For those of you who have been following my Gozo journey, you’ll know I originally came out here to do my PADI Divemaster. I absolutely adore diving, and fell a little bit in love with diving in Gozo, and therefore I decided to stay and complete my PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor course and exam.
I have only done around 80 dives in Gozo, but I have seen some amazing things and met some amazing people, so here is my guide to diving in Gozo.
First and foremost, I have to mention the dive school that saw me through my Divemaster course. Scuba Kings is a dive centre based on the very sea front of Marsalforn Bay, so has virtually the perfect location. Branding itself as a ‘relaxed’ dive centre, what’s special about Scuba Kings is everything is very chilled: diving starts around 9/9:30 (positively late for this island), and there is never a rush to get to the dive site before you’ve had time for a coffee and something to eat. A big shoutout has to also go to the staff at Scuba Kings, Richie, Mick, Jen, Tyler, Sabba and Marco create such a friendly environment to walk into, and are always on hand to help you or have a beer!
Scuba Kings is suitable for all levels of divers, offering PADI courses, guided diving, equipment rental, unguided diving and more. I completed my Divemasters with them, but a friend who had never dived before also came out and did his Open Water course, and loved it so much that he stayed on to do his advanced with them! Whatever your level, or whatever you’re interested in, Scuba Kings are happy to accommodate, just get in contact!
There are several other dive centres around Marsalforn, and across the whole island, this is just my experience as I have done all of my diving with Scuba Kings, however, there’s Calypso, Nautic, Gozo Aqua Sports, and Atlantis, just to name a few in Marsalforn itself. Whatever your needs, Gozo can help.
Gozo is a very special place to dive, and sometimes unlike the diving people have encountered before.
Most of the diving here is shore diving, that means you’ll be needing a set of sturdy diving boots to get down to the water. The walk itself can be short or long, depending on the dive site you use, but certainly makes a fun build up to the dive! Open back fins are certainly a must have for this island. However, don’t be put off, if walking with a tank on your back isn’t your forte, there are plenty of dive sites where you can get in with minimal effort. You can also go boat diving, however so many amazing sites are accessible from land that you shouldn’t be put off if you don’t.
The water in Gozo is often beautifully crystal clear, and in summer gets up to gorgeous temperatures of 27 degrees, but in the winter can be a little chilly dropping down to 16. When I first got here in December I was happily diving in a 3mm wetsuit, but during February/March a drysuit may be more comfortable.
There are many different types of dive in Gozo, suitable for beginners right through to people who love a challenge. I will mention some of the sites suitable for these things later on, but you can experience wrecks, caverns, deep diving and more on Gozo, making it a super attractive place to come no matter your level.
In general, the main pull of diving in Gozo is topography. There is certainly a lot of life to see too, but nothing compares to the beautiful structures of rock around the island. The swim throughs, chimneys, caves and arches are exciting and beautiful. Common life here includes: octopus, seahorses, barracuda, eels, jellyfish, nudibranchs, groupers, tuna, jacks and more, but do not come here expecting the coral reefs of Egypt. It is phenomenally beautiful, but different and this is definitely something to keep in mind when you come.
It would be impossible to write about every single dive site in Gozo in this one blog post, and there are so many I have yet to visit too, but here is a run down of some of my ‘must see’ recommendations and why they are so wonderful.
Blue Hole – possibly the most famous dive site on the island, as it used to be host to the Azure Window, and was also used for the filming of Daenerys Targaryen’s wedding in Game of Thrones, the Blue Hole is not somewhere you want to miss. Although this is probably the dive site with the longest walk to the entry point, it is well worth it once you’re submerged. The hole itself is a beautiful drop to around 15m, and is host to a cave located at the back. The hole also has a window leading to the open ocean, and from here you can access the sunken Azure Window, also known as the ‘alps’, as when it collapsed it formed a wonderful haven for divers to explore.
Suitability – minimum Open Water diver, although as it has some beautiful features at 30m+ so Advanced/Deep Diver would also be recommended.
Coast – WEST
Inland Sea – located next door to Blue Hole, and accessible from here as well, Inland Sea is a lagoon of seawater with a tunnel connecting it to the sea. Inside the tunnel, the sea bed gets progressively deeper, and there are mesmerising views of the bright blue sea from the sea-side crack, and the green glow if looking back at the lagoon. It’s important to be careful here, as many boats pass through, creating a hazard for divers at the shallower end of the tunnel. Once out to sea, it is a beautiful wall dive that is host to caves and cracks, and you can even get round to exit in the Blue Hole, incorporating both dives.
Suitability – it is possible to tailor the dive to any level, however I would again recommend advanced/deep as some of the best features are below 18m.
