The Ultimate Guide to Boat Trips in Malta

Boat Trips in Malta

Just a quick heads up – some of the links I share on this site are affiliate links. That means if you click on one and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support through these links helps me create valuable content.

Boat trips in Malta are a gateway to the Mediterranean’s paradise. It’s a haven for sea lovers. Picture sailing in clear waters, exploring cliffs, and finding hidden bays.

Yet, finding the ideal boat trip can be overwhelming. Should you choose a boat tour or a private charter? How do you select the right operator?

No need to worry. I’ve been in Malta since 2011, enjoying summer boat tours. I’ve tried various boat tours and chartered private boats to spend a day at sea with friends. I’m happy to share my knowledge with you.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to choose between a boat tour or a private charter. You’ll also discover the best destinations for a boat trip around the Maltese islands. I’ll cover the most popular sites and some lesser-known quiet bays.

Discover the Best Times to Sail

Summer in Malta is the right time to anchor your boat and dive in for hours of swimming. But – a little heads up – Malta shores draw crowds, especially in the heat of the season.

But Malta’s charm isn’t confined to summer vacations. We’re blessed with pleasant sailing weather year-round. Although winter can have its choppy days, our boating season typically starts in April and lasts until November. My favourite time is October. It’s a month with fewer tourists and milder sun, with the sea still warm at 25°C.

Are you wondering what time of day is best for sailing trip in Malta? You can catch the morning sun and have a quiet boat trip. Also, you can chase the island’s breathtaking sunsets or enjoy sailing at night.

Boat Trips in Malta - Sunset Cruise
Sunset Cruise on a Private Catamaran Tour in Malta

Boat Trips in Malta: Boat Tours vs. Private Charter Boats

Exploring Malta’s seascape is a treat, and there’s more than one way to enjoy it. Depending on your preferences, there are two types of boat trips in Malta to consider: Boat Tours and Private Charters Boats.

Malta Boat Tours in Large Vessels

Why and When To Choose a Boat Tour? 

  • Budget-friendly: Perfect for smaller groups or solo travellers, boat tours can be a more economical way to experience Malta’s seascape.
  • Convenience: No need to make reservations in advance or plan extensively.

Where Do They Go?

Most Malta boat tours have Comino’s Blue Lagoon and Crystal Lagoon on their itinerary, with some extending to Gozo.

These tours include multiple swimming stops, allowing you to enjoy Malta’s clear waters. However, it’s wise to remember that during peak times, these boats can be crowded.

What’s Included in the Price?

  • Sundecks: Most of these vessels feature sundecks, but be prepared; on a busy day, it might be difficult to get a spot.
  • Lockers: Generally available, usually at an added fee.
  • Refreshments: You can buy drinks and snacks onboard.

Booking Strategies for Boat Tours in Malta:

  • Last-minute plans: It’s usually okay to book a few days in advance, so it’s an excellent option for spontaneous travellers.
  • Flexible cancellations: Many offer free cancellations up to 24 hours before the trip.

Check out my guide to the best boat tours to Comino. They are well-priced, have flexible cancellations and have lots of good reviews.

Are you planning to visit Blue Lagoon in Comino? Check out my guide to the best Blue Lagoon boat tours.

Private Boat Charters

Why Choose a Private Charter Boat?

  • Personalised experience: On a private boat, you’re the captain (figuratively, of course). Want to visit the Blue Lagoon or discover a hidden bay? Your choice.
  • No overcrowding: Just you, your friends or family, and Malta’s endless waters.

What’s Included in a Private Charter?

  • Complimentary drinks: Stay hydrated with water and soft drinks.
  • Culinary freedom: Use the fridge and onboard kitchen facilities. Most boats even offer barbecue setups for mid-sea grills.
  • Recreational equipment: Includes paddle boards and snorkelling gear.
  • Expert guidance: Private skippers don’t just navigate; they share experiences and insights about Malta and its waters.
  • Music onboard: Connect your phone and groove to your favourite tracks.

Booking Strategies for Private Boat Trips in Malta:

  • Pricing and capacity: Prices start at 350 euros, varying based on time of year, boat size and trip duration. Boats can accommodate 8 to 20 people.
  • Early birds win: Book several months in advance for July and August.
  • Deposit details: Typically, a 10-20% non-refundable deposit is required.
  • Flexible timing: Opt for a full-day trip or, if pressed for time, consider a half-day morning or sunset trip.

Off-peak discounts: Booking outside the peak season can bring reduced rates and quieter experiences. Plus, early bookings sometimes come with discounts.

Boat Trips in Malta_ Harbour Cruise at Night
Harbour Cruise at Night on a Private Charter Boat

Boat Trips in Malta: Choosing the Right Operator

Malta’s marine scene has many boat operators promising a slice of paradise. Yet, like any other service, it’s essential to be selective.

