A Guide to Scuba Diving in Malta

Given Malta’s location of being in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, you would expect that the diving around the island would be a tropical paradise. This is incorrect however, given that temperatures fall to around twelve degrees in the winter and the summer temperatures are just about bearable to swim in, meaning that diving is done mostly in dry suits all year round. Also, coral reefs don’t grow in the sea around Malta due to the temperature drop in winter, meaning it is by no means a tropical dive site.

Image from farm9.staticflickr.com

Wreck Diving

Malta is a very good spot for wreck diving enthusiasts, with the waters surrounding the island home to many wrecks from WW1 and WW2, such as the HMS Maori and the HMS Sant Angelo. Some of the wrecks however lie at deep ocean levels, meaning that few are available for Open Water Divers and hardly any of the wrecks are shallow enough for snorkelers.

Some of the wrecks are quite technical dives as well, such as the HMS Southwold, and the only wrecks available for Open Water Divers are the X Lighter and the HMS Maori. This all means that most of the wreck diving in Malta requires a seasoned diver with an adequate level of skill and experience.

Conditions

While Malta may be a wreck divers dream, Gozo, the other island with inhabitation, is superb for underwater landscapes as well as better visibility than some of the seas around the wrecks around Malta. While diving visibility changes now and again, it is generally quite a good but visibility is at its worst in the summer time when divers will also have to deal with the crowds of other tourists looking to dive at Malta’s sites.

Dive Centres

Dive centres in Malta are a plenty, with around sixty dive centres across the country, Gozo and Comino. This means that it might be slightly harder to find the best value, but many of the dive centres on the island have fantastic facilities and are extremely well equipped. However, some of the centres have some strange price structures and as you would expect with so many dive centres, some of them have substandard equipment, so it is important to be careful and shop around.

Another thing to remember when diving in the summer is that the traffic can sometimes be terrible on the island. This means that getting to your dive site via car could take up a good portion of your day.Diving from a boat will not only narrow down the choice of dive centres, but it will also allow for a wider variety of options when choosing which sites you would like to dive in, thus improving your overall experience for the day.