Someone once said that an island can only be called such when viewed from the sea. This may be obvious, but very true.
With its beautiful coastline and outstanding views, the best way to explore the Maltese Islands, which consists of Malta, Gozo and Comino, is by yacht. The dramatic view of Valletta, Malta’s capital — as you enter the harbor and see the Three Cities, with their formidable fortifications, the rugged cliffs and secluded bays around the archipelago — all look very different from the deck.
This is the year to visit. Considered one of the top “Places to Go 2018,” by more than twenty lists, Malta is home to the highest density of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which includes Valletta, in any nation-state in the world. Malta’s patrimony in stone ranges from the oldest free-standing stone architecture in the world to one of the British Empire’s most formidable defensive systems and includes a rich mix of domestic, religious and military architecture from the ancient, medieval and early modern periods.
This year, Valletta is celebrating its designation as the 2018 European Capital of Culture. More than 400 events — featuring the culture, history and arts as well as the special culinary delights of Malta — are taking place throughout the year.
Like Malta, Gozo shares the colorful legacy of the many people who have invaded, traded and settled in the Maltese Islands during the last seven thousand years. On Gozo, there are caves to explore, UNESCO World Heritage sites, dramatic fortifications and the Baroque architecture of the Knights of St. John, the famous Knights of Malta. Gozo is also well known for its farm-to-table restaurant experiences.
The island of Comino is a haven for all those who love swimming, snorkeling, diving, windsurfing and other water sports. The island’s main attraction is the Blue Lagoon where stunning aquamarine water shimmers over beautiful white sand. Surrounded by awe-inspiring caves, it is one of the most spectacular sights of the Maltese archipelago and a perfect stop for a day on the water.
Select festival highlights
Malta International Food Festival — July 19 to 22
With more than 25,000 annual visitors attending the event every year, the “Malta International Food Festival” will take place from July 19 to 22. Event goers can indulge in freshly prepared food, desserts and surprises, along with live cooking shows and spectacles that will complement the food areas.
Malta International Arts Festival — June 29 to July 16
The Malta International Arts Festival will have audiences amazed as established and emerging Maltese artists showcase their masterpieces. The festival will feature other artistic events, such as virtuoso music performances, dance and other well-established international acts, which will be performing at various venues across Valletta.
The Delicata Wine Festival, Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta — August 9 to 12
Balmy, starlit Maltese summer sunsets, delicious wines, great music and friendly hospitality, the Delicata Classic Wine Festival is all these rolled into one. This spectacular wine festival takes place during four nights at the Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta, this year’s European Capital of Culture, every evening from 7 pm until midnight. Each one of the four wine-and-joy filled evenings promises to be as magical as ever with a great line-up of wine, food and music.
Royal Malta Yacht Club
Located right on the water in Valletta at the Ta’ Xbiex Marina, the Club offers extraordinary facilities, including a lounge bar and dining area with outdoor terraces, a rooftop terrace, conference rooms, a fitness room with changing rooms, waterfront facilities for small boats and a seasonal marina for larger boats. The Club has a busy calendar of events including several races.