Maltese Islands: The Gozitan Experience

Most people going to Malta explore Valleta and all the ancient temples around the main island, and that is great. But then they usually don’t visit the second island, Gozo, and that is a pity. Gozo is surely worth exploring (even there the Azure window is not there anymore), with its beautiful landscape, much less tourists and thus more welcoming and sincere locals. Those who already discovered it, make it their primary place of stay and explore all the Maltese islands from there, as the ferry runs all day and all night, all the time. Read on to see what Gozo had to offer to us.

Gozo’s capital is called Victoria, and due to its central position, everybody probably crosses it several times per day. It is also the most turistic part of the island, thanks to the Citadel, which offers beautiful views around the island from its ramparts. Nevertheless, it is quite touristic, we appreciated more the narrow cosy streets of the neighbourhood just below the Citadel. The cathedral in the Citadel houses a unique fresco, but it was closed during our visit. There is also an interesting war shelter below the Citadel. The government had dug only the main corridor and then every family interested had to dig their own little “room”.

A truly remarkable landmark, visible from quite far, is the Ta Pinu basilica. It has beautiful exterior and interesting outside mosaic depicting the life of Jesus in an original way. The interior is also worth seeing, and in the shop, there is a very detailed wooden miniature of the basilica on display.

The basilica is also one point on a walking trail we took. The trail goes through the Gharb and Birbuba villages, both very tranquil and nice, with the typical sandstone maltese architecture. From there it winds through fields to the chapel of Saint Dimitri, its light stone shining from far. Inside, you can have a look at the small altar and read a plate of its history. The trail continues to the seaside with dramatic rocky cliffs. Eventually one arrives to Wied Il-Mielah, a rocky window in the sea. It is almost always very windy and the sea creates beautiful spectacle with waves hitting through the window. Be considerate there, it is slippery and dangerous, if you come too close. Each year, unfortunately somebody explore way too far, slip and lose his live in process. A little further on are various caves at sea level, visible from above the cliff, creating a breathtaking show as well. The trail then continues inland and returns to Ta Pinu. On the way, you can also climb to the Goran lighthouse, it is the highest point around and offers great views, provided it is not that windy that you can barely stand (as it was when we were there 🙂 ).

To spend our 2 nights at Gozo, we chose the Tal-Ingliza B&B and it proved to be an excellent choice. It is run by a UK-Maltese couple, who offer only 2 rooms. They are very friendly, give their guests any advice if they want it, have a beautiful pool and a garden, where they grow a lot of things, which they then use in the kitchen for their guests. For example, they prepare their own formidable olive oil, which we tasted in sandwiches we took to our hiking trip. And those breakfasts are just delicious 🙂