A natural arch located near Dwerja in Malta's sister island Gozo. It is surrounded by cliffs and is remarkable for its unique beauty.
It is a location usually crowded by tourists, although there is another less known natural arch just on the other side of the Gozo island, near Gharb, which I had also a unique opportunity to visit.
You can walk around the arch and there is also a nearby beach which is quite unique for its waters which run through huge waves into the cliff holes, like nothing I have seen before :)
The inland sea it is actually an unique small sea lake connected to the open Mediterranian Sea by a natural tunnel under Dwejra Point.
This tunnel is wide enough to allow the passage of small boats and for a small fee, local fishermen take the tourists through the archway for a tour of the cliffs.
Most of the buildings are homes for local fishermen and a couple of stores selling souvenirs have been added recently.
Consacrated in 1963, the small Sant'Anna Chapel at Dwejra was designed by Joseph Mizzi from San Lawrenz, the nearby village.
The modern building with a covered entrance, has an interior consisting of a rectangular room with a flat textured roof.
The main altar piece depicts the young Virgin Mary being instructed by her mother St. Anne, painted in 1989.
Dwejra Bay, located on the eastern side of the island of Gozo, is mainly known due to the special natural attractions in the area: the Fungus Rock, the Azure Window, the Inland Sea and Dwejra or Qawra Tower.
But, beside all these wonders, Dwejra Bay itself, with its rocky shores and the aggitated sea, offers fantastic views.
Dwejra tower (also called Qawra Tower) was built in 1652 during the reign of Grand Master Lascaris for defending Dwejra coast, but was also used to deny access to Fungus Rock in order to prevent the public from collecting the famous fungus.
Situated off the road leading to the small enclosed bay known as the Inland Sea, the Dwejra Tower was also used during the Second World War as an Observation Post.
During the restoration work to the tower started in 1997 and completed two years later, many bricks both for inside and outside have been replaced.
This circular rock formation has an interesting story.
A rare plant Fucus coccineus melitensis, by mistake called a fungus, grew on the rock's top thousands of years ago.
It is said that the Knights of St. John believed in the curing power of this special plant which was used as styptic dressing for wounds and cure for dysentery.
In order to protect this plant the access to the rock has been forbidden for many centuries.
But later it was discovered that Fucus coccineus melitensis has no medicinal properties.
The rock, called also by the Maltase "Il-Gebla tal-General" (the General's Rock) is 60 metres high and is quite inaccessible, because of the sea that tends to be quite rough around the area.
This natural rock arch made by thousands of years of waves and wind is one of the most spectacular attractions in the world.
A 50 meter high hole in the cliffs through which you can see the most beautiful sea gave the name of this natural wonder.
Formed by Coraline Limestone, the Azure Window became even more famous after it appeared in American mini-series The Odyssey.
Eather you climb the rocks to see it closely or you just sit in front of it and enjoy the view, the Azure Window fascinates you.
The coast around Dwejra point is rocky, those strangely pock-marked and sharp rocks that you find in much of Malta & Gozo. It's very picturesque in a barren sort of way, especially with the crystal blue waters and all of the natural (and man made) wonders that there are to see here too.
Built in the 1600s to defend this part of the coast and also to guard Fungus Rock, the fungus on it being reserved solely for use by the Knights. The tower seems to me to be a rather futile attempt to guard such a large expanse of coastline!
Fungus rock is a small rocky island just a few meters offshore at Dwejra. On it grows a strange kind of fungus, a bit like a mushroom I guess, but described as being "as big as a man's forearm". The Knights believed it had mystical restorative properties and guarded the rock (and hence the fungus) for their own uses. These days it's believed to have no such properties, but it is still protected as the fungus grows nowhere else in the world. Landing on the island is forbidden.
The Inland Sea is a lake of sea water formed again by erosion of the cliff. A natural opening has been made in the cliff that allows the sea to pass through into this small lake. The passage way is big enough that small boats can pass through, and its popular with swimmers to swim from inside to outside and back.
You can walk round towards the Azure Window, either clinging to the rocky outcrops (as I did) or taking off your shoes and having a bit of a paddle in the shallow waters around the edge. Round the corner are some overhanging cliffs (seen here) and some great views of the window. Unfortunately that's the moment my camera batteries ran out, so I have pictures from there.
The Azure Window is a natural arch in the rocks at Dwejra point, formed by centuries of erosion. It's a very picturesque sight, looking through the arch to the sea and the cliffs beyond.