Best Dive Sites in Gozo

Our top 5 Dive Sites in Gozo

Gozo has some world-class dive sites, especially if you are looking for crystal clear warm waters, submerged caverns, stunning lighting effects and a unique underwater landscape. 

Diving in the Maltese Islands was awarded 2nd best diving destination in the world and best diving destination in Europe three years in a row (2017, 2018, 2019) by Diver Award.

Also legendary diving icon Jacques Cousteau names the Blue Hole and Inland Sea in Gozo among his ‘meilleur dix’ (best 10 dives) in the world. 

After more than 3 years of diving in the Maltese Islands, these 5 dive sites are on the top of my list (with Gudja cave being my absolute favorite):

The Blue Hole (Dwejra)

  • Dive: Reef, Wall & Cavern – Shore Dive
  • Highlights of the dive site: Blue Hole, Azure Window Ruins, Chimney, 3 Caverns (many different dives possible)
  • Level: Beginner & Experienced
  • Depth: 7 – 40+ m
  • Entrance: challenging (rocky & sharp path)
The Blue Hole Photo credits: instagram.com/silvia_justdiving

This is probably Gozo’s most popular dive site. The dive usually starts with descending inside the Blue Hole, while being enchanted by the sunlight radiating and magically dancing through the Blue Hole. What a spectacular way to begin a dive.

Upon exiting the Blue Hole through an archway and turning to the right, you get to witness another unique spectacle; it is just a few meters away from the Blue Hole where the Azure Window crashed into the sea in 2017. Since then ruins of this famous landmark are slowly turning into a magnificent stone reef, attracting and attracting more and more marine life.

Diving between these ruins and following the massive boulders into the depth, surrounded by crystal clear azure blue waters, is an one of a kind experience. Till today, divers can find reminders of the existence of this majestic landmark.  For example the lower part of the original column is still in its original place reaching nearly all the way up to the surface. 

The Blue Hole Dive as such does not exist. This dive site in Gozo offers various routes for different depth and difficulty. Great swim-throughs, hidden in the underwater mountains (Azure Alps), leading divers as deep as 40m ( or even deeper). Cave lovers will get excited by the three caverns that can be explored around this dive site. A chimney that allows taking a shortcut across the wall to the coral garden is a fun exploration for less experienced divers. Unless on a twin-set or side-mount, you won’t be able to do all the highlights in one dive.

INSIDER TIP: If you have a limited time and can’t decide whether you would like to dive the Inland Sea or the Blue Hole, it is possible to do a one-way dive from the Inland Sea to the Blue Hole (or vice-versa) and see a little bit of both sites. However, if time allows I would recommend doing at least two dives to really explore both dive sites in Gozo. 

MV Karwela (Xatt L-Ahmar)

MV Karwela Diving in Gozo
MV Karwela – Photo Credits: instagram.com/kristof_intotheblue/
  • Dive: Wreck & Reef – Shore Dive
  • Highlights: Well preserved wreck, famous staircase, marine life (sea horse, octopus, hunting jacks, cuttlefish)
  • Level: Advanced
  • Depth: 30 – 40 m (reef at 10 m)
  • Entrance: medium (steep path & ladder)

The MV Karwela is a popular dive site in Gozo for wreck diving. The Karwela is especially famous for its staircase; probably the most famous and photographed stairs on the island.

The ship, originally named MS Frisia II, is from West Germany. It was an 863-passenger ferry used from 1957 onwards. Malta bought the MS Frisia II and used her as an 800-passenger ferry till Captain Morgan Cruises Valletta bought her in 1992. Her name was changed to Karwela and she was turned into a day trip cruise ship around Valletta up till 2002. 

On the 12th of August 2006, after making both ships environmentally safe, the MV Karwela (together with the MV Cominoland) was scuttled by the Gozo Tourism Association, less than 100 m offshore and about 50 m apart from each other.

After nearly two decades laying on the sea ground at 40 m depth, both wrecks are still well preserved and attracting an increasing variety of marine life.  

The MV Karwela is a dive site in Gozo full of atmosphere. The dive starts at the shallow reef, from where you will slowly make your way out into the blue. After a few mins (~ 4 mins) the silhouette of the 58 m long ship will mystically appear from the depth and you can start your exploration. It is possible to penetrate this well-preserved wreck; take a peek in the engine room, glide down the famous staircase and don’t forget to take a picture before heading back to the reef.

Mv Karwela Engine Room
Photo credits: instagram.com/kristof_intotheblue/

During your safety stop at the shallow reef, you might spot some octopus, cuttlefish and if you are lucky, even some seahorses hiding in the grass. Remember to keep your fins and cameras away from the ground!!

INSIDER TIP: While the MV Cominoland has been stripped off all paint, the MV Karwela was scuttled with the paint still on. This is an experiment to see which wreck would attract coral growth and marine life faster. See the difference for yourself, when diving both wrecks.

