Ħondoq ir-Rummien

A small sandy beach and crystal clear waters make this a popular swimming place, particularly amongst locals. It is also a favourite spot for diving, especially for beginners, and Gozitans love to bring a barbecue in summer and settle in for the evening.

The bay lies directly opposite the island of Comino and is reached through the village of il-Qala.

Daħlet Qorrot

Daħlet Qorrot is a small inlet nestled between the northern cliffs of Gozo not far from in-Nadur. There is a little pebbly beach to swim off, as well as a quayside and rocks on either side of the bay taking you straight into clear deep water.

The cove is used by a small number of fisherman who have turned some caves at the base of the cliffs into boat houses and storage for their fishing gear. The fishermen can often be seen mending their nets or repairing their colourful boats to keep them seaworthy.

Dwejra Bay

Dwejra, with its dramatic coastal formations and sea spilling over the rocks, is a magical attraction. Here you can swim in the spectacular deep sea of the bay, in the calm shallows of the inland sea or in the foamy waters around the Blue Hole – one of Gozo’s top dive-sites.

Dwejra is also home of the Fungus Rock or, as it is locally known, “Il-Ġebla tal-Ġeneral”, General’s Rock. It is so called in remembrance of the Italian General who centuries ago fell to his death while supervising quarrying in the area.

History tells us that a special plant believed to have medicinal and healing properties used to grow on Fungus Rock and because of this the Rock used to be heavily guarded during the era of the Knights of Malta. Anyone caught stealing the crop was sentenced to death or to a life rowing the Knights’ galleys. The crop was picked and brought to the mainland using a primitive system of baskets and pulleys.

San Blas

San Blas Bay is a pretty beach of red sand – a little sister to Ramla Bay. It is accessible from the village of in-Nadur via a narrow road, the last part of which is closed to traffic because it is exceptionally steep. This discourages many people, making San Blas Bay a very peaceful place.

It is naturally peaceful too. Located on the North-East coast of the Island, San Blas Bay lies at the end of one of the most beautiful fertile valleys of Gozo, with no buildings to marr the view.

Xlendi Bay

Ix-Xlendi Bay is a popular swimming, snorkelling and diving spot. There is a small sandy beach leading into shallow waters perfect for young and old, while for the more adventurous it is deslightful to swim and snorkel in deeper water off the long stretch of rocks bordering the beach.

Because of its reef formations, ix-Xlendi is an ideal diving site, even for beginners. This is also a typical Gozitan fishing village and well-served with good restaurants, bars and hotels.

Ix-Xlendi lies on Gozo’s southwest coast and is easily reached by car either through il-Fontana or il-Munxar.

Għajn Barrani

Għajn Barrani is the stretch of cliffs from Marsalforn to the sandy beach of Ramla along Gozo’s north coast. The area is characterised by flat terrain and clay slopes rich in flora. Anyone interested in plants should make their way here for a beautiful coastal country walk. .

Owing to the fresh water arising from springs in the area and the water-retaining properties of blue clay, this was once one of Gozo’s main agricultural areas. This is no longer the case but some maquis species, including a number of fruit trees such as pomegranates, old olives, hawthorns and wild rosaceous tree species, have gone native and form large impenetrable copses.

Due to its continuous supply of freshwater this area also supports African tamarisk and the rare chaste trees, which are otherwise very rare in the Maltese islands. There is also typical garrigue here with shrubby kidney vetch and tree spurge, as well as escarpments supporting rare and endemic plants such as the Maltese hyoseris and Maltese stock.

This is a Natura 2000 site, protected under this Europe-wide, EU-funded project to preserve natural heritage. For more on Natura 2000 see www.natura.org.

Ramla Bay

This is Gozo’s, and arguably Malta’s, best beach. A wide stretch of red sand, it is often referred to locally as “Ramla il-Ħamra” – the Red Sandy Beach! Ramla is a wonderful place to swim, snorkel and chill out in the sun.

