DIVE  SITES

The Madonna

Location

Cirkewwa, North Malta

Depth/length

18m, 40-50 mins

Madonna Statue photo

The Dive:

Entry is easy into a 1m deep pool, then out into a life-packed shallow reef of 5m, down a valley to 11m. Once at the drop off you follow a beautiful wall with a gentle sloping bottom towards a small cavern, where the Madonna watches over the divers and marine life. This is a great dive for searching for critters and usually your first dive on the Island. It is also a fabulous site for night dives‚ and strongly recommended during your visit.

Sightings:

Wrass, Parrot Fish, Grouper, Large Bream, Octopus, Moray Eel, Cuttle Fish, Cardinal Fish, Slipper Lobster, Unicorn Shrimp

Anchor Bay Cave/Popeye Village

Location

Mellieha, West Coast Malta

Depth/length

12m, 40-50 mins

Anchor Bay photo

The Dive:

Although this is an easy shallow site, it constantly surprises even the most hardened dive junkies. It starts with a critter search through boulders, then to a large open cavern at 8m where, if you choose to enter, the light of the exit is always visible. Continue approx 15m in, then you can surface into a stunning bell shaped cave. Then, air permitting, the return journey brings you to the other side of the bay to locate one of the large anchors said to hold Malta in place. This dive has it all - rocky reef, cavern, lovely sand patches, and walls to dive around. Also a great site for Night Diving - recently we had an amazing encounter with a large adult electric ray who enjoyed a good tickle!

Sightings:

Moray Eel, Octopus, Triplefin, Flying Gurnard, Turbot, Stingray, Electric Ray, Saupe, Grouper, Bream, Flounder.

The Right Arch

Location

Cirkewwa‚ North Malta

Depth/length

18m, 40-50 mins

Right Arch photo

The Dive:

Enjoyable wall and reef dive, involving some nice swim-throughs. The destination is a breathtaking natural archway in the reef, behind which is often found large schools of Barracuda and Amber Jack.

Sightings:

Barracuda, Amber Jack, Tuna, Giant Sea Snail, Octopus, Scorpion Fish, Anemone Crab.

Paradise Bay

Location

Cirkewwa‚ North Malta

Depth/length

18m, 40-50 mins

Paradise Bay arch

The Dive:

One of the most scenic dives in Malta, stunning rock formations, swim-throughs, and a beautiful natural rock arch which has been affectionately named Temple Arch due to its stunning symmetry and grandeur. Large Morays are common poking their heads from the large boulders. As this is a little known dive site, large and strange encounters are often reported. During the winter, we even had a resident Trigger Fish chasing divers away from its nest!

Sightings:

Moray Eel, Nudibranch, Octopus, Grouper, Bream, Serpent Seastars, Trigger Fish.

The Blue Grotto

Location

Wied iz Zurrieq ‚ South West Malta

Depth/length

12-30m, 40-50 mins

Blue Grotto photo

The Dive:

This reef is very pretty, with a sloping wall - starting in the valley, it curves around the entrance and drops away to around 30m. However you can easily choose to do it shallower - most of the life is around 12 to 18m, but experience has shown that the sighting of large grouper happens at the deeper depths. Various channels and cracks in the wall are ideal hiding spots for the Octopus, and this site boasts a healthy number of Red Cardinal Fish, which hang motionless in the crevices and caves in the wall. The elusive John Dory, giant Bearded Fireworms, and the rare Sea Hare are spotted here more than any other site.

Sightings:

Grouper, Octopus, Bream, Cuttlefish, SeaHare, Bearded Fireworm, Cardinal Fish.

Ghar Lapsi

Location

North of Wied iz Zurrieq ‚ South West Malta

Depth/length

12m, 40-50 mins

Ghar Lapsi photo

The Dive:

Starting with a spectacular cavern, where light penetrates through cracks in the ceiling and exits along the cave, this dive is ideal for photography. You can choose your exits, making the cavern easy or squeezy! The squeezy is fun and very safe. Located in a beautiful secluded cove, which makes it a perfect second dive after either the Um el Faroud wreck or the Blue Grotto.

