Have you taken the first plunge of the 2022 swimming season? Some of us have already dived in. Others have eased their way into the crystal-clear waters to avoid the initial cold shock …
June’s promising to live up to the summer call. Gozo’s beaches are quickly warming up. Sandy beaches in a palette of red and orange hues abound on the north-eastern side of the island and await the return of the swimmers, sun worshippers and fun-seekers. The rocky seascapes and rugged landscapes along the shore overlooking the white, sandy seabed giving rise to turquoise lagoons and hidden idyllic coves will soon mushroom all over Instagram. Chase away the heat, frolic in the water and become one with the picturesque coastal scenes by heading off to the best beaches in Gozo for the perfect refreshment.
Discover the best beaches in Gozo, some of which are recognised as an iconic Blue Flag beach. The Blue Flag beaches in Gozo ensure and uphold a variety of standards related to the environment, safety, education and accessibility of the beach in question.
1. Marsalforn Bay
Topping the list and also a blue flag beach is Marsalforn. Marsalforn is a buzzing seaside village and the harbour for many fishermen. The wide bay nestled between the two headlands provides different types of swimming experiences. Families with little children often opt for the sandy side, while older swimmers will enjoy diving off the rocks into the deeper waters. Marsalforn is also home to the water polo pitch. Next door to Marsalforn, one can also take a dip at the beaches of Qbajjar or Xwejni. On the other side of Marsalforn bay lies Għar Qawqla. It is easily reached by climbing up the steps from the Marsalforn quayside and following the path. The Għar Qawqla swimming spot, cradled by yellow limestone on the shoreside and enveloped by the ethereal blues on the other, is a favourite among sunbathers and divers.
2. Ħondoq ir-Rummien Bay
A little way off from the village of Qala lies the bay of Ħondoq ir-Rummien. Following the descent of the valley, one arrives at the pretty bay which faces the island of Comino. Ħondoq ir-Rummien is another blue flag sandy beach in Gozo. Once you see the amazing azure and clean waters, it is easy to understand why it is the choice for families and youngsters alike. The sun’s rays shining on the white sand reflect magnificent blue colours. Perfect for snorkeling, Ħondoq beach is also a hub for watersports. Beyond this blue-flag bay, lies the hidden beach of Bemberin. This is accessible only via a boat or a challenging path along the coast.
3. Ramla Beach
The dreamy bay of Ramla with its sand dunes needs no introduction. For many, the pristine sandy bay facing the North is the best beach in Malta. Another blue flag beach, Ramla beach Gozo, is the place where Ulysses meets Calypso in the Odyssey and the place still exudes their magical story. Other historic nuggets at Ramla beach include the Roman villa remains. By far Ramla beach is the biggest of all sandy beaches in Gozo. The area is still untouched and there are only a couple of restaurants and kiosks at the entrance to the bay.
4. Mġarr ix-Xini Beach
Maybe you’re getting to this beach aboard a boat. If not, you’ll be following a serpentine, narrow and steep route along the edge of a rugged canyon. The bay that lies at the bottom is a joy to behold at sunrise. This scenic inlet comes complete with a coastal watch tower. Popular among divers and also great for snorkeling, Mġarr ix-Xini’s waters are the ‘sea’ of Angelina Jolie’s production ‘By the Sea’!
5. Xlendi Bay
Buzzing and touristy, Xlendi Bay has been the typical postcard from Gozo for many years. Spending a day swimming, sunbathing and snorkeling is a must at this beach. Check out the spot that was once the nun’s swimming spot away from prying eyes. Caroline’s cave is located at the end of the steep staircase in the rocks. Beyond the main bay, lies il-Kantra, a tiny inlet that’s more like a mini-lagoon. Swimming at this point can be tricky. Access is off-path along the edge of the gorge but the crystalline waters are well worth the effort. The more daring will venture to the remote zone next to the coastal Xlendi tower, for isolated sunbathing and more challenging dives.
Beyond the above-mentioned best beaches in Gozo, there are others. Other swimming and snorkeling spots in Gozo that you should not miss include the desolate, red-sandy beach of San Blas, the pebbly inlet of Daħlet Qorrot and the San Filep zone where several boulders seem to have been scattered over shallow waters. The Dwejra Inland Sea is a unique swimming spot and so is Wied il-Għasri. The latter is not ideal for those who have accessibility challenges as the only way to get to the beach at the bottom of the gorge is through a steep staircase that has been chiseled out of the rock.
For more information about each of the respective beaches and how to get to each click here.
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