GOZO'S NATURAL WONDERS
Which attraction would you like to know more about?
AZURE WINDOW & BLUE HOLE
The Azure Window, located in Dwejra, was probably one of the most popular attractions in Gozo. Centuries of waves pounding and carving into the rock created a perfect window-like shape.
The strength of the waves in combination with erosion weakened the structure of this natural arch over the last decades. Unfortunately, in the morning of 8th March 2017, not being able to withhold the storm and power of the waves, the Azure window collapsed and disappeared in the depth of the sea.
The ruins of Gozo’s famous icon are today lying on the sea bed, slowly turning into a stunning reef. The left-overs of the original column are still in their original place reaching up to 5 m below the surface. On a calm day you will be able to see the light green shimmer from the viewpoint above.
Right next to the ruins of the Azure Window, explorers can visit the Blue Hole (photo above); another one of Gozo’s natural attractions and unique geological formation. This 5 m diameter pool of seawater is separated from the open sea through a stone wall that is dropping down 15 m into the deep. A window opens up at a depth of 7 m, linking the the Blue Hole to the outside sea, creating magnificent lighting effects when the sun is dancing in the water.
The Blue Hole is popular with scuba divers and free divers. Upon exiting the Blue Hole divers can not only witness the lighting effects, but also are able to explore the ruins of the Azure window underwater. Also for non-divers the Blue Hole is a great location; take a refreshing dip, while visiting the different sites located in Dwejra.
The path from the car park to the Blue Hole is very rocky and the last part where the water starts is extremely slippery. To get to the viewpoint, instead of walking down to the Blue Hole, walk up the hill past the church. On a clear day, you should be able to see a green circle in the sea, the left-overs of the column beneath the surface. A great opportunity for photo lovers.
- Location: Dwejra
- How to get to the Blue Hole: Bus (312, 311, Hop-on), Taxi, Car
- Road Condition: paved & well-maintained, no pedestrian, steep hill
Located in Dwejra and only a few 100 meters away from the Blue Hole and the former Azure Window is the Inland Sea, a natural lagoon filled with seawater. The Inland Sea is a unique and picturesque sight. The lagoon is surrounded by dramatic cliffs on one side. On the other side visitors can enjoy the sun and relax on the stone beach with traditional local fishermen’s huts in the background.
The seabed of the lagoon is moslty filled with pebbles and rocks and not the best sport for snorkeling. However, it is very shallow and because of little water movement the lagoon tends to warm up quickly.
The Inland Sea is linked to the open sea by an 80 – 100 m long tunnel. Partially filled with water, this natural attraction is a spectacular site for scuba diving and free diving. The upper part of the tunnel is filled with air and allows fishing boats (luzzijiet) to venture through the tunnel out into the open sea on a calm day.
Some of the boats also take visitors. This could be your opportunity to explore for example the fungus rock and secret caves hidden on the other side of the massive wall. Even if you are not interested in diving or a boat tour, the restaurants and Gozo’s famous snack trucks will make sure that you will enjoy a beautiful day at the Inland Sea and other sites in the area.
INSIDER TIP: Just be extra careful with the boat traffic when swimming or diving in the Inland Sea.
- Location: Dwejra
- How to get to the Inland Sea: Bus (311, 312, Hop-on), Car, Taxi
- Road Condition: well maintained, paved, no pedestrian, steep hill
The Calypso and the Tal-Mixta Cave are two of the best view points in Gozo and two more natural attractions worth visiting. They are both situated in the hillside on top of Ramla Bay – Calypso Cave on the western side and Tal-Mixta Cave on the eastern. Breathtaking views over the popular red sand beach Ramla and the fertile terraced fields are guaranteed.