Sightings:

Flying Gurnard, Stingray, Lizard Fish, Octopus, Cuttle Fish.

L`Ahrax

Location

Dwejra ‚ North/West Gozo

Depth/length

18/35m, 40-50 mins

L`Ahrax photo

The Dive:

Starting at the nursery area on the shallow reef, air permitting it`s possible to make it to the underwater entrance to a large blow hole - however this can be a challenge to get to, and is usually better to be attempted by boat.

Sightings:

Bream, Parrot Fish, Cuttle Fish, Dusky Grouper, Saupe, Cardinal Fish, Nudibranch, Moray Eel, Octopus.

Blue Hole, Gozo

Location

Dwejra ‚ North/West Gozo

Depth/length

18/35m, 40-50 mins

Blue Hole Gozo photo

The Dive:

A must do! This is the signature dive site of Gozo - it begins with a breathtaking 10m wide chimney, previously overlooked by the gigantic Azure window. As you descend, a natural rock arch appears, forming a doorway before you, leading to the open sea. Large Grouper are a common sight here, along with the occasional Spiny Lobster. Leaving the chimney behind you, large boulders provide cover for countless families of Parrot Fish. The jagged fallen boulders have come from the ex-Azure Windows which dramatically collapsed in 2017, forming a whole new underwater experience! Heading around the base of the arch leg you can pick your depth up to 40m. Wherever you choose to go, an amazing variety of marine life awaits. Heading back to the reef wall there are a number of swim-throughs, towards an enormous vertical crack in the reef. Starting at 18m and climbing up towards a coral garden at 4m‚ this is one possible exit - however you can return to the Blue Hole from here too, and the cavern at the base of the Hole is always worth a visit, with regular sighting of huge conger eels hiding in the dark of the cavern, before ascending.

Sightings:

Schools of Bream, Parrot Fish, Large Dusky Grouper, Saupe, Cardinal Fish, Nudibranch, Moray Eel, Lobster, Octopus.

Inland Sea‚ Gozo

Location

Dwejra‚ North/West Gozo

Depth/length

18/35+m, 40-50 mins

Inland Sea Gozo photo

The Dive:

As the name suggests the dive starts in a large scenic inlet - a natural lake surrounded by stunning rock faces. A short surface swim across to the open cave, 70m long, which leads through the Island to the open sea. The cave is open, with 8m above the surface for tourist boats to travel through, out to the Azure Window. Below the surface it begins at 5m and drops to beyond 30m at the exit to the sea. Light is not normally an issue on this dive, but some divers use a small torch to investigate the cavern walls. As you travel along the cavern towards the exit, a shaft of blue light beckons you onward, getting bigger and bigger until you are suspended at the exit, surrounded in the bright light. Although the reefs here are beautiful and have lots of life on them, the cave is something you will always remember - it`s something completely different to do, and another must do during your visit!

Sightings:

John Dory, Octopus, Cardinal Fish, Barracuda, Parrot Fish, Spotted Doris.

Mgarr ix Xini‚ Gozo

Location

West Gozo

Depth/length

12m, 40-50 mins

Mgarr ix Xini photo

The Dive:

One of Gozo`s best kept secrets; although only a shallow dive it`s great for Octopus and Sea Horse hunting. Then, following a pretty wall to the right hand side of the bay, out towards the mouth of the inlet we arrive at a large open cavern around 8m across and 20m or so to the back. After investigating and checking the walls for Sea Horses, we make our way across the sandy bay to return along the other side to get a better chance of seeing the rare Flying Gurnard and, if the Gods are smiling, some Cuttle Fish displaying the many colours they`re famous for. A shallow critter hunt which often packs a surprise encounter.

Sightings:

Cuttle Fish, Octopus, Flying Gurnard, Sea Horse, Saupe, Bream, Nudibranch.

