With its secluded bays and brilliant blue sea it’s no surprise that visitors to Malta spend quite so much time in the water. But for those adventurous souls who prefer their scenery submerged, the watery depths of the Maltese coastline offers startlingly beautiful vistas. From the secluded waters of Fomm ir-Rih Bay and Mgarr ix-Xin to popular local sites like Ghar Lapsi and Gnejna Bay, there are basically no bad spots to go snorkelling in Malta. But if you have to choose – after all, there’s only so much time – here are some of the very best.
The waters along this beautiful stretch of coastline are perfectly crystalline, meaning excellent visibility for snorkellers. Just off Gozo’s southern coast, Ħondoq ir-Rummien (which translates roughly to “Pomegranate Moat”) offers some incredible caves at water level, making this a popular spot for both diving and snorkelling. Make sure to take in the views out over Comino Island as well as the aquatic sights below.
Although there isn’t a beach at Ghar Lapsi, there are some rocky outcrops that are perfect for perching and catching some sun in between dips. For some of the best snorkelling in Malta, swim out of the inlet and follow the coastline underneath the Dingli Cliffs. You’ll most likely encounter local children launching themselves off the rocks into the deep water here – it’s a favourite summertime activity.
Located near Wied il-Għajn (also known as Marsascala), the reef at Zonqor Point is swarming with marine life. In fact, the whole coastal stretch from Zonqor Point to nearby St. Thomas Bay is particularly good for snorkelling because of the variety of aquatic life, but remember to watch out for boats coming in and out of the harbour.
Fancy a bit of peace and quiet? Secluded Fomm ir-Rih Bay on Malta’s western coast promises tranquillity along with great snorkelling, thanks in large part to the effort required to get here. But don’t be deterred – although there’s a descent down a steep, rocky pathway, once you get to the bay there’s nothing but calm seas and incredible views, both above and below the water.
Popular with locals, Gnejna Bay on Malta’s northwest coast (near the small town of Mgarr) has a sandy beach, rocky outcrops, and perfectly clear water. Keep an eye out (or rather, studiously avoid) for the unofficial nudist spot to the right hand side of the beach…
Despite being smaller than its neighbouring islands, Comino Island is practically paradisiacal, especially for snorkelers. Although there are great snorkelling spots all over the island, there are a couple of highlights worth adding to your itinerary– most notably the famed Blue Lagoon.
Mgarr ix-Xini is a secluded bay on the island of Gozo, close to the village of Sannat. There’s a 17th century watchtower overlooking the pebble beach at this picturesque spot and high limestone cliffs surrounding the bay, which shelter swimmers and snorkellers from the winds and keep the waters calm and clear. One of the most photogenic places to go snorkelling in Malta, make sure to bring an underwater camera with you.
Are you an art lover or culture vulture holidaying in Malta? Well, you’ll be pleased to find that this Mediterranean island may be small, but it packs a punch when it comes to art and culture. Here are six recommended destinations to add to your itinerary to experience the best of Malta’s art scene.