Birgu is the foremost maritime city of Malta which has been the centre of seafaring activity on the island for over 1000 years. In the Middle Ages, the harbour provided services such as dry-docks, storage facilities and above all a safe haven where merchants from the maritime cities of Genoa and Spain called to trade and take on supplies. All this happened under the protection of the castle that was built on the head of the Birgu promontory.
Today, one can visit and experience many of the sites associated with various historical events that happened around Birgu. For example, the modern yacht marina is based just off the Birgu waterfront, which is made up of extraordinary buildings associated with the naval squadron of the Knights of St John. Fort St Angelo still stands proudly at the entrance to Dockyard Creek, witness to nearly one thousand years of history and numerous battles. The old naval bakery today hosts the Malta Maritime Museum where one can admire unique artefacts on display, each shedding light on the links between humans and the sea. The narrow and winding streets of the walled town are charming in themselves and one can stumble across architectural gems such as the Inquisitor’s Palace.
Following the departure of the Royal Navy, the recent construction of the ultra-modern yacht marina has given a new maritime function to this beautiful historic harbour. Yachts from all over the Mediterranean and beyond now call at this unique destination to make the most of its maritime pedigree and its strategic location in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea.
It is from this lovely base that you can plan your own sailing. Visit the three islands of Gozo Comino and Cominotto with their pristine beaches and caves.
Gozo is the second biggest island full of character and charm. One can either use the good marina at Mgarr Harbour or anchor in one of the beaches.
Quiet compared to Malta, Gozo definitely is worth a visit ashore. Comino is excellent for swimming in the famous blue lagoon which also provides excellent shelter from all winds for anchoring at night. From here you can sail round the Maltese Islands returning for an evening dip in the pristine waters of the lagoon. In Malta the large Mellieha Bay facing NE makes for excellent anchoring with unlimited space (Mellieha Bay is safe even in a moderate NE wind).
Alternative anchorages are Gnejna Bay only untenable in strong NW and Fomm ir rieh bay facing NW. The Maltese Islands are packed with 5000 years of history and pre history so it can even make sense to spend a few hours ashore visiting a few of the historical sites.
7 days suggested itinerary
Day 1: Embarkation and departure from Kalkara Marina to Marsalforn Bay (anchorage) (19nm)
Day 2: Tour of Gozo. Sailing round San Dimitri point,Fungus Rock, Xlendi, Mgarr ix-Xini, Mgarr Harbour Marina. (25nm)
Day 3: Comino: Blue Lagoon, Crystal Lagoon, Cominotto, Santa Marija Bay (night anchorage) (6nm)
Day 4: Tour of Malta: Sailing down west coast via GhajnTuffieha Bay, Gnejna Bay, Dingli Cliffs, Blue Grotto. Anchorage at Marsaxlokk Bay. (20nm)
Day 5: Sail up east coast of Malta towards Qawra, StPaul’s Bay, Mellieha Bay (night anchorage). (15nm)
Day 6: Sail towards Sliemaand St Julians, tour Marsamxett harbour and anchor in Balluta Bay. (12nm)
Day 7: Sail to Bahar ic-Caghaq and Qawra, return to Kalkara Marina. (15nm)
Day 8: Disembarkation