The three inhabited islands and several unihabited islands of the Maltese archipelago could be the best sailing holiday destination you enjoy for many years. From the pristine beaches to traces of the 7000 years of human history on the islands of Malta, there is so much to take in that you are spoiled for choice on a Malta yacht charter!
Malta as a whole is one of the smallest independent nations on the Mediterranean Sea. Situated between Sicily and Africa, it has long been an important strategic location for the different empires that have vied for power through the Millennia. The British still maintain an interest but so have the French, Romans and civilisations long before our current understanding of human history. These have all left their marks with great buildings such as the mysterious Ggantija temples on Gozo that were built 7,000 years ago, long before Stonehenge in Britain.
For those after more modern pleasures, there is excellent diving and snorkelling to be had at different dive sites and, perhaps most famously the Blue Lagoon on smallest inhabited island, Comino. A Malta yacht charter is the best way to enjoy the Blue Lagoon as tourists arrive by boat between 10am and 4pm, allowing you to have the place to yourself after they have gone.
Throughout the Maltese archipelago there are a range of pristine beaches that will appeal to different tastes. Mellieha Bay on the north coast of Malta Island is a case in point, with the longest beach in Malta that has all the facilities you could want including umbrella rental and beach bars. Just around the bay you will find Slugs Bay, a quiet undeveloped beach famed for its population of sea slugs and other marine life that will entertain the snorkeller!
The Maltese archipelago has uninhabited islands worth a sailing trip too - Cominotto, Filfla, St. Paul's Islands and Fungus Rock are all great stops on your sailing holiday.
A Malta yacht charter is simple to organise with Borrow a Boat.
If you are on a skippered yacht charter or superyacht, you largely need to turn up and report to the crew who will welcome you aboard and off you go.
For those on a bareboat sailing holiday, you will find the same essential principles toward freedom of the sea as Britain. For most bareboat charter holidays you will need a minimum of a RYA Day Skipper, ASA 104 Bareboat or European equivalent, and upon completing the formalities such as insurance and yacht inspection, you're free to go.
Malta only has one international airport, Luqua on the main island. There are flights to Malta International Airport from much of Europe.
Both Gozo and Comino have their own heliports should you be joining your boat on those islands, though you can get a ferry from Malta onto those islands as well.
There are three main islands in the Maltese archipelago - Malta, Gozo and Comino.
With the capital Valletta the main yacht charter base, the main island of Malta is where you will pass through and spend much of your time on your sailing holiday. Grand Harbour is steeped in history and today is almost certainly where you will begin your sailing holiday. From quiet beaches and secluded coves to buzzing nightlife you will find it all on Malta.
The second biggest island in the archipelago, Gozo has plenty to offer in its own right. You shouldn't miss the Ggantija Temples near the centre of the island, which were built around 7,000 years ago and are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For those on a sailing holiday you will find it laid back, quiet and beautiful - a far cry from the buzz you'll find on the main island.
Thousands of tourists a year flock to the famous Blue Lagoon on Comino island, a Maltese island lying between Gozoand Malta. As a whole the listed population of Comino is just five residents yet between 10am and 4pm nearly every sandy spot on the lagoon is taken by tourists. Being anchored just off the shore, you can enjoy the beauty of the place with just a few other boats and largely have it to yourself!
There are broadly two yacht charter bases on Malta - Valletta on Malta itself and Mgarr on Gozo.
Situated on one of the best natural harbours on the Mediterranean, Valletta is an ancient city that welcomes its sailing holiday visitors with open arms. There are several marinas around the harbour which was until recently an important Royal Navy port yet has fortifications in place that were built to fend off many an empire before.
A short ferry ride from the main island, Mgarr has the only marina on Gozo. It is a busy fishing port and other than helicopter, the only way to access Gozo without a yacht is through Mgarr's ferry port. From here you can explore inland or of course, begin your Malta sailing holiday!
There are three broad types of charter - bareboat charter, flotilla charters, and skippered yacht charter. Where it comes to chartering a boat you can hire a motorboat charter, a monohull sailing yacht charter, catamaran charter, Superyacht charter or luxury yacht charter and RIBs or day boats. Each have their benefits.
