Gozo, the best kept secret of the Mediterranean
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Malta consists of three islands; Malta, Gozo and Comino. Gozo is much quieter and smaller than Malta and therefore more authentic. Many Maltese use Gozo as their holiday island, the island is also in the top 10 of the best dive destinations in the world.
HistoryDue to the strategic location of Malta it has a rich history and you can find many traces of that. Ancient temples and churches can be found everywhere on the islands. The island is already inhabited for almost 7000 years (!) and All kinds of different population groups have lived here. From civilizations of the copper age to the Romans and the Normans. During the 9th to the 13th century is was part of the Arabs and you can clearly hear this in the Maltese language. In Malta most people speak very good English, this is since the islands were a British colony for two centuries. Only recently in 1974 the British queen resigned as head of state and then the country became its own republic.
Amazing landscapeGozo consists of a hilly landscape with many vineyards and small vegetable fields. The houses on Gozo are made of sand-colored limestone. The limestone is found on the islands itselve. The architectural style is a mix of Mediterranean with colorful balconies and Arabic with their block-shaped construction. On both Malta and Gozo you will find beautiful baroque churches. Many films are recorded on the island group and that is understandable, you feel you are constantly on a movie set.
Things to do
In the center of the capital Victoria lies the citadel that formed the island's defensive stronghold. Just outside the citadel is the cathedral that is mainly known for its striking paintings on the ceiling. Independence Square is also worth a visit, every morning there is a bustling market where mainly souvenirs are sold. You will find cafes, restaurants and bars around and on the square where you can watch all the action on the market.
Qala is a quiet village in the east of Gozo. From Qala you get a good view on the neighboring island of Comino and on the Blue Lagoon: a sheltered bay with shimmering blue water with a white beach. This is excellent for a day trip. With a cruise or sailing boat you can do amazing dives and/or snorkel. The heart of Qala consists of one square surrounded by a beautiful church and beautiful local cottages and restaurants.
Ramla Bay on the north side of the island is it according to the travel guides most beautiful sandy beach on the island. On the beach you will find two lookout towers, lifeguards and a statue of the holy Madonna who watches over the swimmers. Do you need relaxation? There is a spa in the exclusive Kempinski hotel in San Lawrence where you get Ayurvedic treatments and eat fancy for a respectable price.
Eating ritualsThe inhabitants of Gozo like to eat products that come from the island itself. They cook as little as possible with products that are flown in or entered by boat. Local specialties are wine, cheese, tomatoes, capers, olives and also the sea salt is a great pride of the island.
Day tripsBy boat you are on the main island of Malta within 30 minutes. We definitely recommend having a look. The capital Valletta is in its entirety on the World Heritage List. In addition, you can take a look by boat on the neighboring island of Comino where you can walk. The area of the island is tiny and only three people live there. The boats to Malta and Comino depart on a regular basis from Mgarr.
Best time to visit
Gozo is a year-round destination. The summer months June, July, and August are normally quite dry. Winters are mild with only rare occurrences of cold weather brought by north and northeast winds from central Europe. In fact, daytime winter temperatures almost never fall below 10ºC (50ºF), while night-time winter temperatures never fall below 0ºC (32ºF).
June is an excellent time of year to visit as the summer season is just getting into full swing and it is not too hot. July through to September are the peak summer months, the temperature on average is about 30ºC/86ºF. August is the hottest month, the temperature soars to above 40ºC/104ºF and this is the busiest time of the year.
Where to eat
Green Mood: Delicious vegan food with fresh ingredients and healthy juices. The staffs are very friendly. Very well located, just a few steps from the Saint George basilica. Must try!
Osteria Scottadito: Amazing food with a nice location next to the church. Highly recommend if you're looking for a very nice lunch/dinner.
Where to stay
Ta' Cenc is a luxurious eco-retreat within the grounds of a bird sanctuary, so it's all about getting back to nature in a five star environment. The hotel itself is great however the wellness spa is amazing. I must say the heated indoor/outdoor pool is one of a kind. The room was clean and comfortable. You can book it here on booking.com.