Scuba diving in Malta

Scuba diving in Malta

More and more people seem to get into scuba diving recently, and there’s a strong reason for that! The feeling of freedom, peace and mind calmness that underwater world can offer is something that is not available to most of us on land. Since the sport is getting more popular, the prices gradually go down on everything scuba diving related. As as result, more people get involved in the spot. A circle of life, or, circle of scuba diving, I should say 🙂 Scuba diving in Malta is definitely a good part of this movement..

Being an island, in the middle of the Mediterranean, with almost 330 days of sunshine annually – Malta is definitely a wanna-go place for your next scuba adventure.

In this article, I will try to summarize all the information available out there regarding Malta, and what is has to offer in terms of scuba diving for both experienced scuba divers, and those just taking their first steps in the sport.

Valletta skyline

General info

Malta, or officially, the Republic of Malta is an island country in the heart of the Mediterranean, about 80km south if Sicily. The archipelago consists of 3 main islands – Malta, Gozo and Comino. The good news are that all of them are very much suitable for scuba diving!


Malta’s size is relatively small. Measuring just 316 km2, Malta is one of the smallest EU counties and 10th smallest in the world. Malta is also 8th most densely populated country in the world. The size of Malta is just perfect for scuba diving, as one can reach any dive site from almost any part of the islands in just an hour, but typically it takes much less. Bearing this in mind, it’s easy to combine different dive sites within a single day.


Heading to a sister island of Gozo will add another hour: the trip lasts approximately 30 minutes, with another 30 minutes for the boarding procedure. There is a ferry operating approximately every 45 minutes. you can get the timetable at the Gozo Channel ferry page.

Gozo island is even smaller than Malta, so it’s even easier to commute between the dive sites. Don’t be fooled by it’s small size – there are a lot of wrecks scuttled around Gozo and also it’s a home to the famous Billinghurst cave. There is a lot to do there and a taking a ferry to Gozo (or better organizing this with your dive center) is highly recommended. This will surely add a ton of emotions to your dive vacation.


Comino is tiny island in between Malta and Gozo. You can’t get there by car, and there are no dive centers in Comino. The only option to dive there is to organize a boat trip with your dive center. Majority of dive centers around Malta (and Gozo!) would be happy to assist divers with this. Have a chat with them!

Climate of Malta

Malta’s climate is a subtropical-mediterranean climate. In English, this means that winters are mild, but summers get very hot. Rain is something that one would only expect to see in winter months, with barely a drop falling from the sky in summer. There is an average of 580mm of rain annually, which is very low comparing to other European countries. As one might expect – there is a lot of sunshine in Malta all year round. Malta enjoys being among the sunniest countries in EU, having an average of approximately 8 hours of sunshine per day. This of course means that you’d get more sun in summer, and a bit less in winter.

The sea temperature around Malta is another little detail that attracts scuba divers from all around the world. The lowest sea temperature barely gets below 15°C in January/February but can easily get to 30°C in July/August, especially in the bays. This of course applies to surface water temperature. Deduct 1-2°C for depth of ~30 meters. This still gives the possibility to enjoy scuba diving in Malta almost all year round even with a good wet suit. Dry suit owners can easily dive all year long without any interruptions. Please refer to the Wikipedia article on average sea temperatures in Malta.

Helhaestus wreck

Scuba diving in Malta

We’re finally getting to the most exciting part of this text – scuba diving in Malta. As we already know, it is possible to scuba dive (almost) all year round, even with a wet suit. There is more than 40 dive centers located all around Malta and Gozo to help you in your scuba diving adventures. It is possible, and very much welcomed by the dive centers if you talk to them and book your dive trip in advance. Most dive centers can get pretty busy during summer months…

It is a good idea to choose the dive center that is close to your location. A list of all dive centers is available on the VisitMalta website. Majority of dive centers are located in Sliema area, and in St. Paul’s bay/Bugibba area. Yet if you ask me, I would, without any doubts, recommend you the one in the south of Malta – the Divemed. While it might not be close your stay location/hotel, you will guaranteed get the best dive treatment there. You don’t have to take my word for granted – check out their Tripadvisor ratings!

Technical scuba diving in Malta

Apart from recreational diving, Malta is also famous for it’s technical diving. Majority of technical dive sites are managed by the Underwater Cultural Heritage Unit of the Heritage Malta. There is now a fee for diving majority of these, that has to be paid before accessing the dive site. Also, not all the dive centers are allowed to take divers to these dive sites, and there is a list of approved dive centers available on the VisitMalta historic wreck sites page.

After taking the governance of the dive sites, Underwater Cultural Heritage Unit (UCHU) brought up an awesome Virtual Underwater Museum. It is an absolutely awesome website, listing history, description and full 3D models of some of those dive sites. I encourage you to visit the Virtual Underwater Museum not only if you’re a technical diver, but if you’re a diver of any level. This is a beautifully crafted place that any diver would appreciate!

Cirkewwa dive site

Scuba diving sites

There is more than 200 dive sites around the Maltese islands. Most popular dive locations are Cirkewwa (P29 patrol boat and Tugboat Rozi) and the Zurrieq (home of the mighty Um El Faroud). If Gozo is your destination – make sure to see the newest addition to the Gozo wreck family – the Hephaestus. There is of course also the MV Karwela, famous for it’s staircase which lies about 200 meters from the Hephaestus.

There is just too much of them to name. Luckily there is a very convenient website, listing them all: MaltaDives. You would be able to browse all the dive sites on a map, or search for your particular dive site with the help of numerous filters. Dive sites can be filtered by popularity, shore access level, interest (caves/reefs/wrecks) and qualification level. This is a must tool for divers deciding on their next dive adventure.

Freediving in Malta

Apart from the scuba diving in Malta, that we all know and love, there is also something different – the freediving. There is a number of freediving schools out there that would gladly help anyone to learn the technique of holding your breath:

Apnea total Malta

Deep Med

Luke Cassar Freediving & Spearfishing

Freediving is not as popular as scuba diving in Malta, but is definitely gaining the popularity. You would be able to spot freedivers in places like Cirkewwa at almost any given summer day.