Bathed in the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the sunny islands of Malta are fringed by white-sand beaches, secret rocky coves and extensive Neptune grass beds, that make it one of the European’s top snorkeling destinations. Here you can get up close to schools of salema porgy and sea bream, as well as moray eels, octopuses, colorful wrasse and even sometimes sea turtles laying just under the surface of the sea.
Malta is a small archipelago located at the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, about 80km south of Sicily and 250 km from North African shores. It is made up of two main islands (Malta, 264km² and Gozo, 97km²) and smaller islets such as Comino (3km²), Cominotto and Filfola. Climate is temperate and the weather is fine all year long, making Malta a leading tourism destination.
The islands are made of limestone: their shores are rocky sea cliffs carved and cracked by erosion. As a consequence, most of the snorkeling spots are located within creeks and small bays.
If you’re staying on Malta Island, Fomm it-Rih and Ghar Lapsi are two excellent spots with their clear and calm turquoise waters framed by rocks. On Gozo, Hondoq ir-Rummien seduces snorkeling lovers with its small sea caves accessible from the water surface.
A few (gorgeous) sandy beaches exist in Malta, people often snorkel there despite rather sandy seabeds. Paradise Bay and Golden Bay are amongst the most popular places on Malta Island, but the Blue Lagoon (on Comino Island) is often said to be the most beautiful beach in the archipelago.
Snorkeling in Malta, you will discover amazing geological formations. St Peter’s natural Pool, on Malta Island, or Gozo Island’s Blue Hole (a freedivers’ favorite) are one-in-the-world spots.
Marine life is rich in Malta littoral waters, even though governments tackled wildlife conservation only recently. You will spot species typical from the Mediterranean Sea, above all those who dwell in rocky areas like wrasses (Mediterranean rainbow wrasses and ornate wrasse) and damselfish.
In addition, Malta waters being warmer than in northern Mediterranean areas, you will spot rarer species like the Mediterranean parrotfish (Sparisoma cretense).
If you are planning a snorkeling trip to Malta, we recommend you to take with you the great Europe and Mediterranean Marine Fish identification guide, a comprehensive guide that includes all the marine fish species that may be encountered in the Mediterranean up to 50m deep.
The Climate in Malta is Mediterranean: winter is mild and wet (average temperature 15°C) while summer is hot and dry (temperatures over 30°C). With 300 sunny days a year, Malta is a choice destination for tourists in summer and late spring / early autumn.
Water is exceptionally clear during October and November, but it is colder and you will need a wet suit. Winter (from the end of November to February) brings rain and the lowest temperatures.
Even during summer, we recommend wearing a rashguard, which will protect your back and shoulders from the strong UV radiations that occur in the Mediterranean. Our selection of the best rashguards and wetsuits for snorkeling may help you to make your choice!
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Common in rocky areas; groups of juveniles are frequently seen at the edge of the Blue Hole
Common in rocky areas
Common in the Blue Hole
Found on all spots, particularly in Neptune grass meadows
Common on all spots
On all spots, including in very shallow areas close to the shore
Occasional sightings in rocky areas
One of the most common sights in the Mediterranean; frequently schooling in Neptune grass meadows
On all spots, commonly found in Neptune grass meadows
Deep hole with rocky drop offs and many fish
Free shore access
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