We can find more than a hundred dive sites in Malta, the vast majority of which are accessible from the shore. Otherwise, the sites are not very far, so you only have to go by boat for a short journey. Dive sites vary in depth from super shallow such as Anchor Bay at a maximum depth of only 9 meters or the WWII shipwreck the X127 at a shallowest of 4 metres down to dive sites well beyond 100 meters suitable for only those with Technical diving qualifications and lots of experience..
Best time to dive in Malta
Scuba diving in Malta is possible year round since there is very little variation in the climate and with sites all around the island even in the windiest of weather there is always a fantastic site to explore. In the winter months the island is quieter and you can often find yourselves being the only diver on the wrecks so you can enjoy your dives in total peace. The summer months, between June and September, are the busiest time to dive in Malta. Then, September and October are often considered to be the nicest time of year to dive as the water is at its warmest after a long summer season and since the majority of the tourists are gone after the school summer holidays, flights and hotel prices tend to be cheaper and of course less people on the dive sites is also a plus!
Malta is an ideal destination to obtain your first diving certificate as the water is always clear and warm and with the vast majority of dive sites being from shore you can avoid long unnecessary boat journeys. It’s also a great choice for doing a wreck diving speciality with lots of shipwrecks all around the island both from the Second World War like the HMS Maori or scuttled more recently like the Um El Faroud a former Libyan Oil Tanker scuttled to create an artificial reef and to act as a memorial for those who lost their lives in a tragic accident when the vessel was undertaking repair works. You will have plenty of fantastic locations to visit whilst learning and practising all your new skills!
Scuba diving conditions
The ambient temperature in Malta averages 12 °C / 54 °F in January and February, then in summer it can frequently peak in excess of 40 °C / 104 °F during the months of July and August.
As for the water temperature, the average in winter is 15 °C /59.4 °F while in summer it rises to 29° C /85 ° F.
Visibility is usually beyond 40 meters (130 feet). Tides and ocean currents are generally small in amplitude, so hardly noticeable.
Underwater fauna: Fishes and Coral
The waters around the islands of Malta are classed as temperate waters meaning that throughout the year the water temperature changes significantly. This means that although Malta is home to a wide variety of marine species with plenty of smaller fish living along the reefs such as colorful Wrasse, Grouper and Parrot Fish you are unlikely to see some of the bigger life experienced in tropical waters such as Sharks and Turtles. It also means that although we have some smaller soft corals hiding in the darker spaces you do not have an abundance of Coral Reef systems in the Mediterranean. Whilst on your dives you are likely to see Octopus, Moray Eels, Starfish and some of the Mediterranean hunting fish such as Tuna, Amber Jacks, Barracuda and Dentex.
Malta has over a hundred scuba diving sites, so it's hard to pick just a few. There are several sites on wrecks, others on reefs, and then some in caves. Here is an overview of the sites and / or places we recommend:
The most famous of all Maltese diving wrecks because it was a World War II Tribal Class Destroyer, launched in 1937. It was sunk by a bomb from a German aircraft when at it's mooring in the Grand Harbour before being relocated to its current location in St Elmo's Bay. The dive site is a popular location for divers of all level with it being ideal for a non qualified diver as its maximum depth is only 13 metres. The wreck having been in the water for now almost 80 years is starting to deteriate however still offers a real glimpse into history. The deepest part of this dive is on the starboard side where you can get a sense of the scale of the ship in its former life, you can peer through some of the openings or the portholes of the wreck. At the bow of the wreck, two winches and bollards remain and the brass base of the forward gun is still in place. It is a location which has an abundance of marine life in particular large schools of Bream, Goat Fish and for the very lucky even the occasional Stingray.
Um El Faroud
The Um El Faroud is a 115m long, former Libyan oil tanker which operated between Libya and Italy. This wreck is one of the largest on the Maltese islands and there is always masses of life on the wreck. The wreck also provides a great opportunity for simple wreck penetration, there are many different entrances and exits at all levels. One could enter the kitchen at 25 metres, the living quarters above and the bridge area at 20 metres. For the more adventurous when diving Malta, you can even head down the stairs within and into the engine room, itself spread over 4 levels.
This dive site is recommended for Advanced Open Water or more experienced divers or those taking their Advanced Open Water Course.
Blue Hole - Gozo
The most iconic of dive sites in the Maltese Archipelago, located at the site of the former Azure Window is Malta's Blue Hole in Gozo. You will see stunning boulder fields, massive drop offs and impressive sections of wall dive, all topped off with an abundance of marine life, crystal clear waters and visibility rarely less than 30 metres.
This is a dive site suitable for all levels of certified divers with the true highlight being the beautiful colours which can be enjoyed in the shallower waters but for those more experienced divers there are some stunning swim throughs within the boulder field to enjoy too.
Now that you know everything about the underwater world, are you perhaps trying to plan to spend your next diving vacation there with Corsair Diving?