30-Days in Malta ~ Day-5, and I’m on the water

By Mary Charlebois

My first sunrise and rooster alarm on Gozo

Sunrise over Mgarr Harbor, Gozo Malta. Photo: Mary Charlebois
Sunrise over Mgarr Harbor, Gozo Malta. Photo: 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.

The ferry

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.

Mgarr Harbor, Gozo Channel Ferry Terminal and Ghajnsielem above the harbor. Photo: Mary Charlebois

The cruise

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.

Hera Cruise's boat, Hera, loaded and ready to tour the Maltese Islands. Photo: Mary Charlebois
Hera Cruise’s boat, Hera, loaded and ready to tour the Maltese Islands. Photo: Mary Charlebois

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.

Cruising the Maltese islands aboard Hera. Photo: Mary Charlebois
Cruising the Maltese islands aboard Hera. Photo: Mary Charlebois

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.

Mgarr Harbor, Gozo Malta. Photo: Mary Charlebois
Mgarr Harbor, Gozo Malta. Photo: Mary Charlebois

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.

Triq il-Gleneagles Street, Ghajnsielem Gozo. My home for 2-weeks. Photo: Mary Charlebois
Triq il-Gleneagles Street, Ghajnsielem Gozo. My home for 2-weeks. Photo: Mary Charlebois

Maltese Chardonnay from Girgentina grapes. Photo: Mary Charlebois
Maltese Chardonnay from Girgentina grapes. Photo: Mary Charlebois

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.

My homemade Maltese Plate with French wine. Photo: Mary Charlebois
My homemade Maltese Plate with French wine. Photo: Mary Charlebois

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.

Sunset at Ghajnsielem, Gozo, Malta. Photo: Mary Charlebois
Sunset at Ghajnsielem, Gozo, Malta. Photo: Mary Charlebois

Goodnight Gozo

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 MaltaMalta Uncovered ~

~ TransportVirgin AtlanticAir Malta ~

~ PlayHeadwater Walking Tours ~ Hera Cruises ~

~ HousingAir B&BHotel Ta Cenc & SpaGlamping Hub ~ Hotel db San Antonio ~

~ Travel InsuranceAllianz ~

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Lady Eloise says:

    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!

    1. Thank you. Malta was so much more than I expected.

  2. Phyl Doppelt says:

    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.

    1. Thank you Phil. 🙂

    2. 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.

    3. Pamela Potter Ellis says:

      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

      1. 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

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