Summer is fast approaching, and with it so is a new season of beach, sun, swimming, snorkelling, and fun. The beauty of living on an archipelago of islands is that you are, of course, surrounded by the sea at all times, and this is awesomely apparent during the hotter months. Students gallivanting in their shorts and flip-flops throng the streets, families hugging large umbrellas, picnic coolers, and sun beds pile everything in their cars, children pack their goggles, flippers, and sunscreen, and off they go spending as much time as possible sunbathing and exploring Malta, Gozo and Comino’s plethora of amazing beaches and bays.

While Maltese beaches are perhaps, better known, the crystalline and picturesque beaches one can find on the smaller and quieter island of Gozo, are nothing to disdain. In fact, many people prefer them to the more populous ones in Malta. Here are some Gozitan beaches which anyone travelling to Gozo should totally not miss!

Ramla Bay – Referred locally as ‘ir-Ramla l-Ħamra’ due to its scorching red sand, Ramla Bay is perhaps best known for its link with the legend of the nymph Calypso, who featured in Homer’s historic epic ‘The Odyssey’. Her cave in fact, can be visited and admired by those who go to the beach, as it is not situated very far away. The beach itself however, is well worth the visit on its own merit. Its crystalline waters are perfectly surrounded by green terraced fields. Ramla Bay, on the northern side of Gozo, can be very easily reached by bus. It is a Natura 2000 site, and is situated near the village of Xagħra.

Xlendi Bay – This is a very popular snorkelling spot, since due to the idyllic and beautiful reef formations found along its deeper parts along the coast, it is perfect even for beginners. The sandy beach is quite shallow and perfect swimming ground for the very young and also for senior citizens. Xlendi is a typical fishing village. This means that the many restaurants around the bay provide deliciously fresh fish dishes, as well as a varied selection of Mediterranean food. Xlendi lies on the southwest coast of Gozo. Although it is rather small, it is well worth visiting especially if one plans to climb the stairs to the top of the cliffs, in order to enjoy the spectacular views.

Mġarr ix-Xini Bay – Found on the southern end of Gozo, close to the village of Sannat, this bay served as a small harbour for galleys during the time of the knights of the Order of Saint John. Although very well known, it is still a secluded and unspoilt spot. Mġarr ix-Xini is a pebbly beach set within a creek and a natural steep sided valley which surrounds it in a very picturesque and peace-inducing manner. Its clear waters are also perfect for snorkelling, as well as underwater photography.

Ħondoq ir-Rummien Bay – Located below the village of Qala, on the southern coast of Gozo, this small pebbly bay is another favourite with snorkelers and divers, due to its many small caves – perfect for the intrepid marine explorer. The cove, with its crystal clear water and lovely view over the smaller island of Comino, as well as the nearby saltpans, consists of both a pebbly and sandy beach, as well as a rocky part, which can be accessed from the sea by bathing ladders. The words ‘Ħondoq ir-Rummien’ means Pomegranate Moat, in English. The area is also a splendid spot for hikers, who want to enjoy a sunny stroll surrounded by Gozitan countryside.