I am a huge fan of diving, sea life and going on new adventures. Today I thought I’d share my top five diving sites around the Maltese islands. There are of course so many other dive spots that are definitely worth visiting and we would love to hear from you and find out which was your favourite one!
The Rozi Tugboat Wreck
The first is a 40m tugboat wreck that was scuttled in 1991 in Cirkewwa, north of Malta. It is one of the most popular dive sites in Malta today. The dive starts from shore with a swim over the reef towards the wreck which is 150m away from shore and is easy to find as it is marked with a yellow buoy. The Rozi is still intact, in an upright position at about 34m and the engine and propellers have been removed, making it possible to enter the engine room and wheelhouse, while also exploring the rest of the wreck. It is also full of underwater marine life, where you can find lots of different fish including the Rainbow Rasse, Cardinal Fish, Sea Breams and Scorpion Fish. It is also recommended to do a pit-stop and visit the statue of the Madonna and explore the reef as you make your way back to shore.
The P29 Minesweeper Patrol Boat Wreck
This wreck dive can also be found in Cirkewwa, that combines both exploring the P29 and beautiful marine life and fauna. The P29 is about 62m long, 16m high and 7m wide. It is an ex-German Kondo class minesweeper that was intentionally sunk in 2007. The wreck is accessible from shore and is also marked with a buoy, approximately 150m from the coast off Cirkewwa Point. You can reach the wreck at 30m and the seabed at 38m. There are several access points but due to its tighter openings, this type of wreck is recommended for the more experienced divers.
The Um El Faroud Wreck
Another wreck found in Zurrieq, that also explores both the underwater world and the El Faroud ship. This tanker sits upright on the sandy seabed and is 115m long, weighing 10,000 tonnes. It sat in the harbour of Valletta for 3 years after an explosion that killed nine Maltese workers in 1995 until it was moved to its current location and scuttled as an artificial reef. You can access this wreck by boat or from shore. This ship is large in size providing ample openings and lots of areas to explore. The dive would usually begin from the stern, then the kitchen (or galley) and from there you can explore the rest of the ship. It split in two during a bad storm a few years ago which now gives access through the cross section of the hull. On around the reef there is plenty of marine life swimming in large shoals such as sea bream, parrotfish, barracudas, squid, John Dory and cuttlefish.
Karwela and Comino Land Wreck
One of the best things about this particular dive is being able to visit two wrecks at one go and also enjoy the wonderful marine life. The wrecks can be found closely to each other in Ix-Xatt L-Ahmar, Gozo and are called MV Cominoland and MV Karwela. Both ships were used as a ferry boat and were recently sunk in August of 2006 purposely as a dive site. Karwela lays upright at about 35m and Cominoland lays slightly on the side about 50m away and at a depth of 25m. Both wrecks are accessible, about a 100m away from the shore and the closest wreck to shore is Karwela.
The last dive site is actually not a wreck but simply a bay, called Anchor Bay in the north-west of Malta. It is most popular for being the home of the movie set for the 1980 Popeye film which is now called Popeye Village. The dive site is well known for its marine life, many boulders providing interesting swim throughs and as you might have guessed, a large anchor. The bay is protected by the cliffs almost enclosing it and making it easily accessible to divers on a windy day. You can access this site from a pier and as you dive in, the bay gradually slopes down to 18m. As you come to the boulders, you can find some interesting sea life within the troughs, such as octopus, groupers, scorpionfish and stonefish. As you dive further away from the bay, approximately 150m, you can find a large cave that is 10m deep. Upon entering the cave you can easily surface inside and enjoy the dome-shaped ceiling. Swimming further out you will see a large window where one can find parrot fish, groupers and Moray eels. A three-part dive well worth visiting!
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