Gozo, Sister Island of Malta

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Gozo imagesThree delightfully contrasting islands make up the Maltese Islands. The largest of these, Malta, is sophisticated with a wide variety of superb hotels, excellent beaches and busy nightlife. Comino is the smallest, a haven for anyone who loves watersports, with some of the best swimming in the Mediterranean. And then there is Gozo.

Gozo is a third size of Malta, but greener and more rural. Its lanscape has hills and deep valleys as well as rugged cliffs, which give natural protection to the island’s small harbours and inlets. Life in Gozo moves at a leisurely pace, revolving around farming and fishing. Gozo is an island where time seems to have stood still. There may be de luxe hotels, wonderful small restaurants serving fish caught only hours before being served at the table, and a nightlife in summer to match the very best in Malta but it is all charmingly concealed in a magnificent and truly traquil landscape. Gozo is where you can also get away to secluded privacy when you want to.

Despite the small nature of the island, there is a lot to see in Gozo. Besides the Citadel, and the Ggantija megalithic temples, one finds the equally impressive Inland Sea at Dwejra and Fungus Rock, where the Knights used to collect a fungus they believed to have medicinal properties. Then there is the Azure Window, a stunning break in the rocky shoreline, Ta’ Pinu Basilika which is a centre of pilgrimage, and the new church at Xewkija with one of the world’s largest free-standing domes. There are small pretty villages on the hill tops and secluded places for swimming, and much more. Gozo is an island to be explored.

One of the greatest pleasure when visiting any country is its local cuisine, the food and the wine. In Gozo this is particularly enjoyable because everything sold in the markets or served in its restaurants, is fresh from the fields or the sea. This is, after all, rural and fishing community. The fields are abundant with Mediterranean prouce like green peppers, aubergines and courgettes, and each day a wide variety of fish is brought in to the tiny harbours only an hour or so after the catch.

To go with these are Gozo’s delicious crispy bread as well as Gozo wines are served yound and chilled. For anyone who finds Gozo’s tranquil paradise still a little too hectic, there is nearby Comino, an island only 2sq. km in area, with one hotel. Of course beauty is the Blue Lagoon with its turquoise waters surrounded by a sundrenched coastline.

Gozo, including tiny Comino, is a place to escape to at any time of the year. Even if you are on holiday. Even if you are there for a short visit, it is easy to see why Gozo has become known as undiscovered paradise.

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