Malta is a small island paradise in the Mediterranean Sea’s heart. The country has a rich history that dates back more than 5,000 years. Its coastal landscapes and coral reefs are described in the Bible.
Today, the mix of ancient and modern cities makes all the charm of Malta.
Then, Malta offers a variety of remarkable dive sites for the scuba diver. The country is one of the most beautiful travel destinations in the world, yet it is unknown to many people.
Moreover, Malta was named by several magazines and websites as the second, and then third, the best diving destination in the world for a few years.
This article is a detailed guide to scuba diving and snorkeling in Malta.
Best Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Malta
The best scuba diving sites in Malta
Malta has over a hundred scuba diving sites, so it’s hard to pick just a few. There are several sites on wrecks, others on reefs, and then some in caves. Here is an overview of the sites and/or places to consider:
Um El Faroud
Um El Faroud is the wreck of a former oil tanker that sank in 1998. The wreck is now considered one of the most beautiful to dive into the Mediterranean Sea.
Blue Hole on the island of Gozo
The famous Blue Hole on the island of Gozo is a site accessible to all divers. There is more than one way to dive into this site. The Blue Hole begins in shallow water and descends to 60 meters or 197 feet.
But, the average depth is about 15 meters, or 50 feet, so accessible to all levels! Besides, between 8 and 15 meters, a large arch opens onto the ocean.
Cirkewwa is the name of the port in the north of the island of Malta. From there, you can take a ferry to either the island of Gozo or the smaller island of Comino. That said, it is also around this port that there are several interesting dive sites. For example, there is a beautiful reef, a statue of Madonna, the wrecks of a P-29 patrol boat, and the MV Rozi.
Blue Lagoon on Comino
The majestic Blue Lagoon on Comino is a shallow dive and snorkeling site. Its water clarity has nothing to envy, even in French Polynesia!
The caves of Santa Maria are superb for all levels of divers. We talk about cellars or caves, but the sites of Santa Maria are not closed. Thus, divers can rise to the surface directly.
The Imperial Eagle
The Imperial Eagle is a wreck 45 meters long and 9 meters wide. The ship rests at a depth of 40 meters, is superb to discover while diving and is very close to a statue of Jesus.
The wrecks of Gozo
The wrecks of Gozo, the MV Xlendi, the MV Karwella, and the MV Cominoland are all located on the island’s shores. So, these are great diving opportunities from the shore.
Reviews of scuba diving in Malta
As mentioned earlier, Malta has over a hundred dive sites. Almost half accessible from shore. Otherwise, the sites are not very far away, so you have to go there by boat for short transport. It is a destination where one can do snorkeling at leisure. As for diving, you will easily find a diving center in one of the villages.
There are a total of fifty diving centers in Malta. Considering the country’s small size, this is probably equal to the world’s largest concentration of dive centers per square kilometer!
By the way, the island of Malta offers a very extensive public transport system. So you can get anywhere on the island quite easily.
Then you must take the ferry to Gozo if you want to dive there. Or you can go there with an excursion that leaves Malta and explores the sights on Gozo.
A ferry takes only 25 minutes to connect Malta and Gozo. Around Gozo, about a third the size of Malta, you have access to 15 sites reachable by boat and 27 from the shore.
If you were looking for a liveaboard, this is not a highly developed industry in Malta. This site offers adventure cruises in Croatia. Sometimes a diving option, but at least snorkeling. There are few liveaboards to speak of in Europe.
Prices of dives in Malta
Rates for diving in Malta vary depending on the island but mostly on the dive type. Here is an overview of the average dive price for Malta:
A snorkeling excursion: +/- 30€
2 dives with equipment – from the shore: +/- 80€
2 dives with equipment – from a boat: +/- 100€
Price Course level 1 / Open Water: +/- 350€
Price Course Level 2 / Padi Open Water Advanced: +/- 320€
Price Course Level 3 / Rescue Diver: +/- 350€
Emergency First Response at +/- 100€
Divemaster: on request from the various diving centers but about 800 € and more.
We advise you not to look only for the lowest rate but choose your dive center according to where you feel best. Sometimes it makes sense to pay a little more and be in better conditions!
Best time to dive in Malta
Scuba diving in Malta is possible all year round since there is very little variation in climate. Yet, a few resorts are closed during the winter months.
The summer months are the best time to dive in Malta between June and September. But September has a little more since most tourists have left, which makes fewer people on the dive sites!
Malta is an ideal destination to spend a first diving certificate. It is also a great choice for doing a diving specialization like the one on the wreck! You’ll have plenty of room to practice your new skills!
Scuba diving conditions
The ambient temperature in Malta averages 12°C/54°F in January and February, then averages around 26°C/79.4°F in summer.
As for the water temperature, the average in winter is 15°C (59.4°F), while in summer, it rises to 26°C (79°F).
Visibility is often beyond 40 meters (130 feet). The tides and sea currents are generally of small amplitude. So they are hardly remarkable. Some sea currents are felt on a few wreck sites, but it remains in the “low current” category.
Snorkeling in Malta
Snorkelers will love Malta! Indeed, it is possible to snorkel on the majority of beaches. Also, accessible dive sites from shore are usually shallow.
For example, Gozo’s Blue Hole, Comino’s Blue Lagoon, Cirkewwa, and Paradise Bay are among the most beautiful snorkeling sites in the world.
Underwater fauna: Fish and Coral
The waters around malta’s islands are home to a wide variety of marine species. Yet, it is not a known destination for big fish or sharks.
If you are planning to go on a trip to Malta, I advise you to invest in good travel insurance that also covers scuba diving. You never know what can happen, and good insurance can get you out of difficult situations.
Malta offers untouched dive sites, where it is good to dive all year round. Thanks to incredible conditions! But, especially for European divers, it is a very accessible destination by plane!
We hope the content “Best Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Malta” was helpful to you.