the terrace at de Mondion, where the tasting menu of Chef Bonello promises to nourish the soul.
Local Culture: The culture of Malta is a mixture of influences brought by the rulers over the last 7,000 years and the neighboring countries. Throughout the years the arts have been a big part of Maltese culture. Theatre and music are big events so visit the Monoel Theatre or one of the many open-air plays for a taste of local culture, or take in impressive examples of contemporary art in the beautifully restored fort of St James.
Best Beach: The Blue Lagoon is the top swimming spot in Malta. Sun filters through the stunningly clear water, reflecting off the white sand below to refract into every shade of blue. Surrounded by caves to explore and interesting areas for snorkelling, this is a perfect place to enjoy an afternoon swimming and sunbathing on the deck of your private yacht.
IYC recommends: Wine production in Malta dates back thousands of years, and the region is now becoming known for some excellent vineyards. Delicata is one of the country’s foremost wineries, which produces award-winning wines. The modern winery is well worth a visit or, better yet, time your trip to coincide with one of the Delicata wine festivals held in August and September.
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