Gozo is a tiny island (about 38,000 inhabitants) in the middle of the Mediterranean. Getting to Gozo is very easy. After all, you only need to factor that. First, you need to arrive at the sister island of Malta, and from there take the trip to Gozo by ferry. The best Island of Gozo
How to Get There
Gozo can only be reached by driving down to Cirkewwa, Malta’s furthest northern-western tip and taking the ferry. The ferry is the only link between the two islands and whilst the Islanders always debate whether the two islands should be permanently connected by the bridge or underground tunnel, for now, there is only the Gozo Channel ferry
This in a way is a bonus for the traveler because the ferry trip is an experience in its self. The ferry crossing which takes about 25 minutes goes by the tiny island of Comino, a small rocky isle which is believed to have been a pirate hideaway in times gone by. Testimony to this is the imposing coastal watchtower standing on guard. As soon as you approach Gozo, you will start to admire the rocky shoreline dented with caves, cliffs, and inlets. The picturesque view of Fort Chambray overlooking Mgarr Harbour (which is also a fishing harbor), where the ferry docks, never fail to be welcoming.
What to See
From Mgarr, you can explore the whole island. The island is a mosaic of scenic spots and a treasure trove for history buffs. Amid the chapels and churches, some of which dating back to hundreds of years, you will find archaeological remains like The Ġgantija Temples, temples that predate the Egyptian pyramids. Today one of the richest gems is the old Citadel, recently restored and standing proudly in the middle of the island. Wandering through the Citadel’s old streets and visiting the various museums housed within it will take some time but it all time well spent.
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But Gozo is not only for those who are highly interested in history. Art and culture are part of the fabric of the island, and you find that most churches are adorned with precious works of art. Cultural events of all sorts are part of the daily life in Gozo, and one cannot forget to mention that the island is also home to two competitive opera theaters situated in the same street. In Gozo, autumn is the opera season.
If you are after a holiday of pure bliss and relaxation you will find that Gozo, also acclaimed as the ‘island where time stood still,’ is a perfect destination. You can unwind at spas or healthy get-away retreats or rent out Villas or traditional farmhouse with pool facilities. If you opt for the latter, you risk falling in love with the island as the feeling of tranquility of this particular lifestyle is a guaranteed remedy for stress. Couple this with activities like a visit to agritourism estates where you can experience the traditional culinary delights and taste the local wine, and you will have tasted the best that the island can offer. This is after all the island where Ulysses was captivated and delayed his return to his beloved home and Penelope in Itacha.
On the other hand, if you’re in Gozo to enjoy and experience new things, then renting out an apartment or accommodation in one of the many hotels is also great. Adventure in Gozo can take various forms from rock climbing to abseiling, kayaking, jet-skiing, diving and jeep tours. If you are keen on discovering the island and going off the beaten path, then the jeep tours are the fantastic option. In Gozo, the weather is very Clement, and thus jeeps are a great form of transport in all weather.
You will drive down the narrow road to Mġarr ix-Xini and understand why the small cove known mostly by divers and fisherman, won over Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt for their film ‘By the Sea’. You will steer along the wind-swept Northern coast, and the salt-pans just off the famous beaches of Marsalforn and Qbajjar and visit Dwejra Bay, the inland sea, and the Azure Window.
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Another impressive drive is the one that takes you to the Ta’ Ġurdan Lighthouse, a lighthouse that is set on the hilltop on the Northern-Western side of the island and overlooking the Ta’ Pinu Marian shrine. The latter is a masterpiece in Maltese stonework, both regarding masonry and sculpture. You will be left wondering how much time these craftsmen took to complete this edifice. If you opt for jeep tours, you will know the meaning of Gozo because by driving around, you will understand the island’s intrinsic ‘smallness’ and ‘richness.’ It is a first-hand experience of the meaning of living on a tiny island, and you cannot overlook the rural farming estates and the many niches that dot and mark the ways.
Where to Stay
There are several hotels and guest houses you can book. You can also find a decent furnished apartment for about 40 euros a night. On the other hand, there are farmhouses, which as the name suggests were used as farms in the old days, and now converted into cozy, charming accommodation. You can find them scattered all over the island, mostly in narrow alleys hidden from the main streets. Some of these old farmhouses also have a pool and decent size olive gardens.
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Through all of this, you need to have a charged camera and lots and lots of space on your digital card. Everywhere you turn, you will see that there is a scene that’s worthy of recollection for the future.
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Elena is a travel blogger who loves to travel the world and write about her travel experiences. You can follow her on Twitter and Google+