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About The Island of Gozo

Some beautiful treasures are waiting to be discovered…

Steeped in myth, Gozo is thought to be the legendary Calypso’s isle of Homer’s Odyssey – a peaceful, mystical backwater. Baroque churches and old stone farmhouses dot the countryside. Gozo’s rugged landscape and spectacular coastline await exploration with some of the Mediterranean’s best dive sites. The island also comes complete with historical sites, forts and amazing panoramas, as well as one of the archipelago’s best-preserved prehistoric temples, Ġgantija. To discover the true magic of swimming, diving and enjoying all the activities the sea has to offer, Comino is the Island that must be explored. The island’s Blue Lagoon, with its safe bathing in bright turquoise waters, makes a memorable day out by boat.

The island is tiny in size, with just one hotel, but it is otherwise uninhabited and is surrounded by the mostscintillating and transparent waters in the Mediterranean. A natural swimming pool, many snorkel, scuba dive and anchor their yachts for a day of swimming and relaxing. In winter, Comino is great for walkers and photographers. Without urban areas or cars, there is no pollution or noise – just quiet and serenity.

Though separated from mainland Malta by a mere 5km stretch of sea, Gozo is distinctly different from Malta. The Island is a third the size of Malta with a fraction of the population, only boasting some 31000 inhabitants thus being more rural and tranquil.

Its culture and way of life are rooted in tradition and yet open to the present. Exuding a relaxed pace of life, Gozo is the ideal secluded haven and at just 25 minutes or so by ferry from Malta, the hop can easily be made for even the shortest stay. In fact, the island is crammed with excitement, activities, archaeological wonders and the best secluded beaches for those relaxing lazy days; making it a perfect holiday destination.

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Privacy is possible on the many small beaches and bays, and intriguing caves positively invite exploration at Mgarr Ix-Xini. Xlendi features fantastic reef formations to pique the interest of scuba divers and snorkelers of all abilities. Ramla will add a distinctive feature to your holiday snaps when you enjoy the unusual red sandy beach. It is not merely a decorative point of interest though, Roman remains can be found nearby, as can the ruins of a fort erected in the mid-1700s by the Knights of Malta.

For well over two millennia, life in Gozo was harsh, as the island was left exposed to any passing raiders, much more so than Malta with its natural harbours and defences. Throughout the Middle Ages and into the rule of the Knights, Barbary corsairs and Saracens raided the island at intervals. In 1551, the latter carried out a devastating raid, taking almost the entire population away into slavery. The island never really recovered from this and remained under populated for centuries, until the arrival of the Knights saw the medieval Citadel in what is now Victoria refortified and the Gozitans began to venture down to the rest of the Island.

Gozo and its inhabitants have their own distinct character and identity, with noticeably different lifestyles, accents and dialect. Gozitans are known for their friendliness and warm welcome, going out of their way to help a visitor find their destination.

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Festas and carnival times in Gozo also have a different feel to those on Malta. The village of Nadur celebrates carnival with a black sense of humour, quite unlike its more joyful counterparts elsewhere.

The real beauty of Gozo, apart from its stunning seascape and interior, lies in the villages. Here, it seems as if time really stood still. The locals treasure their peace and the villages are tranquil, providing a wonderful respite from the modern pace that many of the city dwellers have to endure in their everyday life.

All roads in Gozo lead to Victoria, also known as Rabat, which is where the fortified citadel sits atop a summit. Victoria is not just the geographic heart of Gozo, but also the centre of everyday activity. It manages to combine the bustle of its market and shops with a relaxed and sociable atmosphere. It is a great place to watch the islanders go about their day, especially when the main market square, It-Tokk, comes to life. The town also has a thriving cultural life all its own, with some surprising attractions ranging from opera to horse races in the main street on festa day.

Gozo is well served by restaurants, where the eating is good and varied. Apart from restaurants and cafés offering local dishes, as well as continental menus, one can also enjoy restaurants specialising in ethnic cuisines, such as Chinese or Indian. You will be spoilt for choice in Rabat, Mgarr and the resort towns of Marsalforn and Xlendi, as well as in several other places around the island.

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You will find that it is comfortable to walk about at any time of day or night. The sense of safety and security is tangible as the locals take pride in the absolute absence of serious crime and the almost non-existence of theft.