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Diving in Malta

Malta’s warm water, reefs, caves and wreck diving are suited to all levels. Discover the warmth, culture and tranquillity of its temperate climate, UNESCO world heritage and car free island of Comino.

Diving in Malta

Quick facts

Malta’s diving is suitable for beginners, advanced and technical divers. Its caves, reefs and wrecks are reached from either the shore or by boat. One of Malta’s most popular dive sites is the Blue Hole, located on the west coast of Gozo. The dive begins in a pool at 40 feet (12 meters), and leads through a crevice – your window to the ocean’s clear blue waters and the octopus and lobster that live amongst the rock formations. Mediterranean parrot fish – bright orange with silver and yellow markings – will also greet you. Advanced divers can marvel at the atmospheric water reflections in the deeper caves. Located in the north of Malta is Ċirkewwa. This is a shore dive with explores the reefs on shallow plateaus at 40 feet (12 meters). Wonderful arches and swim throughs take you to a Madonna statue at 60 feet (18 meters) where venomous scorpion fish come to pray for forgiveness. Luckier divers may spot a triggerfish. Advanced divers can continue off the plateau to 100 feet (30 meters). Due to the site’s topography it is recommended for night dives. Beginners can experience wreck diving; off the coast of Comino lies the scuttled P-31 patrol boat at a depth of just 60 feet (18 meters). Lizard fish have found a home here. Advanced divers can explore Um El Faroud, a 377 foot (115 metre) long, 10,000 ton tanker, which sank in Valletta’s harbor in 1998. Now scuttled to the south of Malta, the main deck of this upright wreck is found at 100 feet (30 meters), as are schools of barracuda that flash like a reflection on a kitchen knife. Divers qualified in wreck diving can enter the ship through the kitchen at its stern. If you’re not qualified in wreck diving – Malta could be the place to learn.

Recommended training

Take the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy and PADI Deep Diver courses to help you hover effortlessly along the walls. The PADI Digital Underwater Photographer course is a must to capture the beauty of the place. Malta and Gozo are also technical diving destinations, so look into PADI TecRec courses, including the PADI Rebreather Diver course, if interested

When to go

Malta and Gozo have a hot, dry summer and a short, cool winter. Some consider the climate here to be the best in the world. Air temperatures average between 10-15°C/50-59°F in January and 21-30°C/70-83°F in July.

Rain and temperature

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USD 571Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
USD 764Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
USD 934Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
Comino – This small island, flanked by two larger neighbors, is well worth a visit for its rural charm and superb diving. The dive at Blue Lagoon ranges in depth from about 2-15 metres/7-450 feet and is sheltered making it an ideal nursery for a wide variety of aquatic animals. The sandy areas are home to Mediterranean flounder and flying gurnards, while octopus abound in the rocky areas and young barracuda are frequently encountered. The Wreck of the Um el Faroud– Some consider this the best wreck dive in the Mediterranean. It’s mostly intact, more than 100 metres/330 feet long, and was prepared and scuttled in 1998 as a dive attraction. She lies upright on the seabed, with the propeller and rudder at about 33 metres/108 feet. If you have the time and the air, you can also explore the ledges and caverns on the adjacent reef. Reqqa Point – Perhaps the best shore dive on Gozo, the entry here puts you on a nearly vertical wall. Late in the season dorado (lampuki) come in to hunt small schools of fish, making for some spectacular predator versus prey action. Macro life populating the rocky ledges keep divers interested when the pelagics don’t show. Double Arch Reef – A short boat ride from Marsalforn on Gozo are two archways rising from about 40 metres/130 feet to 18 metres/60 feet. Sea bream and barracuda can be spotted here against a stunning backdrop. HMS Maori – This wreck sank in Valletta Harbour, Malta, in 1942. She lies in 16 metres/55 feet or less which makes her accessible to divers of all levels. She’s pretty well scattered over a relatively soft bottom so careful buoyancy control is rewarded with the best possible visibility. Keep an eye out for John Dorys and conger eels.

What to see

The warm Mediterranean waters around Malta provide a great variety of fauna, flora and fish.

The sea beds are gardens of seagrass where wrasse hide, and a fanworm’s tentacles are like delicate petals on a flower as they gently sway to scoop up plankton. Orange and red starfish slowly traverse the rocks, and an octopus squirts ink from cracks.

During the summer months seahorses can be found, and lucky divers may catch a glimpse of their ‘courtship dance’ as they hold tails and waltz on the current’s ebb. Groupers shelter in crevices, moray eels hide in holes, and red mullet dig for food in the sand with their whiskers.

John Dory rise from the deep blue to the warmer waters during the winter – long spines decorate their dorsal fin like a centurion’s helmet.

The great visibility makes for excellent photography, so take a camera and you won’t forget what you see.


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The Mediterranean archipelago of Malta lies to the south of Sicily, and with water temperatures still reaching 59° F (15° C) in January, it’s a suitable diving destination all year round. Only the islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino are populated, and all three provide shore and boat diving as well as a wealth of architectural history dating back 5000 years.

The capital, Valletta, was awarded UNESCO world heritage status in 1980. Despite its fortifications and the baroque architecture of its churches and palaces, Valletta isn’t a city that hides from modernity. In the evenings the city’s workforce return to their homes, the boutiques close, and you can walk around the city’s narrow passages admiring the architecture like it’s a model on a catwalk. After the churches you can eat modern cuisine on the waterfront, and take your flippers off to enjoy one of the city’s nightclubs.

As the largest of the inhabited islands, Malta offers plenty of accommodation options to suit any budget. If you’re after a quieter, tranquil visit, then stay on the car-free island of Comino.

Wherever you stay – enquire about any festivals that are happening. You’ll be very welcome.

Other attractions

On the southern coast is Mnajdra and its megalithic temple complex made from limestone. The façade on its third temple is intact and could have been built over 5000 years ago. On the south east coast is Marsaxlokk and the island’s second largest natural harbor. On a Sunday it hosts Malta’s largest fish market, and is renowned for its superb fish restaurants. Colourful Luzzus – traditional fishing boats with a mythical eye painted on both sides of the prow – fill the harbor’s reflections with bright colors. The Maltese have a tradition for festivals where each parish celebrates its patron saint. The processions pass through the streets which are decorated with colourful banners. You can sample the food, dance to the music, and watch the fireworks in the evening. Or head to one of the many secluded coves, enjoy a private picnic, and plan your next dive.

Getting there

Malta’s International Airport is 5 miles (8km) south of Valletta, and is well served by Europe and North Africa. If you’re travelling from outside of these areas then connect via a European hub such as London or Amsterdam.

Taxis to Valletta cost €15. Malta Transfer offers a shuttle to major hotels, and buses, which run until midnight, serve all the main towns and Gozo’s ferry.


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Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.

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