Gozo Salt Pans: Natural Beauty at Xwejni

Discover the centuries-old salt pans, a testament to time's enduring allure on the picturesque Island of Gozo. As you stand amidst these enchanting landscapes, envision terraced fields stretching to the horizon, adorned with a mesmerising mosaic of glistening white salt crystals.

Imagine the island's earliest inhabitants crafting these ancient salt pans, visionaries driven by a deep respect for their land. They ingeniously harnessed Gozo's natural salt flats, capturing the essence of evaporating seawater in its tranquil bays. These famous Gozo salt pans, born from human resourcefulness, have aged gracefully, their narrative deepening each year.

In this article, we invite you to embark on a journey of discovery, guided by the captivating legacy of Gozo's salt pans, with a special focus on the Xwejni Salt Pans, stretching majestically along the north coast of this Maltese island for three kilometres. This historical record, a thread that weaves through over a thousand years, invites you to explore the enduring traditions of salt production.

We'll take you through history, where the age-old craft of salt production connects with the breathtaking beauty of Gozo. Join us as we unravel the layers of this captivating tale, and together, let's immerse ourselves in the wonders of Gozo's salt pans, where past and present unite in a timeless embrace.

Planning Your Visit to Gozo Salt Pans

Visiting The Xwejni Salt Pans with Yippee Tours

Gozo Yippee Tours has you covered when reaching the fascinating attraction of the Xwejni Salt Pans in Gozo. Our unique Tuk Tuk tours and Quad Bike Tours allow you to enjoy a thrilling experience while exploring all the scenic routes, including the captivating Xwejni Salt Pans.

Why Yippee Tours?

  • Comprehensive Service: We ensure every detail is handled from when you book your tour until the last minute.
  • Convenient Pick-up: Enjoy the convenience of pick-up services from the Maltese Islands by Yippee Transport.
  • Seamless Transfer: Experience a hassle-free transfer to Gozo Island.
  • Effortless Return: We put your mind at rest by offering transportation to the Gozo ferry terminal and a smooth return trip to Malta.
  • 2023 Travellers Choice Award: We proudly hold the prestigious Trip Advisor 2023 Travellers Choice Award.

Getting There and Accessibility

  • Public Transport: Reach the renowned Xwejni Salt Pans effortlessly via bus number 310, offering a convenient drop-off at the Xwejni bus stop.
  • Scenic Walk: Enjoy a ten-minute walk from the bus stop along the coast, leading you to the captivating Xwejni Bay.
  • Transportation Options: Various transportation options to suit your preferences. In addition to traditional white taxis, consider ride-hailing services that provide pick-up and drop-off at your desired location.
  • Driving Flexibility: Multiple car rental services are available across the Island of Gozo for those who prefer the flexibility of driving.
  • Accessibility: It's worth noting that the Xwejni Salt Pans are designed to be accessible, ensuring that all visitors, including those with disabilities, can fully enjoy this attraction.

Best time to visit

For the best experience, the salt process at Xwejni typically occurs weekly, starting mid-May and continuing through the summer months, concluding at the beginning of September, as weather conditions allow. The success of each harvest is significantly influenced by the prevailing weather conditions, with hot and sunny days ideal for optimal harvesting.


The Salt Pans Importance since 1986

Salt, a life-sustaining mineral and natural preservative, has held immense value throughout history. In Roman times and the Middle Ages, it was so precious that it was a form of currency. In the Maltese culture, the art of salt harvesting and processing from seawater using traditional methods has been a cherished family tradition passed down through generations. 

For centuries, these local families and their salt pans have not only met the demand for salt but have also provided employment and business opportunities to many locals. This traditional method of salt collection stands out as a sustainable method, requiring minimal energy and resources. Among these salt artisans, the Cini family has been cultivating the Xwejni Salt Pans since the 1860s, becoming synonymous. Manuel, known worldwide as 'Leli Tal-Melh' or Manuel The Salt Man, has been crafting salt since 1969, preserving the heritage of salt production and the beautiful skill of harvesting salt crystals.

The Sea Salt Production and Process

Weather Influences Salt Production

  • Ideal conditions for sea salt harvesting occur during sunny summer months.
  • During stormy and rainy days, no salt is collected.

Salt Crystals Detailed Harvesting Process

  • Each salt pan is individually processed and filled with seawater using a motor pump.
  • Sea water is transferred from larger pools to smaller pans to evaporate naturally under the sun.
  • Reddish hue sea salt crystals start to bask in the sun's warmth for approximately seven to eight days.

Efficient Production Cycle

  • Highly concentrated sea water in larger pools accelerates the process.
  • Freshly collected salt is produced every week.

Skilled Artisanal Refinement

  • Skilled artisans use brooms and brushes with thick hairs to collect salt from each pan.
  • Salt is carefully placed in buckets loaded with salt crystals.

Drying and Packaging

  • Salt is left undisturbed under cloths for 24 hours for the drying process.
  • Dried sea salt is artfully packed into 30-kilogram bags, ready for storage and packaging.
  • No further processing is required; the salt is primed to enhance culinary creations.

Honouring Tradition

  • The sea salt production process is a testament to time-honoured craftsmanship.

A Local Taste to Take Home

While exploring the salt pans on the Island of Gozo, acquiring a sea salt souvenir jar is a must. These conveniently packaged jars make great souvenirs that easily fit into any bag or luggage.

You can find this great souvenir at various locations around Gozo, including Leli Tal-Melh's little shop at Xwejni and local souvenir shops and supermarkets. Take advantage of the opportunity to bring home to you, your relatives or friends a taste of Gozo's salt pans as a cherished souvenir of your visit.

Explore Gozo's Lesser-Known Salt Pans

  • Salt Pan Variety: Explore the diverse salt pans around Xwejni Bay, including smaller ones like Il-Qolla l-Bajda.
  • Further Up Exploration: Take a stroll further up from the Xwejni Salt Pans to uncover another salt pans site.
  • Across the Coast: On the opposite side of the Island, you'll be treated to views of the Xlendi Salt Pans and Ix-Xatt l-Ahmar Salt Pans.
  • Immersed in Tradition: These smaller salt pans sites provide a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the time-honoured tradition of salt production.

What to expect on your tour with Yippee Malta

A guided tour by our team of experts, prepare for an exceptional adventure. Whether you're a couple, a family, or friends, get ready for a six-hour experience that explores the beauty of Gozo. Your journey will begin with a scenic boat crossing to Gozo, allowing you to soak in the stunning sights and explore the picturesque landscapes of Comino, including the Blue Lagoon.

A light traditional Gozitan lunch with local wine is included during your tour to savour the island's flavours. But we've saved two of the best for last: the Xwejni Salt Pans and the charming town of Marsalforn. Get ready to discover Gozo's beauty with Yippee Tours, Gozo's number-one trusted guide. Sunset Quad Bike tours and Tuk Tuk tours are also available.

Author: Norbert Bezzina

About Yippee

Yippee (part of Cominology Ltd) is the #1 Gozo tour operator, with a unique fleet of brightly-coloured Tuk Tuks, eJeeps, and high-powered Quad Bikes.

Address: Yippee, 17 Triq ix-xatt, Ghajnsielem, GSM 9033, Gozo - Malta

Contact: +356 2156 0512

Email: info@yippeemalta.com