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POPULAR DIVESITES

MALTA

GOZO

COMINO

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In Malta we are spoilt for great dive sites...
 

Dive sites like:

Ras il-Wahx, Ras ir-Raheb, Fessej Rock, Fungus Rock, Crocodile Rock, Azure Window, Blue Hole and hundreds of other magnificent sites, offer you excitement, marine life, colours, breath-taking scenery, caves and corals that equal any other dive destination on this planet.

 
NORTHERN MALTA
 

CIRKEWWA

Situated in the north of the island, this location has long been a favourite dive site among local divers, mainly for its impressive drop-off from eight to thirty metres. The area boasts a picturesque arch and a number of caves. The arch is a cavern which has a large hole in the top, creating a narrow bridge of rock under which divers can easily gain access.   Maximum depth - 36 metres

Photo Chris Wilcocks April 2005 - Cirkewwa

Innerspace Divers

Photo  Victor Fabri

 
 
 

CIRKEWWA ~ MARFA POINT – MADONNA STATUE

This dive is a shore dive, and starts off from a shallow lagoon. There is a reef which drops down to about 18 metres. Close to this is a small cavern with a statue of the Madonna.

This was placed there by the Amphibians Diving club. One can find a large number of fire worms covering the rocks, as well as large numbers of cardinal fish. The dive usually ends at the foot of a small arch in the reef wall.
Maximum depth - 25 metres.

 

CIRKEWWA ~ MARFA POINT – TUGBOAT ROZI

At the North of Malta there is Marfa Point. The tugboat Rozi lies at a maximum depth of 36 metres. The Rozi was a 40 metre Tug Boat deliberately sunk in 1992 as an underwater attraction for glass-bottomed boat tours. The Rozi sits upright on the sandy seabed, intact except for its engines and propeller. This is one of the most popular dive sites on the Maltese Islands. The tugboat is surrounded by  fish, including sea breams, scorpion fish, rainbow wrasses and cardinal fish.Maximum Depth 36 m

 

 
CIRKEWWA ~ MARFA POINT ~ P29 PATROL BOAT
   
P29 On Land P29 Underwater

 

Kondor-I Class Patrol Boat - Builders VEB Peenewerft, Wolgast

 

The P29 was together with the P31 decommissioned by the Armed Forces of Malta. Vessels both served with the Squadron for over 12 years and were responsible for many offshore missions including asserting control over Malta's Continental Shelf, anti-contraband missions and numerous border control operations.
 

Scuttled on the 14th August 2007 - Six minute swim from Suzies' Pool.  The P29 has become a home to an abundance of Marine Life.... It is easy to penetrate.

Alicia Mirabilis are everywhere on the wreck, during the day they are not much to see but on a night dive you will encounter a fantastic sight. These beautiful creatures are all open at night!

Squid, Flying Gurnards, Rays are all on and around the P29

 

AHRAX POINT

This is the north-eastern point of Malta. There are a number of caves at the surface,  these tunnels there are several tunnels. The entry is a narrow inlet with depths from three to ten metres. A ten minute snorkel gets to the point where two options present themselves - to the left a reef rich in marine life and an impressive drop-off and to the right, an underwater entrance to a large cave.  Through out the dive the divers are bound to sea loads of cardinal fish, corals and red sponges.
Maximum depth - 25 metres.

 

QAWRA POINT

This is the southern tip of St. Paul's Bay. The profile drops slowly at first and the monotony of posidonia meadows gives way to a steep slope to 40 metres. Different and strangely shaped sponges show off their magnificence by the light of a torch. A large C-shaped cave often inhabited by bream completes this long dive. The steep slope of the valley continues underwater. The bottom is strewn with rock which must have been carried there over the centuries. At the right of the mouth of the valley is a small cave. Maximum depth - 50 metres.

