Thursday, 5 January 2012

What to expect from Malta!

Malta is a small limestone island in the Mediterranean, not far from Sicily or Tunisia. It has many beaches and it should be noted that some of the shores shelves away rapidly which can offer great diving locations. Diving in Malta is mostly shore-based due to this fact; moderately deep diving is possible without being far from the shelter of the shore. Some boat diving is done around Comino in order to reach some of the wreck dives that are located in isolated locations.
Malta played a significant role in World War II, serving as a base midway between mainland Europe and Northern Africa. The consequence of this was that more bombs were dropped there than were dropped on Birmingham in the UK. The bombing inevitably had its casualties, which now make great wreck dives. One of the wrecks is the HMS Maori, the ship that helped crack the code to the 'unsinkable' Bismark. There are also a many wrecks that have been sunk purposefully to serve as underwater attractions for Malta's tourists.
When diving on the Maltese reefs you will find seagrass beds and an abundance of soft coral. There is a reasonable amount of life on the reefs and although the life is not as prolific as somewhere like the Red Sea, it is impressive nonetheless. You may encounter tuna, jacks, barracuda, octopus, moray eels and seahorses, plus you are guaranteed a healthy selection of smaller reef fish. The erosion of the limestone walls creates many caves and arches that greatly improve the diving experience.
Malta would be an ideal holiday destination for a family that has a member who wishes squeeze in a days diving, or for someone who wants a holiday that is purely devoted to diving. There is diving all over the main island of Malta and also on the smaller islands of Gozo and Comino, so wherever you stay there will be the opportunity to dive. The size of the island also means that all sites could be driven to within a few hours and a ferry service frequently runs between Gozo and Malta. Eating out at one of the hundreds of restaurants is a must as food is cheap, costing only about £10 for two courses and a few drinks and is excellent almost everywhere. If you like the taste of fish as much as looking at them underwater, you will be spoilt for choice with the menu.

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