Destinations / Malta / Island of Gozo
You will be utterly charmed by your holiday to Gozo as this relaxed and truly laid back island is surely one for the lotus eater. Gozo is the baby sister of neighbouring Malta (only 5k away), but certainly does not live in its sibling's shadow. Gozo holidays have their very own flavour and quite distinct character.
The island of Gozo is essentially very rural and, in fact, has often been likened to Connemara (with sunshine, obviously!) in terms of its landscape. Narrow, dusty country roads, green fields, rustic villages and quiet, empty spaces interspersed with intricate stone-built walls could easily be transported to Donegal or Galway! A Gozo holiday will not attract disco divas who crave strobe lighting, but like moths to a flame, Gozo will appeal to lovers of the outdoors, the amateur history lover and lovers of peace and tranquillity.
With stunning golden sand beaches, Gozo is actually one of the Mediterranean's top sites for diving. A spectacular coastline with deep, crystalline turquoise waters is absolute utopia for swimming and snorkelling, but divers come into their own with many underwater caves and four sunken wrecks to explore. The Mediterranean waters around Gozo rarely drop in temperature below 13 degrees, and diving can be a pleasant year round pastime, so scuba gear and aqualungs at the ready! Comino, the other tiny island of this Maltese Archipelago, is worth a day trip for superb diving opportunities at Blue Lagoon.
Abseiling, rock climbing, cycling, hill walking, country rambling and sailing are all really popular on a Gozo holiday too, so slothful sunbathers could be in the minority! Athletic types and lovers of the open air and outdoor pursuits will be in 7th heaven in lovely Gozo. The main summer resorts are Marsalforn Bay and Xlendi and Ir-Ramla Il-Hamra is a historic treasure of buried Roman ruins as well as a lovely unspoilt beach of red sand.
Indulge your fantasy side on a holiday to Gozo as this is the fabled isle of Calypso who allegedly lured Homer's hero Ulysses and held him captive for several years. Mythology aside, Gozo holidays are crammed with history and one of the world's oldest archaeological sites, the Ggantija Megalithic Temples (located at Xaghra) actually date from 3600 to 3200 BC. Wherever you go in Gozo, you will see many Churches (beautifully constructed in many styles from Baroque to neo classical), so take time out to retreat in a shady aisle and enjoy the lovely architecture.
Gozo's capital, Victoria (often called Rabat), is a delightful town with gorgeous architecture, narrow paved streets housing lovely local restaurants serving delicious Mediterranean cuisine, pretty shops with traditional wares and market stalls selling artisan crafts. Any holiday to Gozo should include a visit to a local village where life continues completely undisturbed by the merciless hand of time. Tourism may never have arrived here as there is hardly an outward sign!
Spend your holiday in Gozo relaxing amongst the warm and smiling Gozitan people and explore some of the interesting (and unpronounceable!) place names like Azure Window, Fungus Rock, Marsalforn Bay, Gharb, Xlendi, Kerchem and Xewkija.
There are no flights to Gozo, but direct flights to Malta operate from Dublin. The regular ferry from Malta operates into Mgarr port in Gozo approx. every 45 minutes in high season and is a pleasant 25 minute sailing time.