There is nothing quite as alluring as a Mediterranean holiday, but when you want that little something extra, visit Gozo. As the second largest of the three inhabited islands in Malta, there is much to see and do in this country rich with cultural heritage, historic ruins, and some awesome natural beauty unlike any you may have yet to encounter. If you are looking for suggestions, here are the top ten things to do in Gozo.
1. Stay in a Traditional Gozo Self-Catering Farmhouse
You may think this a bit odd as the first entry on a list of attractions, but self-catering farmhouses are not quite what you’d expect in the UK or North America. These Mediterranean farmhouses are what most would consider villas as you will see, and if you want to save a bit of money for viewing the attractions, this is the perfect way to do that. Cook some of your meals at home and get what amounts to a group rate when renting a farmhouse for your stay.
2. Ta’ Mena Estate
One visit to Ta’ Mena Estate is like several attractions rolled into one. You will view the vineyards, taste the wines and cheese-lets Gozo is so famous for, eat a luncheon in the open air, and the kids can freely romp about the petting zoo whilst mum and dad walk off some of that delectable meal.
3. Victoria & the Citadella
There is so much history encompassed in this one attraction that you really must read up on it before seeing it first-hand. In fact, you can even watch a short video to spark an interest in visiting one of the best places to learn the long and varied history of Malta – and Gozo in particular.
4. Ggantija Temples
Predating both Stonehenge and the pyramids of Egypt, the megalithic Ggantija Temples are a must see. Archaeologists are still astounded at the way in which these massive stone structures could have been erected 7,000 years ago without the use of modern machinery. For those of a mystical persuasion, this is a must-see.
5. Diving in Dwejra Bay
At one time, holidaymakers came to Dwejra Bay to be photographed by the Azure Window, but all that remains now is a memory. This massive stone natural archway was brought down by smashing waves during a storm, but diving is still huge in the bay and this is where you’ll see a splendid display of marine life. Don’t forget to bring your underwater video camera along!
6. The Basilica of Ta’ Pinu
The basilica holds a place of importance to Gozitans. It is a national shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mother and it is a place of pilgrimage for the faithful. Erected in the early twentieth century, Ta’ Pinu is not just a place of worship; it also houses a museum that explores a rich history of the faithful on Gozo.
7. Snorkelling at Mġarr ix-Xini
If it’s seclusion you’re after, try a visit to Mgarr ix-Xini, which is a picturesque inlet beautifully surrounded by steep cliffs. This best-kept secret of Gozo is one of the island’s gems – a true place of tranquillity, which you won’t find on most Mediterranean beaches.
8. Visit a Private Lace Collection
Gozitan lace is world-famous and with very good reason. Still crafted by hand in the traditional way, you might still come across lace-makers but if you’re keen on the top then we suggest a visit to the Private Lace Collection set up at ‘L-Ixtabi’, an authentic rural corner house situated on the road to Għarb.
9. You Must Attend a Festa!
When planning a holiday in Gozo, don’t forget to book around the time of a festa. These are highly anticipated festivals/feasts in villages throughout the island are usually during the summer months. A festival of colour, music and fireworks, these events often involve the participation of the whole village population.
10. A Day of Shopping and Sightseeing in Victoria (Rabat)
As Gozo’s capital, Victoria has much to offer holidaymakers. Not only can you shop in the city’s mall, but you can wander the narrow alleys and streets, taking in the marvellous architecture as you go. Most travel guides suggest you leave the car outside the city and spend at least an afternoon strolling the streets – a real delight for those of a curious nature.
There is so much to experience in Gozo that you just might be back next year for what you couldn’t take in this holiday. Once in Gozo, you’ll feel a part of the family, and isn’t that the best sort of holiday of all? It’s like being at home away from home and that’s the main attraction of Gozo.