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Deep Secrets: 5 incredible dive sites to visit in the Mediterranean

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Blue Hole and Inland Sea

Gozo, Malta

Diving in the Mediterranean often gets a bad rap – lack of marine life, poor visibility and hordes of tourists – but Risa Merl discovers five spectacular sites hiding in classic summer cruising grounds to tick off your diving bucket list

1. Blue Hole and Inland Sea, Malta

Don’t let this dive site’s proximity to the shore fool you. Not only does this spot blow stereotypes about Med diving out of the water, it also offers two stunning sites in one descent. The natural rock formations of the Blue Hole grotto and the limestone lagoon of the Inland Sea are linked by a beautiful series of small caves and caverns, allowing divers to explore both.

Many dives start in the Inland Sea before passing through the crevice of rock that connects it to the open sea, heading over a reef dotted with nudibranchs and then emerging into the Blue Hole, one of the world's most amazing cave dive sites. “Sea life abounds,” says Mikhail Umnov, owner of Starfish Diving School on Malta’s east coast, who often guides superyacht owners and guests to this site. “There are big yellowfin tuna up to 1.5 metres, dolphin fish and even octopus. Not only is the sea life fantastic, but there is a beautiful composition of rocks.”

The sites suit beginners and experienced divers alike. “Open water divers can easily go on this dive. It’s good for buoyancy control but it’s also advanced, and technical divers enjoy it as the max depth is 65 metres.”

Location: Near the site of the Azure Window, a 28m natural limestone arch that collapsed in March, off the island of Gozo, Malta

How to get there: It’s a 500 metre tender ride from the Fungus Rock anchorage – far prettier than it sounds

Depth: Up to 65 metres

Experience level: Open water to technical diver

Insider’s tip: The best time to go is in the early morning when you can see a lot of sea life and beat the dive boats, which come between 9am and 2pm

Picture courtesy of Gettyimages.co.uk

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