The Maltese archipelago is made up of three islands two of which are inhabited. The first and main island is Malta, which is the biggest of the two and is home to the majority of the population. The other one is Gozo, a much smaller island with a very small, ageing population.
The true charm of Gozo comes in its size. It’s a beautiful, small island with incredible beaches wherever you turn. Cliffs and small hills make Gozo’s natural environment an even greater adventure for those who visit Malta for a holiday. It’s beautiful in summer as it is in winter. With lots of things to see and do, spending a couple of days in Gozo is definitely worth it.
In this article, we will do our best to guide you through all you need to know on this true gem of the Mediterranean with useful tips and tricks from locals so you can make the best of your stay.
Let’s start with the basics, shall we?
Where is Gozo Located
Gozo sits on the northern part of the Maltese archipelago of islands. It is the smallest of the two main islands which make up Malta. It sits one mile away from the closest Maltese shore, right after crossing, next to Comino.
Why stay in Gozo
If you are a tourist looking for some quiet time, this is the place to stay. If you want to avoid the crowds and looks for some beautiful hidden beaches, this is the place to be. If you want to experience the Maltese culture in its authentic, perhaps a little less modern aesthetic, Gozo is ideal for you.
Being small, even smaller than Malta means that wherever you stay in Gozo is close enough to the beach. This is probably the most amazing thing about Gozo. It also has less traffic and fewer people living in it.
Rent in Gozo is also generally cheaper, although we must warn you that things can get expensive in the peak of the summer season.
History of the island of Gozo
Landing in Malta you would be immediately surprised as to how much rich history this part of Europe has to offer. Gozo is no exception. It has seen wars and invasions throughout many bloody centuries. But what makes this island unique in its historic value are the pre-historic temples which date back to millennia.
Perhaps it’s better if we start with the name. Gozo comes from the Spanish verb ‘to enjoy’ and the locals know it as Ghawdex. Don’t worry about trying to get this name right. The huge majority of the population still know it as Gozo.
Some of its temples like the Ggantija, are among the oldest standing megalithic structures in the world. According to research, Gozo has been inhabited since 5000 B.C and the first islanders came from neighbouring Sicily.
The Neolithic times saw the magnificent temples of Ggantija being built. This incredible structure is still considered to be the oldest religious structure in the world, so they sure have to be on the list of things you need to see. The name of the temples ‘Ggantija’ refers to a myth which says that these huge rocks were moved around by giants.
Bronze coins found to suggest the island saw the invasion of Romans while history books tell us that the Ottomans also invaded the island and enslaved most of its people back in the 1500s. For a short period, the French also set foot in Gozo. Now, thanks to such rich history, you’ll be able to find relics and pieces of architecture of all shapes, ages and sizes.