Today, the Octopus takes you on an itinerary of the best stopovers in Malta.
South of Sicily, in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, the Maltese archipelago is made up of 8 islands, with the two main ones being : Malta in the south and Gozo in the north and in between the two, the island of Comino.
Malta is the ideal place to spend a good holiday and the archipelago is renowned for its friendliness and festive atmosphere. Nevertheless, it is also full of cultural and historical places to visit which are much less talked about but which are just as interesting: From the Middle Age to the twentieth century, Malta has known an incredible history and it has even been French then British before finally proclaiming its independence less than a century ago.
In consequence, from the boating enthusiast to the party animal, including history and museum buffs, Malta is the ideal destination for everyone.
With 58 anchorages and 13 marinas listed on Navily, Malta is full of interesting stopovers to visit. Thanks to your opinions through your comments and photos, we have selected the best stopovers in Malta to organize a cruise around this dreamlike archipelago.
itinerary of the best stopovers in Malta
Dwejra Bay in Gozo
If there is one place to anchor in the Maltese archipelago, it is here, in Dwejra Bay.
What better way to start your cruise than the best anchorage in the archipelago to amaze you. On the island of Gozo, in the north, this anchorage is easily accessible if you arrive from Italy. The Navily community is unanimous: Dwejra Bay is an exceptional place, a breathtaking stopover not to be missed.
The anchorage is located in the heart of a unique landscape: azure water bordered by large white cliffs which majestically overhang the coast of the island. Some boaters even go so far as to speak of a lunar landscape.
Unfortunately, the famous arch of Fungus, which was notably used during the filming of the first season of the hit series Game of Thrones, has collapsed. The place nevertheless remains very popular with boaters. The anchorage is very well protected from winds coming from North to South by the East. No mooring buoy available but you can anchor easily in a bottom made up of seaweed, sand and a few patches of rocks to avoid.
Blue Lagoon South & Taht il-Mazz à Comino
After enjoying Dwejra Bay, sail along the Gozo coast towards Comino, the small island that separates Malta and Gozo. There you will find the anchorages of Blue Lagoon South and Taht il-Mazz, both very popular with boaters who have visited the place. If these anchorages are described in the same section, it is for the simple reason of their proximity to each other.
Blue Lagoon South is, as its name suggests, a heavenly place where the water is of an almost magical blue. An anchorage teeming with sea life, caves to explore on a snorkeling adventure and splendid beaches for relaxing on hot summer days …
Perfect for swimming and relaxing with family or friends.
You can anchor directly in the sandy bottom of a good holding, but all the same watch out for a few rocks so as not to block your anchor. You can use hawsers if necessary.
Protected from winds from West to South-East by the North, this anchorage is extremely well protected most of the time, which represents a big plus for boaters.
Blue Lagoon South is an extremely busy anchorage in high season and if you are looking for peace, dropping anchor at Taht il-Mazz is recommended.
The anchorage at Taht il-Mazz is just as attractive and fantastic as Blue Lagoon South.
Located just south, Taht il-Mazz is a perfect alternative : much less crowded and wilder than Blue Lagoon, you can do the same things there but in a more peaceful atmosphere. The anchorage has sandy bottoms and is well protected from winds from the north, east and south-east. Crystal clear blue water, magnificent caves and a spectacular light show that evolve throughout the day, Taht il-Mazz has it all.
Little Armier in Malta
You can then continue your journey south and reach the main island of the eponymous archipelago: Malta. On the northern coast of the island, you’ll find the anchorage of Little Armier. A remote place much less touristy and dynamic than the Island’s center. In a calm and exclusive atmosphere, Little Armier beach is a pleasant sight to enjoy and ideal for starting your tour of the Island. You can anchor there easily in its sandy bottoms of good holding. Regarding the winds, the stopover is protected from westerlies, south winds and easterlies.
There you will find a fine sandy beach bathed in crystal clear waters and a few restaurants to indulge in local specialties. A restful and relaxing stopover before resuming your tour of the island.
