Żurżiep Reef – Xlendi – Gozo – Location and General Information
This fabulous dive site is found on Gozo’s south west coast near the Wardija cliffs, close to Xlendi bay, a mere 10 minute boat ride from our dive centre. Divemania, the purpose built dive boat owned by St. Andrew’s Divers Cove anchors on the small colourful reef at a depth of 6 metres. Żurżiep Reef is a great dive any time of the day, a surreal underwater playground with its clear waters, gentle drop-offs and many overhangs and pass-throughs. A series of gullies form a shallow channel running between the reef and the cliff face and a south facing cavern nearby is also worth exploring. This is a great site for snorkellers and those who practice underwater photography.
Żurżiep Reef – Xlendi – Gozo – Access
This dive site lies beneath the high south facing cliffs between Wardija point and the village of Kerċem about a kilometre away from Xlendi Bay and can only be accessed by boat. The boat anchors safely at about 7 metres directly above the shallow reef.
Żurżiep Reef – Xlendi – Gozo – Dive
The dive starts on the 6 metre plateau immediately beneath the boat. After an initial tour of the shallow reef, divers often descend in single file to 10 metres into the channel between the reef and the cliff face and proceed through a small arch. The walls are covered in growth with colourful anemones, sponges and corallites.
Divers then usually drop to 18 metres on the east side of Żurżiep reef and dive beneath a large boulder, home to a resident shoal of bright orange Cardinal fish, before circling the reef clockwise. Those wishing to stay shallow could proceed around the reef at 18 metres while others drop to 25 or 30 metres around a huge boulder on the south side. Here a spectacular channel and wall are home to Slipper lobsters and Moray eels. Shoals of Bream, Amberjacks, Parrot fish, Wrasse, Damsel fish, Bogue, Picarel and Sand smelt are also often seen here.
The dive then proceeds north westward around the reef towards the open cavern passing beneath overhangs and through a series of pass-throughs where one is sure to find numerous Cardinalfish (Apogon imberis) and various species of anemone such as the stunning Fireworks anemone (Cerianthus membranaceus). The last minutes of the dive are spent safety stopping in total security on the reef itself beneath the boat.
Żurżiep is also an excellent reef for snorkelling. This beautiful shallow reef makes it an ideal afternoon out for families or groups of non-divers who like to swim or snorkel. Snorkelling equipment can be readily hired at the dive centre at very low cost.