If you’re into wreck diving in warm, clear water, it’s a fantastic choice, easily accessible from anywhere in Europe. But the technical diving in Malta is just as impressive, with a variety of wrecks available just beyond recreational depths.
Because so many wrecks dot the Maltese coast at varying depths, it’s perfect for technical fun dives and courses at all levels. For those taking a foundation tech course, there are plenty of shallow dive sites for practicing new skills. On decompression courses, wrecks such as the MV Karwela, with its famous staircase, offer something to explore in the (35 to 45 m) range as you rack up some deco before heading back to a shallow reef on your decompression stops.
For deeper courses, such as open-circuit trimix or mixed-gas rebreather, Malta offers some fantastic and historically important deep wrecks. If you are already trimix certified, these are exactly the type of dive sites that made you want to get the qualification in the first place. We covered the shallower wrecks, such as the Um El Faroud, in our previous article, so here we’ll focus on the deeper wrecks each of them a highlight of technical diving in Malta.
The Um El Faroud was sunk 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 iż-Żurrieq. The Um El Faroud weighs 10,000 tons and is 115 metres long. The depth at the top of the bridge is 18 metres and 25 metres at the main deck. 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. The wreck can be entered fairly easily, but due to its size, this should be restricted only to divers with advanced wreck diving training.
Depth: 18-36 metres
The Rozi is a 40 meter long tugboat which was scuttled as a tourist attraction in 1992 by Captain Morgan Cruises, who took visitors down to the wreck with a small yellow submarine. The wreck is located about 100 meters from the jetty and is still fully intact, except for the engine and propellers which were removed before sinking. The wrecks sits in upright position on a sandy bottom, attracting numerous fish and divers alike.
Depth: 18-32 metres
Rated among the best 10 dives in Europe is the famous Blue Hole. The site is situated underneath the prime attraction in Gozo, that was the Azure Window in Dwejra. The deep blue water here provides the perfect environment for many types of fish and other marine life. The Blue Hole is really a cave without a roof, but the underwater surroundings and light sifting through the water are beautiful. Although the site reaches a maximum depth of around 60 meters, the best opportunity to discover fish life is between 10-30 meters, so any type of diver will have a super time. On our way back, we can visit a big cave, right underneath the hole, depending on remaining air and dive qualifications.
Depth 5-50 metres
The wreck of the P29 sits upright at a depth of 33 meters with the top part at 12 meters. Once underwater, follow the bay until you reach a depth of 6 meters and turn to your right where after diving for 100 meters, you will find the drop off at Cirkewwa reef. At the edge of the drop off, follow the bearing of 320 degrees, which will take you directly to the wreck. You can also enter from the old entry point further down, where you can swim until you reach the drop off, where you can follow the bearing of 270 degrees directly to the wreck.
Depth: 18-40 metres
On this deep wreck there is the possibility for penetration, but don’t waste your precious bottom times. Instead, see the flying bridge and take a picture as a deep sea captain behind the steering wheel. This is a very interesting dive, where you can often see octopus. The bottom is also rich in red algae. The ship is 45 meters long, 9.2 meters deep at its bow, and 257 gross tons.
Depth: 32-42 metres