Planning a trip to the Mediterranean is something many of us have looked forward to for so many years.
Now it’s finally time and you’ve decided on Gozo and Malta. While you always could go to other hot spots in the Mediterranean, you aren’t looking for touristy venues that are meant to appeal to holidaymakers from the UK and perhaps North America.
What you are looking for is an authentic ‘feel’ to where you are going to spend your holiday and you’ve chosen wisely. That would indeed be Gozo.
In review after review on restaurants throughout Gozo, there are only fantastic comments left by holidaymakers who were simply amazed at the quality of the food. Not only were they delighted in the local cuisine, but they were impressed by the fact that ‘fresh’ locally sourced produce and meats were really what they were supposed to be. Elsewhere in the world, you get used to that as a sales gimmick, but not in Gozo! So, leaving that behind, knowing that wherever you go you’ll be more than happy, let’s move on to what you may want to see and do on this 2nd largest island in the Maltese archipelago.
With the earliest known standing stone temples being located on Gozo, you can just imagine how many archaeological sites there are of interest on the island. One of the most curious finds is the Dawwara Standing Stone. While no nearby remains have ever been found, the odd thing is that this tall free-standing stone located outside the Government Nursery is too perfectly squared to have been a natural formation. Archaeologists believe it must have come from a Roman structure of some kind, but that is a best guess assumption. You will find an amazing number of interesting archaeological sites dating back several thousand years, the oldest being the Megalithic ?gantija Temple Stones, which were erected approximately 5,000 years ago. Another curiosity to ponder.
Here again, with a history dating back so far in the evolution of humans, there is much history to be explored in Gozo. You can go on a one day and visit the main historic sites on the island. It is believed that the earliest settlers arrived by boat from Sicily. It is estimated that they arrived about 7,000 years ago. Gozo would have then been inhabited before the larger and main island of Malta. From the Cittadella high on a hill in Victoria (ir-Rabat) to many of the island’s 46 churches, there is much history to be found, no matter where you go on the island.
As you can probably imagine, watersports and outdoor activities abound on an island in the centre of the Mediterranean. On Gozo, you can enjoy watersports such as:
> Water skiing
And, of course sunbathing, which isn’t a sport, but it is a beach activity! On an island as small as Gozo, with a total population somewhere around 41,000, you can imagine that there is plenty of open space to hike and enjoy the spectacular panoramic view of the Mediterranean. From rock climbing in Gozo to hiking, this is one island you can enjoy all seasons of the year.
With a history as long and rich as that of Gozo, you can imagine that there are many, many museums. From art to archaeology to nature and church museums and everything in between, you won’t go home knowing little about this beautiful little Mediterranean island if you visit museums such as:
> The ART BOX – a gallery of modern art
> Basilica Museum
> Cathedral Museum
> Folklore Museum
> Gozo Nature Museum
> Kelinu Grima Maritime Museum
> Museum of Archaeology
> The Old Prison
That is just a sampling of the wonderful museums that give you a valuable insight into the people who inhabited the island over many thousands of years.
If you want to know about the people in Gozo, really know about the people, then consider the fact that there are 46 churches on an island with a total population of only 41,000 inhabitants. The Gozitans are a highly religious people and they are proud of their churches. This is also why you must enjoy a festa in the summer months because most honour a patron saint of their village. These feasts run from May through September and although you’ll find an occasional Christmas or Easter festa, the summer months are the best time to experience the highlight in the life of most Gozitans. A festa is prepared for all year long and when the date finally arrives, you can expect the entire village to show up for the event.
There is so much to do in Gozo that you could come back to the island on holiday year after year and never take it all in. However, the one thing you must do is stroll the streets and historic alleys in Victoria to get a real feel for the people who inhabit this amazing island. You won’t find a friendlier population anywhere on earth, and that’s the Gozitan way.