-by Luciano Borg
he Maltese Archipelago is a real paradise for divers and snorkellers. In the case of wreck diving, for many it is a dream come true. The islands have fortunately retained their natural state due, to a large extent, to the sea and its fauna.
The attraction of Malta and Gozo for the diver, however, is based on their unique topographic structure, the healthy water situation which offers a visibility of over 25 meters at most dive sites, the rich fauna and the large amount of wrecks. The combination of sheer cliffs, caves, wrecks, shelves and sandy and rocky sea beds, means there is a large variety of fauna and flora to see and explore in Maltese waters.
Wrecks, as artificial reef habitats, have provided a home for a great number of species in recent years and make excellent dive sites. Even more exciting for both the beginner and the experienced diver, there is also a large amount of wrecks from the First and Second World Wars. They are wrecks of all shapes and dimensions that make Malta and Gozo a clear cut ahead for wreck diving in the Mediterranean.
Some wrecks have also been scuttled as artificial reefs and all offer perfect living conditions for fish and marine organisms. Dives on offer in Malta are either from land or from a boat, depending on the level of experience and the dive sites selected. 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 amongst Malta’s diving schools have their own dedicated top grade scuba equipment as well as all necessary support materials. Academic instruction and practical training can be carried out in English, German, French, Dutch, Italian, Russian and Arabic.
For the less daring – snorkelling
The active, colourful world that lies beneath the surface of the Maltese sea is full of secrets to be discovered and revealed by the ardent snorkeller. As one explores this world he soon learns more about its inhabitants and the rich life to be found there. It is easy to see why people can become passionate about the underwater world surrounding Malta and Gozo.
As an activity, snorkelling is within the reach of practically everyone. It does not ask for expensive or complicated equipment, and the basics are easy to learn. Most snorkellers take their holidays in areas that are ideal for snorkelling and for people of practically all age groups, which is why Malta has been regularly attracting more of them.
Snorkelling is the practice of swimming at the surface of a body of water while equipped with a diving mask, a shaped tube called a snorkel, and usually flippers. In cooler waters or in winter time, a wetsuit may also be worn. Combining these tools allows the snorkeller to observe underwater attractions for extended periods of time with relatively little effort.
Snorkelling is an increasingly popular recreational activity for visitors to Malta and Gozo, with hotels and holiday resorts offering lessons and snorkelling activities throughout the summer months. They give you the opportunity to observe underwater life in a natural setting. This may include some fascinating reefs and their denizens, such as fish, cephalopods, starfish, sea urchins, and mollusks. Snorkelling in the sandy areas may allow sightings of rays and various flatfish.
Other organisms that can be seen while snorkelling in Malta include various forms of seaweed, jellyfish, shrimp, and very rarely, sea turtles and other colourful species. It is a world inviting you in. Don’t hesitate. If the idea of scuba diving is a bit too scary, but you still want to connect with the world under water then snorkelling is the perfect compromise.
Article source: Expert Articles
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