Imagine a place where the waters are as clear as the sky on a sunny day, where history lies hidden under the sea waiting to be discovered, and the vibrant marine life is as welcoming as the locals. This is not a fragment of your imagination – this is what a perfect week of scuba diving in Malta looks like.

If you’re a scuba diver, you’ve likely heard of Malta. The island nation’s clear waters, diverse marine life, and stunning underwater landscapes are famous. But what makes scuba diving in Malta and Gozo the top choice for divers in the Mediterranean? Discover why diving in Malta deserves a spot on your bucket list in this article.

The Perfect Location for Scuba Diving in Malta

Malta, situated in the Mediterranean, offers breathtaking diving spots in its picturesque island setting. Notably, some of our dive sites have been rated in the top 10 dives in the world. Additionally, the island is surrounded by clear, warm waters home to a diverse range of marine life. Malta has year-round ideal diving conditions, with 300+ days of sunshine, making it a popular destination for divers.

Furthermore, due to the island’s location in the Mediterranean, it’s perfectly situated for a carefree week-long Euro dive trip. A Long weekend dive trip from any major European city is easy peasy. In addition, Malta’s rich history and culture make it an attractive destination for non-divers or those looking to incorporate a cultural element into their trip. Malta’s diving sites, warm waters, ideal climate, and cultural heritage make it a must-visit for divers and tourists.

At Dive Systems, we’re lucky to be situated right on the water’s edge of Exiles Bay.

Our house reef allows swift access to the water, which ensures more water time as we don’t have to drive to remote dive sites. You can easily and quickly get into the water for classes or guided dives on our house reef.

Our house reef features the TUG2 wreck, which is a great attraction for beginners and experienced divers. Our dive centre’s convenient location allows for land or boat access to dive sites across the three islands.

The View over Balluta Bay to Exiles, from Saint Julians to Sliema

Shore Diving in Malta and Gozo

One of the coolest things about scuba diving in Malta is that most of the dives are from shore. This means we simply drive to the dive site, gear up and hop in. As the island is quite small, it’s easy for us to reach any coast within 30 to 45 minutes. Depending on the wind and wave direction, we always have somewhere to dive. This makes diving in Malta very accessible and convenient.

Many of the shore dive sites in Malta are located in protected bays, which means that the water is calm and the visibility is generally 10 to 30m. Some of the most popular shore dive sites include Zurrieq (Um El Faroud), Cirkewwa, Ghar Lapsi, and Exiles in Maltas. In Gozo, popular shore diving sites include the Inland Sea, Gozo Blue Hole, Mgarr Ix-Xini, Cathedral Cave and Reqqa Point.

There’s no shore diving in Comino unfortunately. To dive on Comino Island we plan and organise regular boat trips with our dive boat Simo. We have boat trips scheduled every week to a variety of dive sites, not just Comino. To find out more, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us through our contact page.

Benefits of Shore Diving in Malta

Shore diving in Malta is also a great way to explore the island’s stunning coastline. As you dive, you’ll see towering cliffs, hidden coves, and underwater caves. You’ll also have the opportunity to see some of the island’s most iconic landmarks from a unique perspective, such as the fallen Azure Window and the infamous Blue Hole in Dwerja, Gozo.

Blue Hole and the Azure Window in Gozo – before it collapsed.

Overall, shore diving in Malta is truly a unique experience. Thanks to the PDSA (Professional Diving Schools Association of Malta, Gozo & Comino) and local authorities, some of our shore-diving locations have excellent facilities, such as bathrooms, hot showers, dedicated diver parking, and food vendors for the post-dive munchies.

Furthermore, the convenience of these amenities allows our divers to comfortably get ready for their dives. Local dive operators, authorities and valued members of the diving community are committed to maintaining these locations to ensure that they remain pristine and accessible for all divers. Ultimately, the combination of stunning diving sites and top-notch facilities make shore diving in Malta a great alternative to boat diving.

Coral Gardens & Big Bear
Shore Diving is fun – entering and exiting the water is generally super easy.

Diverse Marine Life

Malta’s waters are home to a diverse range of marine life, making it a paradise for scuba divers. Malta’s dive sites offer a variety of marine life, including everything from octopus and nudibranchs to schooling barracudas and on the rare occasion, the sunfish. Also, the island is home to some unique species, such as the Maltese Ray and the Mediterranean moray eel.

Stunning Underwater Landscapes

In addition to the diverse marine life, Malta is also renowned for its remarkable architecture both underwater and above water. The island boasts an array of fascinating structures that range from ancient ruins to modern-day wonders.

When exploring the underwater world, divers can marvel at the intricate details of shipwrecks that have been submerged for years. The remains of old ships, planes, and submarines can be seen in various dive sites across the island.

Malta boasts architectural marvels like the Megalithic Temples, among the oldest free-standing structures globally. The architecture in Malta is a testament to the island’s rich history and cultural heritage. Whether you are a history buff or an architecture enthusiast, Malta has something to offer for everyone.

Now, let’s dive into our perfect week of scuba diving in Malta.

Day1: Diving in Malta – Our Local Wrecks

Welcome to Dive Systems Malta! We are thrilled to have you join us for an exciting week of diving. 