 

ANCHOR BAY

This is an ideal location when strong north-easterly winds prevent diving in many other areas. Entry to the water is from a pier. The bottom slopes gradually, reaching depths, of 28 metres. The seabed is covered with very large boulders, which provide some very interesting swim throughs and curious formations. These are ideal for octopus and groupers. Approximately 150 metres from the bay is a large cave. The floor is at 10 metres and divers can easily surface inside and admire the dome-shaped ceiling. This cave is rich in red algae. A little beyond the cave is a large window through the top of a prominent rock.  Throughout the dive, divers will definitely see; parrotfish as well as Medium sized grouper and an occasional Moray Eel. 

Maximum Depth – 12 metres.

 

Throughout the dive, divers will definitely see; parrotfish as well as Medium sized grouper and an occasional Moray Eel.  Maximum Depth – 12 metres.

 

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SOUTHERN MALTA

ZURRIEQ

Wied iz-Zurrieq is a valley on the south coast of Malta. The steep slope of the valley continues underwater. Entry is from a small quay. The bottom is strewn with rocks which must have been carried there over the centuries. At the right of the mouth of the valley is a small cave. The bottom falls to 30 metres plus. Maximum depth - 30 metres.

ZURRIEQ – UM EL FAROUD

The Um El Faroud was scuttled in 1998 following a terrible explosion on board that killed nine Maltese dockyard workers.

For three years it lay in the harbour of Valletta, now with the memorial brass plaque above the front windows of the helm, it sits upright on the sandy seabed Southwest of Wied iz-Zurrieq. The Um El Faroud weighs 10,000 tons and is 115 metres long. The depth to the top of the bridge is 18 metres and 25 metres to the main deck.

Photo Sergey Markov

Divers might come across some squid and barracudas at the stern. The port side is usually teeming with large schools of sea breams, parrotfish and silversides. Sometimes one can come across the occasional amberjack and Tuna.

Photo Sergey Markov

 

Photo Sergey Markov

 
The wreck can be entered fairly easily, but due to its size, this should be restricted only to divers with advanced wreck diving training. Maximum depth - 36m metres

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GHAR LAPSI

In the Maltese language 'Ghar' means cave. Ghar Lapsi is a fishing hamlet on the southern coast. Access to the water is easy. Within a few strokes from the entry point is a shallow system of underwater caves lit up with beams of sunlight from the numerous exits. The Ghar Lapsi area is mostly in the 15 to 20 metres depth range and offers a large area of parallel reefs and depressions with most of the typical marine fauna of the Mediterranean.  Maximum depth - 20 metres.

VALLETTA/FLORIANA AREA

 
HMS MAORI – VALLETTA

The site is found below fort St Elmo, in front of a cafe which has its outside walls covered with a number of painted Destroyers, amongst which is the HMS Maori. HMS Maori was launched in 1937, and saw considerable action in the Mediterranean, the Norwegian campaign, Atlantic convoys and the North Sea. On February 12th 1942, it was moored at the entrance to Dockyard Creek, when it received a direct hit in her engine room. She was eventually set down in the back-water of St Elmo's Bay, on the sandy bottom at a depth of around 18 metres. Her guns were removed and the bows and stern are gone, however part of the raised bridge is still there. Divers can enter the remains quite easily, with exits through large holes in the starboard side. Although silted up, there are plenty of different types of fish and other creatures in and amongst the wreckage, which is covered with green weed and tube worms. Maximum depth - 15metres.

 

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SLIEMA/ST.JULIANS AREA

THE CAROLITA BARGE or X 127

The Carolita Barge is reached from the Manoel Island in Marsamxett Harbour. To reach the wreck, divers should swim in a south-westerly direction at any depth between 10-15 metres. The seabed around the wreck is muddy and scattered with objects such as hospital beds, wheel chairs and other objects thrown into the sea during and after the war. The torpedo damage at the stern of the vessel is quite extensive. Throughout the dive, octopus, small groupers and thousands of damselfish are encountered. Maximum depth - 22 metres.                       

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COMINO ISLAND  ~ Diving on Comino is done by Boat

RQIEQA POINT

A thin of land on the south-western tip of Comino with a sheer drop-off to 40 metres. The water is clear and the cold currents support large shoals of sardines 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.

