Scuba diving in Malta is one of the island’s greatest adventures you’ve probably never experienced.
So two Lovin Malta journalists who hadn’t dived in over half a decade decided to shake off the barnacles and visit a shipwreck off Exiles in Sliema with one of the most experienced companies to check just what Malta’s seas have to offer.
Even better is the fact that we scored a special discount for any Lovin Malta readers who want to get their dive on this summer… but first, let’s talk scuba!
1. Malta’s waters hide a treasure trove of beauty: epic shipwrecks, beautiful marine life and even a statue of Jesus Christ just waiting for you to grab an underwater selfie with.
Honestly, if you are ever swimming near St Paul’s Bay, just take a look underneath you and if you are lucky, you might see the fantastic statue from afar.
2. One of the most respected companies on the island, Dive Systems, has been operating in this sphere for over 40 years, teaching countless divers.
A family-run business located right off the beach in Exiles, their experience, combined with their friendly way of teaching, means that you can be diving with playful dolphins sooner than you’d believe.
Whether you are an absolute beginner or trying to become an instructor, you can specialise in everything from technical diving to recreational diving – and you can eventually even utilise some crazy cool equipment for things like rebreather diving.
3. You’ll be taught by experienced local and international staff at Dive Systems with all the resources you need while studying to become a diver.
With excellent instructors with global experience, their very own 38-foot boat – the SIMO – that’s perfect for both diving excursions as well as charters, and all the scuba diving gear you could ever need, Dive Systems have got you covered.
Dive Systems is also big on reducing plastics, even providing students with a reusable bottle of their own.
They also support local NGOs like Żibel with their plastic-cleaning campaigns by providing free diving tanks!
4. You can start off with a simple try-dive, just to see how you react underwater.
But then you’ll want to get your Open Water license, meaning you can now officially dive to a depth of 18m.
That’s when the real fun starts.
Just like a video game, you can choose to specialise in a branch of expertise, be it Wreck Diving, Night Diving, or Underwater Navigator.
5. And Dive Systems is taking the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic very seriously.
All masks worn at the dive centre are sterilised, alongside the washing of all equipment with antibacterial liquids in personal boxes. They even provide you with a change of mouthpiece for your regulator – not bad at all.
6. And they’re here to guide you from theory to practicing the deepest dive.
Within days, you’ll be cutting swiftly through the Meditteranean sea like Neil Agius himself.
7. Entering the water is like entering another world.
It’s one thing eating fish in a restaurant and watching Aquaman – it’s another thing actually being underwater, hearing your breath come through the apparatus and seeing curious fish dart by your sides.
Being underwater is hard to describe: it’s literally like entering a different world, with a new gravity to contend with, a new language to communicate through and the possibility of finding pirate treasure at every corner… OK maybe not that last one, but you never know.
8. And underwater, you can live your best mermaid (or merman) life.
Suddenly finding yourself able to swim to depths you’ve never reached will make you feel like a totally new person. Honestly, gliding just above the seabed is one of the most relaxing and real experiences you can have.
9. The island’s got incredible underwater gems, from the wreck of the massive Um el Faroud to a P29 Patrol Boat.
From the spectacular reefs and caves in Żurrieq to the wrecks like the Um El Faroud (a huge vessel at 10,000 tonnes) to coral gardens in Sliema, there are no limitations to what you can see.
And for you tech divers out there, there’s plenty of WWI and WWII wrecks to explore as well as scuttled wrecks purposely placed for divers.
10. Plus, seeing a shipwreck up close is an experience of a lifetime.
Seriously, you need to see it to believe it.
Dive Systems took Lovin Malta to the Tug 2 Boat, which lies at around 20 metres underwater. Seeing it loom in the distance as your approach the hulking figure is enough to give one goosebumps.
Swimming on it and seeing it up close, with marine life making the human-creation their home, reminds you of just how affected the sea is by man’s works.
11. And it definitely beats the summer heat.
No need to worry about getting your sunscreen on when you’re 15 metres underwater living your best life.
12. Best of all, you even get cool selfies and videos.
OK – compared to the life experience you’ve just obtained becoming one with your inner Poseidon, a selfie isn’t much. I mean, you’ve just defied your human nature and spent an hour breathing underwater.
But we aren’t going to lie, it sure does look good on your Insta feed.
13 – You get a better appreciation for the natural world as well as the marine world.
Seeing fish, crustaceans and all types of creatures in their natural habitats gives one a proper sense of their place in the world.
14. And when it’s all done, all you’ll be thinking about it is – when is my next dive?
BONUS: Use this code to get an exclusive special offer only for Lovin Malta readers.
If you’d like to explore Malta’s seas and get closer to what lies beneath the waves, you can benefit from 10% off all courses and guided dives.
All you need to do is mention ‘Lovin Malta’ when booking your course with Dive Systems during the month of August. Terms and conditions apply.