I arrived in Dwejra as the sun was starting to set; the golden rays gently dappling the rocks, highlighting their craggy surface. Dwejra’s claim to fame is its Azure Window, a natural rock arch rising out of the sea, which has become more recognizable since starring in a little TV series called Game of Thrones. But Dwejra is my favourite area in Gozo for so much more than this Window.
The area is a geological dream, formed through the action of underlying sinkholes, compounded by wind and wave erosion. By the sea, in summertime, its many craters are lined with salt. In winter, these double up as miniature rock pools. But look at the rock a little closer, and you’ll see what draws me back to this area time and time again.
Fossils! They transform me from a near-about thirty year old into an excited kid each time I visit. All the rock here is limestone, which formed from the remains of sea urchins, alga, crabs, and even some fish. So all the rock present today used to be living creatures, swimming around in the sea about 7 million years ago. I could stare at the fossils all day, and although it is a very popular area, Dwejra is big enough to find your own quiet patch and soak in its beauty on your own terms.
And this beauty isn’t limited to above ground. A few metres from the Azure Window are the Blue Hole and Inland Sea, both popular diving sites. I haven’t got a diving license yet, but I have fished this clip out of niedermas’ YouTube channel, to give you an idea of what you can expect to find down there.
A bit further out from the Blue Hole, Fungus Rock also rises out of the sea. It is so called as a rare type of ‘fungus’ was discovered here during the Knights of St. John era. In later years scientists realised that this wasn’t a fungus after all, rather a parasitic plant. But by that time the name had stuck. The Knights used this plant to treat impotence and prized it highly enough to smooth the rock sides in the 1700s to make it impossible for intruders to clamber up.
Knights within Dwejra Watchtower kept guard, turning any trespassers into galley slaves. The jury is still out on whether the plant actually has any medicinal properties, so the Knights might have been rather overzealous. Though I can definitely understand their want to protect such a beaut.
If you’d like to visit, I recommend staying at Ta’ Cenc, or you can find a great deal at a nearby hotel using the link below.