 
Wreck ~ P31 ~ Kondor-I Class Patrol Boat - Builders VEB Peenewerft, Wolgast
 
P31 ready to be scuttled 24th August 2009

The P31 ex-Pasewalk, (Gs05, ex-G423) was Laid down on 12th December 1968, Launched on the 18th June 1969 and was in service till 18th October 1969. The P30 & P31 were acquired by the Armed Forces of Malta in 1992 and spent 12 years patrolling our coastal waters. The P31 was the patrol boat that managed to save a record of 250+ migrants from drowning in one operation in 2002

The  P29 & P31 were decommissioned by the Armed Forces and the Malta Tourism Authority bought the Patrol Boats to scuttle them as a scuba diving attraction enhancing Malta’s Scuba Diving Product.  Same as the P29 the P31 was given to the Malta Marine Foundation to carry out the necessary preparation for these boats to be scuttled.

Two years and Ten days after the P29 was scuttled in Cirkewwa, the P31 met the same fate.  It gracefully went down to its final resting place on 24th August 2009.  Her new mission has now started; it will now become a home to an abundance of marine life on Comino Island.

Location : South West side of Comino Island Approximate Coordinates  36°  00'.575N -   014° 19'.420E

P31 lies upright on a sandy bottom at a depth of 18-20 metres.  The bow is 20 metres and the stern is 18m.  Clearance from the surface is about 7 metres.

 At this depth this wreck  is excellent for:  open water divers (as it is within their depth limits), the advanced divers and even for snorkellers as it can be seen from the surface through the crystal clear waters.  The divers who did the check dive after the P31 went down, commented that shoals of damsel fish greeted them as they descended on the wreck.

 

Photos Publio Attard

LANTERN POINT

This dive starts from a shallow rocky shelf at 6 metres, where the boat usually anchors. Above the entrance to a 'chimney', an almost vertical tunnel, drops down to 16 metres. The tunnel is wide enough for divers to manoeuvre without touching the sides with fire worms. Outside the tunnel and slightly to the right, divers can enjoy a maze of swim throughs, underneath the massive rock, where starfish can be seen. Behind the large rock, there are boulders, giving way to a gentle slope at about 50 metres. Nooks and crannies close to the seabed are home for large groupers and the occasional dentex. Maximum depth - 50 metres.

 
SANTA MARIA CAVES
 

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 loads of small fish make this a very relaxing dive.
Maximum depth - 20 metes.

 
ALEX’S CAVE

This dive site is suitable for all levels and is considered as one of the most favourite site. It has a very nice swim through and a superb internal cave. Octopus is regularly seen here as well as the rare pearly Razor Fish on the sandy areas. Moray Eels and the occasional Conger Eel can be found under the boulders at the entrance to the cave.

Photo: Dean Smith

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SAN NIKLAW CAVES

This dive site is suitable for all divers. The main attractions of the site are the Caves and the Canyon, which looks like it was man-made. There are also some nice overhangs and a couple of smaller caves. Look out for Moray Eels, Octopus as well as shrimps in the caves.

CRYSTAL LAGOON

The lagoon itself is a nursery of fish. Young barracudas can be seen at this dive site in mid season. Mediterranean flounder and flying gurnards are seen on the sandy bottomed area while octopuses are seen around the large boulders close to the swim through entrance.

 

COMINOTTO REEF                                                                                                 

COMINOTTO is a smaller island off the north-west corner of Comino. Northwest of Cominotto is an underwater reef. The average depth is of 18 metres and the maximum depth is 36 metres. During the dive one comes across massive boulders with interesting holes and caverns, where creatures such as burrowing anemones and peacock worms hide. There is also an abundance of tube worms, soft corals and red sponge, which add colour to these shaded areas. Maximum depth - 36 metres.

