Look at me on the edge of Blue Hole in Dwejra, one of the most popular dive sites in the Maltese Islands.
I’m a YES girl. I’ve always prided myself for that. Traveling is just a natural extension to that facet of my personality. I love how it continually pushes me out of my comfort zone and forces or invites me to try things I’m not sure how I feel about. In some cases, I’m lucky enough that turns out to be unexpectedly entertaining.
The Blue Hole indeed blew me away. My eyes crinkled with a smile, seeing such a fantastic inland sea pool from above. I was itching to get into the water by the time we took a cruise to see the islands of Gozo and Comino. And after I took these crazy pictures here, near the Azure Window, I finally wet my feet in the cold water of famous Blue Lagoon. Did you still remember my pictures posted on Facebook that day? I was literally freezing. But it was one of these best unexpected days of my life.
Located on the north-western coast of Gozo Island, Dwejra is perhaps the most spectacular natural outstanding beauty in Malta.
After a beautiful cruise on Mediterranean Sea we have planned to make our way through the Island of Gozo by car and we discovered a magical attraction – Dwejra, with its dramatic coastal formations and sea spilling over the rocks. Geology, time, the elements and human intervention worked together to produce a fascinating area that features the Azure Window, an Inland sea, Fungus Rock, the Blue Hole, a watch tower and some cart ruts.
Dwejra, which in Maltese means ‘a small house’, got its name from a tiny home built on the cliffs surrounding the Inland sea. It has been an attraction to the visitors for many centuries and we have representations of the Fungus Rock on many old engravings. Overlooking the bay there is a chapel dedicated to St. Anne, built in 1963 on the site of a much older church. The area in itself is a museum of archaeology, natural history and geology. Here you can swim in the spectacular deep sea of the bay, in the calm shallows of the Inland sea or in the foamy waters around the Blue Hole – one of Gozo’s top dive-sites – beneath the iconic Azure Window.
The Blue Hole is a natural vertical chimney in the rock which connects with the open sea at approximately 10 meters down through an underwater archway. Once you start your dive here, you will see a natural rock arch with clear blue waters that is your doorway leading to the open sea. The Blue Hole is a good dive for all level of divers as there are several depths and routes to choose from. It can be followed with the Inland Sea dive, the other island famous underwater attraction.
The Inland sea, known as ‘Il-Qawra’ by the locals, constitutes the lowest spot in Gozo. The Inland sea is an expanse of shallow water set in a deep recess in the coastline produced by the collapsing of underwater caves millions of years ago. The bay is connected to the open Mediterranean Sea via a narrow 60 metre-long tunnel in the cliffs, called Blue Cave because of the color of the sea within it. There are small fishing boats that can take you from the inland sea, through the tunnel to the open sea with majestic views of Fungus rock and the massive limestone cliffs.
The significance of Dwejra Bay is also due to this 65-metre high rock called Fungus Rock, known locally as ‘Il-Gebla tal-General’. It is said that a Commander of the Knights of St. John discovered on it a shrub known as Malta Fungus. This rare plant was highly protected by the Knights, since they believed it had great medicinal properties against certain aliments and illnesses and used it as a cure for dysentery. Because of the importance of this plant, the Knights blocked access to the rock by smoothing the cliff sides and placed guards against intruders. There were tough punishments for trespassers or anyone caught stealing the crop. The crop was picked and brought to the mainland using a primitive system of baskets and pulleys.
But the most impressive and famous landmark of the island, located in the west end of Gozo is the Azure Window.
This marvelous 100-metre high Arch is a massive natural archwaycropping out of the sea, that attracted the attention of several film-makers. It was featured in the movies “The Clash of the Titans” and “The Count of Monte Cristo” and also inspired many artists who paint the magical site on canvas. Though it is also called ‘It-Tieqa’ by the locals, it looks more like a door or like a table over the sea. The Azure Window has been formed thousands of years ago when two limestone caves collapsed. This fantastic scenery is a result of extensive fault-ins, as well as the wind and wave action on the rocks. Unfortunately, it is slowly collapsing and eventually it will isolate itself completely from the rest of the mainland. In a few years the Azure Window it is expected to completely disappear, so it is advisable not to walk on it, being obviously quite dangerous. The area is rocky and not so suitable for swimming but it’s perfect for scuba divers! Once the arch is gone, rumor has it that the Azure Window will be renamed Azure Pinnacle. That’s why I’m very happy I still had the chance to peek through the Azure Window instead of looking at an Azure Pinnacle, which is a lot less spectacular in my opinion.
So hurry while the Azure window is still open!
This natural phenomenon it’s worth seeing once in a lifetime, being an unique and majestic natural monument. Some of Gozo’s most beautiful coastal scenery is found here at Dwejra and the Azure Window is one of them.