Dive In To Malta
Experience the best scuba destination in the Med
The Maltese Archipelago, comprising the main island of Malta, the charming Gozo and the tiny third island of Comino has long been a favourite of the UK’s scuba divers, regularly winning awards for the best diving that the Mediterranean has to offer as well as being ranked in the top three diving destinations in the world.
Just three hours from the UK, Malta and her sister islands are among the most conveniently located diving destinations in Europe. A year-round warm and sunny climate and crystal-clear waters make the colourful reefs perfect for divers of all experience levels, with the best conditions between April and October.
Shallow wrecks and easily accessible caves make for an excellent introduction to these activities for the novice diver, and deeper, technical wreck dives and cave penetrations are available for those with the training and experience to access them.
With slack water and sheltered dive sites, Malta and Gozo are perfect destinations for learning to dive, and you can still experience some of the best dive sites during training. Around 60 dive centres are listed under the Maltese Professional Dive Schools Association, at which anybody from the age of 10 and over can gain their diving certifications.
A full range of programmes is available, from ‘try dives’ to professional, instructor-level courses. PADI, BSAC and CMAS have a large presence on the island, with SSI and RAID programs also available.
Dive sites such as the Double Arch, Reqqa Point and the shallow Santa Maria caves in Comino are among some of Malta’s most popular dives, but top of the list for any must-see dive site is the famous Blue Hole in Gwejra, Gozo, which offers a completely new underwater experience after the collapse of the adjacent Azure Window in March 2017. While it can only be explored with a professional guide from one of Malta’s excellent dive centres, divers can examine the huge boulders and newly-formed swim-throughs created by the fallen archway, the massive wall of untouched, white limestone contrasting beautifully with the clear blue water.
Wreck diving is especially popular around the islands, with an array of vessels from those lost during WWII, to others sunk as artificial reefs for divers. The tanker Um el Faroud is considered as one of the best wreck dives in the world, the P31 an outstanding introduction to wrecks for the inexperienced diver, and the Blenheim bomber one of the few diveable aircraft wrecks in the world, much of which remains relatively intact. A number of the wrecks have also been turned into conservation areas.
Whether you stay on Malta or Gozo, much of the diving is conducted from shore, and there is plenty to occupy the non-divers in the party. Water-based activities include snorkelling and kayaking, kite-surfing and boat cruises, and there is a great deal more to Malta than the world-class diving.
Designated European Capital of Culture 2018, the city of Valletta is compact and easy to explore. Vibrant and colourful and catering to all tastes, there is much to enjoy. From its rich cultural heritage and unique architecture, a historical and archaeological history spanning millennia, to the unique markets and a nightlife that can be spontaneous and exciting or more laid-back and genteel.
Accommodation can be found to suit any traveller’s budget, from a range of boutique waterfront hotels to converted farmhouses outside of town. Maltese dining is superb, and the islands’ special secret – their wine – is a must for aficionados.
Whether you’re just learning to dive, an inexperienced enthusiast or a serious technical expert, Malta offers everything a diver and their buddies could wish for, just a few short hours away.