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Old 13-01-2017, 01:40   #1
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Malta and Gozo Anchorages

Morning all,

Hoping to borrow a bit of the CF collective wisdom, especially from those who have spent time sailing around Malta. We're hoping to visit on our boat later in the year, as it looks like there's some great rock climbing to be done.

I'm hoping to find out more about the anchorages. It seems like there's loads of great anchorages - Dwejra, Mgarr Ix Xini, Mistra Bay, Marsaxlokk harbour etc. I found the maritime directory, which is excellent, but the Italian Water pilot book is lacking in detail on anchorages (actually it's quite lacking for Malta in general).

From what I pick up from the online cruising sites, most of these seem to be day or fair weather anchorages. Not wanting to spend the ludicrous amounts on marinas, what are the best anchorages when the strong NE winds blow in? Dwejra looks like the ideal anchorage and is almost completely cut off from the sea, but I've read that it's not a good place to be when the wind is from the west, why would that be? Just because you couldn't get out?

Also, do people generally shore tie here, as per the rest of the med?

Appreciate any experiences and info.
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Old 13-01-2017, 06:39   #2
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Re: Malta and Gozo Anchorages

I'd be interested in knowing this also. I'll be there from August 20th to September 3rd.

Google Earth shows quite a few bays around the island that look very nice, some with boats at anchor.
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Old 13-01-2017, 07:23   #3
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Re: Malta and Gozo Anchorages

Not sure if you've already seen it Palarran, but this is the cruising guide I found. It's the best info I've got so far, but still not very detailed in terms of anchorage quality for overnight stays or strong winds:

Malta Maritime Directory :: Crusing Guide
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Old 13-01-2017, 15:34   #4
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Re: Malta and Gozo Anchorages

That's really helpful. Thanks.
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Old 14-01-2017, 00:34   #5
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Re: Malta and Gozo Anchorages

We spent two nights in Gorza and three in La Valetta in 2012, but always in marina so I cannot comment about anchorages.. It's definately worth a visit but the island(s) are small, 2-3 days were more than enough for me.
Gorza marina was not fully completed yet (it should have been by now..) and finding a berth in La Valetta wasn't easy, althought it was in early in May. I've paid 80 € in both cases (electricity+water is extra) for 43 ft catamaran. They said it would be at least 20-30% more in high season if you can find a berth..
While sailing and touring around the island, I didn't see any anchorage or any boat at anchor. It doesn't quite looks like Greece or Turkey where you can always find protected anchorages. Prevailing winds are north westerly, thus I wouldn't take the north site. Sirocco which is southerly strong winds can be a problem for the anchorage on the south but they are rare in summer.
Anyway, after all this is an island in the middle of Med


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Old 14-01-2017, 05:32   #6
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Re: Malta and Gozo Anchorages

I would like to go there but what I heard is that the anchorages are full in the summer...and I don't like crowded anchorages or to be at the marina.

If somebody has experience regarding confirming or denying this regarding summer moths, I would appreciate.
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Old 14-01-2017, 07:08   #7
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Re: Malta and Gozo Anchorages

Thanks Yeloya.

I've done a bit of investigating and it seems that there is a lot of snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing, rock climbing, spearfishing and kayaking to be done, so plenty enough to keep me entertained for more than 2-3 days I think, but appreciate they're not everyone's cup of tea.

I'm surprised you didn't see any anchorages, there seem to be over 60 listed in the maritime directory. Maybe it's just not the done thing in Malta, but you'd think in places like Dwejra it'd be really popular.
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Old 14-01-2017, 07:28   #8
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Re: Malta and Gozo Anchorages

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Originally Posted by SV Kittiwake View Post
Thanks Yeloya.
I'm surprised you didn't see any anchorages, there seem to be over 60 listed in the maritime directory. Maybe it's just not the done thing in Malta, but you'd think in places like Dwejra it'd be really popular.
I was there the beginning of May sailing from Spain directly and went to Gorza marina. Gorza is a very small island and we did ity in one day..
Then we sailed to La Valetta and on the way I have just seen two three sailing boats on the way along the coast but none in the anchorages. Then we rented a car and did all the coast, again, I haven't seen any boat. This of course doesn't mean that there weren't any and as I said it was a bit early in the season.
I am just told that in summer it's very crowded, no idea..Malta however is much more expensive than Turkey or Greece in any respect and the people is more distant to foreigners in general terms compared to again Turkey , Greece or Sicily. As I said it's definately worth a visit but just to give another comparison, Crete and Sicily has much more to offer..
This is obviously my personal opinion..

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Old 14-01-2017, 08:05   #9
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Re: Malta and Gozo Anchorages

I got a price of 300 euro for the C & E marina in the main harbor of Valletta. This compares to 250 euro in Bodrum, 200 euro in Athens, 450 euro in Ibiza, 300 euro Dubrovnic, etc. It's not cheap, but not out of line with other limited option areas. Turkish marinas were the real surprise to me of what they charged, but you already know this.

