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Xlendi to San Lawrenz via the Inland Sea

One of the finest hikes on Gozo which passes several of the island's best known landmarks.

Also in Kerċem, Malta

Hiking Difficult

8.2 km
370 m
243 m
2-3 hrs
Low Point
1 m
High Point
147 m
Xlendi to San Lawrenz via the Inland Sea Map

This is a great trip which feels wild and remote despite its relative proximity to civilisation.


Start out in the bustling little village of Xlendi, where you'll find plenty of places to grab some food before setting off. Climb the steps on the north of Xlendi Bay and then scrabble up a series of rock slabs, the route through which is well marked by pink dots and the occasional cairn. This section up the slabs is the only part of the entire Gozo Coastal Trail which requires you do some (very easy) scrambling so if you want to avoid it, hike up the road from Xlendi towards Victoria and just before reaching the Tuta bus stop, turn left and follow an extremely steep concrete track up to the village of Kercem. From Kercem, follow the main road west to rejoin the hiking track.

Either route (up the slabs or along the road) takes you to a stunning track which winds along the top of the huge cliffs on Gozo's west coast. The track offers spectacular view after spectacular view and the only downside of the path is that is has to end! Eventually it leads you to the utterly stunning Dwejra Bay - an almost-enclosed inlet which has the famous Fungus Rock at its entrance. Fungus Rock has a cairn on top but it can only be accessed by a swim and is ringed by steep cliffs - whoever climbed the rock and built the cairn must have been pretty adventurous!

Continue descending to the Inland Sea and the former site of the Azure Window. A pretty unique feature, the Inland Sea is a shallow and contained body of sea water which is fed a narrow channel of water through a cave. Adventurous swimmers might consider swimming out through the cave and into the the open sea, which is a serious undertaking but does take you to the foot of some staggering vertical cliffs. Most people content themselves with a much more relaxed option - going for a float in the Inland Sea and having an ice cream.

When you've had your swim, take a stroll to the viewpoint which used to afford a great view of the Azure Window, a beautiful rock arch which sadly collapsed during a storm in 2017. If you've got a snorkel with you then it's possible to snorkel out to where the arch used to be and you'll see the remains of it on the sea bed.

Finish the day by climbing up above the inland sea and strolling into the charming village of San Lawrenz.



Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

between September and June


  • Wildlife
  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Water features

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area