Lantern Point‚ Comino

Location

South East Comino ‚ Boat Dive

Depth/length

18/35m, 40-50 mins

Lantern Point entrance to crack in reef floor

The Dive:

There`s nothing nicer than jumping off the back of a boat right over your dive site - as the anchor drops you can feel the excitement building. We jump in over a shallow 6m reef, taking a westward bearing, a short swim brings us to a crack in the reef floor. This is the opening to a large, exciting chimney, which we descend passing interesting rock formations as we go. The cave levels out and continues towards the outer wall of the reef at 15m. From here you can pick your depth around the boulders, and along a beautiful wall, the deeper sections beyond 30m offering swim-throughs. Normally this dive offers incredible visibility, and the chance for encounters with larger marine life.

Sightings:

Grouper, Moray Eel, Bream, Saupe, Painted Comber.

Santa Maria Caves‚ Comino

Location

East Comino, Boat Dive

Depth/length

10/21m, 40-50 mins

Fish-feeding at Santa Maria Caves

The Dive:

Dropping in over a large sandy area, you are immediately surrounded by the local welcoming committee of Sea Bream. We begin this dive with a dramatic fish feed, which is a great opportunity for some amazing photos. Then it`s off to explore the beautiful caves, most of which are non-overhead environments‚ suitable for Open Water Divers. The openings in the cave roof offer great light, and because of the caves` natural beauty they were used for the treasure scene in the movie The Count of Monte Cristo. Once through the cave the dive heads towards a large pinnacle out in open water, which is home to lots of marine life. When ready to return it`s back through the cave system using other channels so you have a good chance to really explore this amazing natural cavern.

Sightings:

Cuttle Fish, Octopus, Flying, Saupe, Bream, Nudibranch, Moray Eel, Grouper.

Alex`s Cave‚ Comino

Location

West Comino, Boat Dive

Depth/length

18m, 40-50 mins

Alex`s Cave, Comino

The Dive:

Entering through a small archway in the reef, out to a rocky reef and wall area, we head over to a huge sandy area where we find Cleaver Wrass, Turbot and other interesting life. Then it`s over to the wall to find the cave entrance - a huge crack in the reef wall. As you enter, and your eyes adjust to the new light, ahead a vertical opening in the ceiling, stretching up to the surface, becomes visible giving you more daylight which entices you further inside. At this point the cave bears left, and the light seems to disappear - however a quick look over the shoulder reassures you that the exit can clearly be seen‚ even from the very back of the cavern. For an added bonus you can surface inside this cavern - but it is from a depth of 15m, so only those who don`t have issues with equalising should attempt this as the only exit is back through the underwater entrance of the cave.

Sightings:

Cuttle Fish, Sting Ray, Wrass, Turbot, Flying Gurnard, Turbot.

HMS Maori

Location

Valleta

Depth/length

15m, 40-50 mins

HMS Maori photo

The Dive:

Situated in St. Elmo`s bay in Valleta, the HMS Maori is just a 5 minute swim from our entry point. This World War II wreck lies in just 14m, and is an ideal dive for divers of all levels. The wreck, which was bombed on the 12 February 1942, is easy to navigate and although it`s nearing 70 years old, parts of it are clearly visible, like the gun turrets and main deck. You are also able to swim through the structure, but be careful not to kick up the silt. One of the most exciting parts of the dive is seeing the 3 shell cases which were uncovered by rough seas a few years ago, still with the date markings on them. After exploring the wreck, take a few minutes to look in the sea grass for Sea Horses, or on the sandy seabed for Octopus and Flying Gurnard.

Sightings:

Cuttlefish, Octopus, Fling Gurnard, Bream, Wrasse, Moray Eels, Cardinal Fish.

The Rozi Tugboat

Location

North Malta

Depth/length

35m, 40-50 mins

The Rozi Photo

The Dive:

The most famous wreck dive in the Maltese Islands, scuttled in 1992 as a tourist attraction, the Rozi has been delighting divers for nearly 20 years. Sitting on a sandy seabed not far from the reef edge, this 40m long Tugboat is home for an incredible array of marine life. From the smallest Nudibranch to the huge Morays & Wreck Fish there`s something for everyone. Penetration is available and interesting but limited on this wreck. The rear section is open, allowing easy access to the engine area. The deck level has some passageways and rooms, the wheel house is still perfectly intact and offers some great photo opportunities. At 34m, this dive is recommended for advanced or above – well worth taking your wreck, deep or advanced course to see!

