A complete travel guide to the incredible Coral Lagoon in Malta. Find out why you can’t miss this incredible natural wonder on your next trip.
While everyone knows Malta’s Blue Lagoon, not many make it to the incredible off-the-beaten-track open-top sea cave known as Coral Lagoon.
This small sea cave and natural lagoon with crystal clear water is perfect for kayakers and swimmers, and should not be missed by those seeking the most beautiful natural sites on Malta Island.
In this travel guide, I’ll reveal everything you need to know about visiting Malta’s Coral Lagoon, including how to get there, what to expect, as well as some tips to make sure you make the most of your visit.
About the Coral Lagoon in Malta
The Coral Lagoon has two other names, the Coral Cave, and Dragonara Cave. This natural attraction is a large sea cave with a collapsed roof, forming an oval-shaped rocky hole with a narrow entrance to the Mediterranean Sea.
Inside the cave, travelers will discover crystal clear waters, in a calm, protected lagoon. This is a great spot to swim, or simply sit and relax away from the busy crowds of neighboring Armier Bay Beach and Mellieħa Bay.
Due to the grotto’s protected walls and exposed roof, the water temperatures inside the Coral Lagoon are often 2-3 degrees warmer than the water outside. As a result, more sea life grows inside the cave, hence, justifying its name.
This is one of the most breathtaking locations on Malta’s northern shore, and once you see the aerial top view, you’ll find out why this is a popular Instagram and photography location.
Tip: Malta is an adventure playground! If you’re planning to go hiking, cliff jumping, or kayaking, then make sure you have travel insurance for adventurers. The best option currently is WorldNomads, which caters to young adventure travelers. Safetywing is also a good option for longer trips.
Where is the Coral Lagoon?
Coral Lagoon is located on the northeast tip of Malta Island, just near Armier Bay Beach and close to the Chapel of Immaculate Conception (an amazing sunset location over Mellieħa Bay).
The cave is hard to miss, specifically because of its remote location on the small, rocky headland.
Below I’ve pinned the exact location of the sea cave. Read on for a breakdown of the best options for getting to Malta’s Coral Lagoon (car, boat, or kayak).
How to Get to the Coral Lagoon
There are multiple ways to get here, which I’ll detail below. The cave is approximately an 11-minute drive from the port at Ċirkewwa (the ferry terminal to Gozo).
1. Malta Boat Trip (Caves and Lagoons)
Getting inside the sea cave is difficult from land because there isn’t a ladder or easy access path from the top of the rocks.
So, if you’re looking for the best way to get to the Coral Lagoon, then it’s a good idea to jump on board this full-day Malta boat trip. This includes a stop at the Coral Lagoon, as well as the other top coastal attractions including:
- St. Pauls Islands
- Comino Island (sea caves and coves)
- Blue Lagoon
This is one of the top-rated boat trips in Malta and you can book it online cheaply with GetYourGuide.
2. Kayaking to the Coral Lagoon
If you’d rather visit the Coral Lagoon Independently, then one of the best ways to do so is to rent a kayak.
You’ll find kayak rentals at Armier Bay Beach, which is a great location since it’s very close to the cave. Simply paddle around the coast, where you’ll find a narrow entrance wide enough to paddle on a small cove (eastern side of the headland).
Tip: While the weather was perfect when I visited the lagoon, I definitely would not recommend entering this cave during rough seas or high winds.
3. Visiting the Coral Lagoon by Land
For those with a car, moped, or ATV, you’ll have two options to get to the cave by land. The first is to drive to Armier Bay Beach, then turn right and follow the road to a small cove closer to the pin above. This area is called L-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa campsite (near the Ahrax Tower), and there is plenty of space to park your car.
From here, you can walk across the rocks for less than 5 minutes before arriving at the Coral Lagoon cave.
The second option is to drive the coastal road along Campsite Point and take the first left before the Chapel of Immaculate Conception, (a fantastic sunset spot looking over Malleiha Bay).
Malta Travel Tip: During my travels on Malta, I rented a car, which gave me the freedom to explore all the amazing locations across the islands. While there are plenty of rental car companies on Malta, they often run out of vehicles during the summer months. Therefore, make sure to book online in advance and compare prices across dealerships on DiscoverCars.
Related: Crystal Lagoon on Comino Island
What to Expect at Malta’s Coral Lagoon
Whether you’re approaching from the land or the sea, this hidden cave doesn’t really seem like much of an attraction until you get close. However, when you do, you’ll realize why this spot is such an amazing highlight on Malta.
From the top, you’ll glance down into crystal clear waters rich with sea life and glowing color. You’ll get amazing views from the top, but the best experience is from inside the cave.
Swimming in the Coral Lagoon
The water inside the grotto is quite deep all around, which makes this a great swimming location for confident swimmers. For travelers approaching from the land, you’ll have some difficulty getting into the water, as there is no direct access.
I’m sure you would have seen the popular instagram posts of people jumping into the turquoise water of the Coral Lagoon. While the water is deep enough to jump, there is a sign just above the cave discouraging people from jumping.
This is mostly due to the fact that it’s quite difficult to get back out of the cave, since you’ll have to swim out to the sea and around to a low part of the cliff, a few hundred meters near the bend. The waves can also get quite rough outside the cave, which you might not notice before jumping.
For those who ignore the warnings, the jump is around 10 meters high and the water is usually always deep enough since Malta isn’t really subject to tides. Either way, remember to always do a depth check first.
The Coral Lagoon area is also a popular diver’s spot, known as “L’ahrax Point”. While I haven’t been scuba diving at this site, I’ve been told it is quite impressive, especially due to the beautiful tunnel at the entrance and the healthy golden cup corals.
The Blow Hole
Just north of the open-top cave is a small natural blow hole. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to witness this in action as the sea was always very calm during my summer travels in Malta.
Quick Tips for Visiting the Lagoon
Set on visiting Malta’s Coral Lagoon? Awesome, here a few essential travel tips you’ll want to know before heading out.
- Wear sturdy footwear – the rocks out to the cave are very rough and weathered (L-Aħrax tal Mellieħa means the harsh of Mellieħa)
- Bring lots of sunscreen & water – Malta’s sun can be harsh too
- The best time to visit for photos, where the water is lit up inside the cave is at around 12 pm during the summer
- Leave no trace – keep Malta beautiful, take any rubbish with you. If you see any, take some with you anyway!
More Malta Travel Guides & Inspiration
I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick travel guide and photos of the amazing Coral Lagoon in Malta.
Below you’ll find a few more guides to epic destinations across the islands.