Gozo Diving Introduction
Video of the underwater photography options around Gozo:
Diving in Gozo – you’ve got to love it!
Gozo is basically a 14km by 7km “liveaboard” scuba diving platform. No matter where you stay, no diving site is more than a 20 minute drive away, and all of the dive directions around the island are well described on the various scuba rental dive centre websites.
Most dive centres usually have free printed maps, and I have included links to google maps on each individual site page as a rough guide to where on the island each site is.
Google Maps does not have sufficient detail to navigate around the diving sites though. Neither do the new instructors at the beginning of the season, but they learn fast that lot.
There is all year round diving on the island, with some dive centres staying open 365 days per year and some just open for the main dive season of April thru October. The majority of visitors arrive during the peak season from July to early September when the schools break for summer holidays, and this reflects the family friendly atmosphere that visitors enjoy.
For the photographer, visiting the island out of the main season offers the advantages of less crowded Gozo diving sites and better visibility in the shallow sites and bays due to less disturbance of the sea bed. Though, there are still quiet places to dive in the peak holiday weeks of August, as long as you are prepared to dive early or late in the day, or happy to visit some of the less popular bathing locations.
Boat diving is available throughout the main dive season though not all dive centres run their own boats. You can also book your own rib and skipper directly. This can work out really well for a group of photographers as you will be able to get to some remote locations but not have to compete for space or timing with the normal boat divers.
Getting to Gozo
Flights to Malta are available from all over Europe and from most airports in the UK via the national airline AirMalta. The airline operates a more restricted schedule during the winter months. Baggage allowance is 20kg, but you can get a sports baggage allowance of an additional 32kg for €20 – as of Feb 2012. This has to be booked and paid for at least 4 hours prior to departure, and don’t forget to take the receipt along to the airport with you.
Ryanair and Easyjet also run a regular service and Ryanair is expanding their coverage during 2012. If you can travel light then you may save with these two carriers.
Long weekend Thursday to Monday trips are feasible outside of the school holidays and can be had for about the same as a trip down to the south coast!
Transfer from the airport in Malta to the ferry terminal at Cirkewwa takes about 45 mins in a taxi or hire car, and a wee bit longer by the shuttle bus or private mini-bus. From Cirkewwa, Malta to Mgarr on Gozo takes about 25 minutes, and the ferries run about every 45 minutes.
Gozo Channel who operate the ferry have three different schedules depending on the time of year, so it’s definitely worth checking times – especially if you are arriving in Malta on a late flight. The ferry is free coming from Malta – you pay on the way back from Gozo.
For general information on the scuba diving checkout my Gozo Diving page.
If you are not a diver, then have a look at the Gozo Photography page for some tips and techniques on taking images above the waves around the island.
I’m also building up a set of tips and techniques on Underwater Photography
And a little bit about me
Scuba Diving Holidays in Gozo – other resources
You may want to check out the regulations for scuba diving holidays on the official Professional Diving Schools Association – Malta website.