Whatever Gozo lacks in size, it makes up for an abundance of history, culture, dining, leisure activities, hospitality, and natural beauty. Home to a population of around 30,000 inhabitants, Gozo is the second-largest island of the Maltese Archipelago, a group of islands situated in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.
Mainly rural and surrounded by the clear blue sea, the island, at just 67 km2, is easy to get around. The landscape is dominated by scenic hills and countryside, along with a number of villages and the main town of Rabat (otherwise known as ‘Victoria’). Imposing churches dominate the villages and there are 46 churches in all on Gozo. The church of Xewkija boasts a capacity of 3,000, which is big enough to accommodate the entire population of the village. Its dome is also larger than that of St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
Gozo also has links with ancient legend, with a long-standing belief that the island is actually Ogygia from Greek myth and the domain of the nymph Calypso in Homer’s Odyssey. According to the story, Calypso, possessed of great supernatural powers, held Odysseus captive for a number of years because of her love for him before releasing him to continue his journey home.
Other historical locations, such as the Ggantija temples which, along with the Megalithic temples of Malta, are the world’s oldest free-standing structures and also among the world’s oldest religious structures. Up to 5,000 years old, they pre-date Stonehenge and the pyramids of Ancient Egypt.
Gozo provides a relaxing experience to its visitors. The island is peaceful and, compared to the main island of Malta, is greener. There are a number of secluded beaches on the island and seaside resorts, like Marsalforn and Xlendi, that are popular with tourists and locals alike. The sea around Gozo has also made the islands one of the top diving destinations in the Mediterranean and as well as a popular spot for other water sports.
Gozo doesn’t have its own airport but it is well served by a frequent ferry service that crosses between Mgarr harbor in Gozo and Cirkewwa in Malta. The ferry crossing takes between 20-25 minutes and runs late into the night. If you prefer something more dramatic, there is also a seaplane operating between Valletta in Malta and Mgarr harbor. The flight time is 10 minutes.