1. Best Snorkeling Spots in Malta & Gozo
Built of limestone, Malta & Gozo is a geological wonder with a rich history and colourful marine life. It is the perfect set for a snorkelling adventure with stories from the past.
Snorkelling in Malta is perfect for first-timers with its shallow waters, beautiful reefs, water-level caves and natural pools.
For the more experienced, there are plenty of thrills with cliffs, underwater caverns and much more marine life to explore.
We’ve jotted down some of the most interesting snorkelling spots in Malta and Gozo and here’s why…
Anchor bay is a rocky bay, popularly known as Popeye Village by the locals, as it was the set for the 1979 Popeye movie with Robin Williams, but it actually takes its name from the large anchor at the edge of the bay. Here, you can spot different fish species, eels, octopus or even cuttlefish. The inlet is easily reached through a steep slope, leading down to the bay, which is also a great place for swimming. Besides its cinematic history, Anchor Bay is also a great spot for shore diving in Malta, particularly in this location.
Bahar Ic-Caghaq has some sandy and rocky beaches that’s popular with the locals and ideal for snorkelling with its shallow water and sandy sea bottom. Apart from typical Mediterranean fish, you might see huge crabs, bullrays, moray eels and flying gurnard. The beach is easily accessible with parking, toilets, food and drinks.
Ghar Lapsi is a beautiful, rocky cove that’s quite remote. It’s a small fishing village with just three restaurants well-known for their fresh fish. Its reefs are about 200 meters long, with tunnels and caves. The rocky shoreline makes a natural pool that’s safe for kids and weak swimmers. You would see fireworms, seahorses, eels, and rays amongst others. Keep an eye out for jellyfish in the summer. Parking is available up at the top and the steps leading down to the rocky shore are quite steep.
Hondoq Ir-Rummien is a small picturesque sandy beach with a beautiful coastline and crystal clear water, which makes it quite a popular swimming destination. It also has water level caves, perfect for the beginner. You would also enjoy stunning views of Comino Island and the Blue Lagoon. Be prepared to spot jellyfish, stingray, wide-eyed flounder, cuttlefish, lizard fish, common octopus, flying gurnard and other small marine life. There are ladders to get into the sea and you could reach the shore down a long track down from Qala Village.
Coral Gardens – Dwejra
The Coral Gardens in Gozo can be found next to the iconic Blue Hole. The remains of the Azure Window – the famous natural arch that collapsed in 2017, can be found underwater on the other side of the Blue Hole. The Coral garden is about 20m wide and only 4m deep. You could spot damselfish, thick lip grey mullets, shoals of colourful wrasses, starfishes, sea urchins and jellyfishes. Coral Gardens in Dwejra can be easily accessed from the shore.
Xlendi Bay is a delightful little bay with rocky seabeds along the cliffs and a sandy seabed in the middle. Xlendi Bay features a beautiful reef and a colourful tunnel of about 2m deep and 70m long, with golden zoanthids, red starfish, bristle worms, and red and green algae. You would see shoals of jacks and barracudas, pink flabellina, purple jellyfish and posidonia seagrass. The bay is easily accessible from the shore, with cliffs on either side that you can plummet off into the crystal waters, a concrete diving board and ladders to get in and out of the water.
2. Is Malta & Gozo Safe?
According to the 2019 Global Wealth Migration Review, Malta ranked as the safest country in Europe and the second safest country in the world, after Australia.
3. Some Safety Tips when Snorkeling
- Never go snorkelling or out in the water alone.
- Take a buoy with you to be easily spotted and for resting.
- Keep an eye out for cliff divers and boats.
- Wear a long-sleeve rash guard and long pants.
- You can follow these tips if stung by a jellyfish.
- Be wary of spots that are not sheltered from the open sea.
- Don’t enter the water when it swells.
- There’s not much shade, so don’t forget the sunblock.
4. Best Time Of Year To Go Snorkeling in Malta & Gozo
The swimming season starts in June, with the highest temperatures in July and August. During October and November, underwater visibility is at its best, but you will need a wetsuit to stand cold water.
5. What Equipment You Will Need?
You could buy or cheaply rent your snorkelling gear. All you’ll need is a:
- Well-fitting mask
- High-flow, easy to easy-to-breathe scuba diving snorkel that has a:
- a wide-bore tube
- a dry top
- a comfortable mouthpiece that is replaceable and a
- flexible tube
- Pair of high-quality snorkelling fins – we recommend a pair of neoprene boots and strap fins as most of the spots have rocky entry/exit points.
6. Snorkeling Trips in Malta & Gozo
For fun tours with professional divers, with years of experience under their belt, we at Ritualdive can help you enjoy the breathtaking views and waters of the Mediterranean, safely.