Situated on the south western coast of Gozo, the second largest island in the Maltese archipelago, Xlendi is an idyllic village port surrounded by the villages of Munxar, Fontana, and Kercem. Gozo is known as the rural sister island to the Maltese mainland, and as such undulating green hills and stretches of rural farmland stretch from village to village upon its tranquil coast.
If you are looking for a stop off the beaten track, but one which is fervent with all the sun drenched splendour and comfort of visiting the mainland, Xlendi is an excellent hidden gem just waiting to be explored.
Sightseeing in Xlendi
You won’t find the fast paced modern touches of Malta here, but neither will you find any of the crowds. Xlendi is a rustic, charming settlement surrounded by natural beauty spots and populated by locals who will more than likely greet you like a family member. Xlendi is one of the prettiest spots in the Maltese Island, with multi-hued waters ranging from sapphire blue to a dark, inky shade hidden amongst its intriguing coves, snaking rocky valleys, and ancient towering ruins. This little known settlement is a sightseeing paradise for cruisers who enjoy the left field.
This quaint, yet awe-inspiring lies three kilometres away from Victoria on the southwest side of Gozo, featuring inviting waters, bars and hotels, and majestic cliffs framing it upon both sides. The bay is perfect for swimming, with a hidden rocky outcrop at the approach to the bay softening the waves and creating a languid calm amongst the rich turquoise of its waters. Just to the left of the bay is the breath-taking valley known as Il Kantra, which contains cliff walls marbled with dozens of hues, which is worth a detour once you have explored the coves and inlets amidst the serenity of the bay.
The Xlendi Tower
Guarding over the mouth of the main bay is the Xlendi Tower, the largest free-standing ruin in all of Gozo Island. Originally built by the Grandmaster Juan de Lascaris-Castellar of the Maltese Knights in 1650 as way of preventing Turkish sailors or pirates from disembarking in the bay, the Tower is still unbelievably, standing today. It is at once an icon of Xlendi’s storied past, as well as a beautiful landmark which is framed by the bright cliffs surrounding the bay; the local councils are working to preserve the Tower’s integrity and grandeur, much to the benefit of cruisers.
Shopping in Xlendi
As well offering a great many luxury textiles such as cotton and lace, Gozo’s markets are steeped in a history of glass blowing going back hundreds of years. As such, in the markets of Victoria and Xlendi, you can find lovingly crafted, unique glass pieces of diverse colour and type. The hues of the glass are said to be inspired by the scintillating surroundings upon the coast of Gozo, the blue and green water of the Mediterranean, the whites and yellows of Xlendi’s cliffs, and the beautiful sanguine mix of oranges of reds of the sunsets. Nearly all of the glassmakers on Gozo are part of local, family owned businesses, selling everything from bowls and paperweights to detailed vases embossed with astonishing markings only master glassblowers could create.
Eating Out in Xlendi
If you are looking for a panoramic view during dinner, then the restaurants in Xlendi can more than cope with your needs. At the Boathouse, diners can treat themselves to seats a stone‘s throw from the tranquil bay, as well as some of the best seafood on Gozo. Gourmet dishes featuring shrimp, mussels, and complimentary bruschetta are just a sample of what’s in store, all brilliantly presented and freshly prepared. For a warm atmosphere and some fantastic wines, make a visit to Ta’Karolina, especially at night, when the lights from the bay’s buildings glint across the azure water of the bay.