Malta & Gozo Beautiful views

Having done a lot of travelling especially around Europe, someone asked me the other day what my favourite destination/holiday was. Although I have enjoyed many, Gozo is probably a strong contender for my favourite.

Sannat- this is where we stayed. A quiet village once famed for it's lace making. Old ladies still sit on their doorsteps performing their art as though time had stood still. It is also home to the huge Ta Cenc sea cliffs. These spectacular limestone crags, more than 130m high were once breeding grounds of the Maltese peregrine falcon. It is still a popular spot for bird watchers. We had some great walks here and enjoyed the fantastic if not sometimes precarious views.
The Azure Window

Eroded limestone has never been to spectacular as at Gozo's aptly named Azure Window at Dwerja Bay. Behind it, reached by a tunnel, is the saltwater lake known as the Inland Sea. Watching the sunset from here was one of the highlights of our holiday.

Cruise around Gozo, Comino and the Blue Lagoon for the day on this luxury craft. In the heat of the day a swim in those turquoise waters is so wonderfully refreshing. We enjoyed snorkelling here too.

Traditional cooking in Gozo is rich with Moorish and Sicilian influences. Typical dishes include tomato and wine based sauces, lots of pasta, fish and rich pastries and desserts of ricotta, almonds and figs. Cool courtyards offer the perfect setting to dine alfresco. Choose from romantic palazzos to busy harbour restaurants or a local village bar for tradition food. Our favourite place to dine was in the small resort of Xlendi, set around a little harbour and beach below the hills, it has loads of atmosphere. The waterfront promenade is lined with excellent restaurants at a price to suit all pockets. You will find lots of local families eating here too.

Nadur - the largest village on Gozo has spectacular sea views and offers easy access to some of the island's best rocky coves ideal for snorklling. Here you will find a selection of bars and restaurants and one of the grandest looking churches on the island.

Primarily in small apartments, farmhouses, converted barns or small smart hotels. We stayed in a farmhouse with it's own private pool. Elsewhere this would be seen as luxurious, but on Gozo it was quite the norm. Locals want to stay away from building large hotels and prefer to use accommodation more in keeping with the island.

Although only a small islands, car hire is a must. There are buses but it would take an eternity to get around as local transport is sporadic and links are not good.

Ghasri - Gozo's smallest and most traditional village, has a piazza and one main road leading to the Jordan lighthouse, the first to be built on the island. This is a popular spot with divers. It is surrounded by lovely countryside and offers superb views over the Ghasri valley and a gorge that plunges into the sea.

We flew Air Malta from Manchester to Malta. Scheduled flights run every day from most major airports. To get to Gozo, you can either catch a ferry or take a helicopter. We took the latter. The ferry crossings runs from Cirkewwa on Malta and were running every hour on the hour during our two weeks holiday in June. The ferry takes 25 minutes and is a very pleasant trip. During our holiday we literally nipped over to the mainland a couple of times. The helicopter only took 15 minutes. We chose this method as neither of us had been in a helicopter before and we loved it. On landing in Malta, we gathered our luggage and were whisked to the helicopter pad. Flying closely over rocks and sea, it was an experience I won't forget.

Is situated in the heart of the Mediterranean and is a sister island to Malta. Many visitors wrongly assume that Gozo is just an extension of Malta. Though it's villages are built in the same honey coloured limestone, Gozo has a completely different feel. Although it one-third the size of Malta, Gozo has less than one tenth of the population. Farming and fishing are the main industries. The land is more fertile and the scenery is greener and overall the pace of life is much slower. It's rural landscape is fringed by spectacular coastline or rocky inlets and red sandy beaches. Gozo provides a relaxing holiday with wonderful cliff and countryside walks, lush vegetation, superb cycling and along with Malta has some of the best scuba diving in Europe.

The place to enjoy a relaxing holidays. There are no large resorts so the atmosphere is quieter, the pace slower and therefore more in tune with local life. There is enough to see and do to keep you busy for a 2 weeks stay, although I could have definately stayed longer. Dozens of fiestas are held throughout the year in celebration of local saints. Bedecked street, parades and dazzling firework displays are frequently seen. Gozo is not meant for rushing around, but to relax in idyllic bays, taking a drink at a local bar or café or enjoying a meal in a beautiful location. Enjoy swimming and diving in clear blue waters around Gozo's coastline and soak up the sun on one of it's red sandy beaches.


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