Originally posted on Saga Navigator by myself!
The island of Gozo in Malta is a paradise for all things nautical; boasting crystal clear water, warm temperatures and breathtaking underwater scenery, it’s often regarded as one of the best places for scuba diving in the Mediterranean! To celebrate this tiny island’s diverse array of coastal resorts and beaches I listed some of my favourite – how many have you been to?
Marsalforn is one of the most popular coastal resorts on the island; it has a large, sheltered bay with a small pebble-and-sand beach and a promenade that extends from one side of the bay to the other. It also has a small but active harbour, from where you can enjoy a boat trip to the iconic blue lagoon on neighbouring Comino. Just along the coast from Marsalforn you’ll find the famous Gozitan salt pans, a great photo opportunity and the perfect place to pick up some holiday gifts for family and friends at home.
Named by CNN as one of the top 10 places to see before it changes forever, and my personal favourite, Mgarr ix-Xini consists of a small pebble-and-sand beach in a picturesque rocky cove. It has some A-list fans and has recently been used as the setting of the upcoming blockbuster ‘By the Sea’ starring Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Situated in a wonderfully isolated position and only accessible by car or by foot, it is delightfully unspoilt. Its rich marine life and fantastic water visibility make it the ideal spot for snorkelling.
Xlendi on Gozo’s south west coast has a traditional fishing village feel about it. A rocky inlet with high cliffs flanking each side, it has an array of wonderful cafes and restaurants –including my favourite restaurant on the island, Ta’ Karolina – perfect for fresh fish and seafood! If you’d like a spot of exercise after your delicious meal, walk along the coast from Xlendi to some interesting natural sea caves.
Probably the most photographed coastal region of Gozo, Dwejra Bay includes the unmissable Fungus Rock, the Azure Window, the Blue Hole and serene Inland Sea. Rated as one of the best dive sites in Europe, the Blue Hole is a haven for marine life, and the Azure Window provides endless photo opportunities. My top tip would be to take a boat ride (it only costs a couple of Euros) from the Inland Sea through the cave and round to the Azure Window and the cliffs beyond. Make sure you have a drink in the cafe on the shores of the Inland Sea – the cakes are to die for! The small marine life museum and Dwejra watch tower are both free of charge and also well worth a visit during your holiday to Gozo.
Ramla I-Hamra Bay
Ramla I-Hamra, which literally means ‘red beach’ in Maltese, is noted as being one of the best beaches on the island. Located on the north side of Gozo, its unique, soft orange sand and shallow water makes it popular with locals and tourists alike. If you’re feeling particularly active, take a walk from the edge of Ramla Bay up a steep hill to Calypso Cave, the site where the beautiful Nymph Calypso is fabled to have kept Odysseus as a ‘prisoner of love’ for seven years in Homer’s Odyssey. From this point you will be rewarded with beautiful views over the bay and the rest of the island.