Malta is famous for having amazing beaches and clifftop sunsets, but under the sea lie some gorgeous gems.
Alongside a number of breathtaking reefs, caverns and coves, the islands also host a number of unbelievably beautiful sunken wrecks. We have compiled a list for you so that with some luck, you can visit these spots and truly appreciate the beauty Malta’s underwater world has to offer this summer.
1. Um El Faroud Wreck
The Um El Faroud was built in 1969 in Middlesborough, England. It carried refined fuel between Italy and Libya till 1995. On the 3rd of February, there was a powerful explosion on the ship which cost 9 workers their lives. Due to the damage the ship had suffered, it was decided that the ship would be scuttled off as an artificial reef and diving attraction.
And just like that, off the coast of Wied iż-Żurrieq, one of the most famous shipwrecks in the Mediterranean was born.
The wreck of Um El Faroud houses an astounding number of flora and fauna among which are many beautiful species like the squids and a large variety of sea sponges.
This wreck is great for those who are a bit more adventurous and do not mind swimming through the wreck’s passages, hatches and even an engine room.
2. HMS Stubborn
Although technically not a ship, the HMS Stubborn makes a good entry to this list. The 66 metre S-class submarine was scuttled in 1946 — and is still upright and intact. However, this site is only recommended for highly experienced divers since there is no reference descent to it and can only be accessed by boat.
It is also recommended that this site, found a couple of miles off St. Paul’s Bay, is only visited when the weather is in optimal conditions.
The HMS Stubborn was used by the Royal Navy in 1942 and she survived the Second World War. However, in 1946 she was scuttled to be used as an active sonar target off the Maltese coasts.
3. Tug Boat Rożi
Originally baptised Rossmore, Rożi was sold to Tug Malta in 1981 and she operated in the Grand Harbour area. Rożi was scuttled by Captain Morgan Cruises to create an artificial reef for their Underwater Safari Tours, which do not operate anymore. However, Rożi has become an attraction on her own, as a popular dive site just off Ċirkewwa. Rożi houses a diverse colony of sealife such as rainbow wrasses and cardinal fish. Close to Rożi, one can also find the wreck of Patrol Boat P29, an East German minesweeper.
Rożi’s engine room and wheel house can be safely entered by any prospective explores, and even some of the rooms can be entered — unless you suffer from claustrophobia, of course.
4. HMS Southwold
HMS Southwold was a British destroyer built for the Navy during the Second World War and was launched in 1941. The Southwold now forms part of two separate shipwrecks, both located in Marsascala about 300 metres away from each other. This wreck is only reachable by boat but the ride is worth it — the sandy bed around and under her and the eerie vibe the ship gives off are truly a one of a kind sight.
5. Blenheim Bomber
This aircraft is located in Gozo just a couple of meters off Xrobb L-Għaġin. Again, this is not technically a shipwreck, but the wreckage is truly a one of a kind experience — the wings and the engines are still completely intact.
The Blenheim can be reached by boat, however it is only recommended to experienced divers since strong currents are generally experienced in the area.
6. Bristol Beaufighter
The Bristol Beaufighter ended up at the bottom of the sea because as soon as it left on a mission from Malta in 1943, mechanical problems led to the aircraft losing its altitude and crashing a few miles off the Dragonara Casino in St. Julians. This wreck is reached by boat only and is especially recommended for experienced divers. Most of the plane is covered in sand but the wings and the propellers are all still intact and attached to the engines.
7. MV Karwela
This ferry was scuttled as an artificial reef in Gozo west of Mġarr in 2006 and was laid to rest alongside the MV Xlendi. This is one of the most popular wrecks in Gozo as divers can swim through the passages of the wreck, which is fully populated with numerous fish, firs, algae and other sea creatures. She is normally reached from the shore and no boats are used to get to her.
A short while after Karwela was sunk, a Volkswagen beetle was randomly sunk on the deck.
8. HMS Maori
Just off the shores of Valletta, the HMS Maori is a popular spot among divers. The ship was broken in two after she was bombed and only her front section remains.
This Second World War Destroyer saw quite a high amount of action during her years of service and helped in defending our island during the War. In 1942 she was bombed during the night and her engine room exploded, miskina.