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Windsurfing in Malta, the Mediterranean and Wind - Related Malta Weather Report and Wind Forecast
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Malta is no more than three hours by air from most major European destinations. Malta is an ideal destination for European windsurfers in the sense that while most of Europe is freezing in winter, Malta can have fabulous weather with excellent windsurfing conditions. Winter/spring is really the time to visit. A big advantage is that this is low season for tourism in general so one can obtain good deals on flights and accommodation.
Wind conditions in Malta depend on weather situations around our island. There are no prevailing trade winds which guarantee wind at specific times of year but the two main wind conditions are; From November to March cold fronts which usually travel across the Mediterranean from NW to SE giving mainly strong NW winds lasting 2 to 3 days. These winds average around force five to six. Force seven to eight gales are not uncommon. Weather is usually clear and cool but the average daytime temperature is 15 degrees Centigrade. Also in spring, there are low pressures over north Africa between Tunisia and Libya which result in easterlys that blow for about two days. On average these winds are from force five to six. For weather conditions, air and sea temperature throughout the year, check out the Malta Weather page.
The windsurfing rental business caters for beginners only and do not supply the latest equipment. Advanced windsurfers should bring their own windsurfing equipment. For the waves, you'll need a 75/80 litre board with a quiver between 4.0 and 5.0. Slalom windsurfing gear should consist of anything between a 270/290 board with sails between 5.0 and 6.5. Winter wetsuits of at least 4mm are required between November and April. Shorties can be used in the warmer months, and a tee shirt/shorts will be fine from June - September.
Malta is a small island, only 14 miles long by 7 miles at its widest. The best places to stay are Mellieha Bay right on one of the best sailing locations on the island. There are two hotels here and a large variety of self catering accommodation. During winter the area is very quiet with restaurants but no nightlife. Also try Sliema which is a big residential/commercial area. It's about 10 miles from Mellieha and 3 from Ghallis Rock but offers more in the way of nightlife. Car hire is a must. The best windsurfing spots to sail are Mellieha Bay, Ghallis Rock not far from St Julians and St Thomas Bay. Mellieha is the largest bay in Malta and offers a large variety of windsurfing conditions. With the wind between SW/W/NW it's offshore with flat water and ideal for slalom and speed blasting. Access to the water is from a wide slip on the right hand side of the bay. SE/E/NE is onshore. In anything above a force 5 there's excellent onshore wave conditions. Access to the water is from the sandy beach. In the middle of the bay there is a shallow (2 metre) reef offering a good break. When the wind picks up to force 7 or thereabouts there is another break on a shallow bank farther out with logo high conditions not uncommon. This bay offers both starboard and port tack jumping and riding. There is a restriction on entry to the water from the sandy beach between the end of May and end of September. During these months access to the water is from the slip on the right hand side of the bay.
Ghallis Rock is the most popular wave windsurfing spot in Malta when the wind is from W/NW/N. Ghallis Rock is situated along the coast road which connects Sliema with the north of the island. Be warned that experience is necessary to windsurf in this area. Entry to the water is from the lee of the rock. This is usually pretty safe however there's sometimes a shorebreak so watch out for the rocks. Visiting surfers should get in touch with the local wind surfers about the conditions. Intermediate wind surfers can surf the break off the point formed by the rock while more experienced surfers can sail the windward side of the rock. Exercise caution though. The foreshore is rocky. This spot gives port tack jumping and starboard tack riding.
St Thomas Bay is a small bay on the south of the island facing E'S. Windsurfing conditions are similar to Mellieha Bay but in a smaller area.
Write up courtesy Anton Cachia.
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