Sightings:

Bream, Eagle Ray, Wreck Fish, Barracuda, Dusky Grouper, Saupe, Nudibranch, Moray Eel, Octopus.

Video:

Video of the Rozi dive, Feb 2015

P29 Patrol Boat

Location

Cirkewwa, North Malta

Depth/length

35m, 40-50 mins

The P29 Patrol Boat Photo

The Dive:

If you`re a metal head, then you`ll love this dive! Scuttled in 2007, this wreck is in pristine condition. With it being relatively new, marine life is growing day-by-day. The P29 has so many doors and holes chopped in it, you can go almost anywhere inside. Penetration is still very easy, all knobs and levers can still be turned and twisted. Average depth for this dive is 30m, and visibility ranges from 20-40m.

Um el Faroud

Location

Wied iz Zurrieq ‚ South West Malta

Depth/length

34m, 40-50 mins

Um El Faroud

The Dive:

The Um el Faroud is a tanker ship sitting upright at a depth of 35m. This is a large wreck‚ approx 110m long and 16m wide. This dive is recommended for advanced divers and above due to the depth, distance and currents that can be experienced here. The Um el Faroud is great for penetration as doors and windows have been removed for your safety. The rudder and propellor are still intact making a great photo opportunity, and there`s an abundance of marine life both on the wreck and nearby reef.

Sightings:

Barracuda, Large Bream, Nudibranch, Damsel Fish, Jacks, Spanish Dancers, Octopus.

MV Karwela

Location

Xatt L Ahmar‚ Gozo

Depth/length

42m, 30-32 mins

MV Karwela

The Dive:

Scuttled for divers in 2006, the MV Karwela was previously a passenger ferry used by the Captain Morgan tour company. 50m in length, sitting upright & intact on the sand, there`s plenty to explore. The twin screws are still in position and penetration is easy, using the doors and stairways, eventually bringing you up to the wheelhouse. There is also a surprise find situated on the rear deck platform, for those with keen eyes. This wreck is close to a dramatic wall, and has a nice reef to make the required safety stop, enjoyable on the return journey.

Sightings:

Bream, Cuttle Fish, Dusky Grouper, Saupe, Nudibranch, Moray Eel, Octopus.

MV Cominoland

Location

Xatt L Ahmar, Gozo

Depth/length

42m, 30-40 mins

MV Cominoland

The Dive:

Built in 1942, serving as passenger & car ferry, then scuttled in August 2006 alongside the Karewla, the Cominoland is another superb wreck to play on. Only recently sunk, marine life is just beginning to make it home, but excellent penetration is available and with some slight storm damage to the bow end this gives the wreck a spooky feel. With the addition of these two new wrecks in Xatt L Ahmar, Gozo is worth a couple of visits, with the famous Blue Hole and Inland Sea sites making an excellent 2nd day. Again, the depth of this dive would be better suited to those with training or experience in the deeper side of diving.

Sightings:

Bream, Cuttle Fish, Dusky Grouper, Saupe, Nudibranch, Moray Eel, Octopus.

P31 Patrol Boat

Location

Comino

Depth/length

18m, 50-60 mins

The P31 Patrol Boat Photo

The Dive:

Visitors to the P31 would be excused for having that deja vu feeling, as this is the sister ship of the ex-mine-sweeper Boltenhagen (P29). However this wreck sits in only 18m of water, and offers amazing bottom time and therefore every nook & cranny can be explored. Although the exterior of the ship is the same, the internal layout differs quite considerably, with more rooms to investigate. The shallow depth also provides great light for photography. As for marine life, it seems the inhabitants of Comino have been waiting for some new real-estate, as it`s becoming rapidly populated by Bream, Chromis, Octopus & even Cuttle Fish have been spotted around the stern. Finally, a really impressive wreck that divers without the higher certifications can enjoy!

Sightings:

Bream, Cuttle Fish, Chromis, Saupe, Nudibranch, Octopus, Sand Smelts.

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