Gozo

Gozo is the second largest island in the archipelago, and is quickly catching up to its larger sister island of Malta as a popular destination for Gozo holidays suitable for the entire family. It is greener and more rural, with many old farmhouses that have been refurbished as vacation rentals, providing a wonderfully authentic alternative to Gozo hotels. One of the many things to do on Gozo includes exploring the green hills of the countryside, with lookout points along the rugged coastline revealing breathtaking vistas. Other attractions to be found all over the island are a surprising number of churches and forts.

Other things to do on Gozo also involve the coastline. It has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, especially pristine Ramla Bay, secluded Dweja Bay, and the town beach at Marsalforn. All of these places, as well as several other sites around the island, are excellent for scuba diving. Many of the snorkeling and dive spots have underwater caves.

Part of the Gozo Malta history includes the legend that it was the dreamy isle of Ogygia where the nymph Calypso held Odysseus a prisoner of love in Homer's epic poem The Odyssey. Indeed, the history of Gozo stretches back for thousands of years, and it is the site of one of the most important and most complete megalithic temples in the world. The Ggantija Temples (a complex of three temples) date to about 3,600 to 3,200 B.C. and are considered the oldest free-standing structures in the world, predating even the great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt and Stonehenge in England. Along with other megalithic temples on Malta Island, they comprise an important UNESCO World Heritage Site.

While most people will enjoy a vacation to Gozo Island at one of the beach resorts, the capital city and center of activity on the island is its capital of Victoria—named after the Queen of England during the brief British rule of the archipelago. This city, known by its original name of Rabat by the Gozo locals, is unusual for the capital of a small island in that it is located in the center of the island. Nonetheless, it is still only a mile to the nearest coast. Here is the ancient citadel inside of which is the beautiful Cathedral of the Assumption. This seventeenth-century baroque cathedral was designed by the same architect who built St. Paul's Cathedral in Mdina on Malta Island.

Transportation to Gozo Malta is possible by ferry from Malta, and the Mgarr ferry port is located in the town of Ghanjsielem on the southern tip of the island. There are also daily scheduled seaplane flights. This port is also the departure point for numerous day cruises to Comino Island, which is located less than two miles away.

Should you have time to explore while waiting for your ferry, consider tours of Fort Chambray. Built in the mid-nineteenth century, the historic fort is set on a high point overlooking the rugged coastline. The area around the historic fort will provide many more things to do on Gozo as it is currently being developed as one of the premier luxury hotels of the country, set to offer vacation rentals and villas as well.

Gozo Malta offers some good nightlife, much of which can be found in the better hotels on the island. You will also find a couple good deejay nightclubs and discos in Victoria.

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