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Comino Caves (Santa Marija Caves)

Gozo Diving – Comino Caves

This is a large cave and cavern system which extends over 30 m through the headland connecting to another cave. At the junction there is a shaft open to the sky, which considerably increases the pleasure of the dive.

Gozo Diving – Comino Caves Route

The St Andrew’s Divers Cove boat makes the journey over to the bay in front of the cavern complex in about 10 – 12 minutes from her mooring in Mgarr Harbour.

Anchoring above a sandy spot in the reef in about 7 metres of water, the dive starts by a descent down the anchor line. As you descend you will likely be immediately joined by the expectant bream waiting to be fed.

Swimming East from the sand brings you to a low rock reef and you turn right following the reef to cliff face and the first cavern. This first cavern is a large u shaped enclosure, with several car sized boulders at its mouth but with a soft sand bottom reaching all the way to back where the water reaches a depth of about 1 metre. It is only advisable to go all the way to back of this cavern if there is no surge.

Swimming out of the cavern on the left side, you will reach a swim though that takes you out onto the cliff wall again. Watch out for large octopus in the holes in the rocks as you exit the swim through.

Follow the cliff face on your left hand side you will enter the main cavern. This is an L  shape so you do not initially see the the other side until you swim in about 20 metres.

Swim through this cavern on the right hand side and after passing a narrow gap, you will see the shaft of light on the left of the cavern. Exit the cavern and keep the reef wall to the left and swim through another Z shaped hole in the reef wall. Follow this cliff face on your right and loop back round into the cavern again. This time keep to the right hand side and you will end up in a circular bowl in the rock nicknamed the Goldfish Bowl. It is ok to surface here as the cavern roof is open to the air in a couple of spots. Descend in the goldfish bowl and on  the right you will see a small tunnel back down into the entrance of the main cavern.

As you exit the main cavern, head straight out and you will come to the sand patch again and can then use the dive boats anchor line as reference during your safety stop.

Santa Marija is a popular site for fish feeding; whether you are in favour of or against the practice, there are certainly thousands of fish in the area and most tourists enjoy the encounter. If you do feed the fish, always remember to take out the plastic bags from the water afterwards. Fish species include saddled bream (Oblada melanura), two-banded bream (Diplodus vulgaris) and damsel fish (Chromis chromis).

Gozo Diving – Location:

Northwest of Elephant Rock.

Gozo Diving – Access:

By boat.

Gozo Diving – Conditions:

Sheltered from the northwest winds and very popular with fish-feeding tourists.

Gozo Diving – Average depth:

7 m.

Gozo Diving – Maximum depth:

10 m.

Gozo Diving – Average visibility:

18 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.