Gozo is an island that, on the one hand you want to shout about but on the other say ‘shhh don’t tell anyone’.
Gozo is one of the Mediterranean’s best kept secrets, it is the second largest of the Maltese islands and lies south of Sicily and west of Tunisia, it is quaint and traditional, but the best thing of all is that it had not been overdeveloped with holiday resorts, bars and nightclubs; if you like that sort of thing, Malta is just a 30 minute ferry ride away.
The inconvenience of getting to Gozo is probably what keeps to so beautifully unspoilt, you fly into Malta and then travel across Malta to the Gozo Channel Ferry, but if you like your holiday’s quiet, relaxed and interesting, it is worth the effort.
Gozo has a rich history, it has monolithic temples older than Stonehenge and their location has made them a target for traders, pirates and slavery throughout history, but most recently were a British Colony from 1813 and important strategic sites in World War II where it was heavily hit. In fact its resistance to bombardments is legendary. Newly married Queen Elizabeth II lived here for many years and there is still a lot of love for the British. The people are friendly, warm and welcoming, most people speak English and you even see traditional red phone boxes and post boxes.
The best times to visit are May, June and September, temperatures are in the 30s and in September the Mediterranean is literally like a bath.
What I love about Gozo in particular is the sense of community, the friendliness and the safety. You can safely walk around on your own, wonder through the countryside and not see another soul, pop down to the beach first thing in the morning and join locals swimming with their dogs. Although we don’t have rowdy nightclubs and bars, the social life is inclusive and welcoming and the restaurants and bars are not expensive, the cost of living is less than the UK.
Gozitans are passionate about four things, football, horses, brass bands and fireworks. The racetrack holds regular meetings for trotting races and there is huge rivalry between villages each having a football team and a brass band. During the summer months from the end of May until mid September is ‘Festa’ season, each village has a week long festival that includes fireworks daily from 8am until midnight – yes daytime fireworks, just big bangs really and it’s the highlight of the year for the village band, that includes children to pensioners, to showcase it’s talents – and they are amazingly brilliant.
As the winter months approach mid November into December, the island goes into a semi-hibernating state, it’s quite and all the facilities geared up for tourists are packed away, the temperatures plummet into the teens and life just takes a rest for a few months before spring arrives in April/May and Gozo blooms once again.
Emma Tripplett thank you for this wonderful offering for JUST ONE PLACE maybe this will inspire you if so friendlytravelguide is always looking for your input