Photo: © atese/iStock/Thinkstock
Thinking about taking the plunge during your stay in Malta? We’ve suited up and given it a go, and these are the places we loved the most.
If taking on the big blue is one of the reasons you’re excited about visiting Malta, you’re in luck. Considered one of the foremost diving locations in Europe, Maltese waters offer a series of labyrinthine caves, underwater wrecks, coral gardens and unspoilt reefs. Malta’s natural harbours are sought after for their diverse marine life and excellent photographic opportunities with a visibility of around 30 metres!
The Marina Hotel Corinthia Beach Resort is strategically located to take full advantage of the best dive sites in Malta, offering guests access to a private beach located within the Lido area. The hotel also enjoys the services of an in-house diving school that offers individual dives as well as PADI certified courses in open water diving for the more committed.
We’ve spoken to the divers at the Starfish Diving School, and here are their recommendations:
The Blue Hole and the Chimney
Enigmatic by name and nature, this adventurous dive is located along the limits of San Lawrenz in Gozo. Although traditionally classified as a shore dive along the impressive Azure Window, these dives may reach the depths of 50m and allow divers to discover the untouched ecosystem rich in bristle worms and starfish. Whereas the Chimney is extremely narrow and only allows for one diver to enter at a time, the Blue Hole offers a less claustrophobic experience.
This popular spot located at the shores of Għasri in Gozo may be accessed through a rough beach path, where at times the strong swell and surge could make getting into the water a challenge. Once that’s been overcome, expect a spectacular coral sprawl located at 30m below sea level, which drops down to a stunning 60m teeming with marine life waiting to be discovered. If that sounds a bit too daring, we recommend settling for the 15m viewpoint that’s very popular with shoals of feeding groupers and dentex.
The Rozi Tugboat
Depending on how far you’re willing to swim, this dive is offered as both a shore and a boat dive. Considered one of Malta’s best dive spots, the Rozi Tugboat rests a little over 100m from the coast of Cirkewwa. Purposely sunk in 1991, the 40-metre Rozi has become home to several fish including the glowing wrasses, the poisonous scorpion fish, and the occasional seahorse.
If you’re on the lookout for sunken ships, you’ll find the Imperial Eagle to be one of the best dive sites in Malta. This old ferry boat that once connected Malta to Gozo and was purposely sunk as a tourist attraction. Explore its chambers at the depths of 40m and keep an eye out for the impressive 13-tonne statue of Jesus Christ that had been blessed by Pope John Paul back in 1990 with the intention of protecting local fishermen.
Santa Maria Caves
Diver or not, anyone taking a boat trip to Comino shouldn’t pass on the chance to discover the beautiful Santa Maria Caves located along the walls of Malta’s smallest inhabited island. Accessible by boat, this dive is adapted to all levels of expertise with depths ranging between 5 and 20m. Despite being relatively shallow, the abundance of octopi, moray eels and various shoals of glittering fish offer endless photo opportunities. If you’re still not convinced about the whole diving thing, we encourage you to snorkel around the shores and take a look at what lies beneath these crystalline waters.