Instead of jumping aboard the first boat you see, do your research. Read through reviews and engage with past clients to get a feel for their experiences.

Finding the Perfect Boat Trip:

  • Don’t just look at the boat’s images. Check out photos of past trips, the locations they stopped at, and any added experiences they offer. Are you seeing overcrowded boats or serene, uncrowded spots?
  • A review that reads “Amazing trip!” is always encouraging to see. However, “Sailed into a secluded cove and had fun paddle boarding into a cave” has authenticity written all over it.
  • Most people make up their minds after reading the first reviews. Go beyond. Scroll further to find genuine experience gems.
Boat Trips in Malta - Fun Time on the Boat Trip
Fun Time on the Boat Trip to Gozo

Consider booking a catamaran from Suncat Malta. I do it every summer, enjoying a day at sea with friends. The Lagoon 410 fits 15, with ample deck space for sunbathing. It leaves from Tigne in Sliema. Despite the cost, it’s affordable when shared among 15.

Powered by GetYourGuide

Exploring Coastal Gems with Private Boat Trips in Malta

Boat trips in Malta vary depending on the kind of trip you choose. While boat tours typically have predefined locations, often covering Comino’s Blue Lagoon, Crystal Lagoon, and occasionally Gozo, private boat tours offer a more tailored experience, letting you explore the less-travelled waters.

In Malta, the majority of boats anchor on the east side, favoured for its flat shores that allow for smoother parking than the cliff-dominated west. Thus, more boats cruise eastern waters.

Some boats head to the bays in the west such as Golden Bay, Ghajn Tuffieha or Gnejna Bay, but the trip is way longer. Many boaters skip those bays and prioritise this time for swimming or relaxation rather than long navigation.

Some private boat trips in Malta focus on coastal areas that are difficult or impossible to reach by foot, giving travellers an exclusive view of these hidden gems.

Meanwhile, others anchor in well-known bays, allowing boaters to view popular beaches from a different perspective.

This section will cover some famous spots as well as some quiet seaside hidden gems.

Interactive Map of Boat Trip Destinations

Map provided by Wanderlog, a travel planner on iOS and Android

Comino’s Blue Lagoon

Everyone wants to see Comino’s Blue Lagoon in Malta. Why? It’s stunning. Big boat tours full of tourists operate there. Private small boats travel there too. You’ll even see fancy yachts.

The Blue Lagoon has clear water. You can see to the bottom. It’s like looking through glass. The white sand makes it even better. It’s like swimming in a large, natural pool. Some say it’s the finest swimming spot in the Mediterranean.

But it’s popular. Really popular. My tip? Skip it in July and August, or avoid weekends.

Boat Trips in Malta - Comino's Blue Lagoon
Comino’s Blue Lagoon

Comino’s Crystal Lagoon

If the Blue Lagoon is too crowded, head to the Crystal Lagoon. It’s less busy and just as pretty. It’s next to the Blue Lagoon.

Crystal Lagoon is protected by cliffs. When you dive in, it’s about 5-6 meters deep. The bottom is sandy and the water is clear. The water changes from light blue to really deep blue.

For snorkelers, this is your place. There are reefs and caves everywhere. And get this: there’s a cave tunnel 30 meters long with its own small sandy beach. Small boats can pass inside, but you can swim through it too.

Boat Trips in Malta - Crystal Lagoon
Crystal Lagoon, a Heaven for Boat Trips

Ghadira Bay

Ghadira Bay is a popular spot among locals. Look around and you’ll see boats of all sizes, many staying overnight. Boats are often tied side-by-side, creating a floating party zone. Imagine laughter, music, and boats rocking under the stars.

Besides, if you’re hungry, you don’t even need to go to land. Ghadira Bay boats sell ice cream, drinks and food. So, while dancing, you can grab a snack.

Boat Trips in Malta - Ghadira Bay
Ghadira Bay in Malta

Ramla Bay

Ramla is Gozo’s biggest beach and a true red-sand paradise. Boaters love it here, making it a hotspot to drop anchor and soak in the view. Oh, what a view! Look around, and you’ll see fantastic scenery.

Ramla Bay is less popular with chartered tourist boats, but Gozitans and Maltese love it. While it’s calmer than Comino or Ghadira Bay, don’t be fooled. Ramla has its own lively vibe.

Hidden Coastal Gems for Boat Trips in Malta

If you’re looking for peace and quiet, Malta has some hidden coastal treasures for you. Check out these lesser-known spots and have a different kind of sea adventure. 

These spots might not be entirely deserted, but they’re certainly more peaceful. Given Malta’s compact size, stumbling upon a completely private beach in the summer is a rare treat.

Mgarr Ix-Xini

In the south of Gozo, there’s a spot called Mgarr Ix-Xini, located in a narrow gorge. This sheltered bay is a haven, even on a windy day. And the water is so blue that you’ll want to jump in right away.

