The three Islands that make up the Maltese Archipelago - Malta, the largest; Gozo, the mythical isle of Calypso; and tiny Comino, famous for its Blue Lagoon - form a very special diving site at the heart of the Mediterranean. The Islands invite you to discover their natural harbours, bays, sheltered creeks, cliffs, reefs and wrecks. The waters here are some of the most limpid and clear in the world. Visibility is excellent down to around 30 metres. So Malta is a dream destination for underwater photography. Marine life flourishes in a vibrant display of colours.
With dive sites just a stone's throw away from each other, you will be able to explore a variety of underwater worlds. We've listed some 36 of the best known dive sites ranging from labyrinthine caves to reefs and wartime wrecks. For more excitement, try a night dive or dive deeper to 30 or 40 metres. Colours appear almost fluorescent by torchlight. For the more experienced, these dives offer a unique adventure.
• Irqieqa Point, Comino
• Santa Maria Caves, Comino
• Reqqa Point, Ghasri, Gozo
• Dwejra Point, Dwejra, Gozo
• Mgarr ix-Xini, Gozo
• Xlendi Reef, Gozo
• Xlendi Cave, Gozo
• Fungus Rock, Gozo
• Crocodile Rock and Coral Cave, Gozo
• The Blue Hole and The Chimney, Gozo
• San Dimitri Point, Gozo
• Ghasri Valley, Gozo
• Double Arch Reef, Gozo
• Xatt l-Ahmar, Gozo
• Fessej Rock, Gozo
• Il-Kantra, Gozo
• Cominotto Reef, Gozo
• Lantern Point, Comino
• Billinghurst Cave, Gozo
Irqieqa Point, Comino
A thin of land on the southwestern tip of Comino with a sheer drop-off to 40 metres. The water is clear and the cold currents support large shoals of sardines and bogue that are preyed upon by amber-jacks, dentex and, sometimes, tuna. The boulder strewn depths reveal families of bream and brown meagre. Maximum depth - 50 metres.
Santa Maria Caves, Comino
This is an ideal second dive location for those who have made the boat trip to Comino and want an interesting shallow location. The caves are very pretty and for the underwater photographer the possibilities are endless. Octopus, moray eels, small groupers and countless small fish make this a relaxing dive. Maximum depth - 20 metres.
Reqqa Point, Ghasri
This is the northernmost tip of Gozo. The beach road is rough, the entry is tricky with a strong swell, but it is a fantastic dive. The reef consists of a parapet at a depth of 30 metres and then a drop to 60 metres. However, there is an excellent vantage point at 15 metres. Here one is literally in a cloud of small fish feeding on the nutrient-rich waters. Large shoals of dentex have feeding frenzies, groupers are large and plentiful. Adding to this, there are large caves and deep water. Maximum depth - 60 metres.
Dwejra Point, Dwejra
Dwejra is one of the most spectacular dive sites in Malta, with deep water (60 metres) and many caves and arches. The most dramatic is the 35 metre long tunnel that opens from the Inland Sea to the open sea, where the bottom drops suddenly. The clear waters and depths can be deceptive. This dive is the right place for divers looking for the abundant marine life. Maximum depth - 60 metres.
Mgarr ix-Xini is a prohibited dive site and the Ta' Cenc cliffs do not offer an entry point. Consequently one must get into the water from the Ta' Cenc Hotel's private beach. The cliff continues underwater to a depth of 30 metres where it gives way to large boulders. These provide ample hiding places for groupers. This dive site is very popular with photographers due to a variety of species of fish, from gurnard, stargazers and even seahorses. There is also a cave, inside which one can surface. Maximum depth - 60 metres.
Xlendi Reef is located in the middle of Xlendi Bay. Part of the reef forms a pinnacle, which reaches up to within a metre of the surface. The reef is covered with seaweed and small fish. One can also see large numbers of damselfish, small groups of grey mullets as well as various species of wrasses and seabreams. The base of the reef is littered with large boulders. The reef comes to an end below the steep cliffs. Maximum depth - 25 metres.
Xlendi Cave is found in Xlendi Bay. It is best to swim across the bay either on the surface on underwater. The maximum depth of this dive is 12 metres. The cave is a bent tunnel leading from one side to another of the rock wall. At the entrance of the cave floor one can see goatfish, damselfish and cardinalfish. The cave walls are brightly coloured with starfish, sponges, algae and bristle worms. Further on in the tunnel there are large boulders and it gets progressively shallower. Towards the end of the tunnel, the seabed is covered with smooth rocks and shingle. Maximum depth - 12 metres.
Fungus Rock is a huge rock in Dwejra Bay, on the western coast of Gozo. Access is only by boat. The average depth is of 40 metres. This isolated rock has a hole running through its northern part. Underwater, the scenery is as impressive as above, with vertical walls, fissures, gulleys and caverns created by boulders, which provide excellent habitat for the largest groupers. Looking upwards, one can often see tuna, amberjacks and barracudas. The walls of the rock are covered in algae, sea urchins, tube worms, starfish, bristle worms and sea potatoes, with their brilliant red colour. Maximum depth - 45 metres.
Crocodile Rock and Coral Cave
The crocodile-shaped rock is just offshore between Dwejra Point and Fungus rock. It can be reached both by boat or from the rocky shore. Heading westerly towards the left of the rock, one finds a square shute pointing towards the deeper water, revealing a steep cliff. The cliff drops vertically down to 38 metres, where the seabed is covered in boulders. In this area one can see groupers and shoals of salema. Keeping the cliff-face to the right, one will eventually reach the Coral Cave. This is a huge semi-circular opening with 20 metres across the sandy bottom, at a depth of around 22 metres. Within the cave, using a torch, one can see different types of coral sponges, virgin lace, and the quite rare marine goldfish. Maximum depth - 45 metres.