As any keen experienced diver will know, Malta offers a huge amount of action when it comes to exploring the underwater world, and this action is not limited to the old timers either. Even beginners are well catered for here. I might not be diving as much as I once was, but when I was footloose and fancy free, Malta was a place I would head to – not only for the diving, but for the social life too.
If diving is something that you want to tick off your list, or just something you really enjoy doing, Sliema in Malta is a great place to be based.
Recommended read: Country Profile: Malta
Inside Info on Dive Sites Around Sliema
There are three islands in the Maltese Archipelago: Gozo, Malta and Comino, and the diving opportunities provided in the surrounding waters are immense. The layout of the islands mean that there are plenty of natural harbours, inlets, bays and sheltered creeks that are home to stunning reefs and fabulous wrecks.
Famous for the excellent visibility, the waters around the islands provide a kaleidoscope of colour. Dive sites all lie close to one another, and each one is unique.
Where to Dive According to Ability
If you are new to diving, Marfa Point Caves are somewhere you may well be taken on your beginner course. At a maximum depth of 18m, you have the opportunity to see lots while gaining confidence in shallower waters. Another shallower dive site ideal for divers of all abilities is Fortizza Reef – one of my favourites. An underwater playground of tunnels and arches, this place is a haven for photographers who have the right gear.
Intermediate dive sites include Coral Cave, with its sandy bottom and resident hermit crabs, starfish and scorpion fish; and the dark Billinghurst Cave, with its cardinal fish and wall sponges (you will need a torch for this one!).
Advanced divers will love the spectacular Azure Window, with its magnificent natural arch and prolific marine life. With the opportunity to dive to 60m, this is one for experienced divers.
Recommended read: Shore Dives and Boat Dives
Great Dive Centres
With so many dive centres to choose from, you need to pick carefully. Most have years of experience and all centres offer qualified staff (with recognised international qualifications), excellent courses and high quality equipment.
Why not contact Anchor Diving Malta to get an idea of what is on offer?
How To Get There
In just over three hours, you can leave London and be on the ground at Malta International Airport ready to start your holiday. With several carriers offering the service, you have plenty to choose from. Budget airlines such as easyJet and Thomas Cook fly from London Gatwick and flights can picked up for less than £100 one way, while Ryanair are the airline of choice flying from Stansted. British Airways also offer some competitive rates and provide a much more generous baggage allowance, so they are also worth considering.
From Malta Airport, getting to Sliema could not be easier. The journey takes only 15 minutes and if you are keen to get there as soon as possible, I suggest forgoing the public transport option and booking in advance with Shuttle Direct. Offering a shared shuttle service costing around £2.50 per person, as well as a private service costing only £13.50 per person, Shuttle Direct are competitively priced. Spacious vehicles are an added bonus, especially if you are travelling with lots of gear.
If you want to make your journey more of an excursion, you could take the train through France and Italy, before taking the ferry from Sicily to Malta. You need to allow three days for this option, and more if you want to sightsee along the way. Shuttle Direct also offer transfers from the arrival ferry port in Malta.
Where to Stay:
Depiro Point – Spacious apartments at Depiro Point are fully furnished and all have free Wi-Fi and air conditioning, should you need to have an afternoon cooling off before heading out for the evening’s entertainment. The well-equipped kitchen means you have plenty of space to spread out and store extra water and food that you can then take out with you for the day. You can even do a little cooking if you need. Right in the heart of Sliema, Depiro Point is a popular choice. Supermarkets and restaurants are all close by and guests staying here have free access to Medasia Playa Beach, one of my favourites.
Sliema Marina Hotel – This mid range budget option has everything any single active traveller needs. Within a stone’s throw from the seafront and only a few feet from Sliema Bus Terminus and ferry port to Valletta, Sliema Marina Hotel is in a prime location. Enjoy your hearty breakfast in the rooftop breakfast room and indulge in some serious sun soaking on the sun terrace. Wi-Fi is free in every room so staying in touch with mates back home is never a problem. Some rooms even have a fridge; just in case you need to stock up on extra snacks to fuel all the action packed days you will be enjoying!
Europa Hotel – For excellent budget accommodation close to the beach, as well as the town centre, Europa Hotel is one of my top recommendations. Budget it may be, but it comes with all the mod cons, including en suite facilities and a free Internet point in the lobby. Staff are really friendly and helpful and have loads of inside info on where to go and what to do, should you run out of your own ideas!
About Shuttle Direct:
Keen to get to your final destination in a convenient and comfortable manner? Book with the number one transfer company in Europe and North Africa, Shuttle Direct, who offer transfers between airports, cruise ports, train stations and hotels, and you can look forward to stress free travel logistics. Book in advance, pay a fixed price and leave the rest to the efficient and reliable team.