Winter diving Check-list.
We first came to Gozo on a diving holiday in February and immediately fell in love with the Island and the fantastic diving it offered. So why Gozo? A check list of what we wanted from a diving destination.
Not everyone's check list is the same however here is ours and the answers for Gozo;
Is it warmer than home? Yes. The average winter high is 16-17 degrees.
Is the diving good? Yes. The Maltese Island have just been voted the 2nd best diving destination in the world for the 3rd year running by the readers of Diver magazine.
Are there direct flights in winter? Yes, with more and more every year.
Is the flight less than three hours? Yes. Malta is less than three hours from almost anywhere in Europe.
Is it safe? Yes. Gozo is in Europe and has an extremely low crime rate, cars are left unlocked and people still leave the keys in the front door in the villages to let friends and neighbours know they are home and happy to welcome visitors.
Can we do other things if we get a bit of bad weather? Yes. Gozo is home to over 5000 years of history to explore. It is a fertile green island with unspoiled countryside and many secluded bays to discover. It is also a great place for rambling and off road trail biking is becoming more popular.
Wet Suits In winter? In Europe?
If you wear a wet suit at home in Northern Europe in the summer then you will be more than comfortable here in winter. In fact the first time we came to Gozo from Switzerland, around 10 years ago, we were both in wet suits and the centre owner we were diving with at the time didn't bat an eye. After all the water was 16 degrees which was the temperature of our local lake in Switzerland in late July.
If you have a Dry Suit it definitely makes the surface interval and apres dive more comfortable however with the right suit and a sunny day, yes we have those in the winter, diving wet is enjoyable.
Doesn't everything close in the winter months?
No. It is true that there are many seasonal businesses on Gozo, with owners who head home for the winter, however the majority of locally owned and operated shops, restaurants and accommodation providers stay open all year around.
If you want to enjoy peace and quiet with fewer tourists, less traffic and a more authentic feeling, then winter on Gozo will be perfect. People have more time here in winter and enjoy using it "spoiling" the visitors who see that Gozo is more than just summer sun.
How Is The Winter Weather on Gozo?
Great Prices on Top Gozo Accommodation
As I wrote earlier the best locally owned accommodation remains open over the winter months and is better value than ever during this time of year. Even a Suite in a 5* hotel can be booked for less than €500 per week.
We recommend staying in full service accommodation in the winter months as many of the self catering farmhouses and apartment are not made for the winter months and can be a bit chilly and damp as they may not have been used for some time prior to your arrival. If you stay in one of the accommodations listed below your diving vacation will get even easier, we will pick you up in the morning with all your equipment loaded and drop you off directly after the dive, no need to rinse or dry your equipment as we will do it for you.
Below you will find a few examples I found in a quick search online for mid January 2019 from our preferred accommodation providers.
Our Winter Prices, 1 December 2018 - 31 March 2019
Like the accommodation, car hire companies and airlines, we also offer winter warmer specials. Below you will find our winter 2018-2019 price list and don't worry the discounted prices as we still include all of our normal services and have that extra time for "spoiling" our guests. For groups of 2 divers booking together you can deduct a further 10 % and groups of four can deduct 15%. The same applies to all courses booked during this period.
For divers who want to save on luggage we also have discounted the rental equipment prices even if we will give you more. In terms of suits you will get a full suit plus shortie and hood to help keep you toastie and warm during the dives.
Summing it Up
Yes you can dive in Europe in winter in a wet suit. Great prices, a week of diving for two can be less than €1000 all inclusive, great diving, best in Europe and number two in the world, and a beautiful island are just waiting for you to discover them. The only warning I have is that by coming here in the winter you may find yourself falling in love with the island and who knows you may even end up like us living the dream on Gozo, a year around jewel in the middle of the Mediterranean.