Inland Sea (Dwejra)

  • Dive: Wall & Cave – Shore Dive
  • Highlights of this dive site: Tunnel & intense blue light
  • Level: Beginner & Experienced
  • Depth: 7 – 40+ m
  • Entrance: easy (3 steps)

The Inland Sea is a shallow natural lagoon connected to the open sea through an 80 to 100 m long tunnel. The tunnel is partially filled with air and partially filled with seawater, creating a spectacular dive site in Gozo.

You will start your dive from the shallow (1-3 m) lagoon; don’t be surprised if the visibility in the lagoon is a bit milky. However, once you are in the tunnel the water will clear up. Entering the Inland Sea tunnel may give you the feeling of doing an actual cave dive – at first (keep in mind that it is open on the top). Inside the tunnel, you will follow two massive steep walls on either side, while the seabed is slowly dropping down to 30m. The highlight of this dive site is the ever-intensifying, glowing blue coming from the light of the open sea on the other end you will see while diving through the tunnel surrounded by darkness. Don’t forget to look up otherwise you will miss how the surface looks like mercury from the daylight breaking on the water surface.

After about 10 mins dive time, you will reach the end of the tunnel, where you have two options; you can either follow the wall to the right, or the left towards the Blue Hole. The wall outside the tunnel drops down to more than 100 m and is a popular dive site for technical divers.

The Inland Sea Tunnel

INSIDER TIP: Be careful with the boat traffic inside the tunnel. We highly recommend avoiding surfacing inside and staying at a safe depth. Halfway back into the tunnel, there is a plateau at 6 m carved into the wall to the right side (facing the Inland Sea); a great place for your safety stop. Don’t wait with your safety stop till the end of the tunnel, where the water is very shallow and divers & boat traffic is frequent.

INSIDER TIP: Gudja Cave (North Coast)

  • Dive: Wall & Cave – Boat Dive
  • Highlights: Ascending inside the Cave
  • Level: Advanced
  • Depth: 7 – 30 m
  • Entrance: boat only

Gudja Cave is the most famous cave of the 5 Tac-Cawla caves located on Gozo’s north coast. These caves are only accessible by boat and dived very rarely. However, especially Gudja Cave is a dive site that should not be missed (if experienced enough).

Looking at Gozo’s cliff edges from the boat, you would not expect the thrilling dive site and cave hidden below the surface. The entrance of the cave reaches all the way to the sea ground at 30 m. Following the impressive cave walls into the darkness, the walls to your sides will get narrower and the bottom will slowly shallow up till you will find yourself in a narrow and only 6 m deep crack.

This is where the visibility gets blurry (halocline) due to seawater mixing with Gozo’s groundwater. At this point, you can ascend into a small air chamber – literally inside Gozo, cut off from the outside world. It is kind of spooky, but also really exciting. You might even notice how the water is less salty and the air cooler. 

On the way back out, enjoy how the darkness slowly gets lit up by the incredibly deep blue from the open sea. 

Wied Il-Mielah (North Coast)

  • Dive: Wall & Cavern – Boat Dive
  • Highlights: Ascending inside the Cave
  • Level: Beginner & Advanced
  • Depth: 15 – 30+ m
  • Entrance: boat only

Have you ever wondered what is hidden below the surface of the Wied Il-Mielah Window, where the columns of this natural wonder disappear in the depth of the sea? 

show climber on Wied Il Mielah Window
Wied il-Mielah Window – Photo credits: instagram.com/gardaholm

The Wied Il-Mielah dive site is accessible by boat only. The boat ride along Gozo’s dramatic north coast cliffs is a stunning experience in itself.

Your dive will probably start from a 15 m deep platform, slowly descending to your deepest level. From there you will find your way between massive boulders towards the island’s cliff wall. This is where the first cove is waiting to be explored. Coming back out from this open cavern, follow the wall to your right. Along the way, you will come across some boulders; keep an eye out for the various hidden swim-throughs. The ‘swiss-cheese-swim-through‘ is the most famous one and got its name from the multiple holes inside the rock. After leaving the swiss-cheese-swim-through, turn back and look at it from the other side. Some dive centres call this swim-through the hobbit house. You will see why.

From there you will be able to see the majestic columns of the Wied Il-Mielah Window. Pass them and slowly make your way into the darkness of the huge cavern behind this famous landmark. Keep an eye out for the octopus living in the holes hidden in the rocks.

Coming out from the dark looking towards the light, you will experience the highlight of this dive site. Especially in the morning, the sun dances around the columns of the Wied Il-Mielah window creating magnificent lighting effects. Enjoy and remind yourself where exactly you are at this point – just below the surface of this impressive natural wonder. A sight that many of the landmark’s visitors won’t ever experience.

INSIDER TIP: Keep an eye out for the ruins of the San Dimitri Chapel.

With only a 2-3 hours flight time from most European airports, Gozo is the perfect diving destination for a short diving holiday. Do you still need an accommodation for your perfect diving holiday? How about a traditional Gozitan farmhouse or private pool villa?

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