Malta's little sister - Gozo

May Swan-Easton on 23 October 2016
The ferry between Malta & Gozo takes just 30 minutes and runs at regular intervals throughout the day. Costing just €5 per person it’s really easy to do a twin centre.

The name Gozo means “Joy” and the charm is apparent from the moment you arrive. It’s greener, more rural and smaller than Malta and prettier too.

Life on Gozo moves at a leisurely pace. The rhythms dictated by the seasons, fishing and agriculture. Gozo is steeped in myth. It comes complete with historical sites, forts and amazing panoramas. We stayed at the 5* Ta’ Cenc Hotel and Spa in Sannat which was delightful & even in October the weather was so nice we managed to get a couple of hours by the pool. Again I was really surprised at the cost of meals in restaurants – 30 Euros for a 3 course meal from a set menu at the hotel.

The next day we took a trip to the “Azure Window” which is an impressive natural arch standing 20 metres high. The inland sea here is where we took a boat trip. The water was a pure cobalt blue and so clear. Gozo is a great place to dive & snorkel and there are many dive trips which run around this area.

We then moved on to Victoria, the capital of Gozo. A visit to the Citadel gives you 360 degree views of the island. What an amazing way to appreciate everything this beautiful island has to offer. En route we stopped at the famed Salt Pans & the Ggantija Temples in Xaghra - These are the oldest freestanding structures in the world and potentially Gozo’s single most marketable landmark. Excavated from 1816-1820, the complex comprises of 2 Neolithic temples dating from the third millennium BC (c.3500BC) – 7,000 years ago.

After a long day of sightseeing, I decided to see the journey back to the hotel by Bike! Not sure how to fit I thought I was as I didn’t quite make it but it was great to cycle along the quiet streets & see locals using the historic well-preserved public wash place called Ghajn Bendu. An arched shelter was built over the springs for the convenience of people washing their clothes. A very old irrigation system made up from stone gutters constantly brings water from a spring situated in the Ta' Kercem part of the valley.

The highlight of the trip to Gozo was touring the Island by Quad bike which I’ve never done before and found it a bit of a heavy beast to maneuver as I volunteered to drive but I did get up to 60kms on the back roads of Gozo.

I would have no hesitation in recommending Valetta as a perfect city break but if you have more time then extra time in Gozo will give you the perfect combination to see just what the Maltese Islands has to offer.