The beautiful Maltese Islands are considered to be among the top diving destinations anywhere in the Mediterranean. In fact, the archipelago’s three largest islands – Malta, Gozo and Comino – regularly make it onto the lists of the best places to dive anywhere in the world.
It is the clarity of the crystal clear water and the mild sea temperatures that makes the Maltese Islands ideal for scuba diving. The fact that the sea temperature never drops below 14°C, even in January, means that Malta has gained a reputation as a year-round dive destination, and the perfect place to enjoy some winter sunshine.
Plus, there’s so much to see here! Whether you are trying your first dive, or are a very experienced diving enthusiast, the Maltese Islands will have a dive site to match. In fact, there are around 30 main shore dives to choose from around Malta, with 20 boats dives too; Gozo adds a further 20 dives to the list, while Comino has another 11. To the best of our knowledge, if you count also the dive sites which aren't well known the final count is almost 200, including the small island Filfla – so there’s certainly no shortage of places to discover.
These are some of our favourites:
- The Madonna and the Arch, in the north of Malta, is a really good dive if you’re still learning the ropes. Starting with an 18-metre drop, you quickly come across the sunken statue of a Madonna – who is believed to watch over those who dive here. The nearby arch is also spectacular, and we recommend looking out for fire worms and cardinal fish.
- Also great for beginners, is the dive down to the sunken HMS Maori, off Valletta. Known as Malta’s most famous historical wreck, this ship was launch in 1937 but destroyed in 1942, when the Grand Harbour was under attack during World War II. Now lying 20 metres below the surface, divers can explore the wreck by getting in through the large holes on its side. You’ll also spot plenty of sea life, including sea bream and tub worms.
- More experienced divers will relish the chance to discover the depths and intrigue of the well-known Um El Faroud, off the south of Malta. Located 150 metres from pretty Wied iz-Zurrieq, this is one of the most popular wreck dives in Malta, and the Mediterranean. You will be able to explore this oil tanker which exploded in 1995, while the nearby sea life is also exciting, with plenty of amber jacks and groupers to spot.
- Finally for a deep dive that requires quite a bit of experience, head to Gozo and Reqqa Point, which goes down to a whopping 70 metres. Aside from the incredible visibility, it’s the diversity of marine life here that makes it really special, and divers can spot a wonderful variety of dentex, rays, lobsters and bogues.
So, whether you are considering diving for the first time, or have scuba dived all over the world, the good news is that the Maltese Islands will be geared up to welcome you. There are many high-quality scuba diving schools in both Malta and Gozo, most of which are certified through an international diving association. You will be able to take a course, gain a dive qualification, find a dive buddy, or join a group of other divers.
Whatever you choose to do, we can assure you that diving in the Maltese Islands will be one of the highlights of your holiday!