Gozo is the second largest island of the Maltese archipelago, and unlike Valletta, St. Julian or Sliema it is a quieter place for vacation. It’s for those who search more rural, quieter, and more exotic places. Although it has around 30,000 inhabitants and it is separated from Malta by only 5 km of sea, Gozitans consider themselves to be different from the population of the largest Maltese island.
Life in Gozo is simpler and slower, and in smaller towns people still use the old way of catching fish and organize farming. Mgarr is the only port so this will be the first thing you see when you arrive on the island. In Mgarr you can see old churches and chapels, houses with flat roofs, and fishing boats.
The only thing that stands out is relatively new Gothic cathedral whose construction began in 1924, but due to lack of funds it was never completed, until the elders of the church in the 1970s received a huge sum in the lottery, completing it expressly. Another attraction is the fortress Chambray at the top of a nearby hill, being the only fort on the island along with the Citadel in Rabat. It was built in the 1749.
Rabat (Victoria) is the capital and most populous city on the island. It located in its central part, so it can be said that all roads lead to Rabat. It got its name Victoria after the Queen of England, but the locals prefer to call it Rabat.
The main attraction is the citadel which is located on a hill, offering a view of the whole city.
People used to live here since the Neolithic period, but the Phoenicians started building this fortress and Romans continued.
Today’s appearance was given around the 17th century when it was finished by the Knights of the Order of Malta. The fortress was repeatedly destroyed, and only traces of the former old chapel can be seen.
Meanwhile, the city built impressive cathedral on the site where three churches were, right next to the archaeological museum. Ggantija is prehistoric temple complex that was built between 3600 and 3000 BC and it is the oldest surviving independent structure in the world – older than Stonehenge or the pyramids of Egypt.
Among several of the Maltese Neolithic temples, this is the oldest and by far the largest. The complex covers an area of 1,000 m2, it has exterior walls rising up to 6 meters, and megaliths (huge stone blocks) weighing up to 50 tones. Ir-Ramla is a city where the most mystical part of Gozo is located there is the cave of the Calypso, which according to the legend was the place where Odysseus was held seven years imprisoned after his victorious return from Troy.
Since the walls after the earthquake have fallen in front of the entrance, it is not possible to enter the but the cave can be seen from the lofty rocky platform next to it. Ir-Ramla is also the best beach. Building on this site has been prohibited for a long time, so the beach has managed to preserve all natural look, with only occasional bar made out of bamboo. The gastronomic specialty is local cheese Gbejniet, which is made from goat or sheep milk.