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Private Transports in Malta and Gozo

While it is easy and cheap to get around Malta by bus, there are many private land, sea, and air transportation options in Malta for every budget and need.

Taxis

There are two types of taxis in Malta: white taxis and coloured taxis.

White taxis can be found at taxi stands or bays around Malta and Gozo, and at the Malta International Airport, the Malta Cruise Port, Valletta, and Bugibba. They can also cruise and pick up passengers from anywhere on the islands, except at bus stops.

Coloured cabs (mostly black, some yellow) are not permitted to cruise for fares. They are owned by private garages with fleets, and must be booked in advance.

White and coloured taxis in Malta charge based on a zoning or distance system. Rates depend on the number of passengers and distance travelled. Coloured taxi rates within a zone cost as little as €8, and €15-28 between zones. White taxi rates vary between €9 and €31, depending on distance travelled.

White and coloured taxis are also available to hire at an hourly rate for private tours.

Taxis in Malta are generally reliable, especially if booked in advance, and punctual. Most taxis carry a maximum of four passengers and a trunk/boot full of luggage. For groups with more than four people, book ahead for a mini-bus or mini-van.

While Valletta is a small city and easily discovered on foot, you may opt to take a Smart Cab around the city. These battery-operated, chauffeur driven cabs operate on a hail and ride basis, or can be booked up to 15 minutes in advance. Smart Cabs can pick you up and deliver you anywhere in the city. Fares start at €3 to a maximum of €5 within the city. Smart Cabs operate from 800hs/8:00am to 1900hrs/7:00pm, 7 days a week.

Airport

White taxi service is available at the airport 24 hours a day to any destination in Malta at a cost of €11-€25. To hire a white taxi from the airport, pre-pay your fare at the ticket booth inside the Welcomer’s Hall in Arrivals.

Coloured taxis must be booked in advance. Their airport rates range from €15-€30.

You can also take the public bus to/from the airport for a little as €1.30-€2.20 per trip.

Care, Scooter & Motorcycle Hire/Rental

To hire/rent a car in Malta you must have a valid driver’s license (this does not have to be an EU or International Driver’s License), passport, and credit card in your own name. Insurance is purchased through the car hire company.

You must be 21 to hire a vehicle in Malta. If you are under 25, check with a car hire company as to their specific underage policies, as additional costs or restrictions may apply.

There are numerous car hire companies in Malta, including internationally known names as well as smaller, locally owned garages. Car hire fees range from €20-€50 per day, depending on locality and seasonality. Contact several companies to get the best rate.

Scooters and motorcycles are available to hire in Malta from €15-€30/day. Many scooter and motorcycle rental companies require an insurance deposit up front of €150-€200.

Car, scooter, and motorcycle hire rates are generally cheaper in Gozo.

Ferries

A regular ferry service, operated by Gozo Channel Company Ltd., carries passengers and cars between Malta and Gozo. The trip takes 30 minutes.

As of this writing, passenger fares are €4.65 per trip before 8pm, and €4.05 per trip after 8pm. Car and driver fares are €15.70 before 8pm, and €12.80 after 8pm.

Since ferry timetables change seasonally, it is highly recommended to consult the schedules on the Gozo Channel Company’s web site.

Water Taxis

Water taxi service is available at popular seaside locations throughout the islands such as Sliema, Valletta, Msida, Senglea, Vittoriosa, St. Julian’s, Bugibba, and Tigne Point.

Water taxis between Sliema and Valletta cost as little as €1.50 per person, one way. Water taxi services between other localities costs between €2.50 and €30 per trip.

Boat

You can also hire boats for transit between Malta and Comino, Gozo and Comino, and for trips between other localities.

Boats to/from Comino cost approximately €10 per person, return trip, and operate between 9am and 5pm. You can catch a boat to Comino near the Gozo ferry terminal in Cirkewwa.

To charter a boat between other localities contact a water sports or cruise company.

Coaches, Mini-Vans & Chauffer-Driven

Coach/bus, mini-van/mini-bus, and chauffeur driven cars in Malta are ideal for large groups and business travellers. Mini-buses and coaches are available at fairly inexpensive rates.

Seaplanes

For the more adventurous commuter or traveller, several companies operate seaplane flights between Malta and Gozo, as well as seaplane tours of the islands.

Regular service between Malta and Gozo departs Valletta and Mgarr twice daily, at a cost of approximately €60 per person, roundtrip, or €44 one way.

The Malta to Gozo flight takes 10 minutes.

Tourist Targeted Transport

You can also explore Malta on an open top double decker bus tour, on a vintage bus tour, on a luzzu (traditional Maltese fishing boat) harbor cruise, or on a tourist train. These tourist targeted transport options can be booked in advanced, or purchased on the spot along the Sliema Ferries promenade (also known as ‘The Strand’). The tourist train is caught in front of the Domus Romana.

By Jess Gerrow, who traded city life in Canada for island life in the Mediterranean two years ago. She is a postgraduate marketing student, blogger, and freelance writer.