Ghar Lapsi

Location of Site:
Off the south coast near the Mnajdra Temples

Type of Dive:
Entry from the shore by either wading in or by means of a giant stride entry or from the slippery slipway which is covered with algae

Condition:
Sheltered from the northeast winds but there can be poor visibility if it is raining on the day, strong currents and surge in the cave

Average Depth: 6 metres
Maximum Depth: 15 metres

Certification Required: BSAC Ocean Diver, PADI Open Water or equivalent.

The Dive:
The word ‘Ghar’ means cave, and this is one of the most popular areas for safely exploring one of Malta’s best well-lit cave systems. The caves themselves are rather flat and wide, through which the sun reflects, creating marvellous underwater images. Throughout the dive you can find Seahorses as well as a variety of fish including Rainbow Wrasse, Parrotfish and Bream.

Take a nice scenic drive in the countryside to Ghar Lapsi and park the care in the car park just at the bottom of the hill. This is a perfect place to kit up. You will notice a steep hill down to the sea, with steps on both sides. Walk down this hill kitted up and keep going straight down. Walk into the water (which is very shallow). If you look straight in front of you, you will spot a small concrete jetty. Snorkel to the tip of this jetty, and you will find an entrance to a cave. Dive down and into this cave. It is quite a big cave, with a number of outlets into the open sea. This cave is full of colour and a paradise for photographers. 

Just to the right of this cave there is a tunnel, which you should enter with caution. It will lead you to a small air pocket (keep you regulator on at all time in this air lock because the air in there is not always fresh). Our clients usually like to swim out of the cave from the very last exit hole. Here it is not unusual to see the occasional Grouper and you can find interesting sponges and bryozoans and on the outer areas lies posedonia and algae, all grazed on by wrasse and bream.

When you get out of the cave, swim straight in from of you to the brilliantly white sand. Here you might find the odd Star Gazer (do not touch this type of fish, as it will give you a nasty sting). Look out for the cunning Flat Fish, and if you’re lucky you’ll notice the way they camouflage themselves in the sand.

Take a right and you will come across a slight drop on your left. Follow this drop-off out to sea and enjoy the colourful wall full of false coral, sponges, and small but brightly coloured fish. Have a good look in the cracks for Tubeworm and other creatures such as the brightly coloured red Cardinal Fish and Damselfish with their scissors-like tail.

On your return, you can either go back through the cave, or if you prefer you can swim around the headland. Caution is to be taken and if the sea is rough do not attempt this dive, because you can get very strong surges in the cave. Strong currents are not unusual in this area.

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