Are you staying on Gozo island during your Malta holiday, but are you getting tired of lying on the beach each day? Why don’t you go explore the island with your family or partner? Especially for you we created a small list of fun and cool things to see and do during your stay on Gozo Island. Feel free to comment, like and share this list!
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1) You can find the Azure Window on the west side of the island, near the village of San Lawrenz. This natural bridge was created by the sea and wind cutting a hole in the rock. This resulted in a meters high window where you can see through from the rocks south of the Azure Window.
To have the most beautiful view, you have to walk on several rocks, eroded by wind and water creating a bumpy landscape. Make sure you wear some good hiking shoes before you travel to the Window to get a good look, because it can be very slippery on the rocks.
The Azure Window gets its name from the fact that at the right sunlight conditions, you can see a beautiful azure sea through the window. On cloudy days and at an incorrect position of the sun this natural phenomenon is still beautiful to watch, but the bright azure color is lacking.
In stormy weather, the rough sea creates an entirely different view of the window. You wont be able to get to the rocks for a good view of the window because huge waves are crashing on those rocks. The crashing waves do offer a spectacular sight however, and its clear how the rocks are formed by this natural onslaught of waves hitting them.
2) The Ggantija Temples were excavated near the village of Xagħra in 1827, and they date back to the period 3600-2500 BC. Many tools and utensils were found around this area. It could well be the oldest standing buildings in the world.
Not much is known about these structures, as to who created them, why they were created and how. As a building material for the megalithic temples they mostly used limestone, because this material was locally available in large amounts. They used the limestone to construct one or more semi-circular spaces in a way, which they never found elsewhere to date. The first temples consisted of a square center, with an elliptical chamber on three sides. The remaining open side served as access.
3) The Victorian fortress, Fort Rinella, was built by the British between 1878 and 1886. From this location, they tried to keep dangerous intruders at bay with military force like guns and small firearms. The fort has one 100 ton Armstrong gun, which could send a one-ton shell up to a distance of eight miles to pierce no less than 22 inches of ship Armour.
The gun was powered by coal-fired steam driven hydraulics, it has a caliber of 17.72-inches and it is 35 feet long. It fired explosive elongated shot using a quarter of a ton of black powder. Since 1991, the fort is open to the public and you can learn more about this part of history visiting the beautiful interactive demonstrations. Check out their visitor page for opening times and information on guided tours and display times.
4) The Fortified Cittadella in Victoria is a great attraction for all visitors, and the defense fortress sits high above the city. They built it this high, so it had good visibility over the land it had to defend against intruders. From the towers you can still experience this amazing view.
The Citadella also houses the Cathedral of the Assumption, famous for the remarkable trompe l’oeil painting on its ceiling, which depicts the interior of a dome that was never built, which was designed by the Maltese Lorenzo Gafa. You will also find a prison museum inside the walls, the Gozo Museum of Archaeology, the folklore museum and the Natural Science Museum.
5) On the west coast of the island of Gozo you will find Dwejra bay, which is famous for its beautiful dive sites the Blue Hole and the Inland Sea. The Blue hole is rated one of the top dive sites in Europe, and its located just beneath the Azure Window.
You start the dive in the Blue hole which is about 10 by 5 meters in size, and at 12 meter depth an arch leads you to open sea, where you can reach depths up to 55 meters. The Blue hole used to be a cave, but the ceiling has collapsed a very long time ago. The Inland Sea is situated behind the Azure Window, and an approximately 100 meter long underwater tunnel leads you to open sea. The tunnel reaches a depth of over 22 meters at some points. Just make sure that when you reach open water, you don’t swim underneath the Azure window, because small rocks might fall down. The visibility underwater is around 30 meters, so great circumstances for diving!
6) Xewkija is the oldest town of the island with an area of about four square kilometers. The town is best known for the Xewkija Rotunda, which is a disproportionately large church, right in the center of town, which is dedicated to John the Baptist. The dome of the church is one of the biggest in the world with a height of 75 meters, and a diameter of 27 meters.
The construction of the church started in the year 1951 and lasted 27 years. At the site of the present church once stood an older, smaller church. It was built in 1678 and later rebuilt and enlarged several times.
During construction of the new church, the old church was still standing. They first placed eight large stone pillars around the old church that would support the dome. After the new church increasingly took shape, they demolished the old church. You can only find remnants of the old church in the back of the new church.
7) In the southwest of the island of Gozo, approximately 2.5 kilometers southwest of Victoria, lies the village of Xlendi, which is known for its beautiful rock formations, steep cliffs and superb beaches. In the village you can also find the chapel dedicated to “Our Lady of Mount Carmel”, of which the façade was founded in 1868.
The building behind the chapel was extended several times. Behind the chapel they built an Underground Emergency Mill in 1955. This emergency mill could withstand a nuclear attack and was built because of the threat of the Cold War. A 30 meter long corridor of 2.5 meters high and three meters wide, leads into a large room with three floors, where grain could be processed. Behind this room is a silo where 1000 tons of grain could be stored. The bay of Xlendi is also ideal for diving and snorkeling, because of the reef that lies in front of the harbor at about a meter below the water. The visibility under water can reach up to 40 meters.
We hope you liked this small list of things to do and see on Gozo Island at Malta!