Sidemount Diving Gozo – Blue Hole to Inland Sea

Join us as for 90 minute dives around Gozo, Comino & Malta condensed into 90 second videos and quick reads. 

We’ll be adding dives regularly over the coming months so check back for regular updates. 

West Coast – Blue Hole to Inland Sea

Sidemount diving Gozo’s Blue Hole is a pain in the butt, but we like it. It feels a bit like going on a mini expedition and the dive itself is definitely worth the effort.

To be honest, it’s not even THAT bad. First, we carry our cylinders up and over the limestone to a spot near the entrance. Carrying each cylinder down separately before kitting up doesn’t feel too taxing – even if it does mean 3 trips to and from the car park!

Once kitted up it’s a case of shuffling slowly over the uneven, wet and slippery plateau while trying not to look like Bambi on ice. At least with sidemount you’ve got 2 cylinders to use as walking sticks.

We’ve tried many different ways of getting into the Blue Hole. None of them can be described as elegant. On this dive there was a bit of a swell on the surface but nothing that made it too difficult to get fins on and tanks fully attached in the water.

Gozo’s sinkhole is tiny when compared to the Dahab and Belize versions, but it’s still a beautiful site and the underwater geology is incredible. On the descent you pass an archway leading out to the open sea but first we turned back on ourselves to explore the cavern cut into the wall under the cliff. The cavern itself doesn’t have much to report but the views out to sea are magical with the arch silhouetted in the distance.

From there we leave the sinkhole itself and swim out towards the Azure Alps. On good visibility days it feels like you’re surrounded by a mountain range with peaks towering up to the surface. The collapse of the Azure Window in 2017 is a loss for the above water visitors but a massive gain for divers. The collapsed stones have created deep swim-throughs between 20-40metres sheltering big groupers and octopus, while on the outside, big schools of fish roam the slopes of Matterhorn-like peaks.

After exploring the Azure Alps area we head towards the Inland Sea. Depending on speed it takes around 30 minutes but the wall has loads of interesting formations to explore along the way. You could easily spend over an hour on this part of the dive.

Eventually, we reach the entrance to the 80metre tunnel leading to the Inland Sea. The opening sits at around 30 metres and is marked by big boulders and a gravel pathway guiding us into the darkness. Small pleasure boats carrying tourists pass by overhead. Midway through the tunnel there’s a shallow cradle in the wall where we stop to look back on where we’ve came from. Sheltered out of the way of the boats and without lights, the tunnel is dark and moody while the entrance is a vibrant blue slice topped with the surface twinkling above. It’s mesmerising.

At around 85 minutes we slowly make our way out of the tunnel into the light beams and brightness of the inland sea. With the sun shining in the blue sky overhead, surrounded by cliffs and colourful boats it feels a bit like emerging into a picture perfect postcard.

Final thoughts

Blue Hole to the Inland Sea: one dive, two of Gozo’s iconic underwater marvels. Sidemount diving at the Blue Hole demands stamina, energy, balance and the acceptance of looking silly in front of crowds of tourists on the cliffs above! It’s not for everyone – divers with back issues should avoid it in any configuration. On sidemount you have plenty of gas to get in and out at the Inland Sea while still being able to explore the Blue Hole and Azure Alps area. This dive shows off the best Gozo has to offer, caverns, arches, swim-throughs, deep walls, tunnels and marine life – all on one dive! Is it worth it? 100%!

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