Gozo Malta - history, beaches, temples & quality of life
Set 8km off Malta's northwest point, Gozo is a tiny place, only a third of the size of the main island. Its capital, Victoria (or Rabat as the locals still call it) is pretty much central and nowhere on the island is more than a 15 minute drive from here. Roads radiate out from Victoria like spokes on a wheel so places separated only by a couple of kilometres may take a bit of to-ing and fro-ing to get to.
Gozo has long been described as Malta without the package-holidaymakers and whilst in reality this is true, Gozo's atmosphere is totally different above and beyond that. Due to the lack of tourist development on the island, for a long while, the people of Gozo were thought of as the poor relations to their Maltese counterparts. These days however, most agree that with fewer tourists, less concrete and less pollution the Gozitans have a far superior quality of life. Indeed many of the well-to-do Maltese now have holiday homes and villas in Gozo.
Most people see Gozo as a day-trip destination, and whilst it's great in this capacity, just one day won't do the island justice. With secluded beaches, temples oozing history, fishing villages continuing Maltese traditions, there's far more than can be crammed into one day.
However long you plan to stay on the island, no trip is complete without visiting the Ggantija Temples. Gozo's most famous attraction, these impressive Neolithic temples date back to 3600BC and as such are the oldest man-made structures in the world. Also worth a look is the picturesque Citadel in Victoria, home to all who've invaded the island. Aside from these, you're likely to spend most of the time on Gozo appreciating its beauty. The underwater world is more highly acclaimed than that off Malta and some of the best dive sites in Europe can be found here. Gozo's coastline has remained remarkably untouched and the beaches have retained their natural beauty. Swathes of sand disappearing into rocky coves, plateaus stretching out to sea are just asking you to linger and soak up its relaxed atmosphere. See it while you can; it can only a matter of time before its alluring romanticism is buried forever by the overflow of tourists from Malta.