Coming in all shapes and sizes from 7 metres to 70+ metres, motorboats are as different as their uses. A seven metre RIB will be a great day boat and can be hired for as little as €110 a day for fishing trips or just blasting about the bay. The 15 metre plus size of motor yacht will have cabins and often en suite heads and cost upwards of €400 a day.
Starting at as 'little' as €10,000 a day a superyacht will come with skipper and crew as part of the package. On the crewed motor yacht or sailboat you will be treated like kings and queens on your personal mini-cruise-ship that will often come with tenders and toys such as jet skis and even sailing yachts!
Coming with or without skipper and/or crew, a luxury yacht charter will cost upwards of €700 a day and will come fully fitted out with all the modern conveniences and comforts of the very best sailing craft afloat. Expect en suite heads and comfortable staterooms but also a lot of fun under sail!
Starting at €450 a day, catamarans are luxury yachts that offer lots of space, a fair lick of speed on a reach and a shallow draft for mooring close into shore. They have twin engines in the hulls so while large they are incredibly manoeuvrable when in marinas and so forth.
Ranging in size from 10 metres up to 20 or so, monohull sailboat form the backbone of the Maltese yacht charter industry. Very good to windward, you will find yourself chewing up the miles at all points of sail without relying on the engines. Costing as little as €120 a day you will enjoy comfort and fun for a good budget price.
Where it comes to a Maltese yacht charter you have two choices - bareboat rental or skippered yacht charter. Both have their own advantages.
No sailing qualifications or not confident enough to bareboat charter yourself? That's no problem when it comes to yacht charter - you can take on a skipper for the week or two touring Maltese waters! With a skippered yacht charter you have someone aboard who knows the ropes and the best places to visit on your sailing holiday. They will know the best spots for what you want, be it hideaway restaurants or the best wine on the islands! Costing as little as €100 a day (depending on the size and type of vessel) you will get the very best from your yacht charter holiday with one aboard. Don't forget the tip at the end of the week!
A competent sailor? Have the qualifications required? Dreaming all year of casting off and exploring the Maltese coastline and islands with just you and your friends? A bareboat yacht charter is just the thing for you. This is cheaper than a skippered yacht charter but you also get the privacy of being in your chosen group without a stranger in your midst. You get to choose your own adventure and go at your own pace - not a bad thing for a holiday to recharge your batteries ahead of rejoining the rat race...
If you want to bareboat charter you will need an approved boating qualification, below is a list of relevant qualifications:
International Certificate of Competence (ICC): Standard European Qualification for bareboat sailing
ASA 104 Bareboat sailing certificate: The American Sailing Associations skipper minimum qualification for hiring bareboat yachts
RYA: The Royal Yachting Association's qualifications (minimum day skipper level) is necessary for bareboatcharterhire, it's also worthwhile seeing do you need to have done a VHF radio course as well as some private yachtowners will require this.
There are also many other European national boating qualifications that are accepted here too, it's worthwhile checking these details before hiring.
If you want a skippered boat rental as a charter yacht then you don't need any sailing certification at all, you just turn up and off you go.
Situated in the middle of the Mediterranean between Sicily and North Africa, Malta's sailing season runs between April and October. Choosing the time to charter a yacht is very much down to your tastes. Some like the hurly burly of fighting for mooring space in a marina and the buzz of a holiday town at full blast. If that's to your taste then do do the trip in the fierce heat of July and August.
September and October can be a little cooler but the seas remain warm. You may get a bit of rain but it's still far warmer than in Northern Europe or New England. The towns are quieter too and the locals perhaps less busy enough to spend more time with you, helping you deepen your appreciation of the nation.
If you can get to Malta during school term time - in May perhaps - you will get the warmth without the crowds.
Malta is a subtropical island and as such it never really gets too cold to be uncomfortable - as low as 14 degrees C in the winter but sometimes up to the 30's in summer.