I'm expecting that the other marinas in the main harbor will be around 150 euro. We will see when I get around to checking. It shouldn't be a problem to anchor somewhere as long as you don't mind moving if the winds change - lots of small bays around the island.
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Old 14-01-2017, 09:33   #10
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Re: Malta and Gozo Anchorages

Last Summer we sailed to Malta from Sicily. We spent two nights in one of the marinas in Valetta and sailed then around Gozo and though it looks like there were many anchorages few were suited with westerly wind and some swell. We went into a large inlet Il-Gebla tal General, a few boats were at anchor here, but we found that the swell was too bothersome so we left again. On the South side we ended up in Mgarr ix-Xini Bay and that was excellent, so we stayed there two nights. There is even a good restaurant high up on the West shore. In the bottom of the narrow inlet there is a small cafe only open in daytime. This is also the location of a movie with Angelie Joly and Bradd Pitt.
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Old 14-01-2017, 10:18   #11
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Re: Malta and Gozo Anchorages

You may not be able to do it on the cheap, but Malta is wonderful and well worth the expense - that's probably why so much of the European fleet winters there. The greater Valletta area, really one big conurbation of ancient villages, is fascinating and beautiful, with history at every turn in the road, and the people throughout the island speak English and are friendly (the George Cross Island). Gozo and the Blue Lagoon provide an easy cruising destination, and although I haven't done it, Sicily is quite close.
To double the enjoyment, do some reading before you go, so you understand what you're seeing. "The Religion" about the Siege of Malta by the OttomanTurks, and the defense of the island by the Knights of St. John is the best historical novel I've read.(The siege ended when the weather turned and the Turkish fleet had to leave for home)

Have a great time, it will be worth every penny.

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Old 15-01-2017, 01:31   #12
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Re: Malta and Gozo Anchorages

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polux View Post
I would like to go there but what I heard is that the anchorages are full in the summer...and I don't like crowded anchorages or to be at the marina.

If somebody has experience regarding confirming or denying this regarding summer moths, I would appreciate.
It is correct, living here I know that you have to leave Friday evening to get a good spot for the weekend.

Regarding wind and shelter: The north-east is the killer and the islands are open like a barn door to it, so only hep is south side of islands with not so many places to anchor.

Maybe interesting to know is that the Maltese insurances force boat owners to remove their boats from the water between October and May (north-east with up to F11).

Kittiwake: What more than the description for the 49 anchorages including satellite pic, map with all details including depth and ground plus a list of all available amenities would you like to get? And no we dont anchor to shore as that is in 99% of all cases pure rocks.

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Old 15-01-2017, 01:56   #13
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Re: Malta and Gozo Anchorages

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- lots of small bays around the island.
Seems though with lots of rocks according to Nic26 ..

That's probably why I didn't see any boat anchored on the north side and that's also probably why the marinas are a bit expensive althought 300 € for a 56 ft cat for a place like LaValetta is not absurd provided that VAT, electricity and water are also included. It's a very nice and popular place..

I like anchoring only in very safe and secluded bays which are not many, otherwise I am always alerted and don't sleep well. On top, my wife gets mad if there is a minimal swell..

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Old 15-01-2017, 07:57   #14
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Re: Malta and Gozo Anchorages

The eastern side of both islands do provide No shelter. But they are good for day anchoring, though some swell is always on.

N and NW of malta there are some bays (3) with relatively good hold and shelter.
A dozen boats fill each of them.....
Another creek is SE of gozo, and a bay south of blue lagoon is good and scenic, open only to W wind (beware a submerged rock there!).

Heikell pilot is detailed as to harbours info, but deeply unsatisfactory for moorings at bay.

I suggest st like Navionics platinum+ (detailed batimetrics) and local intelligence.

In foul weather, have shelter for free into Sliema Creek, fron of ferries, on any free buoys, or in Grand Harbour, the first bay on port side, for free anchoring.

Potter around the Harbour, it is worth it!

I Love Malta social mix, the chandlery heaven, and dry climate. I love it really
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Old 15-01-2017, 09:49   #15
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Re: Malta and Gozo Anchorages

Thunderbird: Thanks for the info, is there anywhere to get further information on the free buoys you speak of? Are they official, or are they the locals' buoys when out of season? I've heard the Grand Harbour can be a bit rolly when there's a big northeasterly, so was thinking somewhere like Mgarr Ix Xini or Marsaxlokk would be more sheltered. We'll definitely be pottering around the harbour, thanks!

Nic: I was after some personal experiences / recommendations of what people do when the wind picks up, what bays are best for anchoring in strong winds, that sort of thing.

John: Thanks for the recommendation, will definitely do some reading as it seems like a historically fascinating place!
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