Diving Malta

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Malta

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Country: Malta  Area: Malta

Water Temp: 16 - 26°C (61 - 79°F)

Visibility: 5 - 30m (16 - 98 ft)

Depth Range: 5 - 30m (16 - 98 ft)

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A popular Mediterranean getaway for divers and holiday makers, Malta is a fascinating island with a lot of history and culture to explore above and below the surface.

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Malta is based in the South Mediterranean sea between Sicily and Tunisia. The country has many Arabic and North African influences and considering its small size its jam packed with history, Architecture and Beaches giving tourists a wide variety of reasons to visit.

Malta has a variety of dive sites covering all depths and levels including many very interesting wrecks with a lot of history to them. These sit in less than 18m of water to 30m and then 40m plus and range from little tugboats to huge tankers and even wrecks of planes. A lot of the wrecks are deeper than you can go on recreational gear and gas mixes and are only available to technical divers and there is a big tech scene on Malta taking advantage of this.

Scorpionfish, Credit

Climate

The Maltese climate is generally very sunny and with one of the highest amount of sunshine hours in Europe means that it is a perfect place for sun lovers to visit. The water temperature varies quite considerably throughout the year from 16C in January to 26C in August, so it’s best to check out the temperature of the month you are going as this could greatly affect the exposure protection that you choose to wear. Due to the generally agreeable climate the dive season does run year round but the best time of year is to dive in the summer and autumn as the winter and early spring can have strong winds and rain which can limit the dive sites available.

Flabellina ischitana, Credit

 
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Shore Diving

A lot of recreational dives around Malta are made from the shore and you can usually get 3 dives a day with this method.

A great dive area from the shore is Cirkewwa, which has reefs and boulders which octopus hide amongst, also two wrecks The Rozi and The P29.  The Rozi is a cute little tugboat sitting in 30m of water surrounded by huge shoals of fish compared to the relatively new P29 which is a 50m patrol boat with some swimthroughs and penetration possible.

Joining the fishes,Credit

The combination of the varied underwater environment ranging from caves, wrecks turned artificial reefs, rocks and sandy sea bottoms gives Malta a large variety of marine life to see.  You can frequently see Octopus hiding under rocks, squid, cuttlefish, stingrays and much more. A lot of the wrecks now attract marine life and you can see some of the bigger schools of fish in the area hanging around them. There is also the chance to see seahorses, although you need to have excellent eyesight to find them as they are masters of disguise which blend expertly into their surroundings. 

There isn’t much large pelagic life around Malta although there is a tuna farm on the coast of the island and a trip can be taken for a swim in the vortex of circling fish, this can be quite disorientating which can lead to you ending up going deeper than expected so it’s not a dive for beginners.

Malta fihes,Credit

Boat Diving

The deeper dives usually of wrecks are further offshore so you have to go by day boat to reach them.  Most schools do not have their own boats and rent them as and when they have customers and a suitable day and winds to allow you to visit the offshore sites.

Grouper, Credit

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How to get there

Malta is easily reached and has an international airport which accepts flights from all over Europe.

Riviera Bay, Malta, Credit

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Other Activities

To sum up Malta gives a wonderful variety of diving experiences mixed with a historic element above in the ancient architecture and below in the wrecks. This is a country to visit for more than just diving. The easy shore access and flexibility means that you can mix a morning of diving with an afternoon to explore the historic area and fortress in Valetta or have lunch at one of the small fishing villages in the south.

City Gate; Mdina, Malta, Credit

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Rating 8/10

Malta alone

Malta21 Apr 2015 - 29 Apr 2015

After diving the Red Sea in January I was hooked. My next destination Malta,the trip was a learning experience for me as it was my first solo trip and had no idea what to expect.

Unfortunately Malta resembles a building site at the moment with all of the roadworks and developments underway but that wasn't why I was there.

After settling in on my first day, day 2 the diving began. I met up with some friends who were already there and doing their last day of diving and headed to St.Elmos Fort/harbour for the first two dives.

It was good to get back in the water, but typically me, I forgot my rock boots and had to dive in my brand new trainers. It was that or no dive. I can't remember the name of the wreck now, but we dived it twice and it was a great experience ideal for the first day after a couple of months break.

The water was still a little cold, so I bought s hood and gloves for the remainder of the week.

The remainder of the week much of my diving was at Cirkewwa with a guide from Scubatech, diving the P29, the Rozzi and the various reef dives. Nice to spot the Madonna.

Dive day 3 we headed for Gozo and the Blue Hole. Two dives again and both were majestic, the Blue Hole was a beautiful dive and the cliffs, drop offs are amazing. The inland sea was another fabulous dive and a very basic introduction to narrow gulley diving. My confidence was building.

Dive day 4 was back to Cirkewwa due to weather, but it was different again, beautiful swim throughs and a revisit of the P29.

All in all my trip to Malta was a great experience, I would have preferred going a little later in the year with warmer water, but I gather it gets swarmed with divers in the summer and what I love most about diving is the solitude.

Where next? I have yet to decide.

2

Mike Bednarz

I went diving in Malta several years ago - shame it is going through so much development! That said - you can't go wrong with the Blue Hole.

what are the best spots on malta to see rays and octopus?

We are visiting malta in july this year and we would like to see some rays and octopus! :)

1

Palmira Trentino

0 votes

I have dived all around Malta and seen octopus most dives. No rays though :( most dive centres will take you to dive sites all around the island not just where they are based so should see octopuses.

