Gozo and Comino
Gozo is only a 30-minute ferry ride from Cirkewwa in the North of Malta and is home to only around 30,000 Gozitans (even though it is a third of Malta’s size). This means that it has been able to retain its more rural atmosphere. Gozo’s landscape is also distinct with greener flat-topped hills and winding valleys. In most ways, the countryside is prettier than that of Malta, the pace of life is noticeably slower and the concentration of tourists exploring the island is smaller than its larger sister. Add to this the wide selection of luxurious converted farmhouses available to rent on the island and one can start to appreciate why the holidaymaker feels a sense of exclusivity when visiting.
There are a number places of historical significance, especially in and around the Citadella within the capital of Victoria (Rabat), but this island is all about connecting with the elements. The countryside is usually bursting with colours while the timeless coastal landscape is tirelessly being battered by the onslaught of unpolluted Mediterranean waves. The crystal clear waters are a paradise for diving and snorkelling. The Gozitan village centres are a sleepy tranquil affair with very friendly locals (some of who still keep a key in their unlocked front doors) and it is not rare to come across Gozitans selling local craft (lace and knitwear) directly from their homes.
The most popular sites of the island include Victoria the commercial capital and its Citadella, the Ggantija temples in Xaghra, the ta’ Pinu Sanctuary in Gharb and Dwejra and the Azure Window in San Lawrenz.
The hospitality, dining and entertainment venues in Gozo are more limited than those in Malta, however, there are a couple of top notch hotels and restaurants here that offer great dining usually in restored spaces full of character. These are mainly found around Victoria (the capital) and the in the areas of Xlendi and Marsalforn bays.
Click on the links below for more information, photos and virtual tours:
- Munxar (including Xlendi)
- San Lawrenz (including Dwejra)
- Zebbug (including Marsalforn)
A stone throw away from Gozo is the little and the all but uninhabited island of Comino. The island is a pleasurable half day walk with 360 degree views of Malta and Gozo but its main attraction is undoubtedly the Blue Lagoon. Seeming to be purposely made for picture perfect postcards, the waters in the Blue Lagoon are a wonderful turquoise colour (reminiscent of the best far flung exotic islands). A splash in these waters is an absolute must. Just remember to take your packed lunch with you as there are no catering establishments here!