Double Arches (Marsalforn Reef)

Location of Site: 

80m north of Xwieni Bay directly out from the headland, about 200m offshore

Type of Dive: 

Best by boat but can be reached by a very long snorkel swim

Condition:

Best when it is flat calm as can be blown out with easterly winds

Average Depth: 30 metres

Maximum Depth: 52 metres

Certification Required: 

BSAC Sports Diver, PADI Advanced Open Water or equivalent

The Dive:

This dive can be done as a shore dive, but is usually preferred as a boat dive, due to the long snorkel swim. This dive is located just past Il-Qbajjar and just before you come to the concrete road. This is a small inlet with gentle sloping sides. There is a fairly long snorkel out (around 250 metres). It would be a good idea to snorkel out in a northerly direction, until you come to a drop-off from 15 metres to about 40 metres. When on this drop-off, and looking out to sea, take a turn and follow the cliff edge until eventually you will come to a point where you will see an arch on top of another arch. The scenery here is breathtaking and the fish life is plentiful.

The larger type of fish, whether they be bottom or free-swimming fish, are very likely to be spotted here. Please take note that it is advisable to swim back to shore underwater, so please take care of your air consumption and plan it well. When you come to the shallow parts, and into the bay, keep an eye for the odd octopus.

Warning:

If there is a anything but a light swell when coming to the shore, do keep away from the left hand shallow reef when coming in as a swell could injure you on the rocky reef here. Keep to the right side of the bay which has a wall like edge and is not affected by waves from the north west.

If you are lucky however, you can also meet the following, so it is a very recommended dive around Gozo when it is moderate to good weather. Do not dive here if the sea is rough as it has been the scene of more than one serious accident.