Malta – Scuba Diving

As a travel writer, I am often at the receiving end of a whole lot of questions about specific travel destinations and their attributes. One destination I get asked about quite a bit is Malta, and the scuba diving possibilities in the country.

Most people come up to me as if they just uncovered some hidden gem that nobody knows about, and asks about the diving there. I discovered that most people think Malta is an unknown destination with no tourists, and a tropical haven with coral reefs and much more!

Well, to state the facts, diving in Malta is not tropical diving at all, and there are no coral reefs here. The summer temperatures are bearable to swim in, but the winter temperatures of twelve degrees make it impossible for any coral to grow at all. Diving is done mostly in dry suits most times in the year.

Maltese diving is characterized by wrecks, superb underwater landscapes that includes caverns, and excellent visibility. The island of Malta is an excellent location for wreck diving enthusiasts and Gozo, the other island with inhabitation is superb for enjoying some superb underwater landscapes as well as better visibility underwater.

There are a good number of dive centers in Malta. Most of these are very well equipped and have superb facilities. Malta has close to sixty dive centers in the islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino. At the time of choosing the dive center, make sure you are careful, since some have some strange price structuring as well as sub standard equipment. There are quite a few good ones though.

Also, there are two kinds of dive centers, the ones that offer diving from boat, and the others that simply drive up to the drive centers in the area. This might be suitable when it is winter and the sea cold, but when it is summer, it is not at all the case.

The summertime traffic is unbearably awful, which makes it a good idea to focus on finding summer time dive centers that offer diving from boats. The selection of dive sites will be better, as will be the overall experience.

Although visibility changes from period to period, the general visibility is pretty good in Malta. The visibility is at its worst in the summer. In addition to this, there are aspects such as heat, marine life and crowds during the summer.

If you are fond of wrecks, Malta has on offer some excellent wreck dives that are also quite easily accessible. There are many wrecks from WW1 and WW2.

Malta has the following wreck dives on offer for visitors . . .

• Flying Gurnard • Bonitos • John Dory • Imperial Eagle • Comino Land • Karwela • Xlendi • P29 Boltenhagen • St Michael • 10 • Um el Faroud • Rozi • Le Polynesien • HMS Sant Angelo • Eddy • Hellespont • Schnellboot S31 • HMS Southwold  • Margurite (or Odile as it is also called) • Bristol Beaufighter • Blenheim Bomber  • X Lighter • HMS Maori

A number of these div sites are quite deep. In fact, only X Lighter and HMS Maori are suited for Open Water Divers. Few are shallow enough for divers. There are technical dives such as HMS Southwold. Le Polynesian. The depth of the Imperial Eagle is forty one meters. Most wrecks here require a good deal of experience and skill.

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