The Hidden Wonders of Gozo, Malta’s sister island
About 80 miles northwest of the Sahara and 60 miles south of Sicily, lies the island of Gozo-a fudge-colored limestone outcrop surrounded by the deep blue of the Mediterranean . it’s often Malta’s small sister island, only 1 / 4 of an hour from Chirkewwa Harbour on the ferry, and a paradise for walkers, divers and anyone trying to seek out a quiet break from most of the islands.
A cultural mashup
One of the foremost peculiar things about Gozo is that despite being only nine miles long and 4 miles wide, there’s a strong diversity of cultural influences here, including African, Italian, Arabic and British.
Arriving at the Port of Mgarr on the Gozo Channel ferry, you’ll be forgiven for thinking that you simply are approaching the Moroccan coast. There are the exotic plants, the flat-topped buildings then the sun giving all that warm glow.
Then there’s the magnificent domed tower with its slightly Arab influences, and thus the old houses stacked against Capitol Hill like rickety steps.
But in a moment you’ll be wanting to be in England again once you encounter a rolling field dotted with bales of hay, or a classic British red phone booth .
There are good reasons for this bizarre clash of cultures: Gozo has been inhabited by most . The Romans in 218 BC, the Arabs in 870, and thus British in 1800 when Malta became a colony of British Crown. The influences of North Africa are directly associated with the proximity of the island to the large continent – so, in fact, the Sahara sand is typically blown here during storms.
Gozo are often a hot spot for divers, divers and swimmers. Not only are the waters refreshing, but the coastline also features a number of extraordinary geographical features on Earth . Head to dweja Bay within the northwest of the island, where you will find three of those coastal wonders in one place.
The Inland Sea
The Inland Sea are often a saltwater lagoon connected to the ocean by a natural tunnel that runs through rock bottom of the cliff. Although shallow from the surface, the narrow trench actually reaches depths of 25 to 30 meters, making it one among the only dive sites in Malta. In fact, the famous sailor Jacques Cousteau described the Inland Sea along side his “top 10 best dives”. For non-divers, the Inland Sea offers an outstanding Pebble Beach and quiet pool.
The Azure Window are often an enormous sea arch formed by years of abrasion of cliffs. The incredible structure rises 50 meters above the sparkling Mediterranean, forming a blue “window” through the rock. Unfortunately, experts believe that the Ark is thanks to collapse at any time now, which makes it all the more imperative to travel before the great Azure Window becomes the not-so-big Azure strain.
The Blue Hole are often a rocky saltwater basin with one difference: this one features a depth of 16 meters with an underwater arch that results in the open sea. Maybe not for paddling, but if you’re a fanatical diver, you’ll expect to get some exquisite kind of marine life, including octupis, starfish, moray eels and stingrays.
The oldest buildings within the world
Few people realize that Gozo is home to the oldest man – made structures on Earth-the 5,800-year-old Temples of Ggantija. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a tutorial gem, with newly built footbridges allowing visitors to walk through the incredibly well-preserved ruins, and informative panels explaining megalithic construction methods and other fascinating tidbits about the normal Gozitans who once lived here.
Mythology and folklore
There is alittle sea cave near Ramla Bay within the north of the island that’s reputed to be the place where Calypso kept Odysseus a slave for seven years in Homer’s Greek epic, The Odyssey. Although public access to the cave is now restricted, you’ll visit a viewpoint set at the highest of the cliff that tells The Story of Calypso and offers spectacular views of the red-sand beach, where the battle scene within the movie Troy (starring Brad Pitt) was filmed.
There is a folk museum within the Old Village of Gharb, on the side of the island. This dilapidated museum is filled with fascinating objects found in Gozo, from a rather macabre horse-drawn hearse of youngsters , to a completely rebuilt Gozitan chamber.
The village of Gharb is additionally home to variety of the foremost beautiful architecture on the island, including the Church of the Basilica Ta’ Pinu – an unprecedented monolith that rises from rock bottom with pure opulence. For an excellent view of this, head to the football club within the middle of the village where you’ll dine on the roof terrace for nice value. Check for cheap flight bookings to gozo