I know what you’re thinking…wait, where?
Well, I’m glad you asked. Gozo is a tiny, little, blip of an island that hardly any Americans have even heard of, let alone, had the pleasure of traveling to.
Located just a stone’s throw away from the larger island of Malta or about 50 or so miles south of Sicily; at only 9 miles in length, Gozo, is the second largest of the Maltese Archipelago group, and a total breath of fresh air.
Renowned, for its beautiful rolling green hills, and off the beaten path personality, this tiny island moves at a slower pace and some consider it the best-kept secret of the Mediterranean. From tranquilizing turquoise water to topographical masterpieces sprinkled all over the island. This pristine patch of land is the ultimate getaway and many of Europe’s Elite travel here to getaway and unwind.
When in Gozo, there are many must-see locations and experiences for sure, but these, I can assure, you will unlikely be experienced anywhere else on the planet. For starters, they have the oldest freestanding structure in the world called, Giganta. Dating back to somewhere between 3000 BC and 700 BC, these prehistoric rock monuments are older than both Stonehenge and the Pyramids by a few thousand years and rightfully so, this area a UNESCO World Heritage sight.
Now, once you have left the old temples, you have to check out the, not quite as old, but still old, fortified castle in the heart of the island. Known as the Citadella, this ancient area was once a thriving centerpiece for the island for thousands of years. Sadly however, in 1551, during an invasion by the Ottoman Empire, most of the islands 5000 residents were taken into slavery. Today, only 6 people live inside the Citadella.
In addition to its natural serenity and astonishing history, Gozo is also known for producing quite a few world famous products and goods as well. The first being, its world-renowned glass. That’s right, when in Gozo, you have to check out a local craft village for the finest in hand blown- art. Vases, ornaments, figurines and anything else you could hope for, all erected from sand and masterfully shaped into anything you can imagine. This skill of creating hand blown glass has been a staple here on the island for thousands of years and is a tradition that is passed down from one generation to another, and a bit part of the reason why you won’t find art like this anywhere else.
And for one more trade that has been passed down from one generation to another. Well that would be the art of selling sea salt down by the seashore. Say that 5 times fast.
Besides the couldn’t get any fresher taste. This is not your local famer’s market salt. This is hand collected sea salt straight out of the Mediterranean. In fact, the saltpans of Gozo have the same few families collecting and sorting the salt the same way they did thousands of years ago. The Gozitan saltpans are truly one of the most memorable scenes and tastes that you’ll every experience in your lifetime.
From sampling the local salt, to getting a taste of the local bar scene, if you’re looking to have a little fun while in Gozo. The Nadur Carnival is just the thing. Over on the east side of the island, in the tiny village of Nadur, the Gozo street carnival jumps off once a year. Considered one of the best celebrations in all of Europe for its fun, party mantra, this freakishly festive event is nothing like that of Venice or Mardi Gras for that matter. In fact, some would even call this experience in Nadur—grotesque.
Everywhere you look dressing up is taken very seriously and just quick walks down the street, costumes and scenes more confusing than the last. Everything goes here in Gozo, and costumes can be anything from ordinary to shocking. This “Halloween-esque,” type, street fair is the ultimate in not to be duplicated travel experiences.
From the fascinating festivities to the historically rich spots to discover, Gozo is packed with unforgettable attractions and places, perfect for your next life-changing getaway. Make sure you make it to Gozo at least once in your life. Your bucket list will thank you!