ANCHOR REEF

This is a great wall dive, which offers a number of routes to satisfy all level of divers. There are two nice swim throughs for the less experienced, and a large anchor at the deeper part of the site. Amberjacks, Sardines, Octopus and Bream are just some of the fish to be seen here. Sponges and soft corals can be found in the caves and swim throughs.

SANTA MARIA REEF

This is a large dive site with two main routes. The routes are chosen before the dive according to the group levels. This dive is suitable to all divers. There are a number of swim throughs and overhangs. Santa Maria Reef is well known for sponges, tubeworms and corals; the large swim through to the north side has a large colony on its roof. Amberjacks, Banded Sea Bream and the occasional Barracuda are just a few of the fish that frequent this site, as well as the odd Octopus.          

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ISLAND OF GOZO
 

DWEJRA - THE BLUE HOLE

This site is located in front of the Azure Window at the bottom of Dwejra Point. It is a shore dive, which is reached via a fairly difficult walk over rough coralline limestone.

Photo Marie Ellison

Photo Victor Fabri

Steps have been carved into the rocks leading down to the Blue Hole. This is a natural rock formation carved out over the centuries by wind and waves which goes down to a depth of 26 metres. The hole is about one metre above sea level and no more than 10 metres wide and 5 metres across. However, a few metres down, this gives way to unlimited access to the sea when divers exit through a huge archway. A large cave can be found at the bottom of the hole.  Throughout the dive, one can see various species of fish, starfish and bristle worms. This dive is perfect for photography.      

Maximum depth - 50 metres

Photo Victor Fabri

 

DWEJRA - INLAND SEA

This is the second dive which divers usually do after the Blue Hole.  The Inland Sea (Dwejra) is a semi-circular bay cut off from the sea by a high cliff with a narrow cave at the centre. Going in the water it is generally very shallow and covered with pebbles and small rocks.  It will be a good idea to snorkel to the cave, which is well visible from the surface, dive and keep to the bottom while swimming out of the creek. Through this tunnel you will find a breath-taking journey through a narrow dipping creek with a pebble bottom.  When you get to the clear blue open sea you will notice a lot of big boulders around and the sea bed drops down to around 50 metres. These waters are usually home to large fish, don’t just look at the bottom and underneath the rocks for grouper and big fish, but also look ahead of you in the open sea because fish here are usually abundant. The walls to the left and right are also attractive with plenty of colourful crevices and overhangs.                 

Photos Victor Fabri

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REQQA POINT

This is the northern most 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.  Maximum Depth is 60 metres.

MGARR IX-XINI

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.

XATT L-AHMAR

This site is a small bay southwest of Mgarr. Access is generally from the shore. The dive starts across a wide horizontal ledge, about 9 metres deep, which is covered with seaweed where sprats and sardines can be found. At the edge, the ledge drops down to around 22 metres, where the seabed is covered in boulders ranging from small ones to extremely large ones. These rocks apart from providing habitats for small octopus, goatfish, seam breams and more, also act as swim throughs. Throughout the dive, one can also come across parrotfish, scorpion fish and shoals of damselfish. Maximum Depth - 48 metres.

Xlendi Wreck

In 1999, the Gozo Ferry Boat, Xlendi was scuttled at Xatt L-Ahmar. The Xlendi went down on a steep sandy bottom causing it to overturn and rest on the seabed upside down.  Through the years storms and currents have continued badgering the Xlendi where it has rolled out even further.  The superstructure of the wreck has sunk into the sand causing a silt build up in the hull.  Due to these factors the Xlendi Wreck has been declared unsafe to penetrate.  We do not penetrate the Xlendi Wreck but just dive around it.  It is also more convenient to dive on this wreck by boat.

KARWELA & COMINO LAND

 

These wrecks were passed on to the Diving Community by Captain Morgan.  The wrecks were scuttled by the Gozo Tourism Authority on 12th August 2006.  The Karwela and Comino Land are about 60 metres apart and lie in an upright position at a depth of about 42 metres.  The VW Beetle on the deck of the Karwela is an attraction in itself.  This dive can be easily done from shore.

                                                                        

 

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