ITTN’s Shane Cullen led the Visit Malta and visit Gozo fam trip with 8 travel agents from Ireland for a four-night adventure on the Maltese archipelago. Find out more about this year-round destination with a focus on the island of Gozo.
Gozo – Go All Year Round
Gozo is separated from Malta by a 5km stretch of sea and is a mere 67sq km, a third the size of Malta with plenty of baroque churches dotted around the unspoilt country villages. It lies 100km south of Sicily. It, like its larger sister island of Malta, is an all-year-round tourist destination.
It offers more boutique-style accommodations:
|4 star hotels||4||724|
|3 & 2 star hotels||6||248|
|Guest Houses/Tourist complexes||13||378|
|Apartments/houses of character||841||3831|
Gozo can be Reached by Sea
There are regular ferries between Malta and Gozo which takes 25 minutes and costs less than €5 for a return ticket – travelling from the Northern point of Malta. It departs Cirkewwa and sails to Mgarr in Gozo. This service operates up to 31 times a day and is pretty much 24/7. There are also ferries from Valletta to Gozo which take 45 minutes and tickets cost €7.50. This sailing operates up to 10 times per day. Check out more details here.
Private Charter with Comino on Route
We boarded a private charter from Mellieha Bay to take us from the island of Malta to Gozo with a stop-off beside the little island of Comino and home to the tranquil turquoise waters of the Blue Lagoon. The boat journey took just under an hour with Galaxy Charters Malta including the brief stopover at the Blue Lagoon. There are plenty of tourist boats that include an extended stay here including snorkeling and swimming too.
You can swim, snorkel, sunbathe or soak up the spectacular, clear turquoise waters. Unsurprisingly, the Blue Lagoon is a lagoon. It’s a naturally formed lagoon between the islands of Comino and Cominotto and is hugely popular with tourists.
Island of Comino
Comino is a small island at just 2km long and 1.7km wide located between the island of Gozo and Malta. It is inhabited by a handful of local farmers and a popular spot for day-trippers. Peak season sees crowds descend on its infamous Blue Lagoon. Currents and water temperatures vary throughout the year.
The Duke Boutique Hotel in the Heart of Gozo
We spent our 2-night stay in The Duke Boutique Hotel situated in the heart of Victoria, the capital of Gozo. This is an ideal location to really experience the unspoilt and rustic charm of Gozo. Guests can choose from a range of rooms (38 in total) with some having views of the Citadel and Villa Rundle Gardens. A few of the group even had rooms with their own private hot tub and balcony. I would highly recommend the location and the facilities are immaculate.
Victoria, Capital of Gozo
Victoria is located in the heart of the island and generally no more than 20 mins to anywhere on the island of Gozo. Victoria has an abundance of dining options as well as some modern retail offerings with the Duke Hotel located beside a shopping centre. There are open-air markets selling local produce and artisan crafts around St. George’s Square. A number of bars are located in this area too. Your spending money stretches that much further here with the average price for a beer coming in at €2. Even a round of 8 Bombay Sapphire gin and tonics gave change from €20 at a rooftop bar.
Farm to Fork Culture
The same can be said about the dining scene here in terms of terrific value for money. It’s very much a farm-to-fork culture here with a vast number of restaurants being family owned. Owners and restauranteurs explained that they typically had a family member involved in farming on the island that supplied the restaurant.
A must-see attraction in Victoria is the Citadel. This historic fortress, which has been the centre of activity since Neolithic times, boasts the only Cathedral on the island without a dome. The Citadel’s old houses and palaces have been transformed into museums and souvenir shops, providing a fascinating glimpse into Gozo’s rich cultural heritage.