Gozo - A Beautiful Hidden Gem

Emma went to Ritual in 2019 and completed her advanced course, she then spent three months there working towards her divemaster internship. She has now also signed up to do her instructor course and tells us about her Gozo experience.

  • Gozo has always felt like a second home to me; a beautiful hidden gem in the Mediterranean where time just seems to pass by slower than most places. Although tiny, this idyllic island has a lot to offer; quaint little towns and churches dot the rural landscape and the spectacular, rugged coastline is home to stunning beaches from Ramla l-Hamra, Gozo’s largest and most popular beach, to Hondoq ir-Rummien, a quiet, secluded bay surrounded by nature.

    During the summer of 2019 I discovered another side to Gozo – the beauty of its underwater world – and low and behold, a year later, I was back to complete my RAID Divemaster at Ritual Dive Centre. Everyone at Ritual fuelled my excitement for diving and I fell in love with the underwater world surrounding this charming little island. Fast forward 4 months and I still haven’t left, and I can proudly say I am now a RAID and SSI Open Water Scuba Instructor.

    Gozo is a scuba divers’ paradise! With amazingly clear visibility, incredible aquatic scenery, and an abundance of marine life to discover. There is a huge array of exceptional dive sites to explore, both from shore and by boat, each showcasing the unique underwater topography Gozo has to offer. I have been fortunate enough to explore most of the dive sites on this enchanting island and each one is epic; however, three particular sites stand out for me and I am still in awe every time I get geared up and dive under.

  • Situated on the west coast of the island, the Blue Hole is arguably Gozo’s most famous dive site. It used to be the location of the Azure Window, the iconic, natural stone arch formation which sadly collapsed in March 2017. Despite the loss of this much loved, natural beauty, from a diver’s point of view, it has only helped to make this dive site even more epic! The Blue Hole itself is 15m deep and teeming with marine life, with a breath-taking archway leading from the hole out into the open sea. The collapse of the Azure Window created an underwater metropolis, a playground of sorts under the sea with swim-throughs, rocky remains, and hidden nooks and crannies for divers to explore. The large stack of boulders is home to schools of fish including the odd group of barracuda if you’re lucky. This awesome dive site is accessible to all abilities from Open Water Level to Deep Speciality divers.

    Found nestled on the north coast of the island, Cathedral Cave is personally my favourite dive site. This spectacular dive site offers a unique cave diving experience that can’t be found anywhere else on the island. The entrance to the cave is 5m below the surface and once inside, you can follow the meandering boulders up to the huge domed vault and actually surface inside the cave! Once you’ve surfaced you’ll realise why this is my favourite dive site, it is truly remarkable! A small window above sea level allows fresh air into the cave and in the afternoon, direct sunlight floods through the crack in the rocks, lighting up the cave and casting a mesmerizing blue glow! I’ve been told it is the perfect place to practice singing as well! Once you’ve finished your chit chat (or choir practice) you can explore the reef wall outside the cave and search for moray eels and octopus! Another great thing about Cathedral Cave is that it is open to divers of all levels!

  • On the south coast of the island you will find Xatt I-Ahmar, one of the most popular dive sites on Gozo and home to the famous three wrecks; MV Karwela, MV Cominoland and MV Xlendi. Each wreck is amazing in its own right however MV Karwela is most definitely the star of the show. Scuttled in August 2006, this old tourist ferry is over 50m long with her bow resting at around 39m and her stern at about 41m. There are three awesome decks to explore, with open passageways creating many swim-throughs and the famous steel staircase sitting proudly in the centre. The wreck itself is full of life with the numerous sea firs offering popular feeding grounds for nudibranchs. After exploring the wreck you can shallow up onto the reef and spend the remainder of your dive searching for seahorses (my personal favourite), octopus and cuttlefish. Although the top deck starts at 30m, making this dive site accessible to Advanced Level divers and above, I highly recommend taking your Deep and Nitrox specialities to make the most of this brilliant dive site.

    I have absolutely adored the past 4 months diving in Gozo with Ritual! When I arrived on Gozo back in July I never imagined I would end up completing my Instructor course and staying here. However, because of the incredible team at Ritual I too fell in love with Gozo and its amazing underwater world. Everyone at Ritual is incredibly passionate about diving and their enthusiasm for the job resonates throughout the dive centre. I have always felt incredibly welcomed and in safe hands and I couldn’t recommend Ritual more. Gozo is the perfect spot for diving in the Mediterranean and I hope I will be diving here for many more years to come!

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