Earlier this year I found myself working in Malta for my birthday. Deciding to skive off for a few hours to celebrate I debated everything there was to do in Malta, and one thing jumped out at me from the guide book. Seaplanes!
This is how I came to have one of the best experiences of my life so far. It was quite honestly fantastic. Harbour Air (www.harbourairmalta.com) organise scenic seaplane flights over Malta and Gozo daily (although there are less flights in winter than summer) from either the Valetta Waterfront or from Sliema. The planes are able to accommodate a maximum of 14 people and for all flight enthusiasts out there 1 passenger for a small extra charge is able to sit up with the captain.
After a quick chat on the phone we booked ourselves in for the 1pm flight. Arriving in Valetta we made our way to the Harbour Air area on the Waterfront showed our passport and paid €70 each for our tickets (tickets are generally €75, but we were given a discount for 3 of us flying). We were then handed our seaplane boarding passes before heading out onto the jetty.
The seaplane took off in front of a large crowd gathered on a nearby cruise ship who waved us bon voyage along with all of the people in the Upper Barracca Gardens. After a much smoother take of than you get on your average 747 we flew low over Malta spotting all of the famous sightseeing spots – Mdina Cathedral, the Three Cities, St John’s Co Cathedral and St Julians, as well as our fabulous hotel The Xara Palace (definitely worthy of a travel tip all of its own)! The plane continued over Comino between Malta and Gozo and we got a first rate view of the Blue Lagoon. Onwards we continued to Gozo to catch glimpses of the Azure Window and Fungus Rock before heading back to Valetta and landing bump free on the water.
The flight lasted for 60 minutes, and it was one of the best ever 60 minutes of my 29 years to date.
Make sure you have spent a few days in Malta before going on the seaplane then you are able to recognise all the landmarks from the air. Booking in summer especially is advisable and remember there are less flights in winter. There are also regular shuttle flights from Valetta to Gozo that take 30 minutes and cost €50 – an alternative to the ferry, and perfect if you only have limited time available for a day trip to Gozo.