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TRIP OVERVIEW

4 days
Races & Event
6km/day
Moderate

Trip Dates

2024
19 Sep - 22 Sep
Available
2025

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Tour Highlights

  • Enjoy the challenge of a 6km course across the Gozo channel that passes the magical island of Comino

  • Experience the water famous for its transparency and the temperature usually 24 – 27 degrees c

  • Discover Malta’s long history with time to look around before and after the event

Complete this iconic crossing from Gozo to Malta and enter warm waters that flow between the Three Islands of the Maltese archipelago. During the swim you will pass around the archipelago’s smallest island of Comino, following an iconic 6km course as we island hop through the channel.

Join competitors as swimmers take to the Mediterranean Sea - waters once sailed by the ancient Phoenicians. Swimmers make their first sighting of Comino itself, and pass by the island on their way to the finish point in Malta.

You will also have time to enjoy post-swim relaxation at the Labranda Riviera Hotel & Spa. Situated at the finish in Mellieħa, in a well-preserved area of Northern Malta, your home out of the water enjoys a scenic position overlooking Marfa Bay.


Who Is This Trip For?

The Gozo to Malta Cross-Channel Swim Race spans the Gozo Channel and conditions during the race may be challenging. A good experience of swimming in all sea conditions is essential. You should have relevant open water knowledge to be confident if choppy conditions do arise.

This trip is only available to be booked through SwimTrek as a package (including accommodation). If you choose not to join as a swimmer, there is the opportunity to join as a supporter. There are a limited number of supporters' packages available. They include shared accommodation with a race participant.


What's Included?

  • Entry into the Gozo to Malta Cross-Channel Swim Race
  • Finishers medal and awards for category winners
  • Chip timing and live results
  • Shared arrival transfer between Malta Airport and your Accommodation
  • Three nights' accommodation
  • Three breakfasts
  • Pre-race acclimatisation swim
  • Transfers to the race start before the event
  • Post-race dinner
  • SwimTrek Representatives to assist in ensuring everything runs smoothly
  • Shared departure transfer back to Malta Airport
  • ABTOT Financial Protection

What's Not Included?

  • Travel to and from the tour
  • Lunches and evening meals (except for 1 dinner)
  • Overnight Stay Tax (payable locally)

What's Included For Supporters?

  • Shared arrival transfer between Malta Airport and your accommodation
  • Three nights' accommodation with a race participant
  • Three breakfasts
  • Post-race dinner
  • SwimTrek Representatives to assist in ensuring everything runs smoothly
  • Shared departure transfer back to Malta Airport
  • ABTOT Financial Protection

Daily Itineraries

Please note that the below itinerary is subject to change during the course of your trip.

Trip Schedule

Start Point: Marfa Bay, Malta (transfer from Malta International Airport included)

Start Date: 19 September on Day 1

Finish Point: Marfa Bay, Malta (transfer to Malta International Airport included)

Finish Date: 22 September on Day 4

Day 1

Hotel Check-In

Hotel Check-In - Upon arrival in Marfa Bay, you can check in to your hotel and have time to explore the area and rest. This evening there is an informal meet up at the hotel’s Comino Sunset Bar.

Day 2

Acclimatisation Swim & Welcome Meeting (Compulsory)

After breakfast we hold a welcome briefing before the opportunity to take part in an acclimatisation swim in Marfa Bay - in front of your hotel. This is a great chance for you to get the feel of the swimming conditions you may experience tomorrow.

Race Registration and Safety Briefing (Compulsory)

It is important that you join us at the safety briefing as it is the opportunity to hear suggested strategies for your crossing. At the race registration, you will be given your swim hats and timing chips in preparation for the next morning’s swim. Please note that registration is compulsory in order to take part in the event.

This afternoon you have free to explore further afield or take advantage of your hotel's facilities.

Day 3 - Race Day

GOZO to MALTA RACE

Today we transfer by road to the ferry to cross the channel to Gozo, another short road transfer and we reach the race start. For further information about the Gozo to Malta Swim Race, please click the 'Trip Information' tab above and scroll to our section titled ‘Race Information’.

Awards ceremony

The official race awards ceremony will take place near the race finish sometime after the race finishes.

Post-Race Dinner

This evening SwimTrek host a post-race celebratory dinner for all guests, including non-swimmers. This is a fantastic opportunity to kick back and relax after completing an epic open water swim and to chat with your fellow swimmers about your experience.

Day 4

Shared Morning Return Transfer from Marfa Bay to Airport

If you are booked on the designated SwimTrek return transfer to the airport, this will leave after breakfast. Further information on booking this transfer can be found under the 'Getting There' section.

