Gozo

Destination Overview

The second largest island of seven that make up the Maltese Archipelago is beautiful Gozo, it covers 26 square miles and is one of the most untouched and unique islands in the Mediterranean, where time has seemingly stood still. The charm of Malta's sister island is immediately apparent, it is greener and more rural, with small patches of habitation such as traditional villages each with a parish church at its centre. Here life's rhythms are dictated by the seasons, fishing, and agriculture. This island is a short 20-minute ferry ride away from Malta, which is just 3 hours by air from the UK making this a great choice for those wanting a quick fix of sunshine. The summers are long and sunny, with short mild winters. Visitors are attracted to this unspoilt and relatively undiscovered destination as it is the perfect location for couples looking to take time out from their busy lives, and for families wanting to come together to relax and unwind.

Gozo is renowned for its scenic hills that are featured on its coat of arms, along with being home to some of the oldest religious structures in the world, the intriguing Ggantija Temples. The island has many notable natural features such as The Azure Window, a limestone arch, which was a remarkable geological structure that sadly collapsed in a storm in March 2017. The stunning coastline is made up of beaches of red sand, turquoise bays and impressive cliffs dropping down into clear waters. Two wonderful places to visit are Ramla Bay, one of Gozo largest and most beautiful sandy bays, and Xlendi Bay, a delightful sea inlet that lies at the end of a deep lush ravine that was once a sea bed where the waters are shallow and perfect for swimmers and snorkelers of all ages.

There are a colourful variety of shops and markets throughout Gozo to suit all tastes but the most popular is ir-Rabat, a daily market that takes place in Independence Square, the centre of life in the capital. The choices are endless here, from food to fashion, so be prepared to shop until you drop, or just find your spot and people watch to your heart’s content. For a treat, visit one of the wonderful spas on the island for a day of pampering whilst enjoying a mouth-watering array of healthy Mediterranean cuisine.

Apart from being known for the superb diving and water sports, Gozo is also a popular choice for those looking for a fun packed family holiday. Younger children will enjoy seeking out pirate and smuggler hideouts, exploring the impressive saltpans or they could even learn to milk a goat at the local goat farm. Whilst teenagers can work off some energy kayaking around bays and caves, cycling the coastal paths and trying their hand at rock climbing and abseiling. A day trip to the tiny island of Comino is a must, where together you can snorkel the clear blue Mediterranean waters and come away with memories that will last a lifetime.

Average temperatures in Summer (March-October): Air 16-30c / Sea: 21-28c

Average temperatures in Winter (November-February): Air 12-17c / Sea 16-19c

Diving Information

Gozo has a remarkable number of dives accessible from the shore and many more that are just a short boat ride away. The small size of the island means that you spend little time travelling between sites and if there is wind on one side of the island you are only minutes from an alternative dive site.

In 2006 Gozo gained two artificial reefs, the Karwela and the Cominoland, these decommissioned ships were scuttled off the coast and now sit upright in 30m of water. For those wanting to do their first wreck dive then Patrol Boat P31, a Kondor class minesweeper, is the perfect choice. She was sunk in shallow waters around Comino in 2009 purposely to be enjoyed by less experienced divers.

Many of Gozo’s best-known dive sites like the famous Blue Hole, the Inland Sea and Reqqa Point are accessible from shore, it is a matter of parking the dive truck, kitting up and walking into the sea, straight onto drop offs and reefs, caves and arches all buzzing with an abundance of marine life.

The clear blue seas of Gozo offer fantastic visibility which lends itself to making this a great underwater photographer's playground where commonly seen species include octopi, grouper, squid, cuttlefish, amberjack, dentex, stingrays, parrot fish, fire worms and starfish.

Gozo is a year-round diving destination however the best time to visit is in the summer months between April and October.