The area around the beach is wonderfully undeveloped, although there are a couple of cafes and a stall set back from the beach. The sand dunes are protected and the valley leading down to the bay is green and fertile. The terraced walls built by the farmers give the valley an appearance of a quilt when viewed from surrounding high ground.

There is myth and history here too. Roman remains lie beneath the sands and Ramla Bay is reached from ix-Xagħra, on one of the hills overlooking the valley, or from the village of in-Nadur.

Marsalforn Bay

Marsalforn is one of the most popular resort on the Island. In summer it throbs with life as hundreds of Gozitan and Maltese families move in to spend the summer at the coast and foreign visitors arrive for a revitalising dose of sun and sea.

A beach of sand and small pebbles is backed by a promenade which runs right round the head of the bay, providing a pleasant place to stroll at all times of year and a traditional summer evening gathering place for local families and visitors alike.

The rocks along each side of the bay provide plenty of additional space for sunbathing and swimming straight into deeper water. These are also good places for snorkelling.

Small fishing boats gather on the eastern side and in winter when almost everyone else has gone, the fishermen can still be seen peacefully repairing their boats and mending their nets. .

Motor and sailing boats give the place a lively look in summer and there are several good boat trips on offer including a cruise around Gozo (with swimming and snorkelling stops) and a trip over to Comino and the legendary Blue Lagoon.

Marsalforn is a popular base for diving enthusiasts, who can choose from a variety of diving schools and dive sites. The village is is also well served with restaurants, bars, self catering apartments and hotels.

Mġarr ix-Xini

A beautiful spot for swimming and snorkeling, this once-secluded inlet is increasingly popular though still rarely busy. A narrow inlet flanked by rock, there is a tiny pebbly beach at the head of the inlet providing a gentle slope into the water. Along the sides are rocks from which you can swim straight into deep water. Steps are provided though some prefer to jump.

Mġarr Ix-Xini was apparently an occasional hiding place for the Knights galleys and was also used by the invading Turks to load captive Gozitans onto their ships in the worst-ever raid on the island in 1551.

The Knights’ watchtower that still stands guard over the entrance to the inlet was built in 1661. It is open to the public and the delightful path from the bay to the tower has been recently renovated.

The bay also attracts divers, particularly to several intriguing caves in the cliff faces and the nearby wreck (deliberately scuttled) of the ferryboat, “Xlendi”.

In 2015 Mġarr Ix-Xini was mentioned by CNN as one of the top 10 places to visit before they are changed forever.

Mġarr Ix-Xini was the location where Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt shot their film ‘By the Sea’. This filming was covered by both local and foreign news.

Ix-Xatt l-Aħmar

The name of this bay literally means “Red beach” and it is an idyllic spot both for swimming and diving. This is one of Gozo’s less discovered swimming areas, frequented by locals and known for the cyrstal clear waters and beautiful coastal surroundings.

Of particular interest to experienced divers is the wreck of the deliberately scuttled old Malta-Gozo Ferryboat “ix-Xlendi” which lies in the depths just beyond the bay. A handful of boat houses shelter a few fishing boats in winter.

Despite lying just one bay along from Mġarr Harbour, within site of the Guardiola (guard post) of Fort Chambrai, ix-Xatt l-Aħmar is rarely busy. Perhaps because the route to it is not that obvious: a narrow road winding down from the village of Għajnsielem.

Xwejni Bay and Qbajjar Bay

Ix-Xwejni (Xwejni Bay) and il-Qbajjar (Qbajjar Bay), both easily reached through Marsalforn or iż-Żebbuġ, are two shallow bays right next to each other, with small pebbly beaches and rocky stretches leading into clear blue water.

There is excellent swimming here enjoyed by locals and visitors alike and this is also a popular place for diving, especially for beginners. A few fishing boats are based here too and there are a couple of bars and restaurants on the sea front.