The best snorkeling spots in Malta, Gozo and Comino

Malta is a small archipelago located at the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, about 850 miles south of Sicily and 155 miles from North African shores. It is made up of two main islands, Malta and Gozo, and smaller islets such as Comino, Cominotto, and Filfola.

Damselfish above rocky seabed in Ghar Lapsi
The rocky seabed at Ghar Lapsi snorkeling location.

A considerable length of the island’s coastlines is comprised of rocky cliffs. As a consequence, most of the snorkeling spots are located within creeks and small bays nestled in the rugged coast, some of them accessible only by boat. Malta also features a few gorgeous sandy beaches which also make good snorkeling spots.

Malta offers a vibrant array of marine treasures. Here’s where to snorkel to see them for yourself.

The best snorkeling spots in Malta Island

The clear blue waters and rocky coastline of Malta have some of the best snorkeling in the country. Great snorkeling locations abound on the island, especially along its northwestern and eastern coasts.

Ghar Lapsi snorkeling location, Malta
Ghar Lapsi is one of the nicest (and busiest) snorkeling spots on Malta Island.

Ghar Lapsi, in Zurrieq, is one of the most popular snorkeling spots on the island. Its sheltered rock pool provides perfect conditions for discovering the local sea life. Just a 10-minute drive from there, the Blue Grotto is a narrow inlet surrounded by rocky cliffs which is also worth exploring.

Looking for snorkeling in a scenic setting? Then head to St Peter’s Pool, a natural swimming pool filled with fish. On the same section of the coast, Kalanka Bay is also a good option.

Snorkeler at Blue Grotto, Malta
Snorkeling in the Blue Grotto, Malta. Damselfish gather by hundreds at this spot.

The northwestern shores of Malta feature dozens of inlets nestled between rocky points. Qawra Point Beach, Imgiebah Bay and Paradise Bay are among the best snorkeling locations in the area.

You will also find in Bahar ic-Caghaq, a more atypical environment of sandy beds conducive to the observation of bottom dwellers such as the flying gurnards, wide-eyed flounders, and stingrays.

Saddled seabream at Qawra Point
The saddled seabream is one of the most common fish in the Mediterranean. Here, at Qawra Point, Malta.

The best snorkeling spots in Gozo

Gozo is the second-largest of the Maltese islands. Much quieter than Malta, it is a perfect option for those seeking a picturesque and peaceful atmosphere.

The Blue Hole, a unique and beautiful geological formation, is Gozo’s signature landscape. This 50 feet/16 meters deep hole is surrounded by shallow plateaus, cracks and small canyons which make it a very popular snorkeling spot. Ornate wrasse, rainbow wrasse, and large schools of damselfish can be observed along the rocky drop-off bordering the hole.

Snorkeler skindiving Gozo's Blue Hole
A snorkeler skindiving Gozo’s Blue Hole.

Nestled on the southeastern coast of the island, Hondoq ir-Rummien is one of the nicest beaches in Gozo. Don’t miss a visit to this popular location which features gin-clear waters and shallow caves within easy reach of the shore.

A 20 minute drive west of Hondoq ir-Rummien is Mgarr ix-Xini. Surrounding cliffs shelter this narrow creek from high winds and offers serene waters for snorkeling.

School of ornate wrasse at the Blue Hole
Many ornate wrasse live along the Blue Hole’s rocky edges.

Other good options for snorkeling in Gozo include Wied il-Ghasri and Red Sand Beach on the northern coast. Xlendi Bay on the southwestern coast is a scenic snorkeling spot where Zoanthids and red starfish can be seen on the rock walls.

The best snorkeling spots in Comino

Comino, a protected nature reserve and bird sanctuary, is Malta’s third-largest island. The main attraction on Comino is the Blue Lagoon, a shallow, narrow channel between Comino and Cominotto. With its white sand and dazzling turquoise waters, it is often described as one of the most beautiful spots in the Mediterranean.

The Blue Lagoon, Comino
The Blue Lagoon, Comino.

The Blue Lagoon’s sandy beds allow a snorkeler to see specific species such as the weever, the wide-eyed flounder and the flying gurnard. The Blue Lagoon can easily be reached by ferry or with boat tours from Malta and Gozo.

The remaining coast of Comino is made up of rocky cliffs. Some of the island’s creeks, like the Crystal Lagoon, have good snorkeling but they require a boat trip to reach. Decent shore access snorkeling is available at Dahlet il-Hmara, a 330 yard walk from the Blue Lagoon.

Mediterranean jellyfish at the Blue Hole, Gozo
A Mediterranean jellyfish at the Blue Hole, Gozo.

What sea life am I likely to spot while snorkeling Malta?

With hundreds of fish and invertebrate species living in its shore waters, Malta probably hosts one of the most biodiverse marine habitats in the Mediterranean. When snorkeling in Malta, you will explore Posidonia meadows, rock drop-offs, shallow pebble bottoms and extensive sandy beds.  All of these area allow you to encounter various sea life.

Among the most common fish species near the beaches is the saddled seabream, which shoals in large numbers near shore and around the boats. Wrasses, both the Mediterranean rainbow wrasse and the ornate wrasse, are abundant in the rocky areas. Damselfish can be seen in numbers along the drop-offs.

Salema porgy
Salema porgy at Hondoq ir-Rummien, Gozo. This species is abundant everywhere there are Posidonia meadows.

Mullets, sargo, salema and two-banded seabream are all very easy to see at almost all locations. In addition to these very common species, you may also encounter rarer fish such as groupers, amberjacks, morays, stingrays, or Mediterranean parrotfish.

Among the invertebrates that are regularly seen while snorkeling Malta are the red starfish, the Mediterranean jellyfish, the octopus and the cuttlefish. Occasional encounters with loggerhead turtles are reported in Malta. However, should you wish to have  a good chance to swim with turtles, Cyprus and Greece are the more recommended destinations.

School of mullets at Dahlet Qorrot
School of mullets at Dahlet Qorrot, Gozo.

If you are planning a snorkeling trip to Malta, we recommend you take with you the Europe and Mediterranean Marine Fish identification guide, an invaluable and comprehensive guide that includes all the marine fish species that may be encountered in the Mediterranean up to 50m deep.

When is the best time of the year to go snorkeling Malta?

The Climate in Malta is Mediterranean: winter is mild and wet (average temperature 59°F/15°C) while summer is hot and dry (temperatures over 86°F/30°C). With 300 sunny days a year, Malta is an unbeatable destination for snorkeling in Europe. Water is exceptionally clear during October and November, but it is colder and you will need to wear a wet suit. Winter (from the end of November to February) brings rain and the lowest temperatures.

The Blue Hole, Gozo.
The Blue Hole, Gozo.

Even during summer, we recommend wearing a rashguard, which will protect your back and shoulders from the strong UV that occurs in the Mediterranean.

New snorkeling spots to share in Malta?

500+ spots have already been featured on Snorkeling Report thanks to people like you. Share your favorite snorkeling spot and help us cover the world map. Your contribution will help the snorkeling community find sites and enjoy the underwater world!


Where to spot them?

Discover on which snorkeling spots you are most likely to see your favorite species