The natural harbours around this glittering azure coast are resplendent with diverse marine life, and offer excellent conditions for underwater photography with great visibility up to 30 metres.
Corinthia St George’s Bay is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the best dive sites in Malta, with a private rocky beach at the Lido in St George’s Bay. Join the experienced and qualified instructors at the onsite Starfish Diving School for a free trial scuba dive to test the water, or go all in with a full PADI Course in open water diving.
Enigmatic by name, enigmatic by nature, the Blue Hole and the Chimney is an adventurous dive at the limits of San Lawrenz in Gozo. Although technically classified as a shore dive beside the famous Azure Window, it reaches maximum depths of 50 metres and explores the hidden, underwater world of starfish and bristle worms, among other species. The Chimney is a vertiginous fissure in the rock that must only be entered one diver at a time, while the Blue Hole is a slightly less claustrophobic affair.
A popular reef dive at the fringes of Għasri in Gozo, Reqqa Point is accessed via a rough beach road, from where a strong surge and swell makes the initial plunge a challenge. This spectacular coral reef has a parapet 30 metres below sea level, which drops down to an impressive 60 metres; if that sounds much too deep and dark, settle for the viewing point at 15 metres, where iridescent shoals of dentex and groupers feed on the nutrient-rich waters.
Either a shore dive or a boat dive – depending on how far you want to swim – the famous Tugboat Rozi is one the best dive sites in Malta. Little over a hundred metres from the coast lies the shipwreck of the tugboat Rozi, which was purposefully sunk in 1991 to be used as an attraction for tourists. The ruins of this 40-metre vessel are now covered with thousands of fish, from colourful rainbow wrasses to the venomous scorpion fish. You may even see a seahorse, if you’re lucky.
If abandoned underwater shipwrecks are your thing, you’ll love the Imperial Eagle: an authentic ruin of one of the ferryboats connecting Malta and Gozo. This interesting wreck dive passes through the ship’s barnacled hold, which you can explore for yourself at depths of 40 metres. Beside the eerie ruin is a surreal 13-tonne statue of Jesus Christ, which was blessed by Pope John Paul in 1990 to protect the Maltese fishermen.
Diver or no diver, anyone who has taken the boat trip out to Comino shouldn’t pass on the opportunity to explore the beautiful Santa Maria Caves. This accessible boat dive is suitable for all levels of expertise, with depths ranging between five and 20 metres. Shallow doesn’t mean boring here, as an abundance of moray eels, octopus, and miscellaneous shoals of fish provide endless opportunities for underwater photography. The entire coastline of Comino is also great for snorkelling, so those who’d rather not don scuba gear don’t have to miss out.
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.