The 5 most famous snorkelling sites in Malta
Are you looking for the best snorkeling spots in Malta? Our island has many different options for snorkelling, there are Blue Flag beaches and you can choose from golden sands, rocky bays and blue lagoons.
The island has been awarded as one of Europe’s best scuba-diving destinations, with one of the clearest water in the Mediterranean Sea.
Snorkelling and Freediving are the easiest ways to explore the underwater world and is not necessary to go deep to enjoy its wonders.
You don’t need expensive courses, bulky equipment and the dangling tools that scuba-divers use.
Even without a guided snorkeling tour, you could just grab your mask, snorkel, fins and enjoy the plunge, and this is the reason why in this article we want to give you an insight of some of the most notorious snorkelling spots of Malta.
If you decide to go without a guide we recommend to NEVER go snorkelling alone and ALWAYS bring a buoy with you.
This is the “Top List” of snorkelling and freediving spots like many others you will find on the web…but honestly, these are definitely not the best places to snorkel in Malta and we don’t visit such sites very often with our snorkelling safari.
Do you want to know why? If you like a straight answer just scroll till the end of the page [CLICK-End of Page].
If you are looking for very popular sites with decent snorkelling, below you will find all the information you need to reach and explore various places in safety.
If instead, you want to discover beautiful snorkelling locations out of the busy touristic routes, contact us, we will be happy to assist you in your adventures.
COMINO’S BLUE LAGOON
Comino is the smallest island of the Maltese archipelago measuring just 3.5 square kilometers (1.4 sq mi). There is one hotel and a campsite but the resident population is only 3 people.
Despite this, during the summer it becomes one of the busiest touristic locations in the country, thanks to its word’s famous bay that lies on the north-west side of the island: The Blue Lagoon.
Comino is a bird sanctuary and nature reserve, there is no harbour on the island (only small piers) and no vehicles are allowed except the ones of residents and workers.
How to reach Comino: You have three options to visit the Blue Lagoon, by ferry, joining a daily cruise or book a private charter.
During the summer, a ferry service connects Malta and Comino from 9 am to 4 pm.
These Boat-taxis leave from Cirkewwa harbour or from the nearby Marfa’s marina. If you are in Gozo you can find the same type of service at Mgarr harbour or from Hondoq pier.
This is the cheapest alternative with a cost of around 10€ per person, but of course this includes only the ticket.
- Day Cruise:
From the piers of Sliema and Bugibba it’s possible to join day cruises. Travel agents, ticket offices and street vendors usually besiege the areas to sell you tickets. For almost all cruises the Blue Lagoon is a mandatory stop, but there are various schedules and prices.
With boats able to transport till 500 passengers, these tours are not something for the faint of heart.
- Private charter:
From many central locations in Malta and Gozo, it is possible to rent a sailboat or a powerboat with skipper for a tailored programme. While this is the most expensive solution, it is also the only way to avoid the crowd and explore Comino at your own peace.
Info & Tips:
There is a hotel where you can have lunch and around the Blue Lagoon you can find some kiosks and bars as well where you can buy food and drinks or rent out umbrellas. The prices are usually quite over the national average, we suggest you bring with you plenty of water, fruits and some snacks.
There is no natural shade and the space for umbrellas are rather limited, so be aware as it might be quite difficult to find a shady spot if you go unprepared. Caps and sunscreen are a must.
- What to do:
Apart from Snorkelling, swimming and sunbathing, you can walk around or rent a bike from the only hotel and follow the many paths that cross Comino. For these activities, good shoes and sun protection are recommended.
- Where to snorkel:
The turquoise water of the Blue Lagoon have stunning colours thanks to the white sandy bottom, perfect for your Instagram photos, but not very good for snorkelling. It is better to explore the rocky coast around the bay to find interesting marine life.
Be aware of boat traffic and the jellyfish that in certain periods enter in the bay.
- When to go:
Spring and Autumn are ideal, during the summer months, between 10 am and 4 pm, the Blue Lagoon is always very crowded. Try to be there early to enjoy its beauty before all the day-cruise boats arrive.
ST. PETER POOL
In the far south of Malta, there is a small peninsula called Dalimara, where the picturesque fisherman village of Marsaxlokk lies.
The Dalimara coast is rocky and jagged by many little coves, one of these coves is the famous St. Peter Pool.
The bay is protected from North-westerly wind and the undulated sandstone and the particular rock formations make it look like an alien landscape, absolutely gorgeous!
How to reach St.Peter’s Pool: You can’t get to St Peter Pool with public transport but you can reach the fishing village of Marsaxlokk by bus (from Valletta n.81 and 85) from there you want to follow Triq Delimara. The road is quite bumpy and disconnected, there is a sign showing the direction of the entrance.
You can go on foot from Marsaxlokk, the walk is about 2.5km and it takes around 30 minutes.
There are taxi offering this service form Marsaxlokk at a somehow expensive rate and few usually are waiting on the dirt track near St Peter’s pool for the way back.
