Malta, a southern European country found in the Mediterranean sea, is among the smallest country in the world covering just 316 square kilometers.The official languages are English and Maltese.
It has excellent weather allowing tourists to explore the many recreational sites, as well as the island’s architectural and historical buildings and monuments that are an sensational mix of 9 colonial masters. It has 9 UNESCO world heritage sites and is considered a well developed country with superb infrastructure and other modern facilities. It receives over 1.3 million tourists annually, which is 3 times its population.
History and culture
Malta has a rich Mediterranean heritage with a heavy mix of several cultures assimilated from previous colonizers. The history of Malta is quite historic and fascinating as the island has been inhabited for over 7000 years. The first history of the island was written in the Neolithic period. There are artifacts of this era still in existence as well as eras involving the Romans and Phoenicians among others. The big stone temples on the island are a fine example of Paul’s era (directly after the time of Jesus). They tell how the Maltese people turned to Christianity. The island is still considered largely Christian.
There are several festivals held throughout the year with Holy Week and Easter celebrated for 3 days. Other celebrations include Notte Bianca, Victory Day, In Guardia, and Alarme. These festivals celebrate a range of events from saints to standing up against Napoleon.
A list of natural and manmade dive sites in Malta
• Blue Hole in Gozo
This is a natural rock formation that gives divers an extra thrill as it also requires some rock climbing to get to it. It was formed from several centuries of waves and powerful winds.
It offers a sheltered entry for dives into a large tavern, which is found at the bottom of the hole. It has a huge archway, starting at 8 meters. It is a favorite for both beginners and experienced divers. It also offers a great view of coral gardens.
• Azure Window
Azure Window begins at 16 meters below the hole. The blocks and reefs lead you to an outer cliff of the azure window, offering a view of schools of fish, picarel and bogue climbing around the rocks to escape their predators: the amberjack and dentex.
Its visibility is clear as it has a depth of 20-45 meters, only skilled divers can enjoy it maximally. It offers a magnificent rock form triangular shape that gives way to blue waters as you come out of the tavern.
• Inland Sea
This dive starts with a beautiful scene of a natural lake surrounded by rock. You will begin with a short shallow swim to the open cave, taking you from the island to the open sea. 8m above the surface the cave is open to boats that take tourists to azure window. The reefs here are lovely but the cave is the most splendid feature as it has blue lights that get bigger. Cardinal fish, octopus, parrot fish, spotted doris and john dory are some of the marine life you will see.
• HMS Maori
At a depth of 15 meters, you will see a World War II wreck of a Tribal-class destroyer. It is easy to navigate and parts of the wreck are clearly visible, such as the main deck. You can swim through the structure but take extra caution. One of the best features are 3 shell cases that were uncovered by rough seas. Apart from the wreck, check out the sea grass to observe the sea horses and look at the sea bed for octopus and flying gurnards. Other marine life to see include; cardinal fish, moral earls, cuttle fish, wrasse among others. This dive is great for levels.
• Um El Faroud
This dive features a tanker ship that lays upright at a depth of 35 meters. This dive is for only extremely skilled divers due to its depth, distance, and currents. It is great for penetration as windows and doors have been removed for safety. The propeller and rudder are still in place and provide great exploration satisfaction. There is plenty of marine life in the wreck and reefs include: Spanish dancers, octopus, Nudibranch, and Barracuda Large Beam.
Weather conditions in Malta
According to International Living, Malta has the best climate in the world. It does not experience harsh winters and has warm to hot dry summers. It mostly rains during winter and is dry in the summer. Some months experience a large amount of wind, but the temperature remains favorable and allows scuba divers to have a thrilling experience.
Best local dive shops in Malta
Strand Diving Services, Dive Warehouse, Scuba System, Dive Med, and Subacqua Supplies offer the best services at affordable prices. They can teach beginners and even help those that want to be professional divers. They have all diving gear you require and operate year round. You can positive you will receive professional assistance and reliable transportation.
If you have a family and small kids, Mellieha and Attard are quite lovely and peaceful. St. Julians and Sliema are a good place to stay if you are an outgoing person. These accommodations with great bus services and shopping malls, bars, night clubs, restaurants are within a walking distance.
A few of the best hotels on the island are the Le Meriden St Julian Hotel and Spa, Grand Excelsior, Xara Palace, and Intercontinental. They offer great views, great Malta cuisine and have professional staff that ensure you enjoy your stay.
Other attractions in Malta
An impressive array of Mediterranean beaches surround the island with great, clear views of water and the sweet sun. There are shopping malls with great antiques stores, galleries, gift shops, tasty restaurants, a hopping night life, and incredible outdoor sports ( including horse back riding around Golden Bay & mountain biking). The Museum of Archeology as an impressive display of artifacts containing 7000 years of existence and 9 colonial masters.
Shallowest dive site depth: 10 meters
Deepest dive site depth: 40 meters
Dive site visibility (how clear the water is): Very clear for the majorite of the year
Dive site currents (is there an active current in the area):Yes, the um el faroud
Dive site surface conditions (is the water surface frequently choppy or calm or in-between): calm
Common types of animals at dive sites: Octopus, cuttle fish , Parrot fish, Nudibranch
Number of dive sites in the area: Over 30
Recommended diving experience level (beginner, moderate or advanced): Varies by site
Water temperature range during peak season: 77-82 degree F
Nearest airport: Malta international Airport
Recommended length of stay: 2-4 weeks