01 June 2021
Gozo, the relaxed sister island of Malta, sits to the north west of the island in the Mediterranean Sea. Its unhurried pace of life and rustic appeal is just what many of us are in need of as we seek harmony after months of confinement. With a name that means ‘joy’ in Castilian, you can look forward to experiencing bliss on the islet.
The coastline around Gozo evolves from peaceful red sand beaches to rugged fisherman’s bays where cliffs fringe the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Between Xaghra and Nadur, Ramla Bay is a wide stretch of red sand with great opportunities for swimming, snorkelling or even just lounging in the sun. A favourite amongst families is San Blas, thanks to its small yet perfectly formed appearance surrounded by tranquil green countryside at the end of the beautiful valleys on Gozo’s northeast coast. If you’re looking for more adventurous pursuits, the rocky inlet of Mgarr-ix-Xini has many sea caves that can be explored on a dive and was even featured in the movie “By the Sea” featuring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
All roads in Gozo lead to its capital, Victoria (known as Rabat to the locals), which sits at the island’s heart both literally and figuratively. Its citadel, which can be seen from across the island, rising above the sleepy countryside that surrounds it; was built in the medieval era and serves as a reminder of the island’s tumultuous history. Nowadays, the city plays host to a lively open-air market in It-Tokk whilst maintaining its relaxed and sociable character that visitors adore.
During your time in Victoria, make an early start at least once to grab a coffee with the locals shortly after 6am and enjoy a pastizzi for breakfast; these local pastries filled with peas or cheese are the perfect accompaniment to an espresso.
An unblemished landscape creates ample opportunity to get away from it all. Ta Cenc Cliffs tower 140 metres above the shimmering Mediterranean Sea and serve as a stunning viewpoint, while the underground cave at Xaghra, known as Xerri’s Grotto, sits 10 metres below the ground and can be visited on a guided tour with the owner.
According to the stories of Homer in Greek mythology, the limestone cave above Ramla Bay once belonged to Calypso and is was there that the Gozitan sea nymph managed to keep Odyseus enslaved for seven years until he escaped and returned to this wife.
From ambling along the breathtaking coastline and winding through the peaceful villages on a bicycle, to kayaking along the island’s perimeter to explore its caves, bays and limestone cliffs, you’ll find adventurous pursuits across Gozo that range from gentle outings to full blown adrenaline rushes. There’s also abseiling, rock climbing and bouldering across more than 300 sport climbs in 12 locations such as The Underworld, the North Coast and Wied il-Mielah.
Much like its sister island of Malta, Gozo’s food reflect the island’s history with marauders and conquerors from North Africa, Turkey, Italy and across the Mediterranean. At Ta’ Philip, Gotizan local Philip Spiteri focuses on using traditional cooking methods and locally sourced seasonal produce to create a menu that showcases the island’s best dishes; much of which is cooked on a wood burning stove. In the capital city, Ta’ Rikardu sits within the citadel walls producing its own wine from vineyards on the island and cheese from its own farm. Visitors are even invited to take part in a milking and cheese making experience.
To arrange your laidback trip to Gozo and Malta, contact your Travel Counsellor and take advantage of exclusive benefits including full financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to assist you before, during and after your stay.