Malta’s sister isle of Gozo has so much to offer. From breath-taking seaside views to gorgeous sunsets in historically-rich locations, this little island will have you booking a trip right away!
1. Ta’ Cenc Cliffs
These maginificent cliffs located on the southern coast of Gozo are a 20 hectare linear strip of rugged coastline in Sannat. Ta’ Cenc’s stunning drop is identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because it supports 800-1000 breeding pairs of Cory’s shearwaters and 150-300 pairs of yelkouan shearwaters. Interestingly, archaeological remains have also been found close to the cliffs, including the sublime remains of a megalithic temple, two dolmens and a number of cart ruts, which were prevalent during the Byzantine period.
2. Azure Window
Located in Dwejra, the Azure Window was a natural arch, climbing to 28 metres. It was one of the island’s major tourist attractions until its collapse on 8th March 2017 due to very stormy weather. It was also featured in various well-known film and media productions, namely Game of Thrones, Clash of the Titans, The Count of Monte Cristo, and The Odyssey. While locals still mourn the loss of the beautiful structure, which was an exceptional example of Malta's rich archaeological heritage, many tourists and locals alike still visit the splendid site to take in the seaside views.
3. Ta’ Pinu Basilica
One of the most famous Gozitan churches is the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of Ta’ Pinu – in short Ta’ Pinu, because ain’t nobody got time for such a long name! It is located on the outskirts of the village of Gharb in open countryside which allows visitors to enjoy breath-taking views of the island. The church was visited by a number of popes throughout history. In 1990 Pope John Paul II celebrated mass on the parvise, and in 2010, Pope Benedict XVI donated and placed a golden rose in front of the devotional image of Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu. One can only imagine what this meant to the Gozitans!
4. Inland Sea at Dwejra
The inland sea is a lagoon of seawater which is linked to the Mediterranean through an opening formed by a narrow natural arch, just a stone’s throw away from the Azure Window. The land which cups it is a stony beach surrounded by fisherman’s huts. The shore and the bottom of the lagoon are mostly pebbles and rocks, while the seabed is fairly shallow. Whilst there, you can hop onto a traditional Maltese luzzu (fishing boat with beautiful colours) and glide through the tunnel. Some boats could also give you a tour of the nearby cliffs, circling Fungus Rock and the former Azure Window.
5. Gran Castello (the Citadel)
Malta’s sister isle of Gozo is historically-rich, and the Citadel is one of the reasons why. Sometimes dubbed 'the Gran Castello' (the grand castle), the Citadel (or Cittadella to the locals), has been inhabited since the Bronze Age and has seen many a battle. One of the most famous ones was the attack by the Ottoman Empire in 1551 when the Citadel was besieged. Most of the castle was sacked and left in ruins and nearly all Gozitans (6,000 people) were taken as slaves. Thankfully, during the Great Siege in 1565, the Citadel caught a break and was left undamaged. Fast forward a couple of centuries: during the Second World War, air raid shelters were dug under the bastions of the Citadel to protect Gozitan inhabitants.
6. The Aqueduct
Built by the British between 1839 and 1843, the Aqueduct was used to transport water from Ghar Ilma (translated as 'the cave of water'), in the limits of Kercem, to a reservoir within the ditch of the Citadel to supply the capital of Victoria. The aqueduct was eventually closed and replaced by a system of electrical pumps and pipes. Nowadays, it stands in ruins, but makes a stunning view as you drive by at sunset!
What do you think about Gozo’s stunning attractions? Let us know in the comments!