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Double Arch Reef

Gozo Diving – Double Arch Reef.

There is prolific fish life around this extended rocky headland carved by two large archways. The entry point is over very shallow water, dotted with hundreds of sea urchins. Passing over the large areas of sea grass here, you can often see cuttlefish, octopus and numerous wrasse. Once you reach the start of the wall around 14 m, keep to your right and follow it around until you reach the double arch. The first, smaller archway starts at 20 m (66 ft) and directly beneath it is the larger of the two, stretching to the seabed 45 m (150 ft) below.

Gozo Diving – Double Arch Reef Route

There are two main routes out to the reef. If the sea is rough, then the best entry is made from Xwejni Bay and follow the left hand wall out to the end then head straight north until you reach the drop off to the reef at 16 – 18 metres. Keep to a mid water swim at about 6 metres following the eel grass beds below. The swim takes about 12 – 18minutes depending on fitness.

If there have been strong winds from the North West then expect a reverse current running from the east and the opposite is true if there have been strong winds from the North East.

If the sea is calm, then the swim out can be shortened by parking around the corner from Xwejni Bay and walking over the salt pans and entering in the small rock bay known as the Washing Machine. Just see this bay in a storm and you will get a good idea of how it got its name. Take care when crossing over the salt pans and only walk on the ridges between the salt pans themselves. These salt pans are still actively harvested by a local Gozitan family. Please respect their livelihood. Ideally swim out on the surface in line with the end of Xwenji Bay checking for the drop off below. This saves air and allows for a longer dive around this spectacular geological feature.

Time is limited because of the depth, so divers must cut diagonally back to the shore. The outer reef is great for barracuda and grouper, with small blennies, nudibranchs and anemones common in the shallows; the undersides of the shaded arch are covered in small, colourful sponges and golden cup corals (Astroides calycularis). Instead of coming back the same way, if you continue around the coast to your right you will come across a few large caves cut into the cliff.

Gozo Diving – Location:

Directly out from the headland north of Xwejni Bay.

Gozo Diving – Access:

80 m north of Xwejni Bay to the corner. Can by reached by a very long surface swim.

Gozo Diving – Conditions:

Can be blown out during North Westerly or North Easterly winds, so best to dive when it is flat calm.

Gozo Diving – Average Depth:

30 m

Gozo Diving – Maximum Depth:

45 m

Gozo Diving – Average Visibility:

45 m

 

You can find more details of the many gozo diving sites on our main page

You may want to check out the regulations for gozo diving  on the official Professional Diving Schools Association – Malta website.