The Mediterranean islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino are known for many things including the culture, history, cuisine and glorious sunny seascapes – but beneath the surface of our glistening waters, there’s a wonderland waiting to be discovered.
No, it’s not Atlantis, although there have been many suggestions to this lost city hiding beneath our little rock, but there’s a whole lot to discover once you gear up in some scuba gear.
The beauty of Malta’s underwater world is beyond words, but we’re here to elaborate on the best diving spots in Malta’s Mediterranean, taking a look at the 8 top scuba spots that you should check out during your stay on the Maltese islands.
Why should you take up diving in Malta?
Back in 2018, Malta was pinpointed as Diving Destination of the Year and while the locals nodded their heads in approval, visitors to our islands quickly ran a quick search to marvel at the adventures that might await them on their next holiday in the Med.
Our azure seas are 100% swimmable, if there’s a seashore with a semi-easy way to get back out of the water, we’re jumping right in! But the fact that they’re clean and clear (and not all that cold) makes them absolutely ideal for underwater diving.
If you’re a newbie you can easily get your scuba on through the many diving centres scattered in Malta and Gozo and get a slight taste of what life underwater could look like. But if you’re already a pro, get ready for some severe excitement – Malta was quite a hotspot during the Second World War, so you’ll be able to swim by some of the historic wrecks that now call our sea bed their home. There’s also tonnes of caves and other cool stuff to catch your eye including marine life like octopus, sting rays, groupers and maybe even a turtle or two if you’re lucky.
Malta’s Diving Spots
While there are many caves and reefs, such as Fortizza Reef that embellish our diving worth, there are also a few wrecks like The Blenheim Bomber Wreck, resting beneath our water’s surface.
The Blenheim Bomber Wreck, 35.8353° N 14.5747° E
As The Blenheim Bomber Aircraft was en route to Greece on a WWII mission, Italian enemy aircraft aimed, fired and hit. The British pilot and crew made their way back to Malta only to plummet into the Mediterranean waters, 500m off Xrobb l-Ghagin.
This rare wreck is only accessible by boat and should only be discovered by expert divers who might catch a glimpse of lobsters, turtles, sponges, coral and sea anemones. During your adventure you will feast your eyes on the Bomber’s fully-in-tact wings and radical engine as well as a starboard engine with a bent propeller. There was once a pilot’s seat in the coverless cockpit, but this has ‘mysteriously’ disappeared.
Fortizza Reef, 35.9151° N 14.5089° E
A walk along the Sliema promenade is the perfect way to start or end your day in the area, but what to do in the afternoon? Hmm… well… scuba dive of course! Why not enjoy the beautiful waters of the Fortizza area with an easy shore access dive suitable for beginners looking for a shallow reef experience.
Fortizza Reef is the ideal spot to discover a whole selection of underwater features that are all happily set 15 metres below the water’s surface. From caverns to tunnels, acres to overhangs, valleys, gullies and some of the most captivating rock formations in the area. If you’re an underwater photography enthusiast, make sure you’re fully charged and ready to go, this area is known for its marine life common to Maltese waters. And if you’re ready for more adventure, check out Sliema House Reef, also known as Coral Gardens.
Scorpion Cave, ≈ 35.9589° N 14.3389° E
If Anchor Bay isn’t enough of a treat for all the senses, then the beautiful dome-shaped cave found a few metres from the jetty will blow your mind. Scorpion Cave is accessible directly from the shore and will make for a perfect dive for all levels, beginners included. This gorgeous cave is first met with a shallow entrance that’s rather wide but goes on for another 80 metres.
Discovering all the little spaces in this cave is a great way to spend your time, in fact Scorpion Cave is often used as a training place for cave penetration and navigation. No matter how far down you go in this cave, be sure to look up and enjoy the bright blue light that seeps in through the wide open entrance. It’s simply magical.
