Updated: Jul 17
Gozo is an island of the Maltese archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea and is the second-largest island in the archipelago, after the island of Malta itself.
It has a population of about 37,000 inhabitants, known as Gozitans.
Gozo has rural ambiance and a less developed infrastructure in comparison to the main island of Malta, and thus it is able to provide a more relaxing and quiet atmosphere.
The island offers a stunning coastline with wild and rugged scenery and amazing blue-color sea. Many visitors are drawn to Gozo by the idea of being in the wild and taking long walks and hikes on the hilly landscape. At the same time, they may also enjoy the chance for swimming, snorkelling, and scuba diving in the crystal clear waters.
Gozo is considered one of the top diving destinations in the Mediterranean and a center for water sports.
There are many beaches on the island, as well as seaside resorts that are popular with both locals and tourists, the most popular are Marsalforn and Xlendi.
Until 2017 Gozo was best known for the Azure Window, also known as the Dwejra Window, a natural limestone arch that collapsed after a storm in March 2017. The impressive 28-meter-tall (92 ft) natural arch was one of the island's major tourist attractions and has also appeared in a number of international films and media productions.
The island has other notable natural features, including the Inland Sea and Wied il-Mielaħ Window.
The island of Gozo has long been referred to as the home of the mythological Calypso, the nymph from Homer’s Odyssey. In that story, Calypso, possessed of great supernatural powers, and in love with Odysseus, holds him captive for a number of years, until finally releasing him to continue his journey home.
Gozo island is home to some of the oldest religious structures in the world like the Ggantija Temples. The impressive and well preserved prehistoric site dates from a very early period of human life - 3600 BC to 3200 BC and is listed in the UNESCO world heritage site.
Victoria, also known as Rabat, is the capital city of Gozo. The medieval fortified city is enclosed within a citadel, known as the Cittadella that has witnessed many historic moments. It's difficult to determine when or who originally built this fortress, but archaeologists go back to the Bronze age, around 1500 BC.
In the heart of the citadel is located the majestic Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Assumption, built in 1697 in Baroque style and dedicated to the Assumption of Mary. Being a capital, Victoria is the busiest place in Gozo. You will find here plenty of shops and restaurants. The old town is a maze of small streets and tiny alleys lined with beautiful houses in typical Maltese architecture.
Another magnificent cathedral worth seeing is the Basilica of Ta' Pinu that is located near the village of Għarb in open countryside which allows visitors to enjoy beautiful views of the area. The Basilica of Ta' Pinu was built in the 20th century in Romanesque style and is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin of Ta' Pinu. It's believed that a place of worship has existed on this site since the early 16th century.
The island of Gozo can be reached by ferry. There are regular crossings between the port of Mġarr on Gozo and Ċirkewwa on the north-west coast of Malta.
On arrival at Mġarr, visitors can take one of the 'Hop On Hop Off' buses, which depart outside the ferry terminal and operate on a timetable synchronized to the ferry timetables. Public buses, taxis and hire cars are also available.
You may also pick one of the many one-day excursions to Gozo organized from different parts of Malta. Very popular is the one-day excursion to Gozo & Comino. This is a suitable option for people who are holidaying in Malta and would like to diversify their time by spending one day cruising and visiting two popular islands in the Maltese archipelago. The ferry departs from the Sliema port in Malta. ( I was on that excursion and my photos below are from it ).