Xlendi Bay is a small yet popular seaside place to visit in Gozo, Malta’s small sister island. Xlendi (or ix-Xlendi, as the locals refer to it) was once a tiny fishing village. It is now a bustling small town and a seaside resort located on Gozo’s Southwest coast. Xlendi is located close to the villages of Fontana, Il-Munxar, and Kerċem.
Both tourists and locals enjoy coming to Xlendi all year round. Here is why: Xlendi boasts a beautiful inlet surrounded by dramatic cliffs, giving it a unique feel. It’s also a popular place for locals to have a Sunday lunch out at one of the restaurants lining the bay.
There is also a very small sandy and pebbly beach in the middle and a landing for boats.
Around this Gozitan village, hiking trails run along the cliffs. Also, tombs dating to the Punic-Byzantine times were found in Xlendi (at St. Simon Point and in the valley).
Although built up, Ix-Xlendi is still much quieter than other seaside resorts in Malta. Unfortunately, the idyllic bay views have attracted real estate developers. You will spot a lot of tall apartment blocks.
Looking to visit or stay in Xlendi? In this guide, you will find the best activities, good restaurants, hotels, and more.
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It is easy to get to Ix-Xlendi. This Gozitan village is located only 3 kilometres away from Victoria, Gozo’s capital.
There are several options to get to Xlendi.
Xlendi is well-served by public transport. Routes 306 and 330 go directly to Xlendi Bay. The ride lasts about 10 minutes. Take the bus from Victoria Bay 5.
If you rent a car, it will take you around 10 minutes to get to Xlendi Bay from Victoria. You will find a car park at the bottom of the hill (Triq San Xmun). Finding a parking spot isn’t always easy here, so you may need to venture around the small streets.
Xlendi is a nice spot to stop at on a day trip to Gozo. Yippee Malta is a great option for all-inclusive tours to discover the island and its villages in one day. Some of their tours also combine Gozo with a visit to Comino and its Blue Lagoon.
You can take a Tuk-tuk tour led by a multilingual chauffeur. This option is perfect for families and small groups.
If you feel more adventurous, opt for a quad bike tour. You can drive your own quad bike (seating one driver and one passenger) following a lead vehicle driven by a Gozo expert.
Both types of day tours stop at Xlendi. TIP: Use coupon MALTA5 for a discount!
Hop-On Hop-Off buses are sightseeing tours that let you make the most of your day in Gozo.
There are two passes to choose from, the Gozo Day Pass (bus + sea transfer from/to Malta) and the Gozo Heritage Day Pass (which includes entrance to some of the best museums in Gozo).
The tourist buses stop at Xlendi. Once you get off the bus, check when the next bus will pass. Then enjoy the place in the meantime.
Here are the best places to stay in Ix-Xlendi:
Cesca Boutique Hotel is located on the quiet outskirts, overlooking the valley. Its rooftop swimming pool is perfect for relaxing while enjoying the beautiful surroundings.
With its fantastic view of Xlendi Bay, the 3-star Hotel San Andrea is a nice place to stay in Xlendi on a budget. The staff is friendly, the rooms are clean, and the food served is good.
St. Patrick’s Hotel is another 3-star property that offers a beautiful view of Xlendi Bay. Make sure you book a sea view room. The hotel also has a nice restaurant where you can have lunch at the water’s edge.
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These are some of the most popular restaurants in Xlendi:
Ta’ Karolina is my favourite place to eat by the water’s edge in Ix-Xlendi. The restaurant serves specialities made with seasonal products.
Located up the road, Cima is a family-run restaurant serving hearty food, often fresh seafood. During the summer season, their upstairs terrace offers great views of the bay.
This popular restaurant and bar is located across the road from Cima and offers outdoor seating closer to the water’s edge. A great place for a bite and a shared bottle of wine on a warm summer’s night.
Xlendi is a popular swimming spot. However, there’s just a small sandy beach leading to shallow waters.
Locals swim on the rocks to the side of the bay. They like to jump from the edge and enjoy the deeper water, entering the water using one of the ladders. If you’re into snorkelling, it’s also a nice spot to explore underwater!
Xlendi Bay is small, and you can visit it in a quick visit. Most people stop at Ix-Xlendi to enjoy it for one hour or two during a day trip to Gozo, often to have lunch.
Here are the points of interest to see in Xlendi Bay:
Xlendi Tower stands at the edge of the cliffs on the left. This 17th-century tower was built by the Knights of Malta and overlooks the bay and once guarded it from uninvited guests (corsairs and enemy forces).
You can have great walks around Ix-Xlendi. Starting from the beach, go to the tower first and enjoy the panoramic view. On the way, you will find Xlendi Valley, called Il-Kantra Valley (Triq Il-Kantra). Next to the tower, you can find a few salt pans used to harvest salt from fresh seawater. Then follow the path leading to the stunning Sanap Cliffs.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel is Ix-Xlendi’s church, which has a quite sober design but is worth paying a brief visit to. Behind it stands Xlendi mill, consisting of an entrance tunnel leading into a large chamber divided into three floors.
This cave is hidden on the right side of Xlendi Bay. You can take the stairs built into the rocks to reach it. The Augustinian sisters used to come to this cave to swim out of sight. You can also find Catherine of Siena Cave there, known for its clear blue water.
Here are a few suggestions for things to do in Xlendi, Gozo:
Xlendi Bay is an interesting diving site. In the bay lay reef formations that caused many shipwrecks, leaving some Roman amphora and other artefacts on the seabed.
You can find a few diving centres in Xlendi: Ritual Dive and St Andrew’s Divers Cove.
If diving isn’t for you but you still want to discover Xlendi from under the water, you can opt for snorkelling. With clear water and caves, Xlendi Bay is a good place to snorkel.
One of my favourite activities in Xlendi Bay is renting a boat. For active travellers, Xlendi Watersports offers several activities to explore the coastline and caves: self-driven boats, jet skis, kayaks, water skiing, paddle boats with slides, and stand-up paddles.
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