Gozo is one of the three islands that make up the stunning Maltese archipelago. It is less built up, and less populated, than its larger neighbour Malta. However, there is an abundance of beaches, churches, wonderful restaurants and rolling countryside that make it incredibly popular, with visitors returning year after year. The island's capital, Victoria, is situated at the centre of the island and is home to relics and remnants of history. The epic citadel is the primary attraction here, and a walk up the magnificent staircase offers panoramic views across the ancient city. Beyond the capital, you'll discover many small villages such as Ghajnsielem and Xaghra, which offer a peek into the authentic manner of laid-back Maltese life. You can traverse the island easily by either hire car or public transportation, which makes reaching attractions such as the rock formation The Azure Window a simple and hassle-free experience.
Despite Victoria being the capital of the island, you don't have to worry about being stuck in traffic here. This lazy city is known for its tranquil streets and easy approach to life. It's worth noting that while the official name is Victoria, many locals still refer to the town by its Arab name Rabat.
While in Victoria, or indeed Rabat, one simply must visit the Citadelle. There are several museums located within the Citadelle itself; some of the more interesting visits include Gozo archaeological museum and the cathedral of Gozo. Given the country’s turbulent religious history, it's no surprise that there are many churches located in the island's capital, St Mary's Cathedral, St George's Basilica and St John Bosco Oratory Church are just a few of the prettier offerings. The town is home to many local festivals, including two that see horses race through the historic centre, so check listings when you've decided when you'll be visiting.
Xaghra, pronounced Shara, is a small village located roughly in the centre of the island. While the village is very pretty in itself, the primary reason that most people choose to visit is to explore the Ġgantija temples. These megalithic temples are thought to be the oldest standing structure in the world, even predating the Egyptian pyramids. This UNESCO World Heritage Site consists of two temples and both are considered to be in excellent condition considering the age of the site. The temples tell us much about ancient life on the island – animal bones which have been discovered indicate that the area was once a hotspot for ritualistic sacrifices.Malta
If you want to head across to the main island then it couldn't be easier. A regular ferry service runs from Gozo's main harbour and the return ticket will cost you just a few euros. Malta might be a small island but it certainly punches above its weight when it comes to things to do.
The capital, Valletta is home to world-class attractions such as the remarkable St. John's Co-Cathedral and The Palace of the Grand Masters. If you're unfamiliar with the history of this small island country then head to The Malta Experience. It provides visitors with an excellent half hour introduction to Malta's history and culture. Spending some time walking around the ancient city walls is a wonderful way to get a feel for the city from a unique prospective.
If you're a fan of local markets then the Sunday market at Marsaxlokk reigns supreme. If you have a penchant for the outdoors then Malta doesn't disappoint. A few highlights of include the temples at Hagar Qim and Mnajdra, the Blue Grotto caves and Golden Bay (one of the most spectacular beaches you'll find anywhere in the region.
Exploring GozoExplore the island
Beyond the capital Victoria there is much to explore on Gozo island. There are many small villages, which are perfect for a day trip – ideal if you want to experience a touch of rural Maltese life. Ghajnsielem, Nadur (the largest village on the island) and Ix-Xatt talk-Imgur (where the port is located) are three of the most quaint and thus more visit-worthy.
If you're seeking a tradition seaside affair then head to either Marsalforn or Xlendi. The former is on the north coast and famous for its Rio-style statue of Jesus – the latter is on the south-western coast and is famed of its towering cliffs which dominate this stretch of landscape. If you want to explore the island at large then the hop-on-hop-off bus service is a great way to explore with ease. The island is also well serviced by public buses and hitch hiking is also a poplar way to traverse Gozo.
There are several beaches worth exploring in Gozo but arguably the finest of them all is Ramla il-Ħamra. One of the major plus points is the lack of development here – the beach remains unspoilt and therefore it is very rare that it gets anywhere near what can be considered to be crowded. Marsalforn and Xlendi also have lovely beaches and are well serviced by plenty of amenities.
The fertile grounds of Gozo means it is a Mecca for fresh produce. The local cheese, Gbejniet, is absolutely delicious and should be sampled on your visit. Fish is also a food staple here and is often served with locally grown tomatoes. The island is almost exclusively free from large chain restaurants and thus finding great family-run restaurants shouldn't prove too problematic.
Malta is a fabulous destination with lots to do with for families, couples and groups of friends alike. Getting to the exquisite beaches of Gozo wouldn't be easier with easyJet holidays. Take the hassle out of your next trip with you book with easyJet holiday and book your flight and hotel at the same time. If Gozo doesn't seem like the place for you then why not take a look the wide array of alternative Malta destinations offers by easyJet holidays?