Scuba diving in Malta is highly rated by divers worldwide and a prime destination for diving holidays.
This is no surprise considering the numerous shore dive sites and boat dives in Malta and Gozo that offer a challenge at different skill levels.
Scuba divers will encounter dive sites with beautifully coloured coral reefs and dark caves reaching deep into some of Malta’s tall cliffs. Not to mention a number of sea wrecks which over the years have become the habitat for various species of fish and other marine life.
When’s diving season in Malta?
What makes Malta so attractive for scuba diving is not just the clarity of the waters surrounding the islands but also the optimal weather, the rich marine life and the fact that most dive sites are reachable from shore.
In fact, you can dive in Malta all-year-round.
Even in the middle of winter, the sea temperature never drops below 13 degrees Celsius. The climate and duration of sunshine at that time of year are similar to an average North European summer, sometimes even better.
In stormy weather, sheltered coasts offer a sufficient number of interesting scuba diving sites.
Diving in winter offers the advantage that many species of fish move inshore to shallower, slightly warmer waters which are not disturbed by swimmers at that time of the year. This offers divers a much better opportunity to observe and photograph marine life.
In summer, the warm sea temperature (averaging 26 degrees Celsius) makes it possible for divers to wear a light 3mm diving suit.
Why is diving in Malta so popular?
Malta attracts over 150,000 divers from around the world every year. This diving destination is so attractive because of:
- The large variety of dive sites around the island that cater for divers at different skill levels
- The many local dive centres that offer quality dive experiences with qualified and highly experienced dive instructors with great reviews to match
- Several dive schools can be found around the islands that offer education and certification (including PADI, BSAC and CMAS).
- Guided dives and equipment rentals are generally reasonably priced and organised tours including transport are widely available.
Popular UK tabloid The Sun says Malta is a great choice for UK families, especially from October onwards:
“The glorious Mediterranean sea around the Maltese islands is a paradise for snorkelers and divers as it is teeming with fish and WW2 wrecks which have become artificial reefs and great dive sites – some of the best in the world. In fact, the Archipelago has repeatedly been voted the second best dive destination in the world.”
Diving packages and diving equipment rentals (and prices)
Diving packages vary depending on the diving centre and your level of experience. For example, a beginners 3 day course would typically cost around €200, while a 5 hour course with 2 dives start from €70.
Renting diving equipment in Malta is easy through the numerous diving centres around the islands offer equipment rental (see the list below). Some centres will offer the equipment for free when taking a diving course with them. So if you don’t want the burden of carrying your own diving kit on your vacation, you’ll be covered.
Equipment rental prices vary depending on the type of equipment being rented. As an indication, a 10-litre oxygen cylinder costs around €6 for a whole day, while a full dive suit is €10 and a mask €5.
Learning to dive and get certified in Malta
Malta is an excellent place to get your diving certification sorted. There are plenty of courses available for most of the year, offered by qualified instructors within the many dive centres on the islands. Courses include certification for beginners, for advanced divers and also specialty courses such as Open Water and Rescue Diver certifications.
Among the many courses offered, some lead to diving certifications that are recognised all over the world, such as PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), BSAC (British Sub-Aqua Club) and CMAS (Confederation Mondiale des Activites Subaquatiques).
Are you a beginner? Here’s a beginner diving course to consider taking. it’s a fully organised introductory course for diving, including theoretical training and equipment rental.
Best Dive centres in Malta and Gozo
In Malta and Gozo there are over 50 diving centres. That is a huge number when one takes into consideration the size of the population and the islands themselves.
Logically, you will find most of these dive centres along popular coastal towns such as St Paul’s Bay, Bugibba, Qawra, Sliema and St Julian’s.
These centres offer diving packages for all levels of divers, starting from beginner courses up to instructor courses. Many of these centres offer equipment rental, so you don’t have to carry your own gear while on holiday.
Here are a few suggestions based on diver reviews:
- Bezz Diving – Sandy Waters Court, Marfa Rd, Mellieha – Guided dives and equipment rental.
- Dive Systems – Tower Road, (Exiles area), Sliema – One of the larger dive centres in Malta. Guided dives, dive courses (and certification) and equipment rental and servicing.
- Cresta Dive Centre – Cresta Quay, St George’s Bay, St. Julian’s – Guided dives, dive courses (and certification) and equipment rental and servicing.
- Dive Deep Blue – 9/11 Ananija Street, Bugibba – Guided dives, dive courses (and certification) and equipment rental and servicing.
- Atlantis Diving Gozo – Triq Il-Qolla Is-Safra, Iż-Żebbuġ, Gozo – One of the best options if you’re staying in Gozo. Guided dives, full dive tours, dive courses (and certification) and equipment rental and servicing.