The small island of Gozo, Malta on the Mediterranean Sea has long been considered one of the best diving locations in Europe – and with good reason.
With its fantastic wreck and cave sites, coupled with beautiful underwater scenery and excellent visibility, Gozo’s reputation is well deserved. Many of the dive sites can be accessed from shore or through a short boat ride to sea. With warm sea temperatures, novice and experienced divers are able to dive all year round.
So which diving-sites are a must-do for anyone who wants to take the plunge in Gozo.
Here are Malta's top diving spots:
The Blue Hole
Malta’s most famous dive site is a round blue hole made from rock formations over the centuries. The Blue Hole is 15 metres wide and goes to a depth of 26 metres though it is connected to the sea through an underwater archway. Past a vertical cleft of rock known as the Chimney lies the Coral Garden where hundreds of multi coloured fish swim in a multi-level rocky bed. A fantastic location for photography, the Blue Hole and the Coral Garden are located at Dwerja on Gozo’s west coast.
Double Arch Reef
From Xwieni Bay, take a 200m swim in a northerly direction to a T shaped reef which has steep drop-offs at all sides. Around the corner, you will find two natural arches which are built on top of each other. This is the Double Arch reef where you will find amberjacks, damsel, reams, and wrasses among many other sea creatures. You will also be able see lots of sea urchins as you swim past a shallow area with sea grass which separates the Double Arch and shore. Boat rides are also available to take divers to the reef.
Located in Ghasri, Reqqa Point is highly popular because of the amazing diversity of marine life in the north coast. There are large shoals of dentex and you will find plenty of groupers. There is a vertical wall covered with sponges and lots of small fish that goes down to 60 metres deep. At about 18 metres you will find a nice, long chimney and swim among big shoals of damselfish in close-knit swim formations. There are also some large caves that you can explore at its entry/exit.
Once a passenger ferry with Captain Morgan Cruises, MV Karwela is the most popular of the three diving wrecks in the south eastern coast of Gozo. It is about 50m long and sits perfectly upright on a sandy bottom at a maximum depth of 40 metres. Gozo Tourism Association scuttled (sunk) MV Karwela in August 2006 as an artificial reef for divers. Divers can swim into the ferry from the various openings and there is lots to explore on its three decks.
Also known as the Blue Dome, the Cathedral Cave is located on the right wall of a narrow gorge in Ghasri Valley. The entrance of the cave, located at 5 metres below the surface leads to a huge dome whose walls are covered in sponge and corals. As the cave faces west, it is an excellent location to take photos especially in the afternoon when it is brightly lit by direct sunlight.