Knockout natural beauty, clear waters and marinelife-rich caves and wrecks – Malta may be a small but this Mediterranean beauty is a diver’s paradise, promising an underwater world that’s ready to wow.
The sea’s warm, clean and calm so visibility’s generally great and the rugged coastline offers up plenty of different depths, from shallow spots to deep dives. In fact, you’ve almost 100 diving sites to choose from, as well as around 50 licensed dive centres across the three Maltese islands – Malta, Gozo and Comino.
Want to know more about diving in Malta? Let’s jump in!
When to go diving in Malta…
Just above the coast of Africa, Malta’s a year-round destination that delivers more than 300 days of marvellous Mediterranean sunshine. That means there’s a good chance of the waters being balmy whatever time of year you visit. But from June through to November, you’re looking at an average sea temperature of more than 20°C , so this is when diving in Malta is most popular.
Where to go diving in Malta and what to see...
All three islands – Malta, Gozo and Comino – have their fair share of spectacular dive sites, where you can discover oodles of under-the sea treasures and dramatic landscapes.
Haul your gear to the ferry port at Ċirkewwa and you’ll be treated to not one, but two wrecks to explore, alongside a sunken statue of the Madonna! Get ready for a variety of arches, interesting swim-throughs, drop offs and a world of topography in technicolour. It’s no wonder that this is bucket list stuff when it comes to diving.
At 34m below sea level sits the Rozi Wreck, a tug boat that was deliberately sunk back in 1992 and is hailed as one of Europe’s best dive sites. You might even come face-to-face with a dolphin down here. And don’t miss P29, 150m offshore – an old Maltese patrol boat that’s now home to a dazzling reef. You can even press the button on the mock-up machine gun. Look out for the bright yellow buoy on the surface that marks the site.
This British destroyer is just one of many WWII time capsules that sit on the seabed around Malta. It sunk back in 1942 after being bombed in a German air raid. This is a shallow shore dive (16m), a couple of hundred metres off the coast of Malta’s capital city, Valletta. It’s popular with underwater photographers thanks to the interesting lighting and it’s a top spot for torchlight night dives too.
The Imperial Eagle
Another dive spot, another wreck – welcome to one of Malta’s protected marine conservation areas. This former ferry boat can be found 500m off Qawra Point and 42m below sea level. And this 250 tonner is a regular hangout for octopuses and shoals of barracuda, so keep your eyes peeled. 30m from the boat’s bow, you can swim over to see an impressive statue of Jesus Christ with his arms outstretched, eerily as if alive.
On Gozo’s north coast lies this top-notch scuba spot. It’s especially easy for beginners thanks to its shallow, shore dive entry and sheltered coastline. You can dive to depths of up to 20m here and you’re likely to meet lizard fish, octopuses and damselfish on your descent through a labyrinth of tunnels. For the pros, there’s the challenging “washing machine” on the way to the double arch 200m offshore.
Also known as the Blue Hole, this world-class cave dive on the west coast of Gozo was once home to the now collapsed Azure Window formation (you can spot the rocky remains on your way down). The beauty spot is still an incredibly popular site for diving, thanks to its otherworldly feel. From the gorgeous lagoon pool starting point, a sharp 16m drop-off plunges you into the depths of this 26m-long chimney that leads to a “window” into open water. Get ready for 50 shades of blue…
Adventure-seekers, get yourself to the creek at Ghasri Valley to discover the “Blue Dome” dive site. Why the nickname? Once inside the cave you can surface under a Cathedral-like blue dome. Sunlight peeps through the cave’s cracks to create the most amazing light show across the colourful coral-covered walls – the best time to see this is in the afternoon. It’s a pinch-me kind of experience alright.
Santa Maria Caves
On the north coast of Comino is this set of 10 interconnecting caverns. It’s a drop-off-by-boat site into fairly shallow waters. The caves themselves vary in depth from 10 to 15 metres, with a mix of darker swim-throughs and sunlit spots. Best of all, you can witness a frenzy-like feat of nature if you feed the shoals of bream that swim up to say hello. The P31 wreck is close by too.
Posted: 6th Jun 2019.