When you arrive at the dive centre, our team will greet you and guide you through the process of getting your gear or unpacking your gear. We will then take some time to go through the necessary paperwork and plan for the week of diving ahead. With the formalities out of the way, we can get right down to the business of exploring Malta below the surface. Let’s dive in!

Dive 1: Check Dive on Tug2

For the first dive of the week, we will be diving directly in front of our centre at Exiles, where you’ll get to explore our local house wreck, Tug2. The dive site is perfect for both beginners and seasoned divers as the wreck sits on the sand at 20m. You’ll get to witness kingfish hunting damselfish and maybe even spot an elusive octopus or camouflaged flying gurnard, making it a truly magical experience.

Tug2 wreck on the Exiles House Reef
Tug2 Wreck on the Exiles House Reef

Dive 2: The HMS Maori

The second dive is for those who love a story, especially one that’s been silent underwater for years. The HMS Maori, a World War II wreck nestled in Valletta’s St. Elmo Bay, is your next stop. Scuba diving in Malta wouldn’t be complete without seeing this piece of history. 

HMS Maori Wreck Valletta Malta

The sea life has claimed this site as their own, so expect to be swimming with schools of fish that have a tale or two to share. After the dive, take some time to appreciate the magnificent backdrop that is Valletta, where the streets seem to narrate a tale of knights and adventures past.

Day 2: Diving in Malta – Cirkewwa Marine Reserve

Diving in Cirkewwa Marine Reserve offers a unique opportunity to explore the underwater world of Malta. The park is home to a variety of marine life and fascinating shipwrecks, making it a popular destination for both novice and experienced divers.

Dive 1: P29 Patrol Boat

One of the most popular dive sites in Cirkewwa Marine Park is the P29 patrol boat. This former German Navy vessel was sunk in 2007 to create an artificial reef and has since become a thriving habitat for a variety of fish species and other marine life. The patrol boat sits upright on the sandy seabed at a depth of around 35 meters, making it accessible to advanced divers.

The P29 patrol boat is an impressive sight to behold, with its imposing size and rusted exterior. Divers can explore the interior of the vessel, which includes the engine room, bridge, and living quarters. The wreck is also home to a variety of marine life, including large schools of damselfish, amberjacks, barracudas, groupers, moray eels and the occasional ray.

Dive 2: Tugboat Rozi Wreck

Another popular dive site in Cirkewwa Marine Park is the Tugboat Rozi wreck. In 1992, they intentionally sank this small tugboat to create an artificial reef, and now it houses a variety of marine life. The wreck sits upright on the sandy seabed at a depth of around 35 meters. The main deck of the Rozi is approximately 30m making it accessible to advanced divers.

The Tugboat Rozi wreck is a fascinating sight to explore, with its rusted exterior and overgrown deck. Explorers can venture into the interior of the vessel, including the engine room, despite the removal of the engines. The wreck is also home to a variety of marine life, including colourful nudibranchs, octopuses, and moray eels.

In conclusion, diving in Cirkewwa Marine Park offers a unique opportunity to explore the fascinating shipwrecks and diverse marine life of Malta. The P29 patrol boat and Tugboat Rozi wreck are two popular dive sites that provide an unforgettable underwater experience for advanced divers.

Day 3: The Massive Um El Faroud

Prepare to be amazed as you explore the colossal Um El Faroud on the third day of your diving adventure. This dive site is home to a giant oil tanker resting on the ocean floor for years and has become a haven for aquatic life.

The story behind this wreck is a tragic one. In 1969, they built the Um El Faroud, which transported oil until its maintenance in Malta in 1995. While undergoing repairs, a gas explosion occurred, killing nine people and damaging the vessel beyond repair. It was eventually scuttled and sunk off the coast of Malta to become a dive site.

Diving the Um El Faroud Wreck

During your visit to Um El Faroud, you can explore the superstructure with penetration on your first dive. This will take you through the massive chambers of the wreck where groupers are the rulers and barracudas glide by. 

The second dive will allow you to explore the exterior of the wreck and slowly move over the deck to the bow before returning along the reef to the exit point. This will give you a chance to explore the reef life and take in the stunning views along the wall before returning up the valley.

Make sure to stop for ice cream at the viewpoint on the way back towards Wied iż-Żurrieq. This location also offers breathtaking views of the Blue Grotto and in the distance the mysterious Filfla Island. With its fascinating history and incredible diving opportunities, Um El Faroud is a must-visit destination for any diver visiting Malta.

Make sure to stop for ice cream at the viewpoint on the way back towards Wied iż-Żurrieq. This location also offers breathtaking views of the Blue Grotto and in the distance the mysterious Filfla Island. With its fascinating history and incredible diving opportunities, Um El Faroud is a must-visit destination for any diver visiting Malta.

Perfect week diving in Malta
Perfect week diving in Malta

Day 4: Into The Caves – Għar Lapsi‘s Wonders

On Malta’s southern coast, divers can experience something truly unique and unforgettable. Firstly, the underwater caves at Għar Lapsi are breathtaking. Additionally, the way the sun pierces through the water creates a magical and otherworldly scene. Finally, this experience is one that you won’t forget in a hurry.