Few boats are running short trips from the village and these normally includes also a stop in St Peter’s Pool.
If you drive, keep in mind that the road near the St. Peter Pool can be quite bumpy and disconnected and finding a comfortable parking place could be difficult. Parking is very limited.
Info & Tips:
There are plenty of restaurants, bars and shops in Marsaxlokk but no vendors at St Peter’s Pool.
The high cliff that surrounds the cove offers some shade in the afternoon.
- What to do:
Apart from snorkelling and sunbathing, the bay is also popular for cliff diving. A visit to the fisherman village of Marsaxlokk is really recommended.
- Where to snorkel:
The bay itself has some intriguing rock formation but usually doesn’t offer a rich marine life. It is better to swim out of the inlet and explore the area around.
Boats are not allowed inside but there are often jet-sky passing at high speed. If you snorkelling inside the bay be aware of people cliff-diving on top of your head.
When to go: Sunday is the most popular day, it is also the day when locals and tourist alike visit the fish market of Marsaxlokk. In the summer St Peter’s Pool is often overcrowded. To enjoy it is worth to go on early morning.
The West coast of Malta is more rural than the north-East coast, with high cliffs and with few accesses to the sea. The small and remote beach of Fomm ir-Rih is one of these inlets.
Reaching Fomm ir-Rih is not easy at all as there is no public transportation. You can reach the place by taxi, but telephone coverage is not always good there and so calling a taxi back could be problematic. The best solution is to book a private tour, rent a car or a scooter.
You can get there by following the road to Bahrija. From the center of the village you keep on the main road leading towards the coast. There are some side streets on the way. Keep the main, which ends up in a small parking lot.
From this to reach the beach you have to walk down a bumpy and disconnected path, it is a short walk down of 15/20 minutes.
The path is not particularly difficult, but it is not advisable to walk it wearing flip flops. Please take into account that the maltese summer can be very hot, so be sure you are in the physical condition to walk down to the shore and then up again under the sun.
The beach is absolutely not equipped, so you must bring everything you need, especially drinks (and please do not leave your garbage on the shore).
On windy days, when the sea is rough, it is not advisable to swim as waves and currents can be dangerous in this area of the coast, even if we are in the Mediterranean.
There are not many natural sandy beaches in Malta and Golden Bay, as its name already suggests, is one of those beaches.
Golden Bay, located on the northwestern coast of Malta on the edge of the Majistral National Park, is one of the most popular spots on the island.
West Orientation (towards the sunset), golden sand and easy access (both by public and private transport) are all elements that make Golden Bay highly appreciated and a very crowded place, sometimes even in winter.
Every year in September is the stage of one of the most famous Obstacle Race in Malta: The Grid. Event that gathers thousands of participants full of enthusiasm.
On request, it is possible to organize barbecues and even wedding parties, obviously not during peak hours.
The sandy bottom, the shallow water and the presence of lifeguards make this beach a very safe place for swimming and on place you can find many water sports options: jet-skiing, banana riding, kayaking, parasailing, sup and of course snorkelling.
For a satisfactory snorkelling session, however, you will have to get away from the crowded sandy shore. And then be aware of strong currents that occasionally affect the bay.
At the northern end of Malta, along the rocky coast, there is a place known as Coral Lagoon or Coral Garden. It is not a lagoon and there are no corals either (coral is not generally found throughout the Mediterranean).
Nevertheless, even if the name sounds “cheaty” the place is undoubtedly spectacular. It is a natural cave, with access to the open sea, whose ceiling has collapsed due to erosion and creating a spectacular “sinkhole” effect.
Given its peculiar shape, Coral Lagoon welcomes a beautiful variety of marine flora and fauna and when the sun is high and illuminates the interior of the cave, the effect is truly fascinating.
Coral Lagoon is not easily accessible, there is no public transport. You must necessarily have your own vehicle or come by taxi. Once on place you must leave your vehicle near the Armier Bay caravan campsite and walk to the Lagoon on a rocky and uneven ground.
Many people dives into the sea from the top of the cave, a jump of about ten meters. This is the fastest and most direct way to access Coral Lagoon and also the most engaging for those looking for strong emotions.
The seabed is deep enough but it is not possible to call that jump as safe and risk-free one.
But risks don’t end there. To reach back the mainland you must swim out of the cave and then climb up the sharp rocky coast.
Furthermore, the stretch of coast out from the Coral Lagoon is often wavy and affected by even strong currents. Swimming out of the Lagoon can be difficult and dangerous even if equipped with a mask and fins.
Alternatively, you can enter the water in the most protected Armier Bay, exit the bay and swim for about 500 meters until the entrance to the cave. But again the currents and waves can make swimming very tiring and leave you too tired for the return.
Over the years many unwary tourists have been seriously injured by jumping into Coral Lagoon or by swimming in adverse weather conditions. Be very careful, don’t ever swim there alone and be sure to be strong and in healthy condition.