A Long Weekend in Gozo…
Sometimes, travelling to the Mediterranean isn’t complete without a few stops at several destinations. Malta is a financial epicentre of the region and has a vigorous nightlife, so that relatively small island is a huge draw to those on the upper end of the socioeconomic ladder. It is always interesting to spend time in Malta, but if you want to experience the real culture of the Maltese people, a long weekend in Gozo is what you need to plan on. As the sister island of Malta, Gozo is much less populated, although a big attraction when travelling the Mediterranean. In short, you can’t plan a trip to Malta, business or pleasure, without a long weekend on Gozo.
What Are the Main Attractions in Gozo?
One of the highlights of life in Gozo would be the much-anticipated feasts or ‘festas’ in villages throughout the island. Typically held from May through September, these are more than just festivals. They are a celebration of life in Gozo, and what you will see is strong embedded in faith. Many are in honour of the patron saint of their village, but each festa is more joyful than the next.
Residents march in processions through the streets and the whole village looks forward to festa celebration. It’s amazing to see just how they live for these feasts and their excitement is highly contagious. You can always check out the calendar of events to plan your trip to Gozo to correspond with the festa you want to enjoy. It’s worth planning your trip to Malta just to be there for a summer festa in Gozo!
One of the main reasons so many people take a long weekend in Gozo is because of the amazing array of watersports that can be enjoyed. While weekends in summer months are quite busy, the beaches are nowhere near as crowded as the touristy spots on Malta, and that alone is reason enough to spend a weekend on the smaller sister island. There are even a few beaches which are more secluded, so you can enjoy some actual privacy while soaking in some of the warm Mediterranean sun.
Check out Mġarr ix-Xini, which is tranquil, but be aware it is so secluded that there are no public facilities. This is where many families like to snorkel along the shore for a bit of underwater photography and if you are adventurous in spirit, why not do a bit of rock climbing or hiking along the cliffs that surround the bay on three sides?
Visit the Shops of Local Artisans
Something else you will be amazed by in Gozo is the number of local artisans who take great pride in their work. Some of the most popular crafts to explore are:
- Stone sculptures
- Hand harvested sea salt
- Handmade artisan jewellery
Bear in mind that many of these craftsmen have been handed down their trade through countless generations. Their artistry is in the very air they breathe. It’s literally in their blood. You can see them at work in the same way as their ancestors did, perhaps several hundred years ago!
Amazing Culinary Delights in Gozo
There is nothing quite as delicious as the foods you will eat in Gozo. What you will notice from the very first mouthful is that everything is fresh and locally sourced. Unlike the “locally sourced organic” craze that has swept Europe and much of North America, these foods really are fresh and locally sourced. You will find that the farming estates produce strawberries and grapes in season, and these can be seen on tables of most of the better restaurants on the island, as well as in homes and cafés the locals frequent.
As an island of fishermen, you will always have access to the ‘catch of the day’, which is authentically the catch of the day, not an advertising gimmick to sell what hasn’t sold the week before. You may want to try their fresh baked bread to be dipped in olive oil or spread with tomato paste, and there is nothing so mouth-wateringly delicious as pastizzi. These flaky pastries (filo) are stuffed with goat cheese and peas. It is said that pastizzi will even put Indian samosas or Italian calzone to shame.
So Much to Do and So Little Time
As a seasoned traveller, you don’t need tips on finding a hotel in Gozo, but what you do need is a brief overview of things to do and see which you will find nowhere else on earth. Don’t forget to visit the historic Megalithic Stone Temples of Ġgantija or the Cittadella in Victoria. Pack as much into your long weekend as possible because the more you see, the more you’ll be excited about coming back next year on holiday – and believe it or not, you will!