With the sea being so close to every corner of little Malta, it should come as no surprise that diving is very popular in the Maltese Islands. In fact, Malta was actually ranked as being the second best place to dive in the world back in 2017.
So to honour this popular hobby that shines bright in the super hot summer season, we wanted to create a list of some of the most breathtaking diving locations around our islands, and show our love for the deep blue before we kill it with plastic and pollution.
So, in no particular order, here are 11 of the most beautiful diving spots our country has to offer
1. P29 Patrol Boat
This ship is one of the most popular sites in Malta for experts and beginners alike. Located about 150 metres off the Ċirkewwa coast and a maximum 34 metres below the surface, the former German minesweeper was purposefully sunk in 2007 after being made safe for both divers and the environment around it.
Experienced divers are allowed to explore inside the hull, however, for the newer divers or those who don’t particularly enjoy entering wrecks, the site also offers a diverse collection of marine life to observe and photograph.
2. Um El Faroud
This old oil tanker was scuttled back in 1998 after an explosion cost nine workers their lives and caused extensive damage. Since then, the wreck has become a hot spot for divers around Europe, and a breeding ground for a lot of sea creatures.
The ship is around 35 metres below sea level and can be reached from the shore of Wied Iż-Żurrieq.
3. HMS Stubborn
This site is for the more experienced divers who enjoy submarines scuttled in 1946.
If you fit those criteria, you can find this wreck by taking a boat to about 3 kilometres off the coast of Qawra and diving to a maximum depth of 56 metres below the surface.
4. Blue Hole And Azure Reef
These two dives are often joined together given their close proximity in Dwejra, Gozo.
The Blue Hole is an enclosed pool around 15 metres deep which was formed after a sinkhole appeared in the limestone. The Azure Reef, on the other hand, is a dive through the remains of the Azure Window, the natural icon that collapsed back in 2017. Despite the short amount of time since the reef formed, divers have already reported seeing algae growing along the rocks, meaning that marine life may soon make it their permanent home.
5. Blenheim Bomber
Found around 42 meters under the sea and half a kilometre away from Xrobb l-Għaġin, this former British Royal Air Force bomber was brought down in World War II and has since become a more underground (or underwater, if you will) dive site.
Thanks to its tricky location and strong underwater currents, people tend to choose other wrecks to visit, but if you’re an experienced diver, you should definitely check out the bomber when you can.
6. HMS Maori
Located off the shore of Valletta, this ship is the perfect site for beginning divers.
Its proximity to the mainland and relatively shallow depth – the lowest point sitting at around 16 metres – means that it’s not too difficult to get to. And since the elements have not been kind to her, the ship’s various broken pieces and cracks are home to a very diverse collection of marine animals as well.
7. Imperial Eagle and the Christ of Sailors
This ship used to transport people between the islands of Malta and Gozo but was scuttled in 1999 to become an attraction for scuba divers. A year later, the Kristu Tal-Baħħara (or Chirst of the Sailors) was relocated from the St. Paul’s Islands to Qawra, about 30 metres away from this wreck.
8. Bristol Beaufighter
This WWII bomber ended up in the ocean after mechanical issues caused the pilots to perform an emergency landing in the sea.
The wreckage now lays upside down just under a kilometre off the coast of St. Julians and about 38 metres below the surface. Although a large part of the plane is buried in the sand, you can still make out the wings and propellers of the aircraft, one of which is actually still attached to its engine.
9. Tug Boat Rozi
This ship was scuttled off the coast of Cirkewwa, relatively close to the P29, to become an artificial reef in 1992, after her engine and propeller were removed.
The site is one of the most popular in Malta as it is a fairly easy dive, Rozi is not too far out at sea and not too deep, with her lowest point being 34 metres below the surface.
10. HMS Southwold
Another one for the more qualified divers, the HMS Southwold sunk in two parts after hitting a minefield in WWII.
The separate pieces lie roughly 300 metres apart, and two and a half kilometres off the coast of Marsaskala. Despite their beauty, the need for experienced divers means they aren’t shown the love they truly deserve, so if you are qualified, you need to give them a visit.
11. Reqqa Point and St. Andrew’s Cove
This Gozitan reef is often inaccessible due to weather and currents, but when you can view it, you’ll be treated to a myriad of colours and creatures that decorate every nook and cranny.
While there are no wrecks to explore, the natural environment alone is more than enough to satisfy that lust for the deep sea that some people possess.