So, why Gozo?
Why not? Beautiful landscapes, an island known to many for the cats roaming the streets in the main cities, untouched areas of land and to top it all full of culture – this is quintessential holiday land.
If you’re thinking of spending time on Malta’s sister island, these are a few reasons why that would be an excellent idea.
If you’re looking for some quiet, laid-back time for yourself or your family, whilst still having the option to get a good look at some historical sites then read on.
Gozo is also becoming known for its organic way of life. Many of the people on the island lead a simple way of life, there are many farms and life is somewhat slower-paced. What we are referring to here though is the new Gozitan retreat that is inspiring a very healthy lifestyle.
Gozo is a perfect place to get away from it all, away from the distractions and the bright lights. To give you an idea, this retreat organizes kick-off morning yoga sessions, followed by health examinations and dining on raw food – allowing you to get your balance back – the experience deserves a week or weekend stay at the least.
Gozo is an amazing island to explore, giving you the perfect excuse to just get out and look for some adventure! If you just walk your stay away, it will be well worth it.
The island of Gozo has long been associated with Ogygia, the island home of the nymph Calypso, which Homer mentions in his ‘Odyssey’.
The capital city is Victoria, otherwise known as Rabat. It is also the most inhabited area of the island as elsewhere the houses are rather spread out.
There are various historical sites and museums that one can visit. Yet it’s beauty remains in its untouched nature and breathtaking treks.
Ggantija Temples & Ta’ Kola Windmill – Xaghra
The temples are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is made up of two temples which date back to 3600 and 3200 BC. The word derives from the Maltese word ‘ggant’ which means ‘giant’, as the temples are so old and in a sense date back to the time of the giants.
The temples are made from mainly from coralline limestone with the trimmings of the site being made of softer Globigerina limestone. The remains of animal bones suggests rituals involving animal sacrifice and there is evidence of use of fires due to the presence of stone hearths.
The Ggantija Temple’s outside areas are available to rent out for private events, giving a spectacular backdrop.
Ta’ Kola is one of the only surviving windmills on the islands which dates back to the time of the Knights, to 1725. This was during Grand Master Manoel de Vilhena’s (1722-36) period. It was then reconstructed during the 1780’s.
The name ‘Ta’ Kola’ is connected to the last miller who was stationed at the windmill. This man was known as Zeppu ta’ Kola (Joseph son of Nikola). The windmill houses a collection of tools which this very miller made.
Both sites are open from 9-5p.m. (6p.m. in summer) and the fee covers both sites, so it’s worth visiting anyway!
How to get to Gozo
You can grab the ferry, it is the perfect and easiest way to get to Mgarr (Gozo’s port). Or if you’re feeling more adventurous how about getting to the island with a helicopter to really get a feel of the beauty that awaits you!
There are also ferries to and from Comino, in case you’re on the little island and care to step over for a spontaneous day or weekend.
Getting around in Gozo
You can simply walk, come overland with your rented car or rent a car when you get off the ferry at Mgarr.
The bus system in Gozo is more efficient than the one found in Malta. There are various routes, so you can get to the main spots and further afield, the buses tend to be less crowded too!
Whilst on the island you can also bike around, which is becoming an increasingly popular way to do it. You can also get on a quadbike with Gozo Quad Hire. It is such a unique experience and you can get to see nooks and crannies one would not be able to get to if going round with a car or on foot.
- Xlendi and Marsalforn
Time in these main towns of Xlendi and Marsalforn is rather more lively. Both are perfectly picturesque Mediterranean areas.
You can spend time at the beach, explore the grottos and enjoy some watersport activities. Follow by having a spot of lunch at one of the many sea-front cafes.
2. The Citadel
Victoria (also Rabat) is Gozo’s city center, and the main hub of life for many Gozitans. There are narrow, winding pathways that are wonderful to walk through and photograph. There are plenty of cafes, shops and even two shopping arcades speckled around the city so you can stop to take it all in whenever you get tired. There is also a lovely park-area in the centre of the Citadel so makes for a great break or lunch area with a picnic feel.
There are various churches in the main city, a museum of interest is the The Nature Museum (open from 9-5p.m.). During the war this museum was used as a shelter. The collections range from geological, human, animal and marine evolution. The marine organisms displayed were deposited on the seabed between 35 and 5 million years ago. The major specimens came as a donation of Dr Lewis Mizzi.
There is also a collection of insects, flora and fauna. Particularly important is the Malta Fungus specimen, formerly believed to be growing on the ‘Fungus Rock’ in Dwejra. There is a garden at the back of the museum, where among others you can see the national plant – the Maltese Rock Centaury.
Something not to be missed is a specimen of moonstone. This was brought from the moon’s surface by the crew of Apollo II and donated to the Maltese by the American President Nixon.
3. The Churches
There are so many churches on the island for the amount of people. So, it’s great to get around and see the differences between the churches in the different localities.
Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu is definitely worth a visit, apart from the fact that this church has a lovely story behind it.
Xewkija Parish Church has a particular wide and spacious feel.
St. Mary, St. George and St. Francis can all be found in the little city of Rabat.
4. What was our beautiful Azure Window & Climbing in Gozo
The window was one of the most photographed areas in Gozo. It unfortunately fell early this year, but it is still a great spot to visit and walk around.
Something which will kick the fun back into your stay might be climbing in various spots around Gozo; including Hondoq, Dwejra and Ta’ Cenc.
5. Beaches and Watersports
The sea water in Gozo is super clear, Hondoq Bay is a beautiful spot, but if you want some sand in your toes head over to Ramla Bay – the choice for summer and winter.
If you want some action you can find it on Gozo when it comes to watersports. Popular activities include scuba diving, surfing, wake-boarding, kayaking, canoeing…you name it.
Head over to the Blue Lagoon, if you haven’t already. Apart from the Blue Lagoon there are three other beaches if it gets too crowded for your liking. These are: Crystal Lagoon, St. Mary’s and St. Nicolas’ Bay.
Packed with rural and a raw character, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Gozo.
So hop over and enjoy exploring!
We hope that you found this blog post about our splendid Gozo insightful. Have a look at some of our other blogs about the Maltese islands.
See you next week 🙂