Lisa van der Cruijsen

0 votes

Thanks Palmira for your answer :) Too bad you didn't see any rays. I read somewhere that stingrays were seen at dive site p29 but maybe those people where just very lucky..

Rating 10/10

HMS Maori - Valletta - Malta

Malta1 Mar 2014 - 31 Dec 2014

WWII Wreck - Air raid attack and sank on 12th February 1942 - later moved to St. Elmo Bay - Depth 18 metres

The HMS Maori is in St Elmo Bay (Fort St. Elmo - Valletta in front of a cafe which has its outside walls covered with a number of painted Destroyers, amongst which is the HMS Maori.

HMS MAORI was ordered on the 10th March 1936 at the Fairfield Shipbuilding Co, Govan. Laid down on the 6th of July 1936, launched 2nd September 1937 and commissioned on the 5th December 1938, she saw considerable action in the Mediterranean, the Norwegian campaign, Atlantic convoys and the North Sea.

On February 12th 1942, it was moored at the entrance to Dockyard Creek, when it received a direct hit in her engine room. She was eventually set down in the back-water of St Elmo's Bay, on the sandy bottom at a depth of around 18 metres. Her guns were removed and the bows and stern are gone, however part of the raised bridge is still there. Divers can enter the remains quite easily, with exits through large holes in the starboard side. Although silted up, there are plenty of different types of fish and other creatures in and amongst the wreckage, which is covered with green weed and tube worms. Good Site to spot Sea Horses... Maximum depth - 18 metres.

HMSMaori hmsmaoriphotosharonforder1 HMSMAORI PETER LEMON OUTSIDE
Rating 10/10

Malta Diving - P31 Comino Island

Malta1 Jan 2013 - 31 Dec 2015 with Subway Scuba

WRECK - P31 Kondor-I Class Patrol Boat - Builders VEB Peenewerft, Wolgast

The P31 ex-Pasewalk, (Gs05, ex-G423) was Laid down on 12th December 1968, Launched on the 18th June 1969 and was in service till 18th October 1969. The P30 & P31 were acquired by the Armed Forces of Malta in 1992 and spent 12 years patrolling our coastal waters. The P31 was the patrol boat that managed to save a record of 250+ migrants from drowning in one operation in 2002.

P31 lies upright on a sandy bottom at a depth of 18-20 metres. The bow is 20 metres and the stern is 18m. Clearance from the surface is about 7 metres.

At this depth this wreck is excellent for: open water divers (as it is within their depth limits), the advanced divers and even for snorkellers as it can be seen from the surface through the crystal clear waters. The divers who did the check dive after the P31 went down, commented that shoals of damsel fish greeted them as they descended on the wreck.

subwayscubaP31 Wreck Comino subwayscubap31cominosites
diamond head discover scuba diving2

George Taylor

Excellent photos of the wreck!

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Subway Scuba

Thank you George :) Will try to upload more recent photos, the wreck is much nicer now as well.

Rating 10/10

Malta Diving - P29

Malta1 Jan 2013 - 31 Dec 2013 with Subway Scuba

The Armed Forces of Malta Patrol Boat P29 was scuttled at Cirkewwa on Tuesday 14th August 2007. The Boat now lies upright in Cirkewwa at a depth of 35 metres about 150 metres from shore.

Kondor-I Class Patrol Boat - Builders VEB Peenewerft, Wolgast

Displacement: 361 tons full load

Dimensions: 51.98 x 7.12 x 2.3 meters

Propulsion: 2 diesels, 2 shafts, 4,000 bhp, 20 knots

Crew: 20

Armament: 1 quad 14.5 mm

Former East German minesweeper transferred as unarmed patrol craft. Light armament added.

Number Name: P29 Year: 1996?/97 Fleet: MEDITERRANEAN Homeport: Valletta - Malta

ex-Boltenhagen

The P29 was together with the P31 recently decommissioned by the Armed Forces of Malta. Vessels both served with the Squadron for over 12 years and were responsible for many offshore missions including asserting control over Malta's Continental Shelf, anti-contraband missions and numerous border control operations.

The P29 has become a home to an abundance of Marine Life.... It is easy to penetrate and just a 6 minute swim from Suzie's Pool.

Alicia Mirabilis are every where on the wreck, during the day they are not much to see but on a night dive you will encounter a fantastic sight. These beautiful creatures are all open at night!

Squid, Flying Gurnards, Rays are all on and around the P29

divesubway p29 sharon metson divesubwayp29 peter lemon
Rating 10/10

Malta Diving - Tug Boat Rozi

Malta1 Jan 2013 - 31 Dec 2015 with Subway Scuba

At the North of Malta there is Marfa Point. The tugboat Rozi lies at a maximum depth of 36 metres. The Rozi was a 40 metre Tug Boat deliberately sunk in 1992 as an underwater attraction for glass-bottomed boat tours. The Rozi sits upright on the sandy seabed, intact except for its engines and propeller. This is one of the most popular dive sites on the Maltese Islands. The tugboat is surrounded by fish, including sea breams, scorpion fish, rainbow wrasses and cardinal fish. Max Depth – 36 m

DIVE MALTA SUBWAY ROZI 2 DIVE MALTA SUBWAY ROZI 4
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