Statue of Christ Wreck, 35.9635° N 14.4338° E
Get your boats ready, the Statue of Christ Wreck is one of the most famous dive sites in Malta and is only accessible to the experienced divers out there. Situated just off Qawra Point, this 3-metre-tall statue sits on the white sand that it now calls home, pretty close to the MV Imperial Eagle Wreck.
Purposely made out of concrete and fibreglass to withstand the salty waters of the Mediterranean by local sculptor Alfred Camilleri Cauchi. Its original location was near St Paul’s Islands but later moved to its current location due to increased interest in the Qawra Point area. Other religious underwater statues that deserve a visit include the Statue of Our Lady in Cirkewwa and the Crib Nativity Scene in Ghar Lapsi.
Gozo’s Diving Spots
The sister island of Gozo is ecologically far more bountiful than any of the others in the Maltese collection. The green areas are greener, making the produce mouthwateringly richer while the blue areas are bluer, making the underwater sites mesmerizingly prettier.
The Double Arch, ≈ 36.0844° N 14.2472° E
Your Gozitan diving adventures start here in Marsalforn with a 10-minute shallow water dive that takes you to a reef found at depths of around 15-18 metres followed by the double arches that start at 20 metres deep. In this area you will probably see quite a few barracudas, some big groupers and cuttlefish. The deeper you go through, the wilder the sealife. And that’s about 45 metres deep.
The Double Arch is quite the charmer, swimming through the double arches is a wonder and the crystal clear waters of Xwejni make it a whole lot more magical.
The Blue Hole, 36.0530° N 14.1887° E
Also known as the Blue Cave, this is one of Gozo’s hottest dive sites. Close by what once was The Azure Window, this site is suitable for all diving levels as there are many angles you can tackle these beautiful circular rock formations from. These points can be accessed via the Azure Reef, as mentioned above, as well as via Coral Gardens or the Inland Sea.
The Blue Cave is probably Malta’s most beautiful site and the ideal spot for an afternoon dive. The depth of the cave is around 15 metres with a secret passage at around 9 metres down taking you to Dwejra’s open waters.
Reqqa Reef, 36.0824° N 14.2362° E
Reqqa Reef is a rocky 60-metre-dive. Entry and exit might seem easy to and from Reqqa Reef but be very aware that this area is covered in sharp, pointy rocks, so caution is absolutely necessary, but the ordeal, well worth it. To the left of the entrance is Billinghurst’s Cave – a 2 chamber enclosure that is rather large. There’s an air-pocket in the cave, but keep your masks on, the air in this area is not all that pleasant to breathe in.
Keep your eyes peeled for poisonous scorpion fish, the common moray eels, barracudas, lobsters and grouper plus a wall full of sea sponges.
Comino’s Diving Spots
Ah, Comino, could this be the most picturesque of islands? Apart from the Blue Lagoon and all the other perfect beaches, there’s an underwater paradise just waiting for you to find it! There’s so much underwater to enjoy such as the Crystal Lagoon Reef and the undiscovered Sultan’s Rock, a boat-only advanced dive that is yet to be explored. But Santa Marija Caves are something else.
Santa Marija Caves, ≈ 36.0179° N 14.3407° E
Santa Marija Caves are right near Santa Marija Reef and Santa Marija Tunnel also known as Elephant Rock – this collection of underwater glory can all be experienced in one swift dive.
Some of the coolest things you will notice while diving in this beautiful area include the reflection of lights that bounce off the vertical walls. Divers of all levels can enjoy this adventure while checking out the crabs, red mullets, shrimps and other marine life that make the turquoise waters of Comino so bright and cheery.
Diving in Malta, Gozo and Comino can be a great addition to your Mediterranean trip. Whether you’re experienced or not, a scuba to the wrecks, reefs or caves will give you a whole lot of excitement during your trip. If you’d rather chill by the sidelines though there are tonnes of swimming zones, sandy beaches and rocky beaches that would love to draw you to their sun catching vibes.