Only a three to four hour flight from most European airports, Gozo is the perfect destination for a short summer break. With sun, sea and brilliant diving, and suitable for both beginner and advanced divers looking for a fix of wrecks, caves and caverns, Gozo has a repertoire to impress any diver looking for a summer escape to Europe.

Gozo is renowned for crystal clear, warm waters, submerged caverns, underwater landscapes and a healthy selection of wrecks. Not only this, but legendary scuba icon Jacques Cousteau named Gozo's Blue Hole as one of his ten best dives in the world! Take a look below for our recommendations of the top five dive sites of Gozo…

Azure Window Gozo

The Blue Hole and Chimney (Dwerja)

Dive: Shore Dive - Reef, Wall & Cavern

Level: Beginner & Experienced

Depth: 7-40+ metres

Entrance: Challenging (rocky & sharp path)

This is one of Gozo's most popular sites, where you will descend inside the Blue Hole, sunlight radiating down and twinkling inside. During the dive, you'll exit the Blue Hole via an archway and upon turning right, you will find the Azure Window, ruins of a once famous landmark, which turns into a gorgeous stone reed, attracting marine life. The dive is very diverse and offers different plans depending on experience levels. Anything from swim-throughs to caverns can be experienced, and there is also a chimney that allows you to take a short route across the wall to the coral garden.

MV Karwela (Xatt L-Ahmar)

Dive: Shore Dive - Wreck & Reef

Level: Advanced

Depth: 30-40+ metres (reef at 10m)

Entrance: Medium (steep path & ladder)

What makes the MV Karwela so special is its famous staircase, which has been the subject for many brilliant underwater photos. The ship - originally from West Germany - was originally called MS Frisia II, and was an 863-passenger ferry used from 1957 onwards. Malta bought the ferry, and used her for the same purpose until 1992, and then Captain Morgan Cruises acquired her, changing her name to Karwela and using her for day trip cruises around Valletta until 2002. In 2006, the ship was scuttled by the Gozo Tourism Association, less than 100m offshore. The ship lies at 40m depth and is well preserved, attracting a variety of marine life. The dive begins at the shallow reef, where you then make your way out to the blue. After about four minutes, you will begin to see the silhouette of the 58m long ship. It is possible to penetrate the wreck and even enter the engine room. You can glide down the famous staircase and then head back to the shallow reef. On the reef, expect to see octopus, cuttlefish and even occasional seahorses hiding in the seagrass.

Inland Sea Gozo

Inland Sea & Tunnel (Dwerja)

Dive: Shore Dive - Tunnel, Wall & Cave

Level: Beginner & Experienced

Depth: 7-40+ metres

Entrance: Easy (three steps)

The Inland Sea is a natural shallow lagoon, connected to the open sea via an 80-100m tunnel. The tunnel is partially filled with air and partially with seawater, creating an awe-inspiring dive site. You begin the dive in the shallow lagoon at one to three metres - visibility here might be a bit milky, but once you enter the inland sea tunnel, the visibility will clear up. Keep in mind the tunnel is open at the top, and inside you will find two steep walls either side; while the seabed slopes down to 30m. After about 10-15 minutes dive time, you will reach the end of the tunnel, where you can either follow the wall to the right, or turn left towards the Blue Hole. The wall drops down to more than 100m and is popular for technical divers. Our top tip here is to be wary of boat traffic. A great place for your safety stop is the plateau at six metres, halfway back into the tunnel. Do not carry out a safety stop at the end of the tunnel as the water here is very shallow and boat traffic is frequent.

Gudja Cave (North Coast)

Dive: Boat Dive - Wall & Cave

Level: Advanced

Depth: 7-30 metres

Entrance: Boat only

The Gudja cave is the most famous cave located on Gozo's north coast, and is only accessible by boat, so is dived very rarely. The entrance of the cave reaches the sea bed at 30 metres and is suitable only for advanced and experienced divers. The cave walls get narrower and the bottom will slowly shallow up until you reach a six-metre deep crack. Here, you will often find a halocline and can ascend into a small air chamber.

Wied Il-Mielah (North Coast)

Dive: Boat Dive - Wall & Cavern

Level: Beginner & Advanced

Depth: 15-30+ metres

Entrance: Boat only

Wied Il-Mielah is only accessible by boat. The dive usually begins at around 15 metres on a deep platform, where you will descend to your deepest point. Continuing on, you'll find yourself between large boulders towards the inland cliff wall and can head into the first cove which can be explored. Following the wall to the right, you will come across boulders with hidden swim-throughs, like the 'Swiss-cheese swim-through'. After leaving this swim-through, turn back and look from the other side - this is sometimes known as the 'Hobbit House' and you'll see why. From this point, you'll see the majestic columns of the Wied Il Mielah Window and should keep your eyes peeled for octopuses hiding in the rocks. Dive this site in the early morning and you'll get to experience the sunlight shining through the columns.