An island break on the Maltese archipelago of Gozo will be hard to resist if you are seeking out a paradise that blends stunning scenery with culture and history. Sitting just off the Sicily coast, Gozo is one of 21 sublime islands in Malta. Holidays to Gozo will appeal to people of all ages and tastes, what with the island being home to scuba diving sites, blissful beaches, Roman ruins, and scenic hiking trails. Whether you arrive by sea or air, Gozo’s natural splendour will leave you open-mouthed.
Home to some 37,000 people, the island is the second biggest after Malta, and its character is just as big. You might recognise the shape of its hilly terrain from the Gozo Coat of Arms. Cliffs, caves, lagoons, and neolithic temples entice visitors to this Greek getaway, and that’s without mentioning the pleasant Mediterranean climate. Discover the ruggedly spectacular landscape for yourself by booking a holiday to Gozo.
Home to The Citadel, St. George's Basilica, and Our Lady of Ta' Pinu Basilica, Gozo is an island with plenty of natural and manmade attractions. A geologic formation known as the Azure Window was once the focal point of Gozo Island. Although you can still visit it by boat, most of the limestone arch rests beneath the ocean after it collapsed in March of 2017.
Board the Gozo Ferry for a coastal tour of the island, where scuba and snorkelling are two types of water sports on offer. Renting a kayak is a good idea if you wish to get up-close to the caves and cliffs at Xlendi beach.
Wine and Dine
Numerous cultures have influenced the cuisine of Gozo, due to the fact the island is located on a former maritime trading route. You won't have trouble finding a restaurant that dishes up local delicacies, with most eateries serving Maltese Mediterranean cuisine, like flat-baked Ftira bread, freshly-caught Lampuka fish, and spaghetti with sea urchins.
La Stanza Bar & Restaurant, Gianni's Restaurant, and Ta' Frenc Restaurant are just three examples of the dining establishments that make up the culinary landscape. Located in the island's northwest is Tal-Massar Winery. Stroll around the vineyards at this winery, where rows of grapes grow on vines in the soft soil. An expert will escort you around the winery and show you how the wine is stored in wooden barrels, before you get to sample red, white, and rose accompanied with Mediterranean nibbles.
Stop by at Cittadella Visitors' Centre upon arriving in Gozo to get an idea of what's on offer for families. The Xwejni Salt Pans are a hit with families on holiday in Gozo. A place of peace and natural beauty, the tourist attraction can be found on the northern coast. To this day, the sea salt that collects on the coastal rocks is relied on for a family-run salt trading business.
Head to the city of Żebbuġ on a 1.5-hour journey to the northwest coast if you fancy a day of laid-back sightseeing with the relatives. Also known as Città Rohan, this small urban area is acknowledged as one of Malta's oldest cities. Kids will love stepping inside a famous underground cave in Xaghra. A local villager found Xerri's Grotto in 1923 and today, the historical landmark is frequented by tourists.
Action and Adventure
Way back in 1725, the Ta' Kola Windmill (Xaghra) was built. The timeworn windmill still stands to this day. Although it was reconstructed slightly in the 1780s, most of the windmill is in its original form, so why not set off on an adventure to see a rare sight on the Maltese island of Gozo?
In the same day, you could discover Mgarr ix-Xini (Xewkija). This small bay is concealed in a gorge near Xewkija village. Get a feel for traditional Maltese life as you greet the locals here. Keen divers can submerge themselves below the water to explore the MV Xlendi. The vessel was sunk on purpose for the creation of a dive site.
Life's a Beach
Sandy beaches, pebbly beaches, rocky beaches - you can take your pick when on a Gozo holiday. San Blas Bay is an isolated beach in the Gozo region that backs up onto lush green countryside. The clear water and rocky coastline at Marsalforn Bay and Qbajjar Bay make these areas perfect for snorkelling.
Look out onto Comino Hondoq ir-Rummien from picturesque Hondoq ir-Rummien beach, or catch a tan at Dwejra Bay. Scattered with pebbles is Dahlet Qorrot Bay, which is almost as scenic as the pebbly beach in the Ghasri Valley.
The atmosphere in Gozo is mostly peaceful, but the local people do enjoy a Mediterranean-style party now and again. Join the islanders and fellow holidaymakers at cliff-side club, La Grotta. Many world-famous DJ's have played live sets inside this stylish nightclub, which gets busy on weekends.
Ir-Rabat is a nearby disco that hosts events on certain dates and let's not forget about Flamingo Bar & Nightclub, either. Alternatively, you could knock back a few beverages and listen to music on your hotel balcony for a private party!
Couples can make fond memories by sipping fruity blends at local wineries and engaging in conversation over an exquisite dinner inside one of the island's intimate eateries. Listen to live music at Zeppi's Pub or at the Glass Box Music Bar, after visiting The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
A massage and dip in the pool at Ta' Cenc Spa will leave you both feeling refreshed, ahead of an evening at the Astra Theatre and Aurora Opera House. Located in Victoria, these opera houses can be accessed by car and are the setting for various events, with the 2017 opera season featuring Madama Butterfly and Cavelleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci.
A medley of societies are intertwined into the culture throughout Malta and the Maltese Islands, including Gozo. Before Malta gained independence in 1964, it was ruled by various nations, resulting in a unique culture that cannot be compared. When you are on holiday in Gozo, you might be lucky enough to witness the traditions and festivals that commence throughout the year. Extravagant clothing is worn for the parades, which feature floats, feasts, and hands-on activities for all.
The main religion that the Maltese devote themselves to is Catholicism. Every single Maltese village is guaranteed to have one church built in honour of a patron saint. Expect the villages and towns around Gozo to be transformed with flags and decorations during Easter. Some other cultural celebrations you could be a part of when on holiday in Gozo include Victory Day, Notte Bianca, and Alarme, which features re-enactments of the Siege of Malta.