Gozo, which means "joy" in Kastyliani, is the second largest island in the Maltese archipelago, with a population of about 30,000.
Although separated from mainland Malta by a 5-km-long sea lane, Gozo clearly differs from Malta. The island is the third largest in Malta, more rural and quiet. Culture and lifestyle have roots in tradition and are still open to the present.
Leaving a relaxed pace of life, Gozo is the perfect secluded hideaway and in just about 25 minutes by boat from Malta, the trip can easily be made for even the shortest stay.
Gozo and its inhabitants have their own distinct character and identity, with remarkably different lifestyles, tones and dialect. Gozitans are known for their friendliness and warm welcome, going out of their way to help a visitor find his destination.
Fiesta and carnival times in Gozo also have a different feel than those in Malta. The village of Nadur celebrates the carnival with a black sense of humor, unlike the most joyful counterparts of the other.
The true beauty of Gozo, apart from its stunning seascape and its interior, is located in the villages. Here, it seems that time was really immobile. The locals adorn their peace and the villages are calm, providing a wonderful respite from the modern pace that many of the city's inhabitants must endure in their everyday life.
All roads in Gozo lead to Victoria, also known as Rabat, where the fortified citadel is at the top of a peak. Victoria is not only the geographic heart of Gozo, but also the center of daily activity. It manages to combine the bustle of the market and its stores with a relaxed and social atmosphere. It's a great place to watch the islanders go for their day, especially when the main market square, It-Tokk, comes to life. The city also has a thriving cultural life on its own, with some amazing attractions ranging from opera to horse racing on the main road on a fiesta day.
Gozo is well served by restaurants, where food is good and varied. In addition to restaurants and cafes offering local dishes as well as continental menus, you can enjoy restaurants that specialize in ethnic cuisines, such as Chinese or Indian. They will spoil you for choice in Rabat, Mgarr and the towns of Marsalforn and Xlendi, as well as in many other places around the island.
You will find it comfortable to walk at any time of the day or night. The feeling of safety and security is tangible, as the locals take pride in the absolute absence of serious crimes and almost no theft.
Where to stay
For a taste of village life, rent a villa or farmhouse, and a taste of luxury, rent one with a swimming pool. Other accommodations ranging from luxury hotels to self-catering apartments. Sea or country views are never hard to find in Gozo, wherever you choose to stay.
Although Gozo is a small island, there are many things to do as holiday attractions and cultural events. It is a small charming ideal island with attractions that attract everyone.
If you love architecture and history, there is Rabat (Victoria) and Cittadella above Rabat.
If you like to swim, the summer months will be perfect for swimming in Xlendi, Marsalforn, Ramla l-Hamra with the reddish / golden sand or the many rocky beaches to jump. Water sports are located in Xlendi and Marsalforn.
Gozo is full of interesting villages and locations to visit where each has its own unique character and history. These attractions cover everything from historic sites, of course, to wonders, villages, churches and countryside.
The Gozo harbor is the connection to the island from Cirkewwa, Malta.
Top 10 Things To Do In Gozo
1.-Cittadella Victoria Rabat: Do not miss a visit
Rabat (or Victoria), is situated at the centre of Gozo where all the village roads converge to it and is the place where all everyday activities happen. The old Citadel, also called the Cittadella or Kastell (Castle) stands above Rabat at the top of a steep hill visible from almost all the island. An incredible 360 degree view from the top of the fortifications stretching around the picturesque views.
The Azur Window is a site in order to admire around, standing over 50 metres above sea level. It stands very close to two other famous natural landmarks – the Inland Sea, and Dwejra Bay. It is one of the main tourist attractions. They are reached through the San Lawrenz village located up hill. It is Gozo’s iconic arch a spectacular and stunning view located over the sea in Dwejra. It can be seen from the seashore just a short walk away from the bus stops and car park.
The Blue Lagoon is one of the most beautiful beaches in Malta, situated between the island of Comino and the islet of Cominotto. A long narrow bay between the two islands, lovely cyan colour reflection with sand spread all around. On the side a small sandy beach ideal for children to play. In summer it is pretty crowded but worth the visit with family and friends.
Gozo is a enriched by the Ggantija temples, as they are the oldest standing stones in the world. They were built between 4,100 and 2,500 BC.
They are made out of coraline limestone megalithic and weigh 50 tons each. Ggantija temples are surrounded by apses.The real truth behind worshiping in this temples are unknown, but when these temples were excavated, bones and niches in the wall were found, so sacrificing of animals were included in their religious rituals. It is the prime Gozo heritage site.
Marsalforn is one of Gozo’s three main fishing village lying between Xaghra and Zebbug. Still today there are fishing boats moored on the side of the bay as evidence of this.
Today it has transformed into a tourist attraction with numerous restaurants along the promenade and surroundings. There are ample areas for swimming, a sandy pebbly beach in the middle of the bay and rocky area to the left of the bay to Santa Marija point which is a very popular swimming and snorkeling areas.
Xlendi attracts many visitors both locals and tourists. It is a lovely location where you can swim, take a leisure boat, snorkel, sunbathe and diving. Plenty of restaurants are nesstled along the beach. The location is very quiet and relaxing. Plenty of parking for those who have a rented car
7.-Ramla l-Hamra Beach
It is the most popular beach on the island with its shallow sea golden red sand that attracts so many people. Ideal for those who wish to relax in a quiet and colourful environment. Children can play safely.
Do not miss a visit to the oldest Xewkija village well known for its majestic Rotunda church.The dome dominates the village and the church is the largest in Gozo. It is situated between Ghajsielem and the capital town Victoria. A Roman Catholic church dedicated to St. John The Baptist. Built by Maltese masons and craftsmen in Maltese stone. The Internal dome diameter is 27 metres, the dome is 75 metres high, its calculated weight is 45000 tonnes. The dome is the worlds third highest unsupported dome.
9.-Ta Pinu Sanctuary
If you like seeing a Roman Catholic basilica church we suggest to pay a visit to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of Ta’ Pinu in Gharb.
The style is of the Romanesque Revival architecture. It is a centre of pilgrimages an important landmark for Gozitans and Maltese. Surrounded by greenery it is a picturesque view, especially seeing it from afar and gives you an incredible view of its beauty. It is one of the most visited places of worship in Gozo.
You will see the most important villages and sites. There are two different tours by City Sightseeing Gozo, the red Bus and Gozo Sightseeing the green bus. Explore the island on the hop on hop off, get the best views from the first floor of the bus. Enjoy the ride.
Sport & Nature
Culture and History
The history of Gozo goes back to 5000 BC. when a team from Sicily managed to cross into some form of marine boat. These people who originally colonized Gozo (Neolithic 5000 - 4100 BC) probably lived in caves around Il-Mixta on the Ghajn Abdul plateau on the outskirts of the village of San Lawrenz, Northwest of Gozo.
This area consists of a huge cave divided into two by a natural column and an artificial wall. The ceramic tiles discovered on this site are of a cleaner origin than any other pottery elsewhere in the Maltese islands. This suggests that Gozo could be settled earlier than Malta.