With its rugged nature and quaint history, the island of Gozo is one of Europe’s hidden gems. Part of the Maltese archipelago, the island provides alluring sunset views over the Mediterranean and beautiful promenades lined with cafe terraces. Church spires and temples dot the interior, particularly in the medieval capital city Rabat. Quiet sandy beaches are dotted across Gozo, as are traditional villages that seem untouched by time.
Gozo is a quiet island with a sleepy atmosphere. Long countryside walks connect rolling hills with spectacular cliffs and beaches. The most enchanting of these leads west to Dwejra and a bizarre rock formation cast adrift in the Mediterranean. Almost all of the island’s roads lead to Rabat, the island’s capital and site of the ancient citadel, an imposing fortress which offers stunning views over the entire island. Medieval houses and a collection of museums surround the citadel, while a collection of watch towers provide further evidence of Gozo’s past. Each of Gozo’s villages has a charming church along with a small local cafe, where afternoons stretch out to the island’s laid-back rhythm.
There is no airport on Gozo, and all visitors arrive at Mgarr Harbour after the ferry service from Cirkewwa, a town at the northern tip of Malta Island. There are direct buses from Malta International Airport to the ferry terminal. After the 45-minute Mediterranean crossing, visitors can get around Gozo using local bus services, private taxis, or with a rental car from one of the agencies close to Mgarr Harbour.
While most Gozo architecture comes from the 16th to 18th centuries, the island’s most inspiring attraction are the World Heritage Ggantija temples. These historic shrines were constructed by the island’s Neolithic inhabitants, thousands of years before the Knights of Malta constructed the citadel.