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OK, so Malta has got it going on when you consider the surface of things but what do you get if you take a peek below its outer garments? What’s horrors might we see hidden beneath those crystal clear waters if we donned a wet suit and went diving?
Well, the sickener is that Malta is like the kid at school who was the best at every sport and made every team. You see it’s just as beautiful below the waves as it is above them – some would say even more beautiful!
The island actually comes with a fine reputation as a diving venue with thousands of scuba fans flocking here to take the plunge here every year. The reason is that there is much to recommend these isles to the dive enthusiast and we’re not just talking about the crystal clear waters that offer visibility of more than 25 metres.
We’re also not strictly talking about the unusual rock formations around the coast – the sheer cliffs, caves, shelves, sandy and rocky sections of sea bed, nor even about the array of marine plant, animal and fish life to be seen – though all these natural features certainly help.
No, Malta’s popularity is helped enormously by its history and by its un-natural underwater features, specifically the large number of shipwrecks that have been deposited on the ocean floor. Abandoned sunken ships serve as superb artificial reef habitats, and can provide homes for many species. They make excellent sites for divers.
But in Malta’s case there is yet another added bonus in that many of the wrecks here are historic, dating back to the First and Second World Wars. It’s fascinating and relatively easy to get up close to and explore the ships, which come in all shapes and sizes on Malta and Gozo.
Many dedicated dive schools and tourist operators offer guided excursions to the various wreck sites. The easiest to get to are those boats that have been deliberately scuttled close to the shore to provide a new dive venue. This practice is a fairly recent innovation and has been met with some opposition from marine conservationists. They would rather not have a hunk of metal rotting on the sea bed even if it will provide a new home for lots of fishy species.
If you want some expert tuition and guidance then many Maltese diving schools and clubs have highly qualified and experienced professional instructors running courses under the world's largest diver training organisation, PADI (the Professional Association of Diving Instructors).
The best will have top grade scuba equipment for hire along with any other equipment that you might need. The more established ones can provide tuition in English, German, French, Dutch, Italian, Russian and Arabic in some cases. The tutors will also be able to tell you where the best wreck diving sites are and suggest who might be able to take you out to them if they don’t offer trips themselves.
If you’re a novice then it won’t be too long before you’re up to a suitable standard to head off beneath the waves.
You can book various diving experiences for yourself, for friends or for both of you through our sister site using the link below.
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