Grand Harbour Marina comes at a grand price but if you can stomach the high cost the views are absolutely outstanding
Let’s talk about price first and get that out of the way. For our 56’ yacht, we paid €230/night including tax but that’s not including the nominal fee for water and electric. At least the wifi was free!
But what a view! And I mean, WHAT A VIEW!
With the high fortress styled walls of the capital city, Valletta, on the north side and the three cities of Cospicua, Vittoriosa and Senglea towards the south there are incredible sites to behold when looking in all directions. I just have to say that my photo’s don’t do it any justice at all…it’s one of those places that you just have to see for yourself.
During the day the sun lights up the sand colored buildings and the colorful shrubs, trees and flowers stand out just as much the deep dark blue waterways. As the sun sets, everything turns a golden hue and one can’t help but feel that they’re surrounded by grandeur and magnificence.
I couldn’t help but say over and over, ‘This place is stunning – absolutely stunning!’
The marina fees might be steep but in return you’ll enjoy a stay in one of the most impressive harbours in the Mediterranean.
Once you get off the boat and walk around, you’ll see forts, castles, grand walls, buildings still scared from WWII bombs, sparkling new gin palaces and old classic fishing boats. With a lovely walkway throughout the marina you’ll eventually end at the No. 1 Dock – the head of Dockyard Creek.
I don’t like to pay for any mooring considering that anchoring is free. And I especially don’t like paying more than a 5 star hotel would cost, however we had to stay in a marina to finalize the paperwork for our Maltese Leaseback Scheme (a legal way to mitigate VAT).
We attempted to get into other, less expensive marinas, like Manoel Island Marina (read my review by clicking on the link – we stayed there last year), but there was no vacancy. I’m happy we were ‘forced’ to stay at Grand Harbour Marina because although the cost was high, I thoroughly enjoyed every part of our stay.
Let me go through my thoughts on customer service, facilities and so forth. Watch a video I posted on the Facebook.com/SailingBritican page to catch a quick glimpse of the marina from Valetta.
Grand Harbour Marina Malta Review
After radioing on the VHF that we were coming in, a boat met us outside the marina and guided us to our berth. The greeting was kind and the two attendants helped us tie onto the pontoon. One attendant jumped off and pointed to our berth and the other used the dinghy to push us into our location.
I was actually quite impressed with my husbands maneuvering skills. We were instructed to go port-side (left) to the jetty but we had to enter and area surrounded by super yachts and do a 180 spin to get the boat in position.
Once we secured the boat, the two men greeted us again, immediately helped us to hook up to electricity and water. They then gave us instructions on how to find the offices and the location of the facilities.
The scenery was absolutely breathtaking views in every direction. By far, it’s the most picturesque location for a marina that I’ve ever seen.
Comfort of mooring
For the two nights we stayed I didn’t feel the boat rock once. The pontoon was quiet (not creaking) and I slept like a log. The only wash we received was from the young tuna fish chasing minnows!
In the distance I could hear music playing – perhaps it was coming form one of the gin palaces or Valetta? It wasn’t too loud. We were positioned up amongst the super yachts and it was relatively quiet. I suspect that it might be noisier down towards the other end of the marina due to restaurants and passers-by.
We didn’t experience any noise from other boaters and everyone that walked by gave a nod or stopped by for a little chat. There was a mix of crew and boat owners on our pontoon.
Facilities on the jetty
The electricity and water worked perfect from the moment we turned them on. The wifi singnal was excellent however we were only allowed two devices to hook up. That being noted, there are bars and café’s all along the marina all offering good wifi.
Facilities on land (Toilets, etc)
The washrooms were excellent – when I walked in, I felt as if I was walking into a 5 star hotel bathroom. The showers were great – excellent water pressure, great temperature, loads of space… The cleanliness was excellent. Everything worked, there was soap…it’s what you would expect from such a high priced marina.
There’s a washing machine and dryer as you enter the bathrooms too.
Distance to facilities
It took us 3 minutes to get to the bathrooms.
We ate either a lunch or dinner at most of the restaurants along the marina and they were all good. We enjoyed an evening meal at Don Burtos (I think that’s the name of the restaurant – it’s located upstairs right outside the marina offices and facilities). Anyway, I had rack of lamb, my husband had a fillet and my daughter had pasta. All of us were very, very, very happy with our meal. Furthermore, the price was reasonable.
Also…for provisioning, there’s a grocery store a 5-minute drive from the marina. If you spend over €100 someone from the store will collect you and bring you back. With three floors of food, you’ll find anything and everything you would normally find at a grocery store. We took advantage of all the British offerings and loaded up on HP Sauce, Cheddar Cheese, curry paste, Chinese sauces, tea, peanut butter and all the things you can’t get in Italy, Greece, etc.
To get to Valetta, there’s a taxi service that runs regularly right from the marina and there are loads of independent boat taxi’s willing to run you over to the capital city for a couple euros.
Please, please, please, make sure to read about my thoughts on Malta. Our expectations on Malta were minimal – boy, we were in for a surprise! Also, make sure to watch our Britican Galley video on The Best Sailing Snack for a Long Cruise – Yummy Pockets – it was these snacks that we ate on our way to Malta and they were excellent 🙂