The traditional Maltese regatta is a unique sports event held in Malta since the Middle Ages. The regatta is held twice a year and you will see many brightly-coloured rowing boats in the Valletta Grand Harbourevery 31st of March and 8th of September.Both days have a strong historical meaning for locals in Malta, so they celebrate it big-with strong men rowing colourful boats and competing against each other.The Maltese Regatta is very popular both with locals and tourists alike. The amazing location and convenient spectating spots should not leave anyone without a great view to watch the race.
The Valletta Grand Harbour is located between the Three Cities and theCapital City of Valletta. Huge open area, protected from rough weather conditions by the cities surrounding it makeit a perfect place for traditional water sport events.Restaurants and cafeterias, public convenience spots, ice-cream shops and all other facilities you may need around the place of action will make you feel comfortable with children as well.
You can find a great spot for watching the regatta at the Upper Barrakka and the Lower Barrakka Gardens in Valletta, easily accessible by car or public transport. The trees in these gardens will provide the shade needed to protect you from the overwhelming sun.
Fort St. Angelo in Birgu, also known as Vittoriosa, is another top spectating spot for the regatta. Those who planto take their kids to watch the Regatta from Birgucan even pack their swimwear and let them take a refreshing swim at the main beach, which is located just round Fort St. Angelo.
The Grand Harbour is surrounded by massive forts built by the Knights of Malta that create a truly magical atmosphere.Many activities held in the open in Malta enjoy an amazing backdrop due to a contrast of ancient and modern in the most fun and pleasant way. As your children count colourful boats and cheer for their favourite you will realise that these memories will never fade away from their hearts, full of excitement and joy.
The small and colourful Maltese traditional boats that were so popular in previous times are now not so popular anymore. Before modern times kicked in,Maltese boat-builders built traditional boats that were used on regular basis to serve business or personal needs in the harbour. Nowadays,it is the Regatta that still celebrates the authentic designs of the “Maltese Boat” since participates can only race in traditional boats.
There are quite a few types of traditional Maltese boats, and even though they are different from each other, they are all very pretty and colourful. Participates use such boats as the frejgatina, kajjikk or tal-midalji. Impossible to pronounce, but all very elegant, small and eye cheering types of boats.
You may still enjoy a short trip on one of these traditional water taxis since they still ferry people from Valletta to Three Cities and vice versa. The Captain of the boat will charge you a small fee and take you on a boat trip.
Great thing indeed, water taxi trip will take no more than 5 minutes from point A to point B, so even your little ones will enjoy it with an ease. Water taxis goes every 15 minutes to both directions, so you won’t have to wait in a long que in the exposure of the sun. Enjoy benefits of tiny Malta and explore Maltese culture in the most exciting way during traditional regatta.
7 teams are competing in the regatta every half a year. Every team represents city of Malta and a Regatta club. In order to participate in traditional regatta, you must be a member of one of the 7 clubs, that will form a team bi-annually.For spectators’ convenience,all the teams are recognized by their colours:
- Birzebbuga- red,white, blue
- Vittoriosa- red
- Senglea- red, yellow
- Valletta- yellow
- Marsa- red, blue
- Kalkara- green
- Cospicua- light blue
Go ahead and cheer for your favourite teams. If you have no idea who to cheer for, just pick a colour you like and keep the sports spirit alive together with a crowd.
Regatta is a rowing competition. The competition takes place under two categories. First category is called “Open” and is meant for professionalrowers to compete. Although category “B” is for those who are just learning to be professionals, so it is relaxed and beginner-friendly.
Both categories are interesting to watch. Don’t underestimate category “B”. It’s even more dynamic and fun to spectate than the “Open” one. Maybe after seeing how much fun bowing can bring you will like to join one of the clubs and participate yourself?
For those who never experienced the mesmerising unity of Maltese people celebrating, traditional regatta is the even to visit. Take your family to the hundred years old fort covered in sunshine, and just join the celebration of freedom and happiness. Surely many children will play in the parks in Valletta and Birgu on the day of regatta, and there will be hundreds of ice-cream portions sold. Take your bit of charge free-entertainment that will last whole day long.
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