Maltese Islands – Mgarr Ix-Xini at Gozo

MGARR IX-XINI, is a very picturesque bay set within a creek and a steep sided natural valley. It is close to Għajnsielem, Xewkija and Sannat on the island of Gozo.

During the Order of Saint John it was apparently an occasional hiding place for the Knights galleys and was also used by the invading Turks to load captive Gozitans onto their ships in the worst ever raid on the island in 1551. In fact a small watchtower called MGARR IX-XINI TOWER (an article was published on 26th May, 2021 – ) was built to defend the area in 1661, and it was restored several times.

Nowadays, this secluded spot is popular for swimming and diving. On 12 th November 1999, the former Gozo ferry XLENDI was scuttled  to create an artificial reef and dive site. However, the ship rolled over while sinking and she ended up upside down and may be unsafe for inexperienced divers.

Also in the area there’s the FESSEJ ROCK which is a large rock, a pinnacle, 100 meters off shore, on the south side of Gozo. It rises 15 meters above the water just in front of the MGARR IX-XINI inlet but has its base at 60 meters depth. Most boats dock here right above a 10 meter deep plateau. Dive from the plateau towards the steep wall. A very diverse dive with overhangs and crevasses. Drop your anchor on the western side of this rock, which is the shallow part.

From August to November 2014 a movie titled BY THE SEA with film stars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pritt was partially filmed at MGARR IX-XINI.

Watermarked Photos are by Capt. Lawrence Dalli otherwise stated.  NO PHOTOS can be used or manipulated without our permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos –

Published – Saturday 5th June, 2021.