Malta’s charming sister island of Gozo is one of the Meditteranean islands that make up the Maltese archipelago. Gozo is the second largest of the three inhabited Maltese islands and is a bit more quaint and rural than Malta and not overcrowded by tourists. Mythology is an integral part of the island and Gozo is said to have been the home of the mythological Calypso, the nymph from Homer’s Odyssey. The authentic, more remote island is known for its Ġgantija Megalithic Temple ruins, beautiful beaches, and incredible diving sites.
Gozo Goddess Temples
Ġgantija Megalithic Temples The Ġgantija Temples are the earliest set of Megalithic temples that make up this UNESCO World Heritage site. Built between 3600 and 3200 BC, the site is considered as one of the oldest free-standing monuments in the world, preceding Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids.
The Legend of Gozo & Calypso: Calypso’s Cave
The site is thought to be the same cave Homer mentioned in The Odyssey, where the beautiful nymph Calypso keeps Odysseus as a “prisoner of love” for seven years. The cave overlooks the picturesque Ramla Bay which could very well be the inspiration for the mythical home of Calypso.
“Island Of Goddesses”
- Gozo Cathedral: Built on the site of a Roman temple dedicated to the goddess Juno
- Ġgantija Temples: In ancient times, the temples dedicated to the Mother Goddess at Ggantija are said to have drawn pilgrims from across the island, and from North Africa and Sicily.
Places to Visit
Citadella The Citadel of Victoria is the center of the island of Gozo. Considered to be the Medieval part of Victoria, the area was believed to be first fortified during the Bronze Age. The historic fortified city stands on a flat-topped hill, visible from almost all the island.
Old Prison Located in the Citadel of Victoria, the Old Prison served as a communal cell in the 19th century and now hosts a well-preserved exhibition on fortifications. The walls in the Old Prison have the largest known collection of historical graffiti on the Maltese Islands.
Marsalforn Salt Pans The north coast of Gozo is characterized by 350-year-old salt pans protruding into the sea. During the summer months, locals can still be seen scraping up the crystals of salt.
Tastes of Gozo
The island of Gozo offers unique gastronomic events throughout the year, from wine tastings to trying local delicacies. Gozitan cuisine supports the small and local, giving visitors an authentic gourmet experience. Small Plates are some of Gozo’s most distinctive foods, including local favorites, Gbejniet (traditional sheep milk cheeses), and Pastizzi (miniature pastries). Gozitan wines and craft beer can also add local liquid pleasure to your visit.
World Renown Divers’ Paradise & Beautiful Beaches
Dwejra Dive Sites
Famous Red Sand Beaches
Getting to Gozo
From the main island of Malta, take the Gozo Ferry from Cirkewwa Harbour, at the northernmost point of Malta for the scenic 25-minute crossing to Mġarr Harbour, the gateway to Gozo. The ferry service carrying both passengers and cars runs every 45 minutes during the daytime and regularly during night time. Once in Gozo, you can pick up a car or travel by bike around the island. Boat trips and guided bus tours are also an option to efficiently get around Gozo.
The sunny islands of Malta, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, are home to a most remarkable concentration of intact built heritage, including the highest density of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in any nation-state anywhere. Valletta built by the proud Knights of St. John is one of the UNESCO sights and the European Capital of Culture for 2018. Malta’s patrimony in stone ranges from the oldest free-standing stone architecture in the world, to one of the British Empire’s most formidable defensive systems, and includes a rich mix of domestic, religious and military architecture from the ancient, medieval and early modern periods. With superbly sunny weather, attractive beaches, a thriving nightlife, and 7,000 years of intriguing history, there is a great deal to see and do. For more information on Malta, visit www.visitmalta.com
Gozo’s colors and flavors are brought out by the radiant skies above it and the blue sea which surrounds its spectacular coast, which is simply waiting to be discovered. Steeped in myth, Gozo is thought to be the legendary Calypso’s isle of Homer’s Odyssey – a peaceful, mystical backwater. Baroque churches and old stone farmhouses dot the countryside. Gozo’s rugged landscape and spectacular coastline await exploration with some of the Mediterranean’s best dive sites.
Malta Tourism Authority – North America
P 212 213 0944
F 212 213 0938
MTA US/Canada Editorial Contact:
The Bradford Group
Amanda Benedetto/ Gabriela Reyes
Tel: (212) 447-0027
Fax: (212) 725 8253