Gozo, Where To Go - What To See
Mgarr Harbour is picturesque and full of all kinds of seacraft. The harbour has a history of slaves, pirates and Corsairs (fast pirate ship)who took many of the population away. The neo-Gothic Lourdes Sanctuary, built in 1888, watches over it.
Victoria also called ir-Rabat, is Gozo's capital city. With Saint Francis Square (San Frangisk), the Ministry of Gozo Offices, Bus Terminus, Gorg Pisani and Ninu Cremona statues.
The Citadell (Gran Castello) located in Victoria, is enchanting with lanes, dwellings, alleys, bastions exude an aura of mystery and date from medieval times. The late medieval houses are unique in the Maltese Islands. There is the magnificent Cathedral and various museums, an absolute must see.
The Museum of Archeology
The museum of Archeology is housed in Casa Bondi, a 17th century house inside the Citadel in Victoria. It contains the oldest remains found in Gozo (4000BC), as well as Punico-Greek vases, Roman amphorae and Arab funerary tables.
The Ggantija, in Xaghra were built and developed between 3600 and 2400 BC making them among the earliest architectural planned facades in the world, older than the Pyramids in Egypt and Stonehenge in England. The stone slabs weigh several tons and the outside walls are up to six metres high. According to local legend, a giant called Sansuna carried them on her head all the way from Ta Cenc, a fair distance away. In Xaghra, too, are two underground caves with strange forms of stalactites and stalagmites. Other sites worth visiting are the Menhir at Qala and the ones at Tal-Qighan and Ta Marziena.
The Brocktorff Circle
The Brocktorff Circle is an ensemble of natural caves clearly modified by man. They were discovered and explored by Brocktrof in 1785. Excavations have unearthed a number of funerary remains (4200-2500 BC), as well as several interesting objects, the most important of which are a number of stylised figurines.
The Ta Pinu Sanctuary is a 19th century building which is dedicated to the miraculous image of Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu at the centre of an important Marian cult. This is a centre of pilgrimages for both the Gozitans and the Maltese.
Dwejra located in the South West of Gozo provides some of the most beautiful scenery of the island. Hidden behind the towering cliffs is a huge natural pond of shallow water (the Inland Sea), which is fed through a narrow tunnel in the cliff face. This tunnel links it to the deep blue Mediterranean. When the sea is calm, fishing boats take visitors down this tunnel to the open sea, where they can see the Fungus rock and the Azure Window at close quarters. This area is very popular with divers enjoying spectacular underwater sights.
Fungus Rock also knows as il-Gebla tal-General, rises out of the water near the Inland Sea. Fungus Rock is named this because, in the past, this is where a fungus known as “fungus gualitanus” grew. It was considered precious by the Knights, because of its medicinal qualities. Anyone caught picking the fungus illegally was immediately condemned to death.
The Azure Window is located nearby is the inland sea and is ideal for bathing. The Azure Window created by sea-breakers over a period of thousands of years, is the third marvel to be found at Dwejra Point. Two gigantic columns, each some 40 metres in diameter, support a horizontal block, which is about 100 m long and 20 m high, so that the ensemble has come to resemble a giant window, underneath which the azure waves shimmer and sparkle. Generations of Gozitans have referred to it as it-Tieqa (the Window).
The Calypso Cave is located just outside Xaghra, overlooking Ramla l-Hamra. According to legend, this is where nymph Calypso seduced and kept Ulysses a “prisoner of love” for seven long years. A strange feeling grips you as you approach and enter this cave, from where the view is absolutely stunning. Close to the shoreline are the remains of fortifications built in the middle of the 18th century by the Knights to stop enemy troops landing in the bay. These fortifications hid two stone mortars known as “fugasses”, which used to be packed with loose stones and gunpowder. Since they were at sea level, any boat that got too close to the shore would hit them and be destroyed.
St.George Basilica, at Victoria was built between 1672 and 1678 and stands at the centre of a patchwork of narrow, winding streets. It houses many works of art from different periods, even as far back as the Roman one, so that it reflects the history of Gozo in miniature. The dome and the ceiling are by the Roman artist Giovanni Battista Conti. There are also paintings by Mattia Preti, Giuseppe Cali and Stefano Erardi. The solid wood statue of St George, carved in 1841 by Paolo Azzopardi is remarkable.
Xewkija Rotunda, the church of St.John the Baptist dominates the village of Xewkija and the neighbouring countryside. Its dome is one of the largest in Europe. Building began in 1952 and its architecture was inspired by the church of Santa Maria della Salute in Venice.
The Windmill Museum is an old windmill located at Xaghra, known as Ta Kola, it still functions and is one of the fourteen windmills still left on the island. It houses a folklore museum, where you can discover peasant traditions from the past.
Ramla, Xlendi and Marsalforn
Ramla, Xlendi and Marsalforn are the most popular bays in Gozo, though there are others. Ramla Bay is one of the most beautiful sandy beaches of these islands. It is also shallow and safe for swimming. Ramla saw the French troops land under cover of darkness in June 1798. Xlendi is smaller but more dramatic. It has sheer cliffs and some of the cleanest water in the Mediterranean. Marsalforn is relaxed and friendly.
The old Roman Road, located between the three energy hills of Ta' Gordan, Ta'Ghammar and Ta' Kangla. Ta' Kangla has an massive standing stone marking its energy centre.
The Sacred Rocks of Qala where some people claim to have seen the Virgin Mary appear to them. Some statues of the Madonna are found in the area.
Mgarr ix-Xini Vally Shrine
Ix-Xini Valley Shrine located in Mgarr have stalagmites and stalactites which been carved in the shape of a lady. In the background you can see the wireless electricity poles that look like the Golgotha where they crucified Jesus Christ.
Il-Qawra also called Inland Sea in Dwejra is a Unesco Heritage Site. In the same depression we find the Qattara water pools which lots of migratory winter birds use. Some birds like the Cory’s Shearwater, Yelkouan Shearwater, the Blue Rock Thrush and Spectacled Warbler prefer this secluded areas with low scrub and sometimes they nest in the area. Also the Zitting Cisticola is found in the area.
The Ggantija (Giant Lady) temple located in Xaghra, which is the oldest standing temple in the world. The showed hill in this gallery is the Nuffara hill which was also a prehistoric town.