Explore the beautiful island of Gozo with Chevron Holidays
The island of Gozo is a treasure trove of delights just waiting to be explored. Located to the north west of its larger and better known neighbour, Malta, Gozo is the second largest island in the Maltese Archipelago. Despite its small size, the island measures in at just 67 square kilometres in area, its rich history and strong cultural identity make Gozo distinctively different from its larger neighbour. Being less connected and influenced by the western world, many of Gozo’s traditions have been preserved. Its rural character, in comparison to Malta, and stunning countryside attracts holiday makers looking for a quieter holiday in beautiful surroundings.
Things to See and Do
Those visiting Gozo are spoiled for choice when it comes to things to see and do on the island. With scenic rambling
hills, dramatic coastlines and hidden paradise coves, exploring the scenery alone is enough to keep you occupied for days. As well as beautiful natural features, the island is also home to some of the oldest historical ruins in the world including the Ggantija temples
. These are among some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world as well as traditional villages, unchanged for centuries and the cities grand Citadella.
With some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe, exploring Gozo’s rugged shores and hidden sandy beaches should be at the top of every holiday makers list. Perhaps the islands best known natural feature, the limestone arch otherwise known as the Azure Window or Dwerja Window
, sadly collapsed in March 2017.
The Inland Sea
Despite the disappearance of the Azure Window, the Inland Sea located in the area is still worth visiting. The perfect place to spend the day, the natural salt water lagoon joins the Mediterranean via a small tunnel in through the limestone cliff. Divers and snorkelers often use the tunnel as a means of reaching the open water and one of the best dive spots in the Mediterranean.
San Blas Bay
Located on the eastern coast of the island, San Blas Bay is a picturesque sandy cove, below the quaint, traditional town of Nadur
. It’s golden sands and turquoise waters make this hidden beach one of Gozo’s most scenic places to visit. With limited vehicle access, those visiting the bay are required to take a short walk through a colourful valley to reach its sands. This limited access means that the cove is never full, even in the height of summer. Keen snorkelers flock to the beach to swim among the extensive marine life which adorn the cliffs surrounding the bay.
Discover Gozo’s Stunning Countryside
As well as its stunning beaches and shorelines, Gozo is also known for its rambling hills and stunning countryside which it has managed to preserve from mass tourism and outside influences. Between autumn and late spring the countryside transforms itself into a world of colour, with bright flowers and fauna blanketing the fields. Even in the winter months, Gozo is the ideal destination for a walking holiday due to its moderate temperatures and dry weather all year round. Hundreds of paths cover the island so rambling possibilities are endless. Particularly popular destinations include the Gordan Lighthouse walk and the Hondoq ir-Rummien area. It’s peaceful character provide walkers with both stunning views and solitude.
Scuba Diving in Gozo
With some of the most spectacular diving in not only Europe, but the world, for diving enthusiasts Gozo’s exquisite dive sites
are too good not to visit. With excellent visibility (often in excess of 40 meters) abundance of marine life, and easy access from the island, Gozo’s dive sites are ideal for beginners and experienced divers alike. With shipwrecks to be explored and underwater cave systems and tunnels, the variety of dives available is what sets Gozo apart from other Mediterranean countries when it comes to diving. There are a number of respected dive centres on the island all of which have their own boats and vehicles which ferry divers to and from the sites. Diving happens all year round on Gozo and will only be cancelled if weather conditions are deemed too dangerous.
Gozo’s Ancient Ruins and Cultural Landmarks
The Maltese Archipelago has some of the most chequered and interesting history in Europe. An area of importance during the Neolothic period; the Ggantija temples were built during this time and the island has been occupied since 5000 BC. Since then Gozo has been controlled by both Ottoman and Roman empires, regarding it as a strategic strong hold between Europe and Africa. In 1798 Napoleon conquered the Maltese Archipelago which he held for just two short years before the British invaded in 1800.This colourful past has left a variety of ruins in its wake, all of which are waiting for you to discover.
Perched dominantly on the top of a hill and surrounded by strong limestone walls, the Citadella has stood for more than 3000 years since the early Bronze Age. This magnificent structure has provided shelter for the inhabitants of Gozo since its founding. Until the 14th century the entire population of Gozo slept inside its walls to protect themselves from pirates and slavers who frequently ransacked the island. During the Second World War the deep cellar and dungeons were used as air raid shelters for the cities inhabitants, protecting them from the heavy bombing inflicted on the island.
Located at the heart of Gozo’s small capital, the Citadella’s dramatic appearance makes it one of the most intriguing places to visit in Gozo. Take a wander through the city’s hidden alleys or learn more about its history in the museum located inside the Citadella.
The Ggantija Temples
Older than the Egyption pyramids, the Ggantija Temples are more than 5500 years old making them the second oldest manmade religious structures. The oldest of the Megalithic Temples
of Malta, the temples are circular in design. Constructed using limestone found on the island, the large walls weigh in at around 50 tonnes each, meaning that their builders would have had to use advanced engineering techniques for the time to build the temples.