Gozo in Malta ‒ A Destination You Must Visit
Gozo might be one of the most picturesque islands that you can visit in the Mediterranean. An island with stunning ragged cliffs, incredible beaches, and beautiful landscapes, it’s also home to the most charming villages in the world. It also has plenty of breathtaking spots where you can indulge yourself in romantic walks surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of nature.
Gozo might be known for its sleepy ambiance, but the island comes alive during the holiday season, every summer, and festivals. The main resort town, Marsalforn, houses plenty of outdoor cafes and fantastic restaurants lining up. However, the main draw of the island is its stunning nature sites that make the perfect backdrop for fun outdoor activities such as diving, snorkeling, swimming, and hiking.
If you’re thinking about making sure that you make the most out of your trip while staying in this beautiful Mediterranean island? Here’s our guide to the best places to eat, historical sites, quirky museums, and the best beaches, also (visit Gozo) the travel portal.
A Medieval Hilltop City: Victoria
Nestled in the breathtaking Mediterranean landscape and surrounded by rolling hills and ancient limestone buildings, the walled, hilltop city of Victoria looks like a miniature version of Jerusalem. Standing on the high ledge, and enclosed within a citadel ‒ early Romans, Arabs, and Normans settled here early on.
Standing on the three bastions of the Citadel, you can see the panoramic views of the Gozitan countryside, from villages perched on hills to evergreen valleys leading up to the sea. From there, you can also see the marvelous dome of the Xewkija Rotunda.
Strolling on this old town, you’d find yourself in a confusing maze of narrow alleys, long winding streets, and whimsical houses with charming balconies. Lying on the heart of the Citadel is the Cathedral of the Assumption a Maltese Baroque style, 17th-century church. Other top attractions are the Archaeology Museum, Old Prisons and Folklore Museum. Just outside the Citadel, gives off a more modern feel. The main square, known as the It-Tokk, is a vibrant marketplace that’s bustling with shops, and street vendors. There’s also the Saint George’s Basilica, a beautiful Baroque church built in the 17th century the almost rivals the cathedral.
The Quaint Seaside Resort of Marsalforn
What used to be a small, fishing community, Marsalforn has transformed itself into Gozo’s most popular resort destination. During summer, hundreds of tourists, families, and travelers flock to this lively seaside town. It’s filled with plenty of exciting activities to keep everyone occupied and yet retains its peaceful seaside feel. At daytime, the pebble beach is filled with sunbathers under colorful beach umbrellas. The waters are also safe enough for children to swim and wade in. Aside from that, Marsalforn is a good base if you want to go diving and snorkeling, with several diving schools and sites in the area. The place is convenient enough to stay, with plenty of local grocery stores, and hotels and holiday rentals available in the area. Not to mention, the Marsalforn’s waterfront is the hub of activities. There is also a great selection of restaurants and cafes with picturesque outdoor terraces that are facing the calm, blue sea.
Diving, Fishing, and Swimming at Xlendi
Another old fishing village on our list that evolved into a popular seaside resort is Xlendi. Although those traditional fishing boats floating in the bay may seem unaffected with the passage of time, more contemporary structures such as hotels, shops, restaurants, and accommodations are now built on the hillsides that surround the bay. The beach here may be small, but its pristine sandy shores and calm waters are perfect for swimming. There are also natural coves surrounding the beach that are ideal for diving and snorkeling.
Ta’ Mena Estate
If you want to experience the Gozitan to the fullest, then head off to Ta’ Mena Estate. This private farm offers guided tours to the vineyards as well as the olive and orange groves. Aside from that, the estate is also open for private functions such as picnics, family events, and weddings. Guests can also indulge themselves in wine tastings, as well as go fruit and vegetable picking when in the area.
Renowned all throughout the Maltese Islands for its fine wines and liqueurs, Ta’ Mena Estate also distribute a variety of local produce such as olives, herbs, cheeses, oils, honey, food preserves, and sweets. Moreover, renovated farmhouses are also turned into holiday rentals for guests wherein they can enjoy the modern amenities such at the swimming pool as well as the sweeping panoramic views of the Marsalforn Valley.
Calypso Cave and Ramla Beach
According to The Odyssey, Homer’s epic poem, Odysseus was held captive by a nymph named Calypso in a cave found in the island of Ogygia. As the story goes, she was so madly in love with him that the gods have to intervene, setting Odysseus free to reunite with his wife, Penelope in Ithica. All of these may seem a myth ‒ but many believed that Ogygia in the story is the island of Gozo and the actual name of the cave referred to in the story is Xaghra. Found 2.5 miles southeast of Victoria, you’d see a bird’s eye view of Ramla Beach. Ramla beach is a red, sandy beach and considered as the most attractive of all of Gozo’s beaches. It can be an ideal beach for families, especially those with younger kids. The sand is soft to built sandcastles, and the waters are shallow enough to swim in. You can rent sun beds and beach umbrellas for a day, and there are plenty of beach cafes in the area as well.
Found in the western part of Gozo, Dwejra Bay is considered as the island’s most scenic locations. This protected, nature reserve is home to numerous natural wonders including the Azure Window (which unfortunately collapsed in 2017.) Up to this day, Dwejra Bay with its scenic limestone cliffs and picturesque backdrop are an ideal location for exciting outdoor activities such as rock climbing, snorkeling, diving, boat cruises, or just spending a lazy day by the beach.
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