For such a little island, there is so much to see and do in Gozo that even a summer-long holiday wouldn’t be enough. Perhaps it’s because of the rich history and mysteries the island holds, or perhaps it’s the way of the people who love the lives they lead and are happy to share them with visitors from far and near. In any case, if you are planning a trip to Gozo, here are nine things to see and do in beautiful Gozo.
1. Megalithic Temples on Gozo
For many years, it was assumed that the pyramids in Egypt were the oldest free-standing structures in the world. In reality, Gozo’s two stone temples, Ggantija, predate the pyramids by at least 1,000 years. These gigantic Bronze Age stone structures are aligned with celestial bodies, much as Stonehenge in England, which is a mystery unto itself. Whether placed there by aliens or built by humans, they are worth a day or two of exploration.
2. Village Festi
Festi or festivals, sometimes referred to as feasts when translated, are the high point in life in Malta. Gozo posts an annual calendar of events where you will find that literally every week of the year there is a festa going on in one village or another.
And, throughout the year there are feasts of various patron saints. Being 90% Catholic, the Maltese take their religious traditions very seriously, and this is why they pay homage to the saints they believe protect their villages.
3. Cave, Reef and Wreck Diving
Whether exploring the wrecks off the coast of Gozo or diving the reefs along the shore, Gozo is said to be a diver’s paradise. There are also a series of underwater caves and caverns that draw divers from all over the world, and with the mild climate and warm sea waters, Gozo’s seasons allows for diving any time of year.
4. Eat & Drink with the Locals
There are many really amazing restaurants and cafeterias in Gozo, but most visitors like to sample what the locals love. Street foods from shops and vendors along the streets of ir-Rabat sell popular foods such as Pastizzi, Fish, Rabbit, and if a thirst should suddenly develop, step into a local bar for a glass of locally brewed beer, Cisk. When in Gozo, eat and drink with the locals for that extra taste of authenticity.
5. Shop in ir-Rabat
Formerly known as Victoria, ir-Rabat is the capital city of the Island of Gozo. It is in this most populous city in Gozo that you’ll find a large mall where you can find amazingly attractive attire, locally crafted jewellery, and much of what you’d find in malls anywhere. Spend a day shopping at the mall, but visit the smaller shops along the streets and alleyways to find the best trinkets to bring back home for souvenirs or gifts for those who stayed behind.
6. Stay in a Self-Catering Farmhouse
While the Maltese call these ‘farmhouses,’ back home in the UK, we see them more as rustic villas. If you don’t want to stay at a busy hotel amidst other holidaymakers, you can affordably rent a traditional farmhouse in Gozo. Many families and friends travelling in a group find that they much prefer a farmhouse with its own pool and a complete kitchen from which to prepare meals. Shop locally sourced foods for the most delicious meal you’ve ever prepared.
7. Enjoy a Photo Op at the Cittadella, ir-Rabat, Gozo
Everyone loves a selfie or two, so why not enjoy a selfie photo op at the Cittadella just outside the city of Victoria, ir-Rabat. You can imagine yourself a feudal knight sent to defend the Malta archipelago from the Turks, who were about to rush the island with an army three times the number and much better equipped than the volunteer defenders in Gozo. Save exploring the shops and streets of ir-Rabat for another day. Today, just enjoy the scenery as you step back in time.
8. Wine Tasting at Ta’ Mena Estate
Few countries in the Mediterranean would be complete without at least a few vineyards, and Gozo is no exception. Book a wine tasting at the Ta’ Mena Estate where you can also enjoy some locally made cheeselets and some Gozitan crusty bread to whet the palate. Not only can you get in a bit of wine tasting Gozo style, but you can sample some of the earth’s most delectable pastries.
9. Historic Sightseeing in Rabat (Victoria)
Finally, before you board the ferry back to the main island of Malta for your return flight home, do take a day or two to wander the historic streets and alleys of Rabat, formerly known as Victoria. Here you will be able to see the influence the various occupying nations had on the life and culture of Malta, but Gozo, in particular, has some of the world’s most amazing architecture.
If you truly want to enjoy beautiful Gozo, plan to spend as many weeks as you can. Experience the Mediterranean as you never dreamed possible. That would be the Gozo experience, a once-in-a-lifetime thrill.
Video: Destination Series – Gozo
Video credit: Manwel Farrugia
Video: One day tour of the island of Gozo, Malta, in 2017
Video credit: AbouTravel.