By Mary Charlebois
My 5th day in Malta would be spent on the water; that impossibly blue Mediterranean. I’d cruise around the island aboard a sailing yacht. Oh my, how posh. 😉
From Gozo to Malta I’d ride the Gozo Channel Ferry, then shuttle to Sliema. In Sliema, I’d board a 52’ boat, then slowly circle the isle of Malta for the day.
Ferries are one of my favorite modes of transport. I find them relaxing and dreamy. The Gozo Channel Ferry is no different. The ride itself is short, 20-minutes from Malta to Gozo. The entire experience from boarding to disembarking is about 40-minutes for foot-passengers, and 1-hour for autos.
Hera Cruises is one of the most popular water tour operators in Malta. They have a variety of trips available from as short as 3-hours to my 8-hour day-trip. Hera has a shuttle that picks up passengers at hotels around the island. I walked from the Cirkewwa Ferry Terminal on Malta to a pick-up hotel less than a half-mile.
It didn’t take long, and I knew I couldn’t spend the day in the open sun despite the copious amounts of sunscreen I’d applied. After a bit of scouting, I discovered the saloon, a small, but shady lounge. I had a marvelous view of open water or the island, and protection from the brutal Med sun.
My fellow saloon passengers were a multi-gen tour group from Russia. They didn’t speak English, but their guide made attempts at translating for me.
Conditions were rough that day, making it impossible to take any of the photos I had planned. So much for those Nat Geo vistas of the island.
I left the Hera at Camino, where I had the option to take a powerboat to Gozo. What a ride. The young pilot, George, was well trained at high-speed maneuvers. I think the rooster-tails he created were bigger than any I saw that day. Although white-knuckled, I was deposited at the Gozo Mgarr Harbor safely.
The half-mile walk from Mgarr Harbor to my apartment was uphill—a steep hill. (In the photo above, my apartment is behind the church at the top, I’m in the harbor.) I took my time stopping in the shade of the occasional olive tree or bamboo grove while sitting on the rubble wall that lined the walkway.
I asked her what she was cooking for supper. She gave me her recipe for seafood risotto. I haven’t made it yet, but I will soon.
Back at my apartment, I made my own version of a Maltese Plate with local meats, cheese, olives, hummus, and crackers. For an international flavor, I added a glass of French Rosé from the bottle I bought the previous evening for €3.00.
While I reviewed the days adventures, I watched golden lights come on in the streets, church, and homes of Ghajnsielem . I could hear a conversation in Maltese drifting up from my neighbor’s terrace. Below in the courtyard, a young couple with a stroller came through the gates. The stroller held a baby and the evening’s shopping. An occasional bus passed below, and the ferry signaled its departure from the harbor. My second night in Ghajnsielem, and I was home.
Thanks for stopping by, MaryGo
Folks That Helped Me Plan My Trip to Malta
~ Local Experts – Visit Malta – Malta Uncovered ~
~ Transport – Virgin Atlantic – Air Malta ~
~ Play – Headwater Walking Tours ~ Hera Cruises ~
~ Housing – Air B&B – Hotel Ta Cenc & Spa – Glamping Hub ~ Hotel db San Antonio ~
~ Travel Insurance – Allianz ~
10 Comments Add yours
What a wonderful story! Made me feel like I was there, walking along with you or riding on the ferry. Such a relaxing trip for you even if you were “working”. Bravo on being a travel writer/photographer!
Thank you. Malta was so much more than I expected.
I’ve been waiting for more on Malta and this was worth waiting for – what an amazing experience !! So European and quite the life. Gorgeous pictures.
Thank you Phil. 🙂
Thank you Phyl. I’m thinking about a return visit to Gozo. I felt at home there from the moment I stepped off the ferry.
I had the same experience and 30 years later I am still here. Your article brought it all back . Married widowed here still in love with Gozo
Gozo is my future home, at least for part of the year when travel re-opens.
Pamela, thanks for reading and enjoying my story and photos. –MaryGo