Accommodation

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Labranda Riviera Hotel and Spa

Our accommodation for the duration of the package is at Labranda Riviera Hotel & Spa. Situated in Mellieħa, a well preserved area of Northern Malta, it looks out across Marfa Bay towards the islands of Comino and Gozo, and you swim route for the event.

Location Summary

Northern Malta

More rugged than the rest of Malta, the rocky north-western coast of the island is a delight to explore both on foot and by swimming. Mellieha Bay has a stunning beach and three forts of the Knights of Saint John. A 30-minute drive south is the medieval city of Mdina - Malta’s former capital.

Comino

Home of the picturesque Blue Lagoon, Comino is a small island between Gozo and Malta. Its shallow reef causes a beautiful gradient of different blue water hues, with the lightest aquamarines making boats appear as if they are floating in the air.

Gozo

With its own distinctive style and pace, the island offers great walking routes, superb coastal scenery, and fabulous cliffside swimming.

Victoria

Victoria (aka Rabat) is not just the geographic heart of Gozo - it is also the centre of everyday activity. Bars, restaurants, and opera theatres dominate the centre, while the Citadel rises majestically above. Victoria also boasts the Villa Rundle Public Gardens, which is a restorative green lung in the middle of the city.

Trip Grading

We have given this trip a ‘Moderate’ grading. Most swimmers comfortable in the open water will be able to take part and enjoy one of these trips.

Group Size

The Gozo to Malta crossing is a mass start event with up to 100 swimmers predicted to take part this year.

Boat Support

Boat support on this trip includes a flotilla of small boats arranged by the event organiser. Please note that this boat support is subject to change without notice and cannot be guaranteed.

Swimming Conditions

The Gozo Channel is a stretch of Mediterranean Sea separating northern Malta from Gozo with the two sister islands of Comino and Cominotto lying between. From the race start we sight Comino. After we enter the water, we avoid the ferries' sea lane, cross to Comino and swim down the eastern coast. Rounding the south-eastern corner, we cross the current, striking out for the shelter of Marfa Bay.

Swimming in the sea is a fantastic experience, however you should be aware that certain marine life such as sea lice, jellyfish, sea urchins and coral could be present during the swims. In all cases we will work on reducing your contact with these creatures, however if you suffer from anaphylaxis, please consult the office prior to booking.

Race Distance

Swim Distance
Gozo to Malta channel crossing Swim 6km

Race Time Limit

There is a time limit of three hours to complete the course. For safety reasons, any swimmers who do not complete the race before this time will be removed from the water and escorted back to land.

Temperatures

Month Water Temp* Air Temp*
September 24-27°C / 76-79°F 24-28°C / 75-82°F

*Please note that these temperatures are indicative and should be used as a guide only.

Weather Caveat

For safety reasons, the event organisers rely on decent weather conditions in order to carry out the swim. In the event of bad weather and the swim being cancelled, the organisers will endeavour to organise an alternative coastal swim on the same day if it is safe to do so.

Race Event Information

A medical form is NOT required for this race, please see the 'Travel Advice' section for more information.

Race Organisers

Please note that while SwimTrek organise the tour part of this package, the Swim Club are the organisers of the swim and are fully responsible for race safety, logistics and contingency planning.

Extra Activities

If you want to extend your time in Malta, or add excursions on day 2, these can be organised through our partners in Malta at an additional cost. For bookings or further information about these tours, as well as booking additional nights accommodation before or after your SwimTrek trip, please contact our local partners, Meeting Point Malta.

Supporters Package

There are a limited number of supporter’s packages available which include shared accommodation with a race participant. We cannot guarantee that supporters will be able to travel to the start of the race. In general, it is more advisable for spectators to stay in Marfa Bay and view the race from the finish line.

Race Equipment

Swimmers are allowed to wear wetsuits during the crossing. However, please note that using a wetsuit will mean that you are ineligible for any of the race awards. As stated in the official Event Rules, please see the following:

  • Swimsuits must be FINA approved. Tech-suits banned by FINA are not allowed in this race.
  • All swimmers must wear an official race hat (provided by the organisers) and a tow-float. A tow float is provided on loan and must be returned after the event. Failure to start, swim or finish with both your swim hat and tow-float will lead to disqualification from the event.
  • The use of swimming aids such as pull buoys, flippers, paddles, and wetsuits is allowed but will result in the swimmer not being considered for the general classification results and podium places.
  • The use of snorkels is prohibited.
  • The use of, mp3, radio devices etc. during the race is prohibited

Equipment Checklist

For your basic, essential packing list, please see our Packing List page on the website. For all additional location specific items please see the table below

Item Item
Swimming Costume (x2) Waterproof Sun Cream
Swimming Goggles* (x2) Towel
Sunhat and Sunglasses Small Daypack

*Try to bring one clear lens and one tinted lens for different light conditions.