As you make your way through the underwater caves, you’ll be accompanied by an array of fish and sea creatures, each leading you to the next archway. Both experienced divers and beginners can truly experience a one-of-a-kind dive.

If you have some spare time after your dives at Għar Lapsi, you might want to consider visiting the Mnajdra Temples. Located on the southern coast of Malta, these temples are an architectural masterpiece that predates the legendary pyramids of Egypt. 

The intricate and complex design of the temples is a testament to the skill and ingenuity of the ancient people who built them. Builders constructed the temples using huge limestone blocks around 3600 BC as a place of worship and ritual, consisting of three separate structures.

Visiting the Mnajdra Temples is a great way to explore the fascinating history of Malta’s ancient civilization.

Day 5: Gozo’s Blue Hole and The Inland Sea

On day five of your perfect diving week, after a quick ferry ride, you can experience the rugged beauty of Diving in Gozo. One of the main highlights of this leg of the trip is viewing the Blue Hole from above, a natural wonder crafted from limestone and time.

Dive 1: Gozo Blue Hole

The Blue Hole is one of our favourite dives. Dropping down into the hole with all the hues of blue you can imagine, is quite an experience. The surrounding reef is really pretty, a home to a variety of marine life, including groupers, octopus, parrotfish, moray eels, and if you’re lucky, a nice big juicy nudibranch or two. The crystal-clear blue waters make it an excellent spot for underwater photography.

The Blue Hole is a unique dive site that is accessible from the shore and has a depth of 15 to 40+ meters. The dive itself is relatively easy but divers need to walk some distance, down stairs and over rocks and boulders. This might be a tough entry for those less experienced diver or those with mobility issues. 

The visibility is generally excellent, and you can spot various fish species and other marine creatures. The highlight of this dive is the Blue Hole itself, which is a stunning sight to behold

Dive 2: The Inland Sea Dive Site

The next site close to the Blue Hole is the Inland Sea dive site. An open-top tunnel connects the natural lagoon to the open sea. The tunnel drops down to 22+ meters and is a popular spot for divers to explore as it leads to the vastness of the open sea.

The Inland Sea dive site is a more peaceful and relaxed experience. After the very easy entry, you surface-swim across the lagoon to the opening of the tunnel. As you descend from the lagoon into the tunnel, the bottle drops off quickly to 20+ meters. The tunnel leads to the open sea and is an exciting feature of this dive. Bring your torch as this is practically a night dive, during the day, where you can expect to see colourful sponges and corals along the walls of the tunnel. 

The dive is perfect for photography enthusiasts who want to capture the beauty of the underwater architecture. The Inland Sea can be a shallow easy dive or a deep dive, with a maximum depth of around 40+ meters, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced divers.

Day 6: Boat Diving in Comino – P31 Wreck and Santa Maria Caves

Join us on our private dive boat, Simo, as we explore Comino’s hidden gems. You’ll have the opportunity to dive into the crystal-clear waters and discover the P31 Patrol Boat and the Santa Maria Caves, two of the island’s best-kept secrets. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable day out on our boat!

Dive 1: The P31 Patrol Boat

The P31 Patrol Boat is a popular diving site located in Comino’s crystal-clear waters. In 2009, they intentionally sank the boat to create an artificial reef, offering scuba and freedivers a new diving experience. Today, it is one of the most popular diving sites in the region, attracting divers from all over the world.

The boat’s structure is still intact and lies at a depth of approximately 18 meters, making it easily accessible for most divers. Divers can explore the vessel’s interior and exterior, including the wheelhouse, which offers stunning views of the surrounding sea life. The boat is home to various marine life, including massive schools of damselfish, occasional barracudas, and groupers. If you’ve got a keen eye for the macro, you can spot various nudibranchs.

Diving the P31 Patrol Boat is good all year round, but visit between April/November for clearer water and warmer temperatures. Visit the P31 Patrol Boat for exceptional diving with clear waters, stunning sea life, and a convenient location.

Dive 2: Santa Maria Caves

The Santa Maria Caves dive site is a popular location for scuba diving enthusiasts. Situated on the northeast coast of Comino, this site offers a unique and exciting diving experience. The site takes its name from the chapel of Santa Maria nearby.

The Santa Maria Caves dive site offers a diverse range of underwater rock formations and marine life. The caves and tunnels interconnect for divers to swim through, creating a unique underwater experience. The caves are only between 7 and 10m deep, adorned with colourful sponges, tube worms, and corals.

Overall, the Santa Maria Caves dive site in Comino is a must-visit location for scuba divers. The site offers a unique and exciting diving experience, with a diverse range of underwater formations and marine life. Adherence to diving guidelines, certifications, and experience is crucial for a safe and enjoyable dive.

Day 7: Time to Dry Your Gear

On your last day with Dive Systems in Malta, relax, unwind and reminisce before your “no-fly-time”. Enjoy the local Cisk beer and explore cultural sites and museums in Valletta while drying your gear today. This will give you the chance to immerse yourself in the unique culture and history of Malta before you depart. 

Make the most of your last moments in this beautiful country by creating unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.

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