Gozo, relaxing and active island holiday
Gozo is the second island in Malta. It is gorgeous and very relaxing. My friend E and I went there straight from the airport which was a mission. We had to take the X1 bus directly from the airpot to the the ferry terminal, which was the last stop. It took about an hour and a half on the bus. When we arrived to the ferry terminal we had to wait an hour for the second ferry because we missed the previous one by 10 minutes and it's only one ferry an hour. The ferry ride was only half an hour. We were staying relatively close to the port, which meant a 5 minute car journey upon arrival. After that trip, everything else was easy.
Gozo is very quiet and most tourists only show up for a day trip from Malta, so it gets slightly busy between 11am to around 4pm, but from that point it's just local. I spent about two days there and I would highly recommend it. It's a great place for peaceful swims and relaxation. It's also great for private or family holidays. Potentially, you can see everything in one day or even two, but I would suggest a third day for either beach time or some hiking, which the island have plenty of.
By the way, everything is accessible by public transports in Gozo and it costs 1.50 euros for each bus ride. You can use that same ticket on any other bus for the next two hours. The only problem with buses there is that they are not frequent and some of them only come once in an hour. Make sure you have a schedule because they usually come exactly on time.
Five Things To Do/See in Gozo
I really enjoyed them and I hope you get to try them during your trip.
This is the central area of Gozo. Think of it like the downtown. There are few restaurants and tourism offices. You can also book the hop on and off bus from there. The most important site there is the Citadel. It was very similar to Dubrovnik especially with the wall that encompassed a few museums, sights and churches. It's impressive and it could take you at least four hours. It will take longer if you go into the Museums there. The weather was perfection so we didn't want to go indoors. We walked around the fort walls going to the top to get a 360 view of Gozo. The only place we went into was a historic house. It was mostly open and airy.
This used to be the most popular spot for visitors to go see the Azure Window, but even after the unfortunate natural disaster that destroyed it, the site is still popular.
Right in front the cave opening, the inland sea is located. There are boat ride though the cave for 4euros each. It's only a 15mins ride and I think it was the highlight of my day. Just outside the cave, the inland sea was very shallow and clear. I laid in the water immersing half of myself in water. The water was just right for a swim. A number of people were on the side tanning or enjoying a little swim.
3- Xlendi Beach
Pronounced Shlendi. The X is a SH sound. The village feels like such a nice family holiday spot. Some kids were playing with the rocks while their parents had their meals in one of the restaurants overlooking the shore. There were boats for hire to go on a short ocean tours and for personal use. Many people rented them and jump in the sea for a swim. There is also a mini hike to over view the village. We went there the end of the day, so it was very quiet and just beautiful.
4- Ramla beach
Ramla means sand in Arabic and this is known as the sandy beach. It is sandy until you get to the actual beach. The surface of the beach is actually covered in rocks. It is very relaxing there. The morning was quiet, but the later it got the busier it got especially around 2pm. What I loved about this beach is the possibility of some privacy if you are willing to climb the other side and explore!
5- Calypso Cave
This cave is overlooking the Ramla Beach. You basically need to get to the beach first and walk to the far side and start claiming. There are few red dots to mark the route. It took us 40 minutes each way. It is very peaceful and quiet in the top. Make sure you have your walking shoes with you. The path is not paved or easy, but doable and enjoyable. Not to mention that photos up there are amazing! The view on top of the cave is also impressive.
The legend has it that Calypso, the beautiful mythical creature, kept Odysseus as a `prisoner of love' for seven years. Calypso had promised him immortality if he stayed with her, but he escaped when he could, and returned to his wife Penelope!