Malta Wreck diving September 2022
Updated: Oct 17
Driving around on an island with your friends in a car filled with scuba gear is so appealing.
There are not a lot places where you can do this. And after getting a taste of this on Bonaire in 2021, we were determined to find a place in Europe where we can do this again. And that place is: Malta!
What is Malta scuba diving about?
The main attraction when diving in Malta is certainly not the teeming marine life, it’s more about the caves and especially the wrecks combined with crystal clear water. However the local marine life is still interesting and one can expect to see barracuda, octopus, moray eels, sting rays, groupers and nudibranchs. If you're lucky maybe even turtles, dolphins, sharks and the odd moonfish.
But big pelagic encounters are certainly not to be expected here.
What to choose
Even when diving unaccompanied we would still need a dive center. And when starting to investigate what Dive Center to choose for our trip, we quickly found out how many dive centers Malta has on the island. But for some reason one did stand out from all the others. That dive center was Divemed: A familly- run business with owners that genuinely have a passion and care for the underwater world of Malta. The way they answered our questions really helped us to make the most of our short dive trip.
On the 1st of September we boarded our Air Malta plane for a smooth 3 hour flight to the Maltese Archipelago. The next morning was time to get a quick breakfast, pack the car with our gear and head out to Divemed. Here we were greeted with a smile and Mikela was there waiting for us to help us out with everything. She explained what ocean conditions we could expect for the coming days. And helped us out to plan our dives accordingly with dive maps, dive books and her own experiences.
Scuba diving Malta
The Um El Faroud is supposed to be the best wreck dive in Malta for recreational divers: the length is 110 meters and it sits upright on a sandy bottom at the depths of 15 to 36 meters with a lot of penetration possibilities for experienced wreck divers.
So off course this would be the first dive of our trip as we would not let the opportunity pass to dive this wreck. Once arrived on location it was clear we were not the only group of divers wanting to experience this wreck. But after a thorough buddy check we took a giant leap from shore and headed out to the wreck. And was it all we expected? Well to be honest yes! The wreck is absolutely huge in size and therefore very impressive to see underwater. And it was indeed full of marine life. But it was also a challenging dive due to the depth of the wreck and the current pushing us away from the wreck.
After this challenging morning dive we decided to stay in the south of Malta and headed out to a place called Ghar lapsi for our afternoon dive. Ghar Lapsi is a small rocky inlet and has a relatively easy entry from shore. And this dive site has little or no current which was pretty nice after our challenging morning dive.
So we entered the water, headed out left and dove this place for more than one hour with indeed practically no current. A very easy and tranquil dive with good visibility and lots of opportunity to get acquainted with all our new dive and photography equipment.
As this dive was pretty easy we chose this same place for our final dive of the day. And this was going to be a night dive. But first things first. We were getting really hungry and needed some rest and some food before entering Ghar lapsi in the night.
After finishing our 4 pizza’s we went back to our truck and got ready for the night dive. It was now almost 8 o’clock as we entered Ghar lapsi again but now in the other direction. The dive was pretty spectacular as this side of Ghar lapsi has more walls and as it was night also had more life too. We encountered a lot of squids and even a very small and sweet white cuttlefish. This place was amazing and after more than an hour of diving we all had big smiles on our faces as were heading back to our hotel.
The next morning was off course the same routine: wake up, take a shower, have breakfast, pack the car and get to Divemed for our tanks. For the second day we chose to head out to Cirkewwa located in the north of Malta to dive the P29 wreck and the former tugboat Rozi. After driving north for about an hour we arrived at Cirkewwa, parked our car, geared up, did our buddy check and entered the water to dive the P29 first. The water was crystal clear and after about 10 minutes into the dive we finally saw the wreck. And it was lovely, full of fish and we could even enter it in some places.
We spend as much time on the wreck but as it lays deeper than 30 meters our time was kind of limited.
During a very good lunch in front of a beautiful beach at Il Pirata Malta we decided to dive the P29 again for our second dive of the day. But once in the blue we drifted off due to the current, missed the P29 and arrived at the Rozi Wreck instead. Rozi was a former tugboat that operated in Grand Harbour of Valletta. And just like the P29 it was lovely, the waters were crystal clear and the wreck was full of fish.
Reading the divemap of Cirkewwa once back on shore, we chose Cirkewwa Arch for our third dive. And about 20 minutes into the dive we found this Arch at around 12 meters. It is truly a beautiful natural underwater archway from which the roof has long since collapsed leaving the arch as a result.
In the end we finished these 2 days of scuba diving with a beer at the Maori Chilled Bar. This was after we finished our last dive just in the harbour of Valetta.
In total we logged 7 dives in just 2 days with the help of the Divemed dive centre.
The people running the dive centre are really professional, sweet, open and passionate about scuba diving. They knew our dive schedule and even checked if all was going according to plan during the 2 days. We found this to be very impressive as we never had a dive centre being so concerned with our wellbeing.
Malta is really perfect for a dive holiday. The dry climate combined with a lot of sunshine and little wind starting from April to October really adds bonus points to the overall experience. The wrecks of Malta we dived were really impressive. Most of them are clearly indicated from the road. And especially Cirkewwa had a lot of facilities set up especially for divers. Ranging from enough parking space, dive maps and even rails to help you ease in to the water. And not to mention even a small bathroom with toilets and a shower. And last but not least: keep a close look on your dive computer as the bottom of some wrecks is around 30-35 meters!