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Malta's new diving trail

Take the plunge and get up close to the islands' historical and natural wonders

Published 30 Sept 2018, 16:00 BST, Updated 15 Jul 2021, 11:16 BST
Photograph by Getty


What do caves, wrecks, reefs and ruins have in common? They've all been incorporated into a new diving trail that weaves around the balmy isles of the Maltese archipelago: Malta, Gozo and Comino. Following the launch of its Gastro Trail last year, the island state that's oft hailed as one of world's best dive destinations is enabling divers of all abilities to immerse themselves in its history. By downloading a map to guide them through the country's best dive sites, visitors can take in the vestiges of the island's wartime past, from the wreck of the HMS Maori — a Second World War destroyer that sits at an easy 36-50ft below the surface — to the near-intact Bristol Blenheim bomber, both of which are just off the coast. There are also the remains of the iconic Azure Window, which collapsed into the sea last year off Gozo and is now a self-sculpted maze of canyons and rock formations. And for some serious scuba, there's the geological wonder of the Blue Hole, entered through an underwater arch and teeming with fish. Looks like it's time to dig out those flippers.

Look out for…

Christ of the Sailors. The concrete-covered fibreglass statue of Jesus was placed off the coast of Malta in 1990 to commemorate the visit of Pope John Paul II

Three more to try

You can still marvel at underwater wrecks without getting your flippers wet. Tangatours launched its Illuminated Wrecks Tour earlier this year off the coast of Queensland. The LED lights of the company's glass-bottom boat shine a light on 15 (deliberately) sunken ships as well as reef fish, dolphins, shovelnose rays and turtles.

See things in a new light — literally — by trying out fluoro snorkelling at Hurawalhi Island Resort in the Maldives. The new experience takes guests out after dark to admire fluorescing anemones with neon colours filtered through special equipment.

Want to take some sub-aqua snaps? Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet resorts on the Caribbean island are offering week-long underwater photography courses this year, with lessons in composition, catching ambient light and animal portraits. 

Follow @TamsinWressell
Published in the October 2018 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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