The Island of Calypso, offers a slower pace of life than that of its sister island, Malta.
Gozo, sits just 5km North west of Malta. With rolling hills, lush countryside and a smaller population, Gozo offers visitors a quieter option for Mediterranean living.
If you are looking for a safe haven, Gozo is most certainly it. Just 25 minutes away by ferry, you will escape the hustle and bustle that Malta has to offer.
For centuries, life in Gozo was tough. Unlike Malta, Gozo was sparsely protected, leaving it open to the Knights, Barbary corsairs and Saracens who continuously raided the island at intervals. In 1551, the Saracens carried out a devastating raid, taking almost the entire population away into slavery.
The Island never really recovered from this and remained under populated for centuries until the arrival of the Knights saw the medieval Citadel refortified.
While Gozo is a part of the Maltese Islands, the people are proud of having their own identity and traditions. With their own accent, Gozitans are known for their warm hospitality, openness and friendliness to visitors. Village feasts and carnival play a big part in the Gozitan way of life. The village of Nadur celebrates carnival with a black sense of humour, quite unlike its more joyful counterparts elsewhere.
The real beauty of Gozo, apart from its stunning coastline and beautiful countryside, lies in the villages. The beautiful architecture and slow pace of life makes it an absolute pleasure to spend any time here. You really do feel like you have stepped back in time, where the day seems to last longer than that on busy Malta. Locals treasure their peace and the villages are tranquil, proving a wonderful respite from the trials and tribulations of everyday life for visitors.
The welcoming village bars and cafes open early and close late to cater for the early risers who attend the first mass of the morning and those who enjoy staying out of the house in the evening. Many of these establishments have remained unchanged for years, the only sign of time passing by being the food and drink displayed for sale on the solid shelves and the Edwardian glass cases.
High up, overlooking the entire island in Victoria, also known as Rabat, you will find the fortified Citadel. Victoria is not just the geographic heart of Gozo, but also the centre of everyday activity. It manages to combine the hustle and bustle of its market and shops with a relaxed and sociable atmosphere. It is a great place to watch the Islanders go about their day, especially when the main market square, It-Tokk, comes to life.
The town also has a thriving cultural life of its own, with some surprising attractions ranging from opera to horse races in the main street on festa day.
Gozo boasts an array of fabulous restaurants ranging from local dishes to Indian, Chinese and many other international options. Rabat, Mgarr and the fishing villages of Marsalforn and Xlendi offer an abundance of eateries.
While Malta is a safe destination, Gozo is even safer, in-fact the locals are proud that crime is virtually non-existent on the island, making it a fantastic destination to bring the family.