Gozo island, also called 'Ghawdex' in Maltese, is the second largest island of the Maltese archipelago. Despite its close proximity and obvious links with Malta, the island bears many dissimilarities, making it rather unique.
Gozo is fondly referred to as ‘the island where time stood still’ as one can still witness many habits and traditions from centuries ago which are still practiced by the locals to this very day.
The island is less densely populated, life is simpler, it is greener and less industrialized than Malta and has infrastructure. All this has helped Gozo to retain its’ natural beauty. It is worth a visit for at least a day during your holiday in Malta.
The majority of the roads in Gozo are narrow and winding leading to the various villages and valleys, whilst the main arterial roads have been transformed through EU and local funding to a European standard road network.
Upon arrival at Mgarr Harbour on the ferry boat, one will immediately find oneself on the main road leading to Rabat, the capital city Victoria, and from there all the roads spread out to all the villages around the island.
Centuries ago this particular road network was devised for security reasons. During the mediaeval times when Gozo island was frequently attacked, the village roads helped the inhabitants move swiftly and safely to the refuge of the Cittadella fortifications at the top of the hill. Nowadays several secondary interconnecting roads have been developed between villages which provide quicker access.
A visitor spending some time in Gozo can be ensured of a relaxing atmosphere, friendly locals and the beauty of the surrounding sea. Although Gozo is a lot more compact than Malta, however what it offers is quite unique to it. Its small size means that nothing is too far away like friends, shops, entertainment, beaches and places of interest.
The most vibrant location is Rabat as it is a hub of activity with cafes, restaurants, government departments, banks, private businesses, hotels, cinema and the central terminus for the island’s public transport.
Of course this little city is also buzzing with the activity of the many shops and shopping arcades as well as the open market which can be found daily in the main square of Rabat, selling souvenirs, clothing and local handcrafted goods.
The Cittadella, the old capital city of the island, is adjacent to Rabat and, is just five minutes uphill from the central Rabat square. It is definitely worth a visit where one can appreciate the architectural beauty of the fortifications, the cathedral and other attractions in this small fortified old city.
The views from the top of the fortification walls are tremendous as one can drink in the view of the whole island splayed out beneath with the Mediterranean sea beyond.
It is a lovely place to visit during spring time where one can take in the beautiful scenery of all the hills and valleys lush with vegetation and the valleys ablaze with wild flowers. Even in autumn the sun shines in Gozo!
Indeed, the Maltese archipelago is renowned to be bathed in sunshine 300 days of the year so visitors are guaranteed sunshine whilst here on holiday even during the winter months of January and February.
Gozo island, a gem that you will love. You will want to come back and visit again. Already 2000 foreign persons have established themselves on the island.
You can be the next one.