Gozo - Abbey Travel, Ireland

Begin Your Search

    • 16+ yrs

    • 12-15 yrs

    • 2-11 yrs

    • 0-23 mnth

Found Item

Welcome to Gozo


Malta's little sister island of Gozo invites visitors to put on their walking shoes. Life here moves at a leisurely pace, its rhythms dictated by the seasons, with a rugged landscape and beautiful coastline just crying out for exploration. Inland the small island is covered with flowering herbs and lush crops, and in summer it is fragrant with oleander, bougainvillea and geranium.

Gozo is known for having some of the Mediterranean's best snorkelling and scuba diving sites, but it is also a place of myth and legend, believed to be the Calypso isle of Homer's Odyssey. The countryside is dotted with old stone farmhouses and baroque churches, as well as some prehistoric temples and other historic sites of importance. The commercial centre of the island, Victoria, has a sleepy 17th-century feel. The town has many buildings of historical and cultural interest, mostly sited inside the Citadel, the ancient fortified part of the town. Gozo can be reached from Malta's Grand Harbour by ferry in about 20 minutes.

Information & Facts


Gozo's experiences a typical Mediterranean climate with hot, dry weather in the summer and cool, wet winters. The warmest months are from mid-July to mid-September and are the best months to visit. Average daytime temperatures between November and April reach 59°F (15°C) while the average daily high between May and October is 75°F (24°C).

English and Maltese are the official languages; Italian is also spoken

The currency was changed to the Euro (EUR) on 1 January 2008. (Maltese lira are no longer accepted.) Banks, ATMs and exchange bureaux can be found all over the islands, as well as foreign exchange machines in the tourist areas. Banks generally open mornings Monday to Saturday, but exchange bureaux at the international airport are open 24 hours a day. Many hotels, shops and restaurants accept foreign currency, but currency and travellers cheques can be changed into lira at banks and tourist offices. Most hotels and restaurants, as well as many shops, accept Access, American Express, Carte Blanche, Diners Club International, MasterCard and Visa.

One of Malta's most picturesque sites, the Azure Window is a distinctive rock formation that forms a large arch over the brilliant blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Formed when several enormous caves collapsed, the arch has been featured in several films, including the 1981 Ray Harryhausen epic Clash of the Titans, the 1997 miniseries The Odyssey, and the 2002 film The Count of Monte Cristo.

Located in Gozo near the tourist village of Dwejra, the Azure Window is a popular scuba diving site in Malta now, although tourists are no longer allowed to walk across the arch due to erosion. In fact, the site is considered in danger of falling apart altogether, in which case the laid-back Maltese are prepared to rename it the Azure Pinnacle.

The alabaster caves at Xaghra feature stalactites and stalagmites, and have an important place in Greek mythology, particularly the Calypso Cave, overlooking the red sand of Gozo's best beach, Ramla Ihamra. Calypso cave is believed to be the one referred to in Homer's Odyssey as being where the beautiful nymph Calypso kept Odysseus as a 'prisoner of love' for seven years. Two other caves at Xaghra are Xerri's Grotto and Ninu's Grotto, both more impressive than Calypso, but lacking the love story. Below Calypso Cave are the remains of a fortification built by the Knights of St John as a defence bastion.

Dwejra, with its secluded pebbled bathing pool and crystal clear water, is known as the 'inland sea' and provides the enjoyable experience of diving into the 'blue hole' near the Azure Window. It is an area with strange rock formations causing interesting swimming holes. It's most famous rock is Fungus Rock, which was apparently heavily guarded during the era of the Knights of Malta because a special plant with healing properties grew upon it, and stealing the plant was liable to earn the thief the death penalty.

Two massive megaliths were carved into temples by the pre-Phoenician Gozitans somewhere between 4,100 and 2,500 BC, and now stand on the island as mysterious monuments to a bygone age. Legend has it that they were transported to the island by a giantess called Sansuna, hence the name of the site, Ggantija, which means 'giant'. Large stone balls in the area, however, have led archaeologists to conclude that the massive blocks were rolled into place atop these. The two temples have a common façade but each has a separate entrance; one is larger than the other. It is believed both originally had roofing made of wooden beams, and that sacrifices of animals were made in the temples during rituals. The temples, along with other similar temples on the main island of Malta, have been documented as the oldest free standing structures in the world.

The tiny fishing village of Marsalforn on the north coast of Gozo has become the island's most popular summer resort. It offers various spots for swimming and water sports, and is well supplied with restaurants, bars and accommodation establishments.

A good place to begin exploring Gozo is at the Museum of Archaeology, found just inside the walls of the Citadel in Victoria behind the Old Gate, in a 17th century building that was originally the Town Hall. The museum illustrates the cultural history of Gozo from prehistoric times to the early modern era, presented chronologically from the Neolithic and Temple Period onwards through the Phoenician, Roman, Medieval and Knights of St John periods.

} ());
ACCEPT COOKIESTo give you the best possible experience, this site uses cookies. Using this site means you agree to our use of cookies. We have published a cookies policy, which you should read to find out more about the cookies we use. View cookies policy.