Malta water taxi

“Id-Dghajsa tal-Pass”: Malta’s One-of-a-kind Water Taxi

  • Dec 17, 2022

...a rich maritime history!

As an island nation with a rich maritime history, it is safe to say that one of the best ways to experience the islands is by boat. For a truly authentic experience, ditch the yachts and ferries, and opt for a traditional water taxi, known as “Id-Dghajsa tal-Pass”. Here is all you need to know about “id-Dghajsa tal-Pass” before you visit Malta.

How to spot “Id-Dghajsa tal-Pass”

Malta’s traditional water taxis, or “Id-Dghajsa tal-Pass” in Maltese, are a Valletta and Three Cities staple. These small wooden boats have been a standard of Maltese transport for centuries and offer a unique and convenient way to travel between Valletta and the Three Cities to this day. 

The boats themselves are characterised by their distinctive blue and yellow colour scheme and their curved, pointed prow. They are typically powered by a small outboard motor and can accommodate up to twelve passengers. In addition to their practical use as a transportation service, the water taxis’ unique look makes them a popular tourist attraction. 

The traditional water taxi’s history

The historical origins of “id-Dghajsa tal-Pass” are not clear. However, historians believe that this traditional water taxis has been in use since the 16th century. At that time, the islands were occupied by the Order of St John, who transformed them into a major centre of maritime trade.

Therefore, “id-Dghajsa tal-Pass” was essential when it came to transporting goods and passengers between the various ports and harbours around the island.

Over the centuries, “id-Dghajsa tal-Pass” has played an important role in the transportation network of Malta. Additionally, it has become an integral part of the island’s culture and heritage. Today, traditional water taxis are used primarily as a tourist attraction, as many visitors enjoy experiencing Malta via this one-of-a-kind boat. 

Using “Id-Dghajsa tal-Pass” to explore Malta

“Id-Dghajsa tal-Pass” offers a convenient and enjoyable way to visit the Three Cities from Valletta. The trip takes less than half an hour and is an opportunity to witness some of the most stunning views of Malta’s coastline. 

In addition to the Three Cities, there are a number of other places that can be easily reached from Valletta by water taxi. One popular destination is Sliema, a cosmopolitan town that is Malta’s very own Manhattan. Other possible destinations from Valletta by water taxi include the island of Gozo, the Blue Grotto, as well as various beaches and coves along the Maltese coastline. 

Overall, opting for “Id-Dghajsa tal-Pass” is a convenient and memorable way to traverse the islands. Whether you are looking for a convenient way to get around or simply want to enjoy the world-famous beauty of the Maltese coastline, a trip on one of these traditional water taxis should definitely be on your bucket list.