Hidden beneath the azure waves of Xlendi Bay in Gozo lies a treasure trove of archaeological wonders, waiting to be discovered. While the Phoenician shipwreck from the 7th century BC steals the limelight, there is a wealth of other remarkable artefacts to be found. Since the late 1950s, a captivating array of cultural relics, with amphorae leading the way, has been meticulously rescued from the inlet’s depths just beneath the sentinel-like coastal watch tower that proudly stands at the entrance of Xlendi.

Various exploratory projects were conducted on this deep-water multi-period site with mixed results. In 1993, a submarine survey revealed a dense scatter of amphorae located in depths varying between 108 and 112 metres. In 2007, the extent of this archaeological deposit was mapped and recorded, revealing a rectangular zone of high archaeological value consisting of varying densities of archaeological material spread over a total area of 67,000m². Besides the visible material, the presence of archaeological remains buried in the sediment is highly likely, owing to the continuous sediment deposition from the Xlendi ria. The seabed consists of a silty sand punctuated by a series of rocky outcrops that vary in size and around which archaeological objects have accumulated.  These consist mostly of amphorae but also include urns, bowls, and other ceramic objects. The quantity of homogenous material suggests the presence of at least one shipwreck, datable to the third century BC. In 2021, Heritage Malta launched an ambitious project to record the site in high-resolution to better understand the morphology of this unique underwater archaeological site. The site was confirmed an Archaeological Zone at Sea in 2020, and in 2022 it was declared as the world’s first deep-water archaeological part. The Xlendi Underwater Archaeological park opens for divers in the summer of 2023. The park is sponsored by the MIA Foundation

Xlendi Underwater Archaeological park

Dive Site

Open to Divers through Registered Dive Centres and Clubs

Maximum Depth: 105 metres


Wreck Video

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