Malta diving experience: The Orange Shark Adventure

In the Mediterranean, Malta beckons as a premier diving destination, and at the center of this allure is the Orange Shark Dive Center. Nestled within the Ramla Bay Resort in Mellieha, the center offers unparalleled access to the pristine waters of Comino and Gozo. Our hosts, Max Valli and Paola Lupo, have not only created a diver’s paradise but have also infused their operations with a passion that is palpable from the moment you arrive.
Each detail at Orange Shark is carefully curated, from equipment baskets personalized with your name to the newly launched “Paola One,” a boat designed for comfort and efficiency on full-day diving excursions. This attention to detail ensures that both divers and their companions can enjoy every aspect of their stay, whether they are exploring underwater treasures or relaxing by the resort’s private beach. The experience at Orange Shark is a testament to Max and Paola’s commitment to excellence and their love for the diving world.

For years, Malta had been on our travel radar, attracted by its surge in popularity over recent years, thanks to a combination of affordable quality services, a rich history spanning over 7000 years, and a keen awareness of tourism as a valuable resource. The decision was sealed when the Azure Window in Gozo made its cameo in the first episode of “Game of Thrones.” Rather than embarking on another long-distance journey, we decided to explore the closer trio of islands: Malta, Gozo, and Comino, where I was also tasked with gathering material for a new project.

Reaching Paola and Max

In Malta, whether you’re a diver or not, the experience is top-notch, with a focus on international visitors that extends to even the smallest details, ensuring an unforgettable vacation. Among those who have decided to make this scuba paradise their home are two Italian friends, Max Valli and Paola Lupo. They moved to Malta permanently several years ago, drawn by a dream to change their lives for the love of diving.
Max and Paola’s story is one of bold decisions and successful transformations, fueled by a profound passion for diving. They opened a dive center strategically located in Mellieha, within the Ramla Bay Resort, directly across from Comino, making Gozo just a quick boat ride away.

Arriving at the center, we were immediately struck by the personal touches, such as having our equipment baskets labeled with our names rather than the typical impersonal numbers used to simplify dive organization. It’s a small detail but a clear indicator of the thoughtful service provided here.

Paola Lupo and Max Valli

Orange Shark diving center in Malta

The Orange Shark Dive Center is perfectly integrated into a resort featuring a private beach, four restaurants, a wellness center, and various other amenities. The center is not only appreciated by divers but also their non-diving companions who can enjoy relaxing days at the resort. Post-dive, we took full advantage of the facilities, relishing fresh seafood dishes and the local Cisk beer, a Maltese favorite.
The diving center is fully equipped for both recreational and technical dives, including DPVs. A standout feature of Orange Shark is its addition, the “Paola One,” boat. This ten-meter vessel comfortably accommodates more than a dozen divers and is perfect for full-day excursions, providing unparalleled comfort. Onboard, equipment is efficiently set up on benches, and even the tanks for second dives are conveniently placed to ease transitions. Empty baskets are kept under the benches, handy for storing other gear like fins and masks.

Paola one boat

The boat is also fitted with onboard conveniences including a toilet, a stern shower, a rack, and a storage space for clothing and bags, sheltered from sea spray. Orange Shark offers a nearly exclusive service as most dives in the area are typically shore-based or from smaller rubber boats.
The need for a larger boat is essential for diving around Comino and for reaching all the dive sites off Gozo with more comfort than what is possible with land-based transport, which requires a ferry crossing between the main islands.
The team at Orange Shark, including Max and Paola, is completed by around ten other guides and instructors, with special thanks to Alessio Tenenti, an instructor who has been part of their team for three years. His professionalism and willingness to help have been noteworthy.
Knowing Max for many years, we were confident of having a great experience, but the level of care and attention we received was beyond what we could have imagined, making us feel cherished guests of the “Italian Orange Shark.”
Max and Paola have spared no effort in pursuing the best for themselves and their guests, with their extensive firsthand experience in diving undoubtedly shaping Orange Shark into the five-star diving center it is today.

Our adventure with Orange Shark was not merely a trip but a profound encounter with excellence in service, innovation in hospitality, and a passion for the sea. This dive center is not just a place to explore the beautiful waters around Malta but a beacon of how enthusiasm and quality service can elevate a simple vacation into a memorable journey. For more information, visit Orange Shark’s website.

Italian version published on ScubaPortal

Some of my shots