The Calypso Cave is a cave in Gozo full of stories and myths. It is said that Homer refers to this caves in the famous and ancient poem Odyssey. In his literary masterpiece, Homer tells the story of a beautiful nymph Calypso falling in love with Ulysses, the King of Ithaca, who was washed ashore after losing his ship. Calypso, who was not able to leave the island, kept the king ‘prisoner of love’ for seven years in the cave, till Ulysses escaped and returned to his wife Penelope. Rumor has it that till today Calypso is waiting for her love to return.
The cave is presumed to be a complex labyrinth extending all the way down to sea level. However, the entrance to this tunnel has been blocked off by boulders for a long time. In recent years, unfortunately, also the roof of the Calypso Cave collapsed and the cave can currently not be entered. You will still be able to enjoy the stunning views from a platform installed on top of the cave.
- Location: Western Hillside of Ramla
- How to get to Calypso Cave:
- Ramla Bay Hike
- Drive to Gift Shop from there walk through gift shop down the stairs incised in the rock
- Road Condition: well maintained till gift shop
Compared to the famous Calypso Cave the Tal-Mixta Cave is one of Gozo’s more hidden, but even more spectacular viewpoint and natural wonder. The cave’s mouth is facing the sea appearing like a window opening to the panaromic views over Ramla Bay.
Tal-Mixta played an import role for the defense during the time of the knights. The unique structure of the cave allowed defender to spy on attackers arriving in Gozo while staying hidden and protected.
The cave is one of our favorite location in Gozo and great for meditation and yoga; a natural attraction with inspiring energy, where visitors can’t help but admire and enjoy the tranquility and beauty of nature.
INSIDER TIP: Defnitely check the weather forecast before visiting Tal-Mixta cave. It is recommended to avoid the cave during strong windy days. Free entrance.
- Location: Nadur, Eastern hillside of Ramla
- How to get to Tal-Mixta Cave:
- Ramla Hike
- Drive to end of Triq I-Ghassa tal-Mahrag Road till parking area, 100 – 200m walk from there
- Raod Condition: paved, very narrow, not well-maintained, last part only dirt-road
The Wied Il-Mielah Window majestically reaches out onto the sea offering visitors a dramatic scenery.
Like Gozo’s famous icon the Azure Window, a natural limestone arch shaped like window as a result of the Meditarranean Sea battling the limestone rock. Unlike the Azure Window, the Wied Il-Mielah Window is still in quite good condition. You will even be allowed to walk on top of it (at least for now); an experience to relish and to take breathtaking photos.
This landmark is still a quite hidden gem. Since it is not easily accessible, usually only few tourists visit this natural attraction. Enjoy the peace and quiet that is only interrupted by the sound of the waves breaking on the rocks.
The Wied Il-Mielah window is another great example for the many spectacular outdoor Yoga spots in Gozo. Also rock climbers can have a breathtaking experience conquering the walls of this natural wonder. Divers sometimes venture out there by boat to explore the secrets and submerged caverns hidden below the surface of this stunning geological formation.
- Location: Gharb
- How to get to Wied Il-Mielah:
- from Marsalforn or Gharb
- no public transport
- Road Condition: last part dirt-road
SANAP CLIFFS & TA CENC CLIFFS
The Sanap Cliffs along Gozo’s south coast with a height of 120 m are one of the highest and best viewpoints in Gozo. The cliffs stretch all the way to Xlendi Bay and especially during sunset this viewpoints should not be missed during your holiday in Gozo.
The Ta Cenc Cliffs can be found at the western end of the Sanap Cliffs. Due to being an important breeding ground for protected birds, this natural attraction has been designated as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International and Natura 2000 site by the EU.
Their wide open space gives visitors a feeling of freedom, making the Sanap and Ta Cenc Cliffs a great setting for an outdoor Yoga session. Gozo’s best hiking trail, leading adventurers 57 km all aorund Gozo’s coastline, also includes the trails along these cliffs. Some parts are accessible by bike and also Segway tours along the Sanap cliffs are possible.
- Location: Southcoast (Munxar, Ta Cenc, Xlendi)
- How to get to Sanap Cliffs & Road Conditions: many different access points