A snorkelling holiday in Malta is the perfect way to enjoy the Mediterranean Sea. Malta’s waters are one of the most transparent in the region, and there is a wide variety of fish and underwater plants. In addition to its calm waters and excellent visibility, it also offers warm temperatures, making it an ideal snorkelling destination.
- Why Choose Malta for Your Next Snorkelling Holiday?
- Malta’s Marine Life
- Best Spots for Your Snorkelling Holiday in Malta
- Comino Snorkelling Sites
- Unforgettable Gozo Snorkelling Spots
- Safety Tips for Your Snorkelling Holiday in Malta
- Advise for Beginners
- Do you Need a Guide on Your Snorkelling Holiday in Malta?
Why Choose Malta for Your Next Snorkelling Holiday?
Here are my top reasons:
- Malta’s rocky coastline creates numerous sheltered habitats where fish, sea life and plants thrive.
- Malta has excellent visibility in the water. Even in depths of 30 metres, visibility can reach 40-50 meters.
- With weak currents and little tidal activity, the area is ideal for novice snorkellers. A joke is that swimming in Malta is like swimming in a pool.
- You can snorkel anywhere except in the ports.
- You will see coastal views from a new angle. Many great holiday photos are guaranteed.
- Snorkelling gear is available for purchase or rental from dive shops across the island.
- There are snorkelling tours available for booking. You will get a briefing and transport to the snorkelling spot. Book a tour here.
- You don’t need a boat. Any rocky beach is suitable for snorkelling.
- Malta’s waters are home to octopuses, moray eels, groupers, snappers, and more marine life.
- There are many caves to be explored in Malta. It’s fun discovering unique rock formations and finding plants and animals that don’t live in open water.
- There are many fun snorkelling opportunities on other islands of Malta, like Comino and Gozo. Both are very close and easy to reach. Check out the map of the Maltese islands.
- The water temperature in Malta’s sea is pleasant. For people from Northern Europe, it is like swimming in a jacuzzi. No wetsuits are required.
Malta’s Marine Life
Malta’s waters provide an array of marine life, such as groupers, snappers, moray eels, barracuda, octopus, sea bass, rays, lobsters, shrimp, crabs and more. Additionally, you’ll find algae, molluscs, and sponges.
Best Spots for Your Snorkelling Holiday in Malta
Listed below are some of the best snorkelling spots. The names of the spots are hyperlinks with the Google Maps locations. I have also created a map with pins. The pins are blue for Malta, yellow for Comino, and green for Gozo.
Most sites listed below are deep and unsuitable for beginners. But I will indicate the shallow spots.
Here are some of Malta’s most popular snorkelling spots (blue pins on the map):
- Ghajn Tuffieha Beach (also called Riviera): You should swim along the rocks on both sides of the Ghajn Tuffieha Beach. Here you can see different fish, crabs and octopus. I also like how the light plays around the rocks. On the sandy bottom, you can find stingrays and flying fish. The depth is approximately 2-4 meters, so anyone can snorkel safely.
- Blue Grotto: The water here is deep, and the colours are deep blue. You can swim along the colourful walls that contrast nicely with the dark blue of the sea. Be with boats that explore the caves. There may be currents at this spot, so be extra cautious. This spot is unsuitable for beginners.
- Munxar Window: In this secluded bay, you can swim through a limestone arch when the water is calm. You can also see fish and marine life. It’s not deep, but the entrance is tricky. You will need to swim a few hundred meters to reach it.
- Exiles Beach in Sliema: Sliema is one of the busiest towns in Malta, but it has an excellent rocky beach. My favourite part is the rock formations in the water. You can see seabass groups there. I once saw a turtle. The bay next to Independence Gardens is not that clear, and there is little to see. It would be best if you explored the area from the open sea.
- Ghar Lapsi: There’s a natural swimming pool on the island’s west side. It’s not popular with tourists, but it’s crowded with locals. The water is shallow and so clear. You can also swim outside to deeper depths and see some fish. This spot is excellent for beginners.
- Paradise Bay Beach: Here’s another sandy beach. You can swim through rocks on both sides of the beach. Snorkelling is safe for first-timers because the waters are shallow.
- Imgiebah Beach: My favourite snorkelling spot on Malta’s main island. You have a sandy beach and a rocky coastline to explore. It’s very shallow and protected from currents, so it’s suitable for first-timers.
