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How to Visit the Coral Lagoon in Malta: Epic Hidden Gem

How to Visit the Coral Lagoon in Malta: Epic Hidden Gem

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

The Coral Lagoon is a small sea cave and natural lagoon with crystal clear water, perfect for kayakers and swimmers, and should not be missed by those seeking the most beautiful natural sites on Malta Island!

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.

After finding this from the land and the sea, I’ll reveal everything you need to know, including how to get there, what to expect, and tips for making the most of your visit!

Collapsed roof at dragonara cave

What You Need to Know About the Coral Lagoon

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. 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.

Here's what you need to know.

  • Coral Lagoon is located on the northeast coast of Malta Island, just near Armier Bay Beach
  • You can get here via land (5-minute walk from the car park, by boat tour, or kayak from Armier Beach (more info below)
  • The Coral Lagoon has two other names, the Coral Cave, and Dragonara Cave.
  • Inside the cave, you will discover crystal-clear waters, in a calm, protected lagoon.
  • 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 one of my favorite photography locations in Malta.

Coral lagoon, malta
Entrance to the Coral Lagoon

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.

Location: "Buco Blu"

Read on for a breakdown of the best options for getting to Malta's Coral Lagoon (car, boat, or kayak).

Aerial view of the coral lagoon cave in malta

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.

Boat on malta's north coast

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.

Kayak in malta's coral lagoon
Kayakers at malta coral lagoon

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, we walked across the rocks, which took us 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.

L-aħrax tal mellieħa point in malta

My Experience Exploring Malta's Coral Lagoon

The first time we visited the Coral Lagoon we came from the land, walking along the rocky coast to check out the lagoon from above. Due to the low tide, we didn't risk jumping in from the top. So, we just enjoyed the view and took some photos from the drone.

From the top, we glanced down into crystal clear waters rich with sea life and glowing color. We got amazing views from the top and my favorite photos are from the drone. But in my opinion the best experience is from inside the cave.

However, 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 in Malta.

Coral lagoon, malta

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. If you're approaching from the land like we did, you'll have some difficulty getting into the water, as there is no direct access.

Swimmers at malta sea cave

Cliff Jumping

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.

Malta coral lagoon

Scuba Diving

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.

Coral lagoon and blow hole
Blow hole pictured to the left of the cave

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!
Boat at the collapsed roof coral cave in malta
Malta blue water and orange cliffs
Small picturesque bay just south of the Coral Lagoon
Kayaking in a sea cave malta

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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.

Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.