I just got back from a really fun filled evening out and about in Valletta but more on that later. Let’s discuss a day trip to the Island of Gozo, yes? It’s a small island next to Malta with a population of roughly 30,000 people. It has some stunning sights as well as countless churches that will make your jaw drop. It’s not far and only a 25 minute ferry ride from Malta so why not go visit it if you’re in the area? We arrived, jumped on one of those hop on hop off buses and took the ride…
The buses leave the harbour and make their way to a few big churches. In fact lots of the attractions are churches and I’d say it’s got an unreal number of massive churches for the population. That said, they are all spectacular and worth visiting in their own right. We got off to a late start and it was only a day trip so we had to simply gaze at several spots instead of get fully involved. That said, still got a great feel for the place, met a few cool people from the area and saw some sights that I won’t soon forget.
If you’re going and you really want to get a full day in, I suggest you catch an early ferry. We took the one slightly later than expected and there were large lines. Not only does it cramp your style but it also means that at all the attractions there will be countless other people in your shots. Also, if you want to see everything or at least get an idea of what it’s all about; you’ll need a full day as there is lots to see and do.
We made our way to Victoria which is the capital of Gozo and hopped off for a good stroll. Birgu has some great narrow roads filled with character but believe it or not; the roads in Gozo seemed even more narrow and almost labyrinth like. It was abundantly clear that there was no grid system in place or even a spec of town planning; it simply expanded naturally and what is now Victoria was the result. The area had some cool little shops and markets; strolled into one with my video camera and made a new friend named Joe who is pictured sitting below.
While you’re in Victoria, don’t miss the Citadel. It’s massive and strategically placed on top of a hill. From there you can see the entire island of Gozo and it also has a really great restaurant called Ta Rikardu. The restaurant is located to the left of the Citadel and has phenomenal goats cheese. It also has bottles of house wine for 7.50E; the first glass might be a bit of a struggle but it’s smooth sailing from there. I suggest you make your way to the roof and enjoy sights of the island while enjoying your meal. It’s old school and believe it or not, the first floor used to be used to hold animals, check for the grain storage to the left when you walk in.
Form there we made our way to the Azure Window which also known as “The Arch” to some. It’s this massive natural arch carved into the cliffs and a sight not to be missed. It was made even more famous after being featured in the ever popular show called Game of Thrones. Lots to see and do there so you’ll want to spend some time just hanging out, relaxing and soaking it all in. Speaking of soaking, a friend of mine said that when the weather is warmer you can soak in some of the natural pools left from high tide. Speaking of which, I did see some lady who went swimming so who knows; anytime could be a good time.
At this point we were running out of time as it was simply a day trip and spent the bulk of our time in Victoria. We rode the rest of the course and made our way back to the harbour. There isn’t a lot going on from one perspective but if you’re looking to unwind and really relax; it’s perfect. Also, the kind of place where if you make some local connections I could see it come alive as there is always more than meets the eye to these sleepy type island. There is no wonder it was a favorite of my late uncle as there are countless bars and taverns that seemed to always have room for another character.
To get to the ferry terminal it’s a ~25 minute ride from Valletta. The ride to Gozo is free but to get back it will cost you 4.50E. This was my first experience with one of these tourist buses and I quite liked it as it really served its purpose. It would come by each stop every 45 minutes so if you just want to take a quick glimpse, perhaps you should stay on the bus. Do make sure you get off in Victoria though as it’s the capital and lots to see, do, and eat.
This evening was great and I’m going to be writing a piece on the redevelopment of Malta. Lots going on here behind the scenes and a few key areas are being revived as we speak. For dinner we went to Badass Cafe and I had the salmon salad and a double burger. It’s owned by the same people behind STR-EAT which is a cool bistro and whisky bar. Myself and a new friend / fellow blogger discovered STR-EAT a few nights ago and I’ve been back every one since.
Tomorrow I’m off to play the Royal Malta Golf Club and beyond looking forward to it. Can’t believe I’m leaving soon but such is life and it’s better to have come and left than never come at all. I did take ridiculous quantities of video footage from today so stay tuned for that in the not too distant future. In closing, enjoy these views form the walls of the Citadel in Gozo.
This post was made possible as a result of the Blog Island Malta campaign which was created and managed by iambassador in partnership with the Malta Tourism Authority and the support of Air Malta. As always, I’d like to thank them for putting this initiative together and including Stop Having a Boring Life in the action; obviously all opinions are my own.