Although I have lived in Malta for a long time the harbors of Malta still impress me. I could spend long hours enjoying the vibe of these lovely spots. Most of the time I just watch cruise ships, ferries and sailing boats embarking or landing. No two harbors of Malta are alike. A huge port hosting tremendous cargo vessels, or luxury cruise ships. Elsewhere a vibrant marina with beautiful sailing boats and yachts swinging on mooring ropes. Whatever point of the world they are, each harbors has a unique charm of its own. My favourites are the small fishing harbors. I love the tiny fishing boats anchoring in the bay. The locals always look busy untwisting fishing nets and taverns lining up along the promenade.
Here are few harbors of Malta you should not skip visiting when you are on the island. Well, the following list is a suggestion in order you should have a complete image of Malta.
Also known as the Port of Valetta, or the Valetta Harbor. This impressive natural harbor is truthfully one of Malta’s pride. As for its importance, after having been played a significant part of the island’s history, it is now serves as the principal maritime gateway of the Maltese archipelago. As well as a popular port-of-call for yachts, sailing boats and cruise liners that are cruising the Mediterranean Sea. The majestic view makes the visit in this harbor truly memorable. The pure history of Malta unfolds before your eyes while taking a walk or a cruise in the Grand Harbor. The scene itself is divided into the sight of the striking Valletta on one side. The histical Three Cities (Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua) on the other side with the imposing fortifications of St Elmo, Ricasoli and St Angelo guarding the port.
A pleasant walk coupled with a delicious dinner in one of the seafront restaurants can be the best part of your holiday. Either in Valletta or any town of the Three Cities can provide you unforgettable memory. The truly unique experience is definitely a harbor cruise. Various companies offers boat trips around the Grand Harbor leaving 4-6 times a day from Sliema. Also, if you long for a unique experience, cross the harbor on a tiny, traditional Maltese boat. These colorful luzzus serve as water taxis between Valletta and Vittoriosa (Birgu). You can find them at the very beginning of the Valletta Waterfront.
This lovely, natural sister harbor of the Port of Valletta is located on the other side of the peninsula, merging together the entire coastline of Msida, Ta’Xbiex, and Gzira. It is rather for leisure with a great number of yacht berthing available. The familiar, maritime vibes are harmonically completed by the view of Manoel Island in the middle of the bay. The island is connected to the mainland by a bridge, and highly recommend to visit.
Sliema Harbor lies at the northern entrance of Marsamxett Harbour. It looks completely different in both its nature and its character. Numerous cruise ships take people for day trips to Gozo, Comino and around Malta. Sliema harbor is an always vibrant touristic hub. Only the ferry port interrupts the line of the cruise ships that operates regular ferry service between Slima and Valletta. The promenade is covered by leisurely walking locals and tourists alike. People stop from time to time to admire the postcard-like view of Valletta on the opposite side of the bay. The area is a real paradise for money spenders and souvenir hunters. Also those who crave a delicious meal can choose from plenty of international and Maltese restaurants.
I dare to say there is no one who has never come across a photo taken of a pretty little bay with brightly painted fishing boats and typical limestone Maltese buildings lining the waterfront in the background. The lovely harbor appears on the pictures is Marsaxlokk showing one of the most iconic panorama on the island. Due to the multitude of these traditional, Maltese boats – called luzzu – featuring red, yellow and blue stripes on them with a pair of painted eye on the bow. This charming little village is the most colorful of the harbors in Malta.
This little, always vibrant site is obviously not to be missed. A walk along the bay presents busy fishermen mending fishing nets on one side of the promenade. And a selection of one of the finest fish restaurants of the island on the other side. There are also some lovely secluded and untained spots awaiting you for a refreshing swim. As a tourist destination Marsaxlokk is popular for its Sunday morning open-air market along the harbour. Also a good base for taking a nice boat trip on one of those traditional luzzus in the surroundings.
While Marsaxlokk shows the traditional face of Malta, in Portomaso you find luxury and elegance. It is situated in the very heart of St. Julians. That is a truly entertainment and business hub and is registered among the island’s most fashionable districts. The area offers an endless list of things to do from boating to shopping, from dining to gambling. The luxury residential and business complex has deluxe hotels and apartments with swimming pools, sun terraces and a tempting selection of restaurants and eateries. The unique 23-storey Portomaso Business Tower offers commercial offices, retail spaces and stylish entertainment facilities.
The renowed, well sheltered yacht marina combines a stunning seaside setting and a vibrant promenade with al fresco dining. Take your time walking along the port, then sit down for a pre-dinner cocktail or an expertly-prepared meal on the terrace of one of the top-class Mediterranean, Eastern or even Bazilian restaurants overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Enjoy the chick environment.