Malta Public Transport

Manoel Island

Manoel Island has its own time zone

Even for islanders, the idea of exploring an island carries an exotic whiff. Manoel Island, rising from the waters like a roundabout in the middle of Marsamxett Harbour, feels so familiar and separate at the same time.

The ultra-modern yachts berthed at the marina are in sharp contrast with the weary façade of the Lazzaretto hospital, erected in the mid-17th century. Before that time, the one-kilometre stretch of land belonged to the Chapter of the Mdina Cathedral – the bishop’s seat of office – and was, in fact known rather creatively as Il-Gżira tal-Isqof (the Bishop’s Island).

Grand Master de Vilhena started works on a star-shaped fort completed in 1733, strategically facing the left side of the newly-built city of Valletta. The fort served as a base for the British Navy during World War II and it sustained a direct hit from the German Luftwaffe in 1942.

Manoel Island today stands as a sanctuary of the Malta that was. Although surrounded by the urban beat of Sliema, Gżira, Msida, the island remains a muted, detached space. The moment you cross the short arch bridge, you feel the wilder, more elemental call of the island.

Getting there

Get off at bus stop Gżira, walk a further 300 metres and you find yourself across Manoel Island. Use traffic lights to cross the busy road. Routes 13, 13A, 14, 15 and 16 leave Valletta every 20 minutes from 5:00 to 23:00.

Check the latest timetable details here: