Gozo is the second largest island in the Maltese archipelago that includes the main islands of Malta, Comino and Gozo. Located to the north of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea, this compact island is an easy day trip for holidaymakers staying in Malta. Visit beautiful beaches, fantastic natural rock formations and ancient archaeological sites. Legend has it, that Gozo is the site where various Greek Gods and Goddesses roamed and created the island that it is today. Read on to discover whether Gozo is a myth or mystery.
Getting to Gozo
The simplest way to get to Gozo for a day trip from Malta is by ferry. There are regular crossings between the port of Ċirkewwa on Malta and Mġarr on Gozo. In summer, the ferry crosses every 45 minutes and even in the winter months there is a regular service. The crossing takes 25 minutes and is reasonably priced, should you choose to use this mode of transport.
The port has good signage on both sides, so buying tickets and boarding the ferry is simple since the Maltese speak English as a second language. The port is only a 10 minute drive from the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Malta Golden Sands. Due to the frequency of the service, booking ahead is not necessary - just get there 30 minutes before each sailing if you are boarding with a vehicle.
Sightseeing in Gozo
If you plan on getting around in Gozo by foot then look out for the hop-on-hop-off buses that start from the harbor and take tourists to all the most popular places on the island. There are also public buses in Gozo that are the cheapest option for getting around with a day ticket. Touring Gozo by bus is not for the faint-hearted, though. With many steep, winding streets, the buses often navigate at speed. If you opt to take your car over to Gozo for the day you'll have more flexibility but will still need to take care on those narrow roads, especially when encountering buses. A top tip for driving in Gozo is to ask your car hire company for a 'parking disc'. This handy cardboard disc sits on your windscreen and allows you to park for free in the main towns. The island's parking attendants have a rather zealous reputation so it's worth making sure you have this disc if you plan to drive. You can find the famous 'Blue Hole' in Gozo, a vertical chimney in the sea connecting you to the ocean a few meters below. A dive into this natural wonder will open your eyes to various octopi, sea horses and even fire worms.
Ggantija Temples, Xaghra
You are never far from something ancient in Gozo and on a trip to the Ggantija Temples, one of the island's most important archaeological sites and a UNESCO World Heritage Site; you'll travel back in time to 3600BC. In fact these megalithic stone structures are thought to be the oldest free-standing structures in the world making them older than the pyramids of Egypt. Local legend claims that the temples were built by a giantess who used them as a place of worship. There is no real evidence of the giantess but numerous statues found on the site suggest there may have been a fertility cult there in the ancient past. The temples are open to visitors from 09:00 until 17:00 and entrance is only €9.00, and even less for children.
There is no shortage of legends surrounding Gozo and the most famous is about the Greek goddess, Calypso. Located high on a cliff near Xaghra and overlooking the beautiful sandy Ramla Bay, you can see why a goddess would want to call this place home. As the legend goes, Calypso fell in love with Odysseus and captured and kept him there for seven years as a prisoner. She promised him immortality if he stayed with her but he eventually escaped and returned to his wife Penelope. There isn’t a whole lot to see in this cave as it’s blocked up only a few meters in, but the views are spectacular. You can also see the remains of Malsalforn Tower from here. The tower was built by the Knights of Malta in the early 18th century as a defensive structure against attacks from the sea.
After a day around Gozo, you'll find comfortable accommodation awaiting you at Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Malta Golden Sands, where you can continue your relaxing visit to Malta by the beach shore. You can refuel at the four on-site restaurants that offer dining options that vary from traditional Italian cuisine to Mediterranean dishes. Treat all your five senses at the spa in the hotel that offers hot stone massages that are sure to revive your physical and well as spiritual well being.
Psst! In case you're looking for another reason to head to Malta, we've got 10!
Book your adventure to Radisson Blu in Malta and see the legend of Gozo for yourself!