Dear my travellers, welcome to another new post from Malta. This series of posts from Malta was one of the longest I’ve ever worked on, but also one interesting experience. Certainly you would not expect one person who is afraid of water and does not know how to swim, while having extremely sensitive skin on sunlight, so he is protected from the sun as best as he knows, and besides all that he adores the seaside places. This person I described in the previous sentence is real ME, I was always delighted with Malta, and for years I had planned to go there, but my wish finally came true.
Today I will show you a natural oasis of peace, located not far from the island of Malta. Before I start with today’s post, I would like to thank the team from the Malta Tourism Authority, who made the most effort to present Malta at the best possible way and that I was able to feel all the beauties of this wonderful paradise island in the Mediterranean. Thanks again!
Gozo is the island of the Maltese archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, the island belongs to the Republic of Malta. After Malta, it is the second largest island in the archipelago. This island is totally different than the southeastern “neighbor”, Gozo is rural and famous for its picturesque hills, which make the relief of this lovely island.
The island of Gozo has long been linked to the island of Ogygia, the homeland of Calypso’s in Homer’s Odyssey. In this story, Calypso is nymph who possesses great supernormal powers, is fondly in love with Odyssey, holds him captive for several years, until finally she frees him to continue his journey home.
Since March 2015, nearly 40,000 inhabitants live on this island, and its inhabitants are known as Gozitans (Maltese: Għawdxin). Gozo possesses an extremely rich culture and history, which is of huge significance, such as the temples of Ggantija, which, along with other megalithic temples of Malta, are among the oldest natural existing structures in the world.
Gozo is mostly rural character and is not so developed and urban like Malta. It is well known for its Azure Window (natural sedimentary arc), a natural port that was an extraordinary masterpiece of nature, which unfortunately was destroyed in 2017 due to a natural disaster. The island has other significant natural sights, including the Inland Sea (lagoon) and Wied il-Mielaħ (natural sedimentary arc).
On the island there are many beaches, as well as coastal resorts that are popular with locals and tourists as well, and the most popular are Marsalforn and Xlendi. Gozo is considered one of the best diving destinations in the Mediterranean and the best natural center for water sports.
Of course, as always, I tried to find out some interesting facts about this unusual island. Gozo was inhabited from 5000 BC (before Christ), when farmers from nearby Sicily settled the island. Due to an interesting discovery of similar ceramics originating from the Gār Dalam era, it is believed that the first settlers of this island were from the area of Agrigento, but it is currently not known where the farmers from Sicily came from. They are believed to have lived in caves on the periphery of today’s place on Gozo – San Lawrenz.
Gozo was an important place for cultural evolution, and during the neolithic period, the temples of Ggantija were built, which are among the oldest freestanding natural structures in the world, as well as the oldest religious facilities in the world. The name of the temple is in Maltese, due to “belonging to the giants”, because the legend in the Maltese and Gozitan folklore says that the temples were built by giants.
Another important Maltese archaeological site on Gozo, dating back to the Neolithic period, is the Xagra stone circle. Also, unconfirmed myths that were passed from generation to generation, some ancient Greek historians (especially Euhemerus and Callimachus) claim that Gozo is an island Homer which described as the island of Ogygia, the home of the beautiful nymph Calypso.
The Gozo was occupied by the Carthaginians, who erected a temple in Astarte on the island. It is believed that the island was merged with the Great Roman Empire around 218 BC, where the first bronze coins in the 1st century BC were also minted. On them there was the head of the Astarte in the form of a half-warrior, a star and legend Gaulitn.
In 1551, the Ottomans, led by Sinan Pasha and Dragut, attacked and devastated Gozo and seized most of the inhabitants, about 5,000, who were forcibly taken to Libya. The island of Gozo was resettled between 1565 and 1580 by the people of Malta, the period when Malta was under the leadership of the Order of St. John – the Maltese knights.
The history of Gozo is strongly linked to the history of Malta, since the island of Gozo was ruled by Malta, with a short period of autonomy after the uprising against the French forces following Napoleon’s conquest of Malta, between 1798 and 1801.
How can you reach the island of Gozo from Malta?
Tourists and local people can reach the island by ferry. There are regular daily departures between Mġarr port on Gozo and Keirkewwa on the northwestern coast of Malta. Departures are arranged so that every 45 minutes during the summer and during the winter you can enjoy the beauties of the island of Gozo. The ferry ride takes about 30 minutes in each direction. The service is used by travelers (locals, including students of Gozitan studying at the University of Malta and tourists), and is also used to transport goods between the island.
At the end of the 20th century, the first proposal was made to build a special underwater tunnel between Malta and Gozo. After some time, a feasibility study of the project was carried out where it was concluded that tunnel construction between these two islands is possible, but would have a negative impact on the environment. Of course, this project would allow people to go and visit the island whenever they want, but on the other hand, Gozo might have lost even the most valuable – natural beauty. We will see what will happen, I am sure that their leaders will make an appropriate decision that would contribute to the preservation of this natural treasure.
My dear travellers, once again we have come to the end of our travel adventure. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! At the end of this post, I would like to thank my friends from Malta Tourism Authority for this incredible adventure and for their huge efforts to make my stay unforgettable and I felt like at home.
How do you like this post about Gozo? Have you ever visited this lovely island? Have you maybe had a chance to visit Malta before? I would like to share with me your experience!
In a couple of days we will continue our adventure in Malta, and I will show you my other fashion outfits which I wore on Malta Fashion Week! I can’t wait to share all those beautiful photos with you.
If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.
P.S. If you want to know more about Malta you should read my other posts, I am sure you will find plenty of interesting tips and information about this incredible island.
- Letters from Malta: The Mediterranean Love at First Sight… (Travel Post)
- Letters from Malta: Mdina. Silence speaks more than Words… (Travel Post)
- Letters from Malta: My Glamorous Escape to Valletta (Travel Post)
- Letters from Malta: Stylish and Fashionable Summer on the streets of Valletta (Fashion Outfit Post)