For every one thing there is to see above the waves, there is twice as much to amaze and enthral below the surface in the waters that surround the "jewels of the Mediterranean". Boasting a truly tantalising assortment of caves, reefs and wrecks - Malta has every right to lay claim to some of the best diving in the world! Read on for an insight into this amazing underwater world!
Malta, Gozo and Comino are three small limestone Islands in the heart of the Mediterranean boasting some of the best diving hot-spots in Europe. Amongst some of the best are the Blue Hole and The Chimney in San Lawrenz of Gozo - around the corner from Dwejra Point and adjacent to the magnificent Azure Window. The Blue Hole is a 10 by 5 metre hole extending 1 metre above sea level and descending to a depth of 50 metres. This sink hole in limestone is a natural rock formation carved by wind and water, and is considered the most famous dive site in Malta. A depth of 9 metres gives access to the open sea providing the perfect sheltered dive. The Chimney rises from 20 to 9 metres and exits to underwater gardens rich in marine life. The bottom of the hole provides access to a large cave and descends along interesting vertical walls.
The waters in Malta are some of the clearest in the world and offer pristine visibility, excellent down to depths of 30 meters, providing an amazing experience to see marine life flourish in a vibrant display of colours and a dream destination for underwater photography. With an abundance of exhilarating dive sites from natural harbours and bays and sheltered cliffs to arches, reefs and wrecks, you’ll explore a variety of underwater worlds.
Malta recognises both BSAC and PADI membership. There are a vast number of dive schools on the Islands of Malta and Gozo with most hotels having a connection to a dive school and of course there are many independent dive schools across the Islands offering try dives, group dives, diving courses and equipment hire.
The well-established independent diving school ‘Meldives’ in Mellieha offers PADI Open Water certification and has been running for over 30 years, you can find it located on the seafront at the TunnyNet Complex. For diving lovers or those wishing to give it a try in warm Maltese waters, consider a stay in Mellieha as it’s an excellent base, giving you easy access to a number of nearby dive schools, easy access to Cirkewwa and the Gozo Channel ferry.
Cirkewwa is a favourite dive for the locals and on my first dive at the site, visibility was excellent and plenty of marine life was to be seen including Octopus – even at shallow depths of just a few metres. Cirkewwa also offers an impressive drop off from 8 – 30 metres with a total depth of around 36 metres.
For a wreck dive, check out the famous HMS Maori in Valletta’s Marsamxett Harbour found below Fort St Elmo. The 126 metre long British destroyer played an important part in history helping to crack the code to the sinking of the famous German vessel ‘Bismark’. The destroyer – sunk in 1942 as a result of a direct hit - now lies at a depth of 18 metres and is easily accessible. As a haven for marine life, you can expect to see a lot of growth on the hull filled with marine life including octopus, sea horse, bream, scorpion fish and flat fish in all areas surrounding the wreck.
Other excellent diving spots found in Malta include the uninhabited islands of Fifla, Cominotto, St Pauls Island and Fungus Rock - accessible by boat and boasts many caves and an excellent underwater topology.
With a plethora of diving hot-spots, pristine visibility and warm waters there is no better destination in Europe for a diving holiday, than Malta.