Malta is the perfect playground for sailing and rock climbing. Being a big piece of limestone thrown in the middle of the Mediterranean, half its coast is surrounded by high cliffs. It offers wonderful climbing in all grades of difficulty, and is almost always sunny in Spring. There are beautiful protected bays along the coast where we can drop the anchor and head to the neighbouring cliffs for an afternoon. We may even be able to climb right in view of our boat!
On this trip we will aim at a fair balance between sailing and climbing. Sailing days will be short (2 to 4 hours per day), so we can keep half our time for rock climbing. We will sail the boat every day to a new place, and climb on at least 4 different sites (depending on the preferences of the group, we can tip the balance towards either more sailing or more climbing). We will also keep some time ashore to discover the landscapes, villages and traditions of Malta (this trip will coincide with Easter, which is a huge traditional celebration on the island, with many religious processions).
No previous experience in either sailing or climbing is required. The skipper and rock climbing instructor will teach you all you need to know to sail the boat and take your first steps on the rocks. There’s lots for those with climbing experience too, with routes up to 8b, slabs, overhangs and deep water solo.
Situated at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, successively under the influence of the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Sicilians, Spanish, French, and British, Malta has evolved an absolutely unique culture. The Maltese language itself is a singular blend, a language of Semitic origin, but written in the Latin alphabet, with a huge influence of Sicilian, and a large stock of English loanwords. Besides Maltese, English is spoken very widely, although with a peculiar accent.
Malta is a country like no other, member of the European Union since 2004, and still with a very distinctive feel to the other European nations. It is a place where small corner-of-the-street shops have not yet been supplanted by chain supermarkets, where the elders still gather on a bench in the evenings, where the churches overflow on Sunday mornings, and where the towns rival in lavish fireworks for their traditional festa, yearly events celebrating the parish patron saint.
Everything is smaller here. The main island, Malta, is 28km by 13km, and the sister island Gozo only 14km by 7km. On these small rocks live more than 400,000 people. The first impression is one of an urban jungle, not one of modern concrete and glass and skyscrapers, but one of a jumble of flat roofs, local limestone and baroque churches, gripped in a maze of narrow streets almost constantly jammed with traffic. Yet, next to this chaotic urban sprawl, lives another Malta, made of a mosaic of miniature vegetable fields farmed by hand, dry garrigue sprinkled with carob and fig trees, and wild inaccessible sea cliffs where the only sounds are those of the waves and the cackling of the sea bird colonies.
Travelling by boat will allow us to navigate all these faces of the islands, drop anchor in remote bays, access the remote cliffs, or mingle in the traditional village markets and celebrations.
Many of us have tried indoor climbing at some time. Climbing outdoor on real rock is a completely different experience. It is not only about challenging yourself to reach the top, practising control over your body or developing your strength and technique. It is just as much about spending a day in the nature, feeling the warmth of the rock in the sun, taking in the singing of the birds while belaying under a fig tree, and of course enjoying the 360 view from the top of the climb.
Both beginners and experienced climbers are welcome to join. We will climb in pairs, one climber and one belayer (who stays on the ground and secures the rope), and then swap. This way, every one can find a route at his/her level of difficulty, and it is absolutely safe. Beginners can try themselves at some easy slab climbs while experienced climbers can go for crazy overhangs.
We will teach you how to put on the harness, use the gear, make the knots, belay, and we will give you advice to develop your climbing technique. Depending on your level of experience and if time allows, you may also try some lead climbing or multi-pitches. We will also try climbing above the water (Deep Water Solo or Sea Level Traverse)!
After an afternoon out climbing, we will watch sunset from the top of the cliffs, and trail down to our floating home safely anchored in a protected bay for the night!
Malta Sailing & Climbing Highlights
What you can expect to do on this route.
Malta Sail and Climb Sailing Itinerary
We are true to the discoverers’ spirit and plan our adventures accordingly to the winds, the weather and your wishes. This means the order as well as some of stopovers may be different than presented below. Leave planning at home! The plan showed below is only an indicative itinerary and your trip may differ. Only the mad ones sail against the wind!