Getting There

As SwimTrekkers come from all over the world, and join our swimming holidays in numerous destinations, we don't currently offer flights as part of our SwimTrek packages. We do however want to do as much as we can to ensure that our guests get the best deals when travelling to one of our trips so check out SwimTrek's tips to help you get the best deals for your flights page on the website.

The easiest way to reach the start of your trip is to fly into Malta International Airport (MLA) and take our group transfer directly to the hotel (Day 1). A return transfer is also included to take you back to the airport on the final day (Day 4). Times will be advised prior to travel.

Group transfers are only arranged on the first and last days of the standard event package. If you are arriving in Malta before the start or after the finish of the tour, the airport taxi service is around €30 each way..

Bus from Malta International Airport to Ċirkewwa Ferry Port

There are several routes to Cirkewwa, the bay adjoining Marfa Bay. There is a direct bus line (X1) from Malta International Airport to Cirkewwa Port, departing every 40 minutes. For more details, visit www.publictransport.com.mt.

Accommodation

The Labranda Riviera Hotel & Spa is situated right at the race finish in Marfa Bay with views across the Gozo Channel. SwimTrek take an selection of the hotel's standard rooms. Rooms can be booked for Single occupancy whilst supply lasts.

Pre/Post Trip Accommodation and Trip Extension Options

If you would like to extend your stay in Malta or Gozo and need to book additional nights’ accommodation before or after your trip, please contact our local partners at Meeting Point Malta.

Food and Drink

Three breakfasts are included during your trip, as well as a post race dinner. Other meals are at your own expense. This gives you a fantastic opportunity to explore and experience the cafes and restaurants of the hotel and local area. In Malta, the average price of a meal in a local restaurant is approximately €15-25.

For more information, please visit our food and drink page on the website.

Travel Advice

For more information on any of the following sections please visit the Travel Advice page of our website.

Money, Extra Expenses and Tipping

You should bring extra money with you to cover such items as lunches, dinners, drinks, entertainment, souvenirs, etc. The local currency in Malta is the Euro (€). You can exchange currency at the hotel or withdraw money at ATMs. Please note a tourist tax will need to be paid on location, currently €1.50 per person per night paid directly to the hotel on checking out.

You should bring extra money with you to cover items such as meals not already included in your package, drinks, entertainment, souvenirs, etc.

In some countries, tipping (gratuities) is not part of the culture - in others it has become an expected norm. We believe that tipping is done entirely at your own discretion. If you have been provided with excellent service it may be something you wish to do. Your SwimTrek Guides can advise on local norms for service providers like boat crew, waiters or taxis. Nothing is expected for your SwimTrek Guides but many groups like to present something to the Guides at the end of the trip.

Responsible Travel

SwimTrek is conscious of the importance of protecting the world’s natural wonders. We are acutely aware of our responsibility to not only take care of the natural environments which we are lucky enough to explore, but also to educate our guests about the importance of conservation efforts and responsible tourism. It’s for this reason that we have worked so closely with our partners to ensure that our trips are conducted in the most responsible and sustainable way possible, working tirelessly to minimise the impact of our presence on local marine life and the natural habitat.

For more information, please visit our Responsible Travel page on the website.

Passports and Visas

Malta is part of the European Union. Non-residents of Malta require a full passport to enter the country, which should be valid for six months beyond the expected length of stay. Citizens of all E.U. member states, the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand do not require a visa to enter Malta.

Please note that visa regulations are subject to change and it is important that you check your own visa requirements prior to travel.

Travel Insurance

We consider comprehensive travel insurance to be essential, and we strongly recommend that you purchase insurance which includes, but is not limited to, cover for illness, accident, emergency repatriation, ambulance, air ambulance, helicopter rescue services, cancellation, lost luggage and delays. Your travel insurance should also cover you for open water swimming and any other activity listed in your trip itinerary (including races and competitions, where applicable). Please read your policy details carefully and remember to take them with you on your trip for your own reference.

For further information, please visit our Travel Insurance page on the website.

Here at SwimTrek, we pride ourselves on our focus on safety and the well-being of all our guests. As we operate in some beautiful and remote locations medical facilities are not always easily accessible. SwimTrek Guides, and many staff working for our local partners, are first aid trained. However, we ask that you read our Travel Health page to ensure that you are informed about general Travel and Swim Health precautions.

Internet Access, Electricity and Travel Plugs

There is complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi across the hotel.

For a useful source of information on the different electrical outlets, electrical plugs, and electric sockets, please visit www.worldstandards.eu.


Related Trips

  • We are yet to run this trip for its first season in 2024. Please check back in the future for testimonials from our pioneer SwimTrekkers!