Take a trip around the warren of backstreets when visiting Gozos towns and villages. We came across local ladies sitting in their doorways making lace in the traditional way. They were happy to show you the work in progress and sold the goods from their front rooms!
Hondoq ir-Rummien (meaning Gorge of the Pomegranates) is reached by passing through the village of Qala. Although I had visited Gozo several times, my first visit was in December 2004. I got there rather late and it was almost dark when I took this photo. There is a little sandy beach close to this spot, which was deserted, but during the summer it appears to be a favourite place for swimming and diving. It's a beautiful area and looks great for exploring on foot. Truly off the beaten path, but not to be missed if you have some extra time in Gozo.
On the way to Xlendi, lookout for this natural freshwater spring. When it was first discovered, people started to inhabit the area and it later formed into the village of Fontana (meaning "spring").
Around the 16th century, an arched shelter was built around the spring for people who used the fresh water to wash their clothes. In the Maltese language, a place for washing clothes is called Ghajn tal-Hasselin. These were frequently used in the olden times and can still be seen in places such as Msida and Rabat, Malta.
Next to the Fontana spring one can also see a war-time shelter with a sign, Xelter, above the door .
In the village of Fontana a spring was found and a shelter built around it for the locals to wash their clothes in In the Maltese language, a place