A short sail over to Gozo offers crystal clear waters and fabulous snorkelling in the caves and grottos.
If you are looking for sunshine, impressive coastline and great summer sailing conditions, then Malta delivers.
Valletta is the capital of Malta and the country’s administrative and economic hub. The city sits on the coast, centre east of the main island. Valletta is the southernmost capital of Europe. Malta´s parliament recently moved its base to Parliament House. However, initially, the Grandmaster´s Palace was the centre for the government in the city’s centre. The Valletta peninsula has two natural harbours, Marsamxett and Grand Harbour. Grand Harbour is the central docking area for all large vessels and cruise ship coming into Malta. It has a lively waterfront area designed by Grandmaster Manuel Pinto de Fonseca. The Grandmaster was responsible for most of the initial construction of the city.
The Royal Malta Yacht Club is based in the harbour. The club is committed to promoting the already popular sport of sailing here. With excellent facilities, a full programme of regattas and sailing meets are hosted here, including the Rolex Middle Sea Race.
The past Arab occupants named the peninsula ¨Xebb ir-Ras¨, meaning Sheb point – referring to its lighthouse. Over the years, the pronunciation has become “Sciberras”. Back then, a small watchtower built-in 1488 was the only building on the peninsula. Later a fortress replaced the watchtower. In 1565, Fort Saint Elmo fell to the Ottomans, but the Order of St John won the siege with Sicily’s assistance. The victorious crusaders then built a fortified Mediterranean city on the peninsula called Valletta. Pope Pius V sent his architect Francesco Laperrelli; hence the town has a certain flair from the era. Also, King Phillip of Spain provided substantial funds to help create this new Catholic outpost. Valetta evolved and became embellished with Baroque architecture.
The French occupation of Malta began in 1798 after a rebellion by the Maltese people. French troops occupied the harbour and surrounding area until the British invaded two years later. During their occupation, The British continued with building and civic projects, including the Malta Railway, linking Mdina to Valletta. The railway eventually closed in 1931 when buses became the favoured mode of transport.
World War II
Valletta was a flashpoint during the two-year siege of Malta, during which German and Italian air raids caused tremendous damage to this once grand Mediterranean city. In 1980, UNESCO listed Valletta as a World Heritage Site and The Megalithic Temples and Hypogeum of Hal-Saflieni.
Furthermore, it is a bridging territory between the African and European continents. Malta hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the Valletta Summit on Migration both in 2015.
Vallette enjoys a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The average temperatures range from around 15°C in January to the high 30s°C in August.
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