The island of Gozo is one of the many popular dive destinations in the Mediterranean Sea. Around this island, you can find over 50 different great dive sites – most of them accessible from land. There is no bridge between Malta and Gozo, which means that you have to travel by boat or air if you want to go scuba diving in Gozo. Most tourists catch a ferry to Gozo from Cirkewwa on the island of Malta, but private boats and helicopter transports are also quite common.
The island of Gozo is located roughly 6 kilometres (3.7 miles) from Malta, and is 67 km² (26 square miles) in size. It is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea; only Malta is bigger. It is still a comparatively small island, and you can reach a majority of the dive sites with just a 20 minute car or boat ride.
Most people choose to go diving in Gozo during the summer, since the warm season offers a water temperature around 23º C (73 º F). From December to March, the water temperature will be no higher than 13º - 15º C (55º - 59º F). If you are prepared to wear a more protective wetsuit, diving in Gozo during the winter can be a great experience since many species approach the shore during the colder months, e.g. the John Dory fish.
When you go scuba diving in Gozo you can expect fine underwater visibility and plenty of variation when it comes to dive spots. The cave enthusiast can for instance explore underwater caves, tunnels, grottos and chimneys while scuba diving in Gozo, and there are also several fascinating drop offs and reefs. The waters around Gozo sport an interesting marine flora and fauna for you to enjoy when you go diving in Gozo, including many types of gorgeous fish. The Mediterranean Sea is a semi-enclosed body of water with its very own environment that can be found nowhere else in the world.
Diving in Gozo – novice scuba diver
This dive spot named Marsalforn Bay is ideal if you are a novice diver or if you haven’t gone scuba diving for some time and wish to do a check dive, since it is a gently sloping dive that can be easily accessed from the shore. It is also quite sheltered and popular among dive centers that teach scuba diving to beginners. Marsalforn Bay is located at the northern shore of Gozo and the dive spot can be found off the breakwater somewhat northwest of the bay. It consists of a sandy seabed decorated with big boulders and filled with plenty of Posidonia. Psodionia is a genus of flowering marine plants that can only be found in the
Mediterranean and off the southern coast of the Australian continent. The fauna include schooling Mediterranean fish species such as Diplodus vulgaris
(Common two-banded seabream) and Oblada melanura
(Saddled seabream). When diving in Gozo at Marsalforn Bay you can expect an average visibility of 15 meters (49 feet) and the visibility tends to become better and better as you leave the shoreline. The maximum depth is not more than 12 meters (39 feet), and the average depth for Marsalforn Bay is 8 meters (26 feet).
Diving in Gozo – boat dive
Qala Point is one of the dive sites off the island of Gozo that is more frequently accessed from a boat than directly from shore. Qala Point is located off the easternmost tip of Gozo and since the seabed here consists of rough sand instead of the more commonly occurring fine sand, the water is less filled with silt. You can therefore expect a good underwater visibility here when you go scuba diving in Gozo. The average visibility is 30 meters (98 feet).
Diving in Gozo – wreck dive
Diving in Gozo can also preferably include a trip to one of the many wrecks that rests at the bottom of the unruly Mediterranean Sea. If you are a wreck diver, you can penetrate MV Xlendi, a 260 foot (79 meter) long ferry that used to go between Malta and Gozo until 1999. You can find MV Xlendi off the coast of Xatt L'Ahmar, west of Mgarr. The wreck is now home to many different fish species, including large schools of damselfish (Chromis chromis
). This region is usually sheltered from the northwest winds. Most scuba divers access this dive site from shore, but you can also hire a boat.