This bay is one of my favourite snorkelling spots. Crystal-clear waters reveal colourful fish and rock formations. For divers, the area is home to sea horses.

Though it’s out of the way, that means fewer crowds. But remember, it’s a compact bay. Just a few boats can make it seem full. From my visits, I’ve noticed a few boats, but it’s never been too busy.

Boat Trips in Malta - Mgarr Ix Xini
Private Charter Boats at Mgarr Ix Xini Bay

San Blas Bay

There’s a small sandy beach called San Blas in Gozo’s north. It’s got the same red sand as Ramla Bay, and you get amazing valley views.

A big storm a few years back took a lot of sand away. Now, the finest way to enjoy San Blas is from a boat.

The water is clear blue, suitable for swimming and snorkelling around the rocks. Underwater, there’s a whole world to explore. You might spot seabass, eels, starfish, crabs, and even sneaky octopuses. 

Imgiebah Bay

Imgiebah Bay, also known as Selmun Bay is another spot to have a quiet day on a boat. The bay is pretty spacious, so it never feels too packed. 

This bay remains beautifully untouched. The sand beneath the water gives it a bright blue glow. The blue sea stands out against the yellow cliffs. And it’s surrounded by nature – from fields and rocks to striking clay cliffs.

Boat Trips in Malta - Imgiebah Bay
Imgiebah Bay

Recently, I took a sunset boat trip from Sliema to Imgiebah Bay. The journey was magical, with the setting sun painting the sky with gold and pink. Once we reached the bay, the water was incredibly calm, making it perfect for a night swim. 

Boat Trips in Malta - Sunset Boat Ride from Sliema to Imgiebah Bay
Sunset Boat Ride from Sliema to Imgiebah Bay

Hofriet, Delimara

Hofriet in Delimara is another great boat trip location on Malta’s south side. Close to the famous St. Peter’s Pool, these two coves are hidden treasures. Known as ‘the holes’ in Maltese, these round coves are connected by a natural arch called the Hofriet Window. The bay is surrounded by smooth white cliffs and clear waters. 

You know what’s even better? Only boats can get there. It’s a top spot to see Malta’s amazing water and chill without many people around. Sometimes dolphins swing by on the way to this bay.

Boat Trips in Malta - Hofriet, Delimara
Hofriet Cave in Delimara on a Catamaran Cruise, Malta

Preparation Tips for a Day on a Boat

Combatting seasickness:

If you’re someone who feels dizzy on the waves, it’s good to come prepared. Take anti-nausea medication an hour before the trip to ensure a comfortable journey. You can get them at any pharmacy.

Essentials to pack:

Make sure you’re prepared for the experience:

  • Sunscreen: The Maltese sun can be intense. Always put on 50+SPF to protect your skin.
  • Hat: It will shield you from the sun.
  • Swimwear: Ready for a dip? Make sure you have your swim attire on or easily accessible.
  • Camera: Those breathtaking views deserve capture.
Boat Trips in Malta - Sunset Sailing
Sunset Sailing on a Boat Ride in Malta

Boat Trips in Malta: FAQ

Where do boat trips go from in Malta?

Boat trips in Malta leave from Sliema, Valletta, and Buġibba. They show off Malta’s beautiful coastline. They usually go to Comino, Gozo and the northern beaches of Malta.

Where do you get the boat to the Blue Lagoon in Malta?

To reach the Blue Lagoon, boats set sail from Cirkewwa in Malta and Mġarr in Gozo. Additionally, boat tours from Sliema or Buġibba offer organised tours in large vessels. You can also choose a private charter boat for a more personalised experience.

Is the Blue Lagoon in Malta worth it?

Absolutely! The Blue Lagoon’s turquoise waters and picturesque setting are famous. Perfect for swimming, snorkelling, and sunbathing, it’s a must-see spot. While it gets busy, going early guarantees a peaceful time.

Is Malta good for sailing?

Malta stands out as a prime sailing destination. Blessed with steady winds and a coastline dotted with harbours and coves. Malta’s weather is ideal for sailing almost year-round.

How long does it take to sail around Malta?

Cruising around Malta by sail could last a few hours or a whole day, depending on your boat and the weather.

Where can I sail in Malta?

Malta’s entire coastline is open for sailing, with popular spots around Malta’s North, Comino and Gozo. Valletta‘s Grand Harbour, in particular, is breathtaking at night, with the fortified city illuminated against the dark sea.

Malta boat trips promise sun, sea, and scenic views. And with these preparation tips in hand, you’re ready for an unforgettable maritime adventure in Malta!

I hope you found this guide helpful. However, beyond the sailing in sea, Malta has many more activities to offer and places to visit. Check out beach guides, water sports, historic Valletta and Mdina, and more.

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *