Where would you like to dive?
Here are the most popular dives around the Maltese Islands suitable for recreational divers with depths ranging from 10mt to 42mt.
Note that not all divers can visit all dive sites since qualification and experience requirements apply for safety reasons. Learn more about the qualifications required by viewing the specific information provided on the map for each individual site.
Hover over the map here below to view more information about the individual sites:
The Cirkewwa Arch is actually a cavern which has long since collapsed leaving this spectacular arch as a result. The arch stands just before the drop-off in a depth of 18 meters rising all the way up to 6 meter below the surface. Divers often start at the protective reef nearby which is full of algae and posidonia. Pelagic species such as Skipjacks, Amberjacks and Barracudas are often encountered patrolling the reef in search of their next prey.
Rozi is a 40 meter long tugboat which was scuttled as a tourist attraction in 1992 by Captain Morgan Cruises whose original intent was to take visitors down to the wreck with a small submarine appropriately colored yellow. She is located at about 100 meters out from the jetty and is still fully intact except engine and propellers which were taken off before sinking. The wrecks sits in upright position on a sandy bottom attracting numerous fish and divers alike.
P29, a Kondor Class former Minesweeper and Patrol Boat, was purposefully scuttled on 14th August 2007 as new divers’ attraction and artificial reef to encourage fish population to grow. The 52mt ship was built by Peenewerft shipyard as a Minesweeper for the German Navy and later served with the Armed Forces of Malta for over 12 years where it was involved in numerous patrol and border control operations. Both engines where taken out and the entire ship was stripped off all contaminates as an environmental measure before the sinking.
Scorpion cave located in Anchor Bay, a dive which is usually better known as Popeye Village as this bay was the movie setting for the muscial film ‘Popeye’ in 1980 staring Robin Williams. This very unsual scene of old wooden houses nowadays is a popular turist attraction and it is located in between two cliffs with the dive site directly opposite of it reachable by a small jetty and a rugged road. There are many boulders inside the bay which have formed nice swimthroughs and small caverns. Along the left side of the cliff one can find the entrance to a cave often known scorpion cave. Its entrance is at 6 meters but only completely submerged for the first few meters holding a large airpocket supplied with fresh air from the outside. This is a brilliant dive offering a large biodiversity and spectacular views both above and below surface. Years ago even used to spot little scorpions attached to the ceiling in the inner part of the cave – hence the name.
Ghar Lapsi holds a remarkably serious of caverns and swim-throughs connecting the inner sheltered bay to the outer side of the reef. The main cavern presents a flattened and elongated contour with flashing rays of light penetrating from the cracks in the ceiling above. Because this is such a shallow and easy dive it’s a great choice if you just want to chill out and have a ‘bimble around’ looking for octopus, cuttlefish or the elusive seahorse.
Built in 1969 this 110mt gas tanker, last owned by a Libyan company, was the setting of a tragic explosion occurred during the night of 3rd Feb 1995 while undergoing maintenance work resulting in the death of 9 shipyard workers. 3 years later it was finally concluded that the ship was no longer seaworthy and this contributed to creating another divers’ attraction and artificial reef attracting large numbers of fish. Nowadays the wreck is broken in two large chunks, after a severe storm hit caused it to separate, and is now home to regular shoals of barracudas and other pelagic fish. An engraved memorial plate with the names of the shipyard workers who perished in the incident is still visible on the main bridge today.
The Bristol Blenheim Bomber is a mysterious plane wreck that served the British army during WWII. Its history is unclear but due to its location we do know that this 17 meter wide plane was shot down in its approach to Malta. Engine, wings, propellers and pilot seat can still be seen, but many parts are unrecognizable. The front of the cabin was separated from the wreck when it hit the water and now lies just a few meters before the wreck which sits on a sandy bottom. It is common to find a discreet current on the site so divers must be well prepared and fit for the dive.
The originally 115 meter long British tribal class destroyer, HMS Maori, is one of the most popular ship wrecks in the Maltese waters. She was of strategic importance during WWII and also contributed to the sinking of the famous German Bismark. She sank in February 1942 during one of the several night air bombing raids leaving, luckily, only one casualty. A bomb hit the engine room which led to partial sinking of the ship. This was followed by quickly stripping her from useful equipment and guns and when everything salvageable was off board she was dragged out of the shipping lane to her current location where she still rests today. Nowadays she lies close to the main harbor of Valetta next to St Elmo’s fort at only 70 meters from shore and is a very interesting historical wreck.
The X127 Lighter, previously also known as ‘Carolita’, is a 32 mt barge which used to carry shale oil for the Tenth Submarine Flotilla in Marsamxette Harbor during WWII. The X lighter was heavily hit and eventually sunk after a succession of bomber attacks on the Islands by the enemy. Today it appears to be a very special wreck as recent research found out it is the only known survival of a 1915 X-lighters class. They were originally built for the Gallipoli campaign to supply water to their troops on the Dardanellas, which was of vital interest to create a safe passage to Turkey. It is reached by an easy swim out of Manoel Island and you will see many pieces scattered around the silty seabed.
Imperial Eagle - Wreck
The ’Imperial Eagle’ was a ferry boat which originally was used to cross between the two main Islands, Malta to Gozo, carrying a maximum load of 70 passengers, 10 cars and goods during 1958 and 1968. For the next 20 years, it was then adopted as a cargo ship on the same route. It was originally bought to replace the world famous ’Calypso’ when the latter was donated to Jacques Yves Cousteau. On July 19th. 1999, the 43m long vessel was scuttled about 300 meters north east of Qawra Point. It now stands upright on a 40m sandy bottom 50 mt away from the Christ Statue – another “must see” place.
This is a mini ‘Malta version’ of the inland sea in Gozo. The dive features an entertaining reef made up of large boulders, gullies and a swim-trough leading into a large cavern in not more than 3 or 4 mt of water. Most of the cavern is missing the top part forming a large circular rock formation permitting light and warmth to get straight inside. A shoal of bright red cardinal fish is always on duty to welcome the divers through the entrance of the cavern. This site can be accessed both from shore and boat even if the last option is often preferred to a long swim to get to the cavern entrance.
All those who dived this site will tell you that this is one of the best sites around the Maltese Islands. Firstly it’s a boat dive which is already a bonus. Then the dive offers a stunning mix of life mostly, represented by a huge shoal of saddled bream, an interconnected cave system and a surrounding reef with peculiar rock formations such as the Zorro swim-through and the arch. Care must be taken during the busy summer season since this place is also very popular with boaters and sight-seeing cruises which can be a hazard for the divers below.
Inland Sea is the name of a large circular lagoon of about 60 meters wide. She can be reached by walking, boating but also by diving from the sea inwards through a narrow 70 meter long open canyon. Entering the canyon is easy from the sea side where it has a height of 16 meters. But from the inland sea side the entrance in less than a meter. The canyon is about 25 meter deep under the water, creating a huge cave. On exciting the tunnel that connect the inner bay to the other part of the cave you will be mesmerized by the deep blue color of the open sea where the seafloor drops off vertically into the blue. No wonder Jacques Yves Cousteau included this site in his top 10 sites worldwide.
The Blue Hole, near Dwerja Point, is renowned world wide mostly for it’s uniquely combination of the azure window and the blue hole. At every corner of the site you will find a swim-through, a cave or large boulders – if not, it’s because you’re just hovering with the cliff wall on one side dropping to the deep and the open water to the other side. This is a place which presents large contrasts between reefs and deep blue water, large fish and minute creature living off the reef. To full appreciate the dive the entrance from shore is a must however you must prepare for a rugged walk down to the water – but don’t worry, it’s all well worth.
Mgarr ix-xini is the typical place where you can get away from everything and simply enjoy the relaxing sound of the waves splashing on the pebelly beach - execpt during the busy summer months where even here is completly packed. The valley streching out from the higher lands meets with the sea where it forms a secluded natural harbour. The actual name ‘mgarr ix-xini’ literlilly means ‘Gullet Port’ after the knights used to hide their ships from wind and enemy ships. The dive offers the divers an easy entry from shore followed by a shallow dive in search of lizardfish, cuttlefish and flying gurnards over the sandy bottom. Seahorses, rays and jondories show up on a regular basis too. Furthure out from the entry point you can also visit a couple of caves, if you’re good on air.....
The MV Cominoland is one of the latest wrecks that was scuttled, together with the nearby ‘Karwela’, by the Maltese government on August 2006 to even further increase diving tourism in Gozo. She started as a British Miner in 1942 and became a passenger and car ferry between Gozo and Comino. She could load more than 400 passengers and 10 cars and in all her years as a ferry no accidents happened. She was decommissioned due to old age when local authorities decided to scuttle here in front of Xatt L-Ahmar. Originally renamed from Minor Eagle (1968), Cominoland (1976), Jylland II (1980) and again to her final name the Cominoland, today this site offers a great dive to deep specialty and tec divers.
The 50 meter long MV Karwela was sunk on August 2006 together with nearby ‘MV Cominoland’ to help place Malta & Gozo even more as a top class diving destination. It’s easily reached both from shore starting your dive across flat rocks or by boat. As you can guess from such a recently scuttled wreck, marine life and fauna have not completely colonized the structure, but they will eventually lead to help expanding local wild life in such areas too. During the scuttle buoyancy tanks have been used to make sure both wrecks land upright which is how they still can be found today. She is located just of the coast from Xatt L-Ahmar and started in 1957 as the MS Frisia II, renamed to the Nordpaloma in 1977 before she came to Malta in 1986 to serve as a passenger ferry with a maximum of 800 persons and no cars.
Taken from the name itself, this boat dive offers a good opportunity to visit a reef featuring at the drop off two large circular swim-throughs. Surrounded by deeper water this place often offers the chance to spot large pelagic fish such as barracuda, skipjack tuna and amberjacks. Massive boulders, lush marine vegetation, some small caves and overhangs all contribute to give that extra thing look at and admire making it a thrilling dive.
The small island Cominotto, hold a spectacular cave dive named Alex Cave (probably after a local diver who had discovered it). Guided by our instructors you can enjoy a shallow easy dive starting from the blue lagoon, passing through an initial cavern then drop down to the mushroom rock, around the overhang, past fake entrance to the second cave and finally through Alex cave. It sounds a little bit like trying to find a lost treasure but this fits in perfectly with the adventurous spirit that Comino and it’s dives offers. The truth is that long time ago pirates who infested central Mediterranean and with it the Maltese islands, really used Comino as a hide-away, so you never know … you might get lucky and strike gold !!
This site, also used as a fair way for the Gozo ferry crossing the channel, offers an interesting mix of life, drop offs, swim-throughs and large boulders all at one go. The ‘Chimney’ is the centre piece in which an ‘L’ Shaped tunnel takes you from 6 to 18mt deep to a lower shelve on the reef. This is followed by the passage under large boulders of rock which can lead you over 30mt deep after which you leave them behind (the boulders, not your buddies) to the opposite side where a steep wall extends from the surface to the bottom. The steep wall in conjunction with the actual positioning of the dive site, at the edge of the channel between Malta and Gozo, creates a current that can be very strong at times.
(extract taken from the book ‘Call Out’, page 227 a wartime diary of air/sea rescue operations at Malta written by Frederick R. Galea).
Former AFM Patrol Boat P31 was another project under taken by the local authorities to promote and improve the Maltese Diving Industry. Up until this site Comino lacked any form of wreck associated attraction and this was a logical choice to go with provided local operators with both an alternate site when weather conditions limit the divable sites as well as making it equally accessible to divers from Malta and Gozo alike.
Just around the reef from the Blue hole, this cave offers an incredible mix of biodiversity with an intense blue color accompanied with a startling game of light and shadows. The cave’s ceiling is entirely covered with soft corals providing the diver with an array of bright, sharp colors when the true color is revealed with a torch. For this reason most divers just prefer to look upwards and admire the beautiful tapestries that every inch of this cave is covered in. For those who have an eye for spotting things, it is common to encounter a variety of very well camouflaged crabs and other crustaceans peacefully grazing and holding on upside down.
This small, barren, uninhabited islet 5 kilometres south of Malta is the most southerly point forming the Maltese Archipelago.The name is believed to come from filfel, the Arabic word for a peppercorn. Filfla has an area of just 6 hectares and is a crumbling flat-topped limestone plateau surrounded by 60 metre high cliffs. Until 1971 the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force used the island for target practice. It became a bird reserve in 1980. The Filfla Natural Reserve Act, enacted in 1988, provided for further restrictions on access and use, including a prohibition on fishing within a nautical mile around the island due to the possibility of encountering unexploded ordnance. Access to Filfla is only possible for educational or scientific purposes and visitors, including recreational divers, must get prior permission from the Ministry responsible for the environment. The diving here is all about drop-off reefs, deep blue waters and the possibility to encounter large predators such as Barracudas and Tuna.
The MV Xlendi was one of the early attempts to boost the diving industry in Malta by means of scuttling old ferry boats. The 80mt ship was used to carry passengers and vehicles between Malta and Gozo as part of the channel crossing service. The ferries were later replaced by more modern ships and the Xlendi was finally destined to end its days at the bottom of the sea bed as a diver’s attraction and artificial reef. Unfortunately the adverse weather conditions on the day of the sinking led to the wreck capsizing during the final stages of the scuttling and eventually landed on the sea bed up side down. This eventually led to the main upper decks to be buried and squashed by the shear weight of the hull above making most part of the wreck not safe to enter.
This iconic dive is at the centre of Malta’s most popular dive site, Cirkewwa, also mistakenly known as Marfa point. The Madonna statue can be found in a small cavern just below the drop-off from Suzie’s pool entrance. The idea came from the Amphibians, a local dive club, who wanted to place the Madonna on the reef in order to look after and protect all divers in the area. Nowadays this site has become very popular and the statue just contributed to add that extra charm to it. All round the area breath taking drop-offs, marine life, little caverns and swim-throughs enchant even the most experienced diver making one of the must see sites in Malta.
This dive site gets it’s name from the famous secluded sandy beach that rests across the bay. It’s a great place for night dives when it’s more common to make close encounters with cuttlefish, octopus, moray eels, and if you’re lucky some squid too which tend to use the surrounding reef to lay their eggs in the winter months. Just off the drop-off from the entry site you can also spot a few roman amphora replicas and future out in slightly deeper water an old roman anchor (replica). Venturing future round the reef you can also enjoy and practice your buoyancy skills in a few swim-throughs.
These wrecks, one a Tanac Type “St Michael” 20 meters in length built in 1944 by a Canadian Company & the other 16 meters long, Melita Type” number 10” saw many years of service towing numerous other ships around Grand Harbor. Just like in other sites these where deliberately scuttled mainly to offer an alternative site to other dive sites. In fact Marsascala Bay is well sheltered from North West Wind, this feature is very important for Scuba Diving in Malta, since the main diving sites are unsuitable for diving when confronted by a strong North Westerly sea swell. The wrecks were scuttled on a flat sandy bottom, free of posidonia and at a depth of 21 metres. At this depth most divers from beginners to advance level are able to dive these wrecks and it’s a great place to conduct your wreck or navigation specialties.
The MV Odile (also known as the Margit) was an old steam-freighter that sank in course of a bombing attack on April 4, 1942 at Kalkara reef, off Grand Harbour (La Valletta). The wreck was discovered in late Seventies. The hull is in poor condition because it was devastated by the explosions, (the bow and the propellers are missing), and lies on its port side. The wreck covers a large area and is difficult to find in poor visibility without local knowledge. It is recommended that only experienced divers actually penetrate the wreck as proper equipment including reels are needed.
This site offers the perfect setting for a relaxing chill out dive. The entry can be tricky due to the rough and sharp rocks but with the help of “your buddy” this should be a minor thing. The site is dominated with beds of posidonia (a typical Mediterranean grass). At certain points gullies form to give texture and places to look for little creature like crabs, seahorses and the ever present octopus. Not far from the entry point is also a small swim-through that is just the cherry on the topping to shallow stress free dive.
The dive start off the ruged and sharp rocks off Reqqa point so special care must be taken during entry and exit. The site caractrisitcs make it suitable for all level of divers having some shallow reef areas sloping to much greather depths hitting the 70mt + mark making a great place for tec divers as well. Apart the steep reef wall that extends all round the area the another two main features attracting a good number of divers in the area are the bottle neck cave (extending from 35 to 62mt) and the bilinghurst cave (with a maximum depth of 35mt). It’s important to remind all those wishing to visit this area that each diver must meet the required level of training in order to dive a specific part of the site.
This lonely rock just outside Mgarr ix-Xini offers a beautiful naturalist boat dive. Fessej Rock is a tall, circular and vertical column of rock which rises about 15 metres (50 feet) above the water and plunges vertically 50 metres to the seabed, amidst a number of huge boulders. The average depth of the dive is of 30 metres, and one encounters large schools of fish, tube worms and squat lobsters, dentex and amberjacks. Barracuda, tuna and grouper, as well as octopus and other lobster can be found on this dive.