Exotic and memorable diving experiences are most often associated with images of remote tropical islands, scattered in the midst of our planet’s vast oceans and accessible to only a handful of lucky souls. However, there are a few diving jewels that shine equally brightly in the heart of the beautiful Mediterranean, and Malta is indubitably a royal one. Drawing historical legacy from its amazingly favorable strategic position, Malta was paramount in holding dominion over the Mediterranean throughout the centuries – from Sicilian counts and mighty Knights of Saint John, all the way to the British Imperium. Today, Malta’s attractiveness is no longer measured by its importance as a naval base, but by its desirability as a tourist destination with amazing boat and shore diving adventures.
The small island-state located just south of Sicily and overlooking the coast of Northern Africa consists of three islands: Malta itself, being the largest one, followed by the pocket-sized, barely populated patch of land called Comino and the stoic Gozo.
The Blue Lagoon – Comino
Also known as “The Crystal Lagoon”, this site is the diving crown of tiny Comino. With a dive range from 2 to 15 meters, this cozy, protected and pure environment offers ideal variety for divers of all profiles. Home to Mediterranean Flounder and the ever-interesting Flying Gurnards, this impeccably clear, transparent sea ecosystem is also the habitat of rock-loving octopuses, lobsters and young barracudas. Malta’s predominantly rocky coastline makes for some downright amazing naturally submerged architecture, where underwater rocks form complex shapes, chains and labyrinths whose full extent is known only to a handful of super-curious fish, making this turquoise paradise a certified class act.
Cirkewwa Harbor – Malta
Located on the northwest corner of Malta itself, this exciting site is strongly recommended for anyone wanting to spice up their diving adventure. Defiantly staring in the face of deep blue waters ahead on one side and the tiny Comino on the other, Cirkewwa boasts unparalleled marine life activity. The scenery itself oozes surrealism, and when coupled with saltwater favorites such as tunas, barracudas and amberjacks, it becomes a bustling environment of natural sensation.
Billinghurst Cave – Gozo
For those willing to put in some extra effort, this destination will surely yield a colossal reward and a memory to last a lifetime. The entrance to the cave opens up above the surface, leading the divers down the long Railway Tunnel and straight into a new cave, whose incredibly colorful seascape comprises red sponges, soft corals and a tremendous variety of marine life. Resurfacing is spectacular due to the sun illuminating the cave from the outer reef, creating a visual masterpiece.
Dwejra Point – Gozo
Be sure to grab a boat and explore this one. Definitely one of Malta’s most spectacular dive havens, Dwejra Point has it all: deep, undisturbed water (60m), a plethora of intertwined caves, arches and tunnels, and breathtaking nature. Several species of playful fish constantly patrol the area, and following the longest tunnel leads you straight into the open sea. Here, the seafloor suddenly disappears into the dark abyss, spiking adrenalin and opening new horizons.