Dream Malta Now: Dive Into Some of the World’s Top Sites Later
One of the best dive destinations in the world
Repeatedly voted second best dive destination in the world, the Mediterranean archipelago of Malta, Gozo, and Comino offer clear blue sea boasting an abundance of reefs, stunning caverns, caves, and wrecks. The calmness and clarity of the sea make for excellent visibility while the risk of encountering dangerous fish is extremely low, creating the ultimate conditions for first time divers and beginners. From cliffs to wrecks, bask in the rich history of this archipelago while submerged beneath the depths of the Mediterranean sea.
Divers can expect a variety of fauna and flora when exploring the Maltese waters. Divers are likely to see groupers, amberjack, various bream, octopi, squid, flying fish, gurnard, stingrays, meager, bogue, red mullet, parrotfish, and the occasional moray eel. The terrain of the Maltese archipelago with cliffs, caves, wrecks, shelves, sandy, and rocky sea beds creates a diverse home for sea life.
The Dive Trail: For the ultimate diving adventure, take on the Dive Trail. Travelers can use this trail map as an underwater guide highlighting the most unique characteristics of Malta from underneath. Discover the Azure Reef, The Blue Hole, and Coral Gardens as your swim past shipwrecks while swimming through Malta’s clear blue water.
For the more experienced divers, there are also plenty of challenging dives to choose from including Heritage Malta Historic Wreck Sites
- Three aircrafts, including two from World War II; a Junkers 88 bomber about 196 feet off Bahar ic-Caghaq, and a Fairey Swordfish torpedo-bomber biplane at around 180 feet, and an unidentified plane at 295 feet.
- Three Royal Navy warships, HMS Russell, a pre-Dreadnought battleship, struck a mine and sank on April 27, 1916, with the loss of 125 men. The wreck lies at 374 feet. Also from World War I is the wreck of minesweeper and sub-hunter HMS Nasturtium, which was sunk by a mine the day after the Russell with the loss of seven crew, and lies at 219 feet. HMT Trusty Star was a trawler requisitioned during World War II as a minesweeper but was mined on 10 June 1942. The wreck lies at a depth of 278 feet.
- Polish Navy destroyer ORP Kujawiak was originally HMS Oakley, sister-ship of the well-known wrecked destroyer HMS Southwold. Mined on June 16, 1942, it lies at 295 feet deep.
- The eighth wreck is that of British collier ss Luciston, lying at 344 feet, having been torpedoed on November 29, 1916.
- The SS Polynesian, a French steamer, was torpedoed by a German submarine on August 10, 1918, only a few kilometers off Malta.
With dive sites so close to each other, divers will be able to explore a variety of underwater worlds. VisitMalta has listed some of the best dive sites ranging from labyrinthine caves to reefs and wartime wrecks. Wrecks act as artificial reef habitats, providing a home for a greater number of species in recent years and make excellent dive sites.
Conservation Areas around Wrecks
A number of conservation areas have been established around submerged wrecks located in Maltese waters. At present, there are seven such conservation areas, namely:
- The Um El Faroud in Wied Iż-Żurrieq
- MV Xlendi, Cominoland, Karwela off Xatt l-Aħmar
- Tug St. Michael, Tug 10 in Marsaskala
- The Imperial Eagle off Qawra Point
- Rożi, P29 off Ċirkewwa
- Blenheim Bomber off Xrobb l-Għaġin
- Bristol Beaufighter off Exiles Point
The Maltese archipelago has a multitude of dive centers that have been in the industry for 30 years. Professional, qualified diving staff are trained to teach all levels, from beginners to instructor courses. Dive centers are located across the archipelago, making it easy for divers to find a center near their accommodation. There is no need to bring equipment as the centers provide all you need.
Most centers run courses leading to internationally-recognized diving qualifications. The most common are the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) and the Confederation Mondiale des Activities Subaquatiques (CMAS).
The sunny islands of Malta, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, are home to a most remarkable concentration of intact built heritage, including the highest density of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in any nation-state anywhere. Valletta built by the proud Knights of St. John is one of the UNESCO sights and the European Capital of Culture for 2018. Malta’s patrimony in stone ranges from the oldest free-standing stone architecture in the world, to one of the British Empire’s most formidable defensive systems, and includes a rich mix of domestic, religious and military architecture from the ancient, medieval and early modern periods. With superbly sunny weather, attractive beaches, a thriving nightlife, and 7,000 years of intriguing history, there is a great deal to see and do. For more information on Malta, visit www.visitmalta.com