Xlendi – Gozo – Location and General Information
Xlendi Bay on Gozo’s South West coast is a quaint and very picturesque fishing village. The bay itself is a popular dive site with all levels of divers for a variety of reasons. It is a safe shallow bay bursting with marine life making it the best place to experience diving for the first time. We are lucky to be located barely 20m away from the bay. It starts knee deep and gets deeper gradually making it also an excellent place to learn diving and get qualified. Xlendi Bay is also a fantastic for night dives but it is best known for a spectacular tunnel and reef that are often dived as a first gentle dive at the start of a holiday and serve for divers of varying experience to get acclimatised.
Xlendi – Gozo – Access
Access to the bay is very easy, a short walk from our dive shop. Beginners and those starting first level courses kit up at our shop, cross the road and simply walk into the bay. More experienced divers heading towards the outer, deeper part of the bay, the tunnel and the reef walk along the left side of the bay and jump in from a shallow platform. Several ladders are installed along the bay and divers can exit anywhere they want.
Xlendi – Gozo – Dive
After a short briefing, complete beginners are given time to get used to breathing through a regulator on the surface and then in shallow water beneath the surface before venturing to a depth of up to 5 metres and diving the length of the bay under the watchful eye of their instructor. Octopus, moray eels and several species of fish can be seen on beginner dives.
Qualified divers aiming for the tunnel start their dive at the deeper end of the bay and dive across to the bay’s North face. The tunnel entrance is immediately beneath the surface and leads divers into an open cave about 30 metres long. The exit is about 10 metres deep but divers can surface inside the cave to enjoy the views on calm days. Cautious, experienced snorkelers can snorkel from the outer sea through the tunnel and into Xlendi Bay.
The cave walls are brilliantly coloured with golden zoanthids, red starfish and sponges as well as green and purple algae. There are bristle worms (polychaetes) everywhere. Pink flabellina (Flabellina affinis) and Hervia (Cratena peregrina) are also common. Often, a small school of juvenile barracuda seeks shelter near the cave entrance.
Xlendi Bay and the tunnel are both shallow and safe. There are no currents and are also popular as night dives. The cavern is a great experience for less experienced divers, and is for many their first adventure in a semi closed environment. In the bay itself divers often encounter numerous species of small fish, nudibranchs, moray eels and octopus.
On exiting the cavern, divers who prefer to stay shallow can turn left and follow the coast towards the pinnacle shaped reef or back into the bay. Others wishing to go deeper can venture west on a gradual slope and reach a gentle outer drop-off that drops beyond 30 metres. Diving along and keeping the drop-off on the left hand side brings divers to the Xlendi reef, the pinnacle that drops steeply from 1 to 23 metres on the outer side.