After the quiet beach of Little Armier, what better than a stop in a marina to visit Valletta, the capital of Malta. Continue your journey south-east along the coast to finally reach Roland Marina. It’s the only marina on our list. It is a large marina well rated by the Navily community. Boaters describe a competent and welcoming team and prices in line with the quality of the services offered. The Roland Marina is also very well located, a 2 minutes bus ride away from La Valletta .In terms of services, you will have access to electricity and water at the dock, showers, toilets, fuel and wifi.
As you can read, Roland Marina is the ideal marina to leave your boat for a few days to go and visit La Valletta.
In La Valletta, known for its festive atmosphere, you will find hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and everything you could expect to find in a touristic capital city.
For lovers of sightseeing, History and culture, La Valletta has a strong historical imprint: between its cathedrals and basilicas of very different styles, its fortifications and palaces, its English public gardens (there is even a statue of Winston Churchill) and the National Museum of Fine Arts of Malta, you will learn all about the rich history of this charming island.
If you don’t want to linger in a marina to visit the capital of the Maltese archipelago, don’t panic, we have another option. A little further south of the Roland Marina, Rinella Bay is an good alternative for visiting La Valletta. The anchorage is close to the capital and you can also access it via public transportation.
Rinella Bay offers a breathtaking view of Valletta and the anchorage is protected from winds from North to South-West via the East: in other words, it is very well protected. It is very easy to anchor there in its sandy bottoms but be careful, several boaters report scrap metal parts in the bottom of the bay. To be avoided to preserve your anchor.
Il-Bajja Ta' San Tumas & Il-Hofra I-Kbira
Now that you know La Valletta like the back of your hand and have feasted there, you deserve some rest. Take your road South and anchor at Il-Bajja Ta ‘San Tumas, also known as the Bay of Saint Thomas. Watch out for rocks and posidonia when you drop anchor: but don’t worry, most of the space is still sandy. The anchorage is protected from winds from the North, West and Southwest. The docks are a dinghy ride away to access the beach and venture into this picturesque village where you will find a bar and a restaurant.
The anchorage of Il-Hofra I-Kbira is less crowded and wilder than the bay of Saint Thomas. There are no restaurants here, just you and your boat (and possibly other boaters).
The setting is idyllic: the water is translucent and its sandy bottoms offer good holding for your anchor. Finally, the anchorage is protected from winds coming from the South-West to the North-East via the North.
Blue Grotto Bay
After a relaxing stopover at IL-Hofra I-Kbira, it’s time to head to one of Malta’s most incredible landscapes. Continue South along the coast to finally reach the anchorage of Blue Grotto Bay, located in the extreme South of the island of Malta. In this magnificent anchorage, you will find, as its name indicates so well, many explorable caves, each more beautiful and breathtaking than the other.
The largest of them, the Blue Grotto, is 43 meters long and reaches 40 meters deep.
In this incredible landscape you will find waters of the clearest blue. No beach or restaurants around this place which has remained wild and untouched by urbanization.
You will only come across other boaters and a few tourist boats, but nothing more.
Blue Grotto Bay is protected from the winds from the West, North and East. Anchoring can be a bit tricky due to the many rocks present in the sandy bottom of the anchorage. We must therefore remain cautious.
It is certainly Malta’s most iconic anchorage with Dwerja and if there is one stopover not to be missed during your cruise, it is Blue Grotto Bay.
That’s it, your tour of Malta is complete. From Gozo to the Southern coast of Malta via Comino, you have seen the main wonders that the archipelago has to offer.
However, on your way, you will find a final anchorage to visit before leaving Malta.
In the Northwest of the island, Ghajn Tuffieha is a splendid place to end your cruise. Beaches, restaurants, Spa, Historic towers … The Golden Bay is both welcoming and picturesque. As for the anchorage, the bottom is composed of sand so you can easily drop anchor and the bay is protected from winds coming from the North-East, East and South-East.
Ghajn Tuffieha is a stopover of choice to conclude this itinerary of the best stopovers in Malta archipelago. Do not hesitate to comment and give us your opinion on the highlights of the island or to give your best advice to future yachtsmen who venture to Malta.
There are many other equally interesting places to visit on the island of Malta, Gozo or Comino and you will find them on Navily,
Fair Winds Captain,