In the summer months the warm, dry Sirocco blows from Africa to the south and winds never really get above a comfortable Force 4. Outside of the sailing season the Mistral from the French Alps can build to a F10 and stay at that level for days on end.
We all live according to the cut of our cloth. A bareboat monohull sailing boat charter can cost as little as €120 a day - for four adults over a week you could be paying €210 a head for the trip. Most people don't earn enough in a year for two days on a €30,000 a day, 50 metre superyacht but there's a big industry catering for those types.
As well as the costs of hiring a yacht you will pay a fully refundable security deposit on your credit card at the beginning of the week. You can buy insurance to cover that instead (non-refundable). You will need fuel for the yachtand marina fees (that cary according to the time of year) as well as victualling costs. You may be paying for a skipper (€100 a day and up) as well as tipping them at the end of the trip (€200 isn't horrendous).
On top you will want entertainment expenses. A haven for the super rich, you will find Michelin starred restaurants in Valletta but generally speaking you will find quiet bistros serving excellent Mediterranean cuisine for €10 - €15 a head both in the capital and elsewhere on the islands. There is something for everyone's wallet on Malta - seek and you will find!
A boat hire in Malta can take you far from the tourist track and allow you to escape from the world - or to enjoy the bars, restaurants and beaches that other tourists visit in large numbers. With just 140km of coastline between the three main islands, a Malta yacht charter can be whatever you desire. Book your perfect yacht charter with Borrow a Boattoday!
A major centre for Mediterranean yachting, Malta yacht chartering is central to its tourism economy - and legal of course!
You can charter everything from a small motorboat to a large superyacht. Monohull sailing yachts are common, though catamarans are more comfortable and spacious metre for metre.
Your budget for the sailing holiday should come first. Travelling - both getting there and what destinations to explore. What do you enjoy on a Malta yacht charter? Work out your itinerary from there. Who are you taking with you and what are your limitations as a sailor?
The Maltese sailing season runs from March to October. Though the rains start in October you'll not likely feel the fiercest of heat of July/August yet the seas are still warm. Do try to get afloat outside of the school holidays.
There are two deposits to consider. Firstly you will normally have to pay a 50% deposit on booking. This secures your trip. On arrival you will have to pay a refundable security deposit for the trip on your credit card though you can get yacht charter insurance - though non-refundable this can be cheaper.
If you are at sea and in danger, call MAYDAY on VHF Ch16. If you have a mechanical fault and can make it to/are on a mooring you will be able to phone a number given by the yacht charter company.
Do you have the experience to handle the yacht charter you want to book? Where do you want to go? Bring warm weather and cool weather clothing outside peak summer months. The weather can be cool as well as warm in the off-season.
If you are from within the EU or UK then you do not. Many countries with close links to the country will also have tourist visa waivers for a charter like this. If in doubt, check with the Maltese embassy in your country.
The main points to consider are what is your budget, have you got the necessary sailing experience and qualifications to manage the boat if it's not going to have a skipper, whom you are taking sailing, where exactly you wish to go and what will the weather be like on the proposed dates of your trip.
You will typically pay 50% up front on booking the yacht hire and the balance on arrival. You will either pay a security deposit with your credit card on departure or can get insurance covering damage in advance. In some cases (such as the recent Covid situation) charter companies may be more flexible but this depends on the individual charter companies themselves.
If you are at sea and in danger, call MAYDAY on VHF Ch16 or ring the coast guard on your phone if you have reception. If you have a mechanical fault and can make it to or are on a mooring you will be able to phone a help line number given by the boat charter company.
You should consider do you have the experience to handle the yacht charter or boat hire before you book and where do you want to go along with what the weather will be like. Bring warm weather and cool weather clothing if it looks like the weather can be cool as well as warm and remember at sea it can be cool on most evenings.
If you want to sail without a skipper then you will need relevant qualifications like RYA Day Skipper/International Certificate of Competence (ICC)/ASA 104 Bareboat certificate or the US Sailing Certificate. For small 'day boats' or if you choose to have a skippered on board your yacht charter you typically don't require licences.