Hello and welcome to my article on Gozo, Malta! My name is Lara Farrugia and I’m a 23 year old accountant living in paradise. My homeland is often missed on maps, being the mere dot that it is. But, if you are lucky enough to come across it, I’m sure you would want to make it your home too.
I was born and raised on the sunny island of Malta, where we get 300 days of sunshine a year (sorry to all the winter-loving folks)! My passion for photography gained momentum the moment I developed a greater sense of appreciation for my surroundings. I wanted to capture moments so I could savor them for a long time – but ever more so, I wanted people to feel some kind of emotion through photographs (if that makes sense).
I love sharing content with like-minded people who share the same love for the outdoors. I’ve always known that I wanted to travel the world, but it didn’t sit right with me that I hadn’t yet explored my own backyard. But now, after four years, I can say that there is not one inch of these islands I haven’t yet been to. So now I feel better when venturing off overseas.
Why Living in Malta is Paradise
I have lived in Malta my entire life and I’m not sure yet whether I’m ready to have a base somewhere else. There is just something about island life that is addicting. It’s wonderful living here even though there are downsides, like any country. But everything is close-by: family and friends are never too far and the beach is only minutes away so we really shouldn’t complain!
The fact that Malta lies in the Mediterranean makes it that much easier to travel as well. Not to mention the cuisine! A mix of cultures in a bite that makes it so unique. But perhaps, the most appealing thing is the sunsets! There’s just something about being able to witness the sun melt into the ocean that takes my breath away, no matter how many times I witness it.
Falling in Love with our Sister Island, Gozo
Gozo is a Maltese island that I have been visiting with my family since I was an infant. It’s sort of a tradition that we have amongst us Maltese. Usually entire families plan a getaway on Gozo island during the summer months. It’s either a day-trip or a whole week in Gozo, there’s really no in-between!
In our case, we would go on day trips. Our day would start by stopping in Rabat to buy pastizzi for breakfast, then shop at the only mall on the island, stop to eat at Xlendi Bay and visit Ta’ Pinu Church to pay our respects. Now that I’m older, my itinerary for Gozo has evolved into a more adventurous one which has led me to fall in love with our sister island even more.
I would describe Gozo as being the cherry on the cake. Just when you think you can’t find anywhere more beautiful in Malta, Gozo creeps in and changes your mind. I’m surprised that people actually skip it when coming to Malta or worse, think they can do it in half a day (that is not the case)!
There’s so much to see, even though it’s much smaller than Malta. The beaches themselves are to die for, but the magic lies in the landscapes! There are many valleys and cliffs that are, in my opinion, a photographer’s dream. The cities are also charming, oozing with Gozitan beauty.
Walking in Citadella, a fortified city built in 1500 BC, makes you feel like you’ve traveled back in time. The churches in every village make you wonder how on earth men could have built such structures back then. And the blue water that surrounds the coast makes you want to explore the underwater world, which is why Gozo is one of the top places to scuba dive!
My Favorite Spot in Gozo: San Lawrenz
There are so many amazing places to visit in Gozo but, if I had to narrow it down, it’s the area of San Lawrenz, known for the Dwejra, an arch that collapsed in a storm a few years back. There is just so much to witness here which is why it is a popular spot amongst both the locals and tourists alike.
For instance, one can start walking from Black Lagoon, a bay in the shape of a nearly perfect circle, more clearly seen from a bird’s eye’s view. Here you can take a closer look at the 60m high Fungus Rock, known to locals as il-Blata tal-General. From there, you can make your way to the Dwejra Tower, built in 1652. Who doesn’t love a tower with a good backdrop?!
Further right you may find the famous Blue Hole, which is on every diver’s list. There is an arch 10m below the surface that makes it so worthwhile to explore. But there’s more – there’s an inland sea! The boat ride that departs from here allows you to discover the many hidden sea caves.
It takes you through a narrow canal in the cliffs and out to sea. Better yet, if you’re lucky enough to own one, exploring with your canoe will take it to the next level. Did I mention that you can watch a sunset from here too?
8 Best Things To Do in Gozo
Apart from what I’ve already mentioned, I recommend doing the following:
- Sunset walk at Sanap Cliffs
- Snorkel at Mgarr ix-Xini
- Roam the streets of Cittadella
- Go on a boat ride – especially one that takes you around the whole island with multiple swimming spots along the way
- Visit Tal-Mixta Cave
- Rent a quad bike to explore more of the lesser accessible spots
- Hike the coast – especially around Mgarr Harbour or from Ramla Beach
- Swim at Wied il-Ghasri and Dahla ta’ Bemberin
Best Places to Stay in Gozo, Malta
If you have rented a car in Gozo, it doesn’t really matter where you stay as the island is very small so locations can be easily reached within minutes by car. On the other hand, if you plan on depending on public transport to get around then I suggest staying somewhere central like Rabat.
For 5-star stays or something similar, I recommend Kempinski Hotel, Ta’ Cenc Resort and Spa and Cesca Boutique Hotel. For mid-range stays, there is DGolden Valley Boutique and Breakfast, West B&B and Villagg Tal-Fanal. For budget travels, I highly recommend All Nations Holiday Home.
Looking Back at Amazing Island Memories
One of my best memories in Gozo was when we camped with our van for the very first time on the island. We had a roof tent and camped on a cliffside with an infinite view of the horizon. We watched the sun disappear in front of our eyes and, within a few minutes, a million stars engulfed the sky. We stargazed and watched a movie – it was just the perfect experience.
Need to Know Before you Go
All roads lead to Rome, but when in Gozo all roads lead to Rabat! The only way to reach another location in Gozo is to pass through Rabat, which is the capital city of the island located right in the centre. This also goes for buses, so there is a higher chance that you would need to catch two or more buses to make it to another location from where you are presently at.
Parking can be a nuisance, especially in towns such as Xlendi. Pro tip: If you think you were lucky enough to find parking close to the beach in Xlendi and it’s under the trees, AVOID. Your next destination would be to the car wash with all the bird poo, speaking from experience here!
For all you beach lovers, make sure you pack swimming shoes, as there are many rocky beaches and it’s just more comfortable to have a pair on that way. Other than that, there’s not much else to worry about. Enjoy Gozo!