Many agree that Gozo is Malta’s best-kept secret. If you’re planning to holiday in Malta, make sure that Gozo is not just a one-day trip on your itinerary. With so many things to do, it’s easy to understand why you need to stay for at least 3 nights.
Words by VISITGOZO / MINISTRY FOR GOZO | Extract taken from February's 2023 Il-Bizzilla Magazine | Read more here
It’s about the calm vibe of island life
Some decades back, the Gozo post office had a stamp that said “Gozo - the island where time stood still”. While that might no longer be the case, and the island has moved on and embraced modern times, there is something about the island that is still not rushed. Today the island is busy and the hum of modern society is part of the fabric, but this is an island where in summer people return home after a day’s work and then head off to the beach to spend the late hours of the afternoon with their friends at the water’s edge. Gozo is an island where escaping to the countryside or the beach is always literally two minutes away…. If you’re coming on holiday to the island and you want to absorb the calm vibe immersed in serenity, then this means that you cannot follow an itinerary where everything has been crammed and dotted down to the last minute. If you’re staying on the island for at least a couple of nights, there’s the bonus of witnessing the ethereal sunrises and sunsets. There’s magic in waking up to the dawn of the island and if you’re not an early riser, make sure you capture the fiery aura and energy of the sunsets from vantage points like Dwejra or Xlendi.
An overflowing treasure chest of places to visit and things to do
Gozo is a like a treasure trove of historic and interesting places, all waiting to be discovered. Take time to research the places you’d like to visit or ask your guide for more information as this will make the whole experience more enriching. It’s crucial to make specific plans about what to see in Gozo and things you want to do while on the island. Visting centres like Ġgantija, the Citadel and the city of Victoria, the old windmill of Xewkija along with places like Ta’ Ġordan lighthouse and Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary cannot be done in one morning or afternoon. These are among few of Gozo’s must see. If one adds beaches and coastal zones like Ramla l-Ħamra, the inland sea of Dwejra and the jaw-dropping Ta’ Ċenċ cliffs, the salt pans of Xwejni and magical inlets of Wied il-Għasri or Mġarr ix-Xini, one has to factor a stay-over of at least a couple of nights. Furthermore, activities like a visit to an eco-farm, boat trips, kayaking, abseiling, and Segway tours cannot be condensed into minutes. Naturally if you’re visiting Malta to dive or to hike or bicycle around the countryside, then there’s no doubt that you need to make Gozo the base of your holiday.
A vibrant calendar of events
Spread across the seasons, Gozo is a destination where culture, music and art are part of the scene. This can be easily verified by having a quick look at the typical Gozo event calendar. Whilst musical concerts, art exhibitions and shows are always present, the seasons and special feasts pile on extra pizzazz. The summer season is notorious for the village feasts and the vibrant celebrations, autumn is the opera season whilst winter is associated with a wide array of Christmas activities and the revelries typical of Carnival (celebrated between 17 – 21 February 2023 – visit www.visitgozo.com for more details). Gozo’s calendar of events also has a dedicated Easter programme. Other regular events such as wine fests and the honey festival are intrinsically tied to the agricultural year. This means, that whatever time of year you visit the island, you need to check what’s on in Gozo and you’ll have the opportunity to mingle with the local crowd and get an authentic taste of the island’s fare.
Don’t be beguiled into thinking that Gozo’s just a stopover!
You cannot be satisfied by a day trip or a breezy walkthrough. That is only for those who want to see one aspect or just get a taste of what Gozo is all about. The best way to holiday in Gozo is by living the island life and finding one’s inner inspiration and muse that is revitalising. After all, this is the island where the Greek hero Ulysses lingered not for 7 nights but for 7 years...