Coast – WEST
Xatt L’Ahmar – the thing that makes Xatt L’Ahmar such an exciting dive site is that it not only has a long, shallow reef, suitable for all level of divers, but from here you can access not 1, not 2, but 3 different wrecks. Unfortunately, all of these wrecks sit at arund the 35-40m mark, making them unsuitable for novice divers, however I couldn’t think of a more exciting place to do a Deep Speciality course.
The three wrecks are as follows:
– MV Cominoland – on the left side as you’re looking out from the car park is MV Cominoland. A sunken ex-minelayer and sightseeing boat, the boat was scuttled as part of a reef conservation project, funded by the EU. The sand is at around 40m and the deck at 35m. This is a safe wreck to explore as there have been many exit points cut into the boat. This is the furthest wreck from the shore, and slightly smaller than the next wreck I will mention, but still provides a very exciting dive for those who enjoy exploring wrecks.
– MV Karwela – probably the most dived wreck on Gozo, and scuttled as part of the same project as MV Cominoland, MV Karwela was also used as a sightseeing boat. MV Karwela has 3 decks and an engine room, meaning there is plenty to explore. It is perfectly upright and again has lots of holes, meaning it is very safe to navigate. Don’t miss out on the gorgeous staircase at the centre of the boat, perfect for getting your ‘Titanic’ shot of you inside the wreck, and a really beautiful feature. Again, the bottom of the wreck sits at 42m, and the decks around 35m.
– MV Xlendi – unlike the others, the Xlendi was a cargo ship on the Gozo channel, and lies in an upside down position on the seabed. It is not recommended to enter this wreck, due to the unstable nature of it’s position, and the lack of access to exit points, however the propellers of the boat (which are on top due to its position) sat at 35m provide a great point of interest. There is also a sunken car directly next to MV Xlendi.
Suitability – as aforementioned, the wrecks are only suitable for Advanced/Deep divers, however, the reef where seahorses, octopus and fried egg jellyfish are often spotted, is at a depth suitable for all!
Coast – SOUTH
Ras Il Hobz – by far one of my personal favourite dive sites on the island. The literal translation of the name means ‘head of bread’ but personally, I don’t see the resemblance. Aside from this, it is also host to the Pinnacle, also known affectionately known as Middle Finger. On the inner side the Pinnacle sits at 35m and on the outer side drops down to 100m+, and the peak sits at 9m. This dive site is one of the best places to see life on the island, with frequent sightings of swimming moral eels, groupers, tuna, jacks and hoards of little fish. With a calm bay to the right, it is a wonderful dive with lots of variety possible too.
Suitability – suitable for all divers! The beauty of Ras Il Hobz is you can tailor it to any level of interest, with tech divers using the site too.
Coast – SOUTH
Reqqa Point – again, an amazing dive site for life and topography, Reqqa is probably one of the most popular sites on the North coast. Someone once said to me ‘if it’s possible to dive the North coast, dive the North coast’, due to the prevailing North-Westerly winds affecting Gozo. Reqqa is definitely not one to be missed out on as it has so many different features: submerged chimneys, a drop off, a busy reef, huge boulders and buzzing marine life. Not only this but you can access Shrimp Cave (no prizes for guessing what’s in there based on the name), and swim round to Billinghurst Cave. There is also the Reqqa Bottle here, for tech divers and the like, a chimney starting at 58m and ending at 35m. A point of note is that although there are a couple of ways to exit at Reqqa, one of the favoured is a steep ladder which can seem a bit daunting but is extremely achievable.
Suitability – again, another very adaptable dive spot, which can be edited to accommodate less experience and more experienced divers, and tailored to what each diver is interested in.
Coast – NORTH
Cathedral Cave – this dive is not one to be missed, especially if you’re a singer like me. Let me explain…. Cathedral Cave is a cavern just a short dive away from the North coast. The main draw of this is the beautiful blue dome, that is is possible to surface in, with light dripping into the cavern ceiling through the small crack in the rock. Not only is it absolutely stunning to see, but the acoustics inside are unparalleled, creating the illusion of a cathedral sound. My dream would be to take my old a cappella choir there to sing classical music as it would sound out of this world! But back to diving… The swim there is a lovely reef dive with lots of life to be seen and wonderful rock formations.
Suitability – suitable for all divers Open Water and above, with more exciting routes available for more advanced divers.
Coast – NORTH
Here is where I shall stop, because although there are several more dive sites, I said I wouldn’t get carried away and only mention my favourites! If you’d like to know more about diving in Gozo, always free to get in contact, or check out the Scuba Kings website for more information on dive sites too.
Keep your eyes peeled for more posts about diving in Gozo, as I live here now, there’s sure to be more I want to talk about, and if you missed it, here is my General Guide to Gozo, for the non-divers reading!
And if you enjoyed this post, you can now support my work by buying me a coffee! All donations will probably be spent on coffee in the aforementioned Magnificos, and will help me continue to write for your enjoyment.
All of the photos in this post were taken on a GoPro Hero 8.
Thanks for reading!
Amy @thisgingertravels x