Malta sits in the very centre of the Mediterranean Sea, with the Maltese archipelago comprising of three amazing islands to cave dive. These islands are Malta, Comino, and Gozo. With shipwrecks, natural cave formations, and translucent waters, these islands are the perfect place to cave dive. Whether you are an experienced cave diver or it is your first time diving, cave diving in and around Malta is an amazing experience that you will never forget.
Cave Diving in Malta
Malta has been labelled one of the most popular places for cave divers and with over 100 dive sites located around Malta and the surrounding islands, it is no wonder. The waters are not only some of the bluest, but they are also warmer and cleaner than most other diving spots in the Mediterranean. Malta is just a three-hour flight from the UK, making it a convenient spot to travel and cave dive. Below, we look at some of the best spots to cave dive in Malta.
MV Karwela Wreck in Gozo
In Gozo, there are many famous shipwrecks that are easy to spot. One of these is the MV Karwela. This boat was first launched back in 1957 and was sunk in 2006. This shipwreck was actually made on purpose, for the sake of cave divers to explore. The ship stands in a perfect upright position and has easy access, meaning you can swim around and through the ship, spotting all the sea life on the way.
The Blue Hole in Gozo
The Blue Hole is a gorgeous, natural formation that looks a lot like nature’s very own outdoor pool. To reach the Blue Hole diving spot, you first need to swim through a natural arch that meets the sea. Once you are through the arch, you will see the beautiful Azure Window. This is a vertical wall, 60 metres deep. The last swim involves passing by a small chimney, which will lead you to the Blue Hole. Going this way allows you to see plenty of marine species and stunning rock formations.
If you want to visit the Blue Hole, it would be recommended to get a reputable local cave diving guide. Some dive centres we can recommend will include Ritualdive Scuba Diving Center, which offer multiple packages to put together a truly unforgettable experience in Gozo. They can provide you with all the kit you need to stay safe whilst diving and they even offer cave diving instructor courses, so you can improve your own cave diving skills!
The Santa Maria Caves in Comino
Located on the north side of Comino (a small island situated between Malta and Gozo) are the Santa Maria Caves. A fascinating system of inlets and caves that is suitable for exploration by all levels of divers, Santa Maria is an incredibly popular dive site. Because of this, it’s often recommended by dive centres in the area to arrive at the dive site early.
The caves at Santa Maria are quite shallow and some of them even protrude above the water. This makes them a great option for those who would prefer to snorkel rather than don their full diving gear. Despite being shallow, there is a ton of great marine life to see here including moray eels, lobster, damselfish, shrimp, crabs and octopus. Many divers also love seeing the banded sea bream that will swarm to you should you bring some food along.
Oil Tanker Um El Faroud in Malta
Another great shipwreck to visit, this oil tanker in Malta measures a whopping 115 metres. It was sunk back in 1995 and was made to create an artificial reef. This is a great place to visit if you want to see plenty of sea life whilst cave diving in Malta. This shipwreck is the most famous one in Malta, so expect to book before you go! Some of the sea life you may get to see include barracudas, congers, and squids.
Lying at a depth of 15-36 metres, this dive is suitable for all levels of diver, so long as accompanied by an experienced professional. However, advanced divers will be able to discover more of the ship, including the control room, engine room and holds. Those with an advanced wreck diving certification will be in their element here.
Santa Maria Caves in Comino
This is quite a shallow dive but is a very popular tourist diving attraction, due to the amount of stunning sea life on show. The Santa Maria Caves are a great place to start diving, especially if you have never done it before. The 10 caves are shallow, making them very bright. Due to this, it is very easy to spot the marine life.
Some of the caves are filled with water, so you can swim through, whilst others are only half full, making it a great place for snorkelers too. Diving here means you can see many creatures, including small octopuses, eels, lobsters, shrimps, and nudibranchs. If you want some stunning photographs, don’t forget to bring a waterproof camera, as this is one of the best places in Malta to get some amazing cave diving pics.
When is the Best Time to Go?
The warmest months in Malta to cave dive are between June and November. At this time, the temperatures of the water can be anywhere between 20 – 26 degrees. This is a great time to go if you are not an experienced diver, as the colder the water, the more tiring it can be to cave dive.
You can cave dive at any time of the year though, as even in the colder months, the average temperature is around 13 degrees. The summer months will be a lot busier with tourists, meaning you should book any cave diving experiences well in advance to avoid being disappointed.
Whether you want to see marine life, underwater shipwrecks similar to those in Brunei, or discover natural caves, Malta has a cave diving experience for every diver. Finding a great cave diving center will allow you to experience cave diving like a local. With over 100 different diving spots, Malta will leave you wanting to come back for more!