Gozo is one of the three major islands of the Maltese archipelago, and is known for its slow paced lifestyle, rural feel and incredible scenery. As well as being fertile and lush, Gozo is far more sparsely populated than the main island of Malta, meaning it’s both a hiker’s and photographer’s dream. What really makes the island a holiday paradise, however, is its wonderful beaches and coastal scenery, made even better by the hot weather on the island, which averages between 23 and 27 degrees Celsius between June and September. But which of these beaches should you take a trip to? Here’s our pick of the best.
Named in April as one of CNN’s ‘10 best places to see before they change forever’, the amazing Mgarr ix-Xini is a small bay set in a steep-sided rocky valley. It is an incredibly secluded cove, offering tranquillity, relaxation and some wonderful views out to sea. Bring a pair of goggles or a snorkel, and you’ll find a huge array of marine life beneath the waves. The clear water makes this an even more enjoyable experience.
Marsalforn Bay is great if you’re after a more sociable beach experience. It’s one of Gozo’s most popular seaside locations, and is alive with happy beachgoers in the summer. We can certainly see why, as there are few better places to laze about on a summer’s day than on Marsalforn’s soft sand and pebbles. Boats often gather off the shore at this picturesque bay, and there are tour operators in the area running trips either along Gozo’s coast, or to the island of Comino, home to the amazing Blue Lagoon. The popularity of this beach has also meant that there are a number of restaurants and bars within a close proximity for when you fancy a break from the sun.
Another wonderful secluded beach in Gozo is San Blas Bay. It’s a fairly quiet spot, accessible by a steep coastal path. The beach has soft, reddish sand and is surrounded by natural greenery, as well as a picturesque, rocky coastline. A feature of most of Gozo’s beaches, San Blas Bay has crystal clear, gorgeous water, and is the perfect place for a dip under the warm sun. Virtually untouched and very peaceful, San Blas Bay has it all.
Dwejra is located to the far West of Gozo, and is surrounded by astonishing scenery, the highlight of which is the famous Azure Window nearby, an incredible rock formation which has become one of the iconic images of Gozo. The inland sea is also a worthwhile visit from Dwejra Bay, which is a small lagoon, connected to the Mediterranean via a cave tunnel. The waters here are calm and safe, making them perfect for small children. Dwejra Bay itself is also excellent for swimming, although the sea here is rougher, meaning swimming’s is not recommended for children or those inexperienced in the water. Rock pooling, hiking and boat tours are also popular ways to enjoy Dwejra Bay.
Xlendi Bay is the epitome of everything that’s lovely about Gozo’s coastline. The beach is a haven for all ages, with calm, safe waters and soft sand. It’s also surrounded –as so many Gozitan beaches are - with dramatic cliffs and wonderful views. You’ll find Xlendi Bay to the Southwest side of Gozo, and will be well catered for in terms of restaurants and bars, as the area has transformed in recent areas from a quiet fishing village to a popular spot for holidaymakers.
It’s hard to describe this small, pebbly beach near Marsalforn as anything other than astonishing. Visit on a calm day and you’ll find that swimming is exceptional from the small inlet, whilst the views out to sea are even better. The beach is squeezed in a deep valley between two impressive cliffs, and swimming between these cliffs is an incredible experience, where you may also meet divers exploring the area’s many underwater caves. If dramatic views, peace and quiet and calm waters are your thing, you can’t help but love Wied il-Ghasri.
If these spectacular beaches have got you in the holiday mood, why not plan a trip to Gozo? You’ll find countless great hotels with beaches on their doorstep on the island, with highlights including coastal areas like Xaghra, Mgarr and Marsalforn. All you’ll need is a good book, swimwear, hiking boots and sun lotion, and you’re guaranteed to have an amazing time!