Secrets of Gozo

Nature

Nature

Xlendi Bay
During the British rule, Xlendi’s bay was sandy, but with the passage of time, water from the valley and human interference, it is now pebbly. The bay is still known for the rocks on the left side of the bay which are good for sunbathing and diving.

Valleys

This bridge was made during the Knight’s Period and connect the cliffs to the rest of Xlendi.
Xlendi Valley starts from Fontana continuing from the Lunzjata Valley and Wied l-Ghawdxija and ends in the bay into the sea. So Xlendi Valley collects almost all the rain that falls on the adjacent villages of Kerċem, Munxar and Fontana. The rain water goes through Xlendi and this is quite a problem for most citizens living in Xlendi because they are isolated by the fast flowing water. This also causes flooding in the buildings on the main road from where the valley water passes. This valley is one of the very few homes to the Maltese Freshwater Crab.

Il-Kantra is a valley on the left of the bay just beside the Tower. The name Kantra derives from Alcantara in Spanish-Sicilian. This is because of the entrance of the valley and the valley’s form. From its entrance, it could be seen as a bow. This valley is home to many types of flora and fauna because not many people go there. The Tower of Xlendi was reached by a bridge built by the Knights of Saint John over the Kantra Valley.

Caves

There are many caves, small or large, on the sides of the bay. The main and most known caves are:

Caroline Cave is a cave on the right cliffs of the bay. It was once the property of Caroline Cauchi, a rich woman from Victoria. Later she founded the Augustinian Sisters on Gozo and donated almost all of her land, including the cave and other land in Xlendi. The Sisters during summers started to stay at Xlendi. They would go for a swim in this cave which was isolated and could only be reached by stairs. So they would use this cave as their own and would not be seen by other people in the bay.

Catherine of Siena Cave is situated outside the bay on the right side. It is well known for the very clear blue water. In the 17th century, people used to live in the areas around the cave and built a church just over the cave. So the cave got its name from the saint to which the church was dedicated.

Nature

The undeveloped area around Xlendi is home for a lot of flora and fauna species, some of them rare. One can name the Seagulls, the Maltese Freshwater Crab and the ‘Widnet il-Bahar’. Today, Xlendi is one of the most developed areas on the island, a feature that damages the biodiversity in the area. The 3 km stretch of cliffed coastline from Xlendi Bay westwards to Wardija Point forms the Xlendi Bay to Wardija Point Cliffs Important Bird Area, identified as such by BirdLife International because of its importance for two species of breeding shearwaters.[5]