Comino Snorkelling Sites
Here is what Comino offers (yellow pins on the map):
- Blue Lagoon: The water is like swimming in a pool. You will see much marine life if you explore rocky areas. Watch out for boats. Comino is usually crowded with people on the beach and ships in the water. There are shallow areas, good for beginners.
- Santa Marija Caves: They are on the northwest side of Comino. It is challenging to find, so use the provided map. It has a natural swimming pool with two sea openings. In addition, a ladder leads to the sea so you can swim to other caves.
- Crystal Lagoon Cave: On a boat tour to Comino, boats stop at Crystal Lagoon. In the middle of the bay is a long cave. Small boats enter inside, so be careful and swim along the wall. I have swum there many times. It’s pretty dark because the cave is 30-meters long. It will be shallow at the end and have sand on the bottom. It’s like a small beach. This cave is my favourite snorkelling spot in Comino.
Book here a kayaking tour from Gozo to Comino that also includes snorkelling.
Unforgettable Gozo Snorkelling Spots
Last but not least, here is what Gozo has to offer (green pins):
- Ramla Beach: Swimming along the rocks, you’ll see a variety of fish – seabass, murrey eels, crabs etc. I love exploring both sides of the beach. First-timers can also enjoy this area because the water is shallow.
- Ghasri Valley: In this small canyon-like area, there’s a secluded pebble beach and a narrow bay that leads into the sea. You can swim along the walls and see lots of marine life. It gets deeper gradually, so it’s suitable for beginners.
- Xwejni Bay: A very shallow bay with rocky surfaces. It is advisable to wear aqua shoes here. You need to keep your right and swim towards the Xwejni rock. It is visible everywhere. You will see underwater tunnels and other rock formations. If I could choose two favourite places in Gozo, Xwejni Bay would be one of them.
- Blue Hole: A limestone sinkhole accessible by foot. The Blue Hole is my number one snorkelling spot! When snorkelling, you can see the sea opening. The waters are deep and blue behind the hole, and you can see groups of fish, sometimes even tuna. If you want to snorkel in the deep blue sea, get there from the shore. Swimming into the sea from the Blue Hole is dangerous. Keep left, and you’ll find the Coral Gardens. Scuba divers can dive through tunnels and canyons here, but snorkelling is also great. Plenty of fish, sponges, coral tubeworms, and other sea creatures exist. I usually arrive just before sunset. It’s a fantastic place, so don’t miss it.
Safety Tips for Your Snorkelling Holiday in Malta
Think about a few things for your safety when snorkelling:
- The first rule is to always snorkel with a buddy so that you can look out for each other.
- Be careful of undercurrents. Never swim against a current. Swim diagonally across it if you get caught in it.
- Use sunblock, lots of it. If you plan on snorkelling all day, cover yourself with a T-shirt and cap. Summer on the Maltese Islands can get hotter than it looks; a nasty sunburn is not the way to go on your snorkelling holidays!
- To be visible to the boat drivers, wear a brightly coloured mask and fins. It would help if you also got a snorkel buoy, a small floaty that attaches to the snorkel tube and acts as a surface marker.
Advise for Beginners
Snorkelling is easy and fun. It requires little preparation or equipment. Here are some tips for beginners or first-time snorkelers:
- It’s best to start with shallow areas until you become accustomed to using your snorkel and fins.
- Use fins for swimming and manoeuvring in the water. They help you move around more efficiently.
- Put your face in the water and come up a few seconds later. Some people are nervous about breathing with a mask, so practising in shallow waters is a good idea.
Do you Need a Guide on Your Snorkelling Holiday in Malta?
In general, you don’t need a guide for snorkelling. First, all snorkelling spots are easily accessible on foot. Secondly, you should be fine if you follow a few simple safety tips and have some common sense. A guide can offer extra information and safety tips for inexperienced snorkelers, but in most cases, a guided trip is unnecessary.
A snorkelling holiday in Malta offers an unforgettable experience. The sandy and rocky coastline provides plenty of exploration opportunities. Make sure you follow safety tips. Enjoy it, and stay safe!
Are you interested in scuba diving in Malta? Check out my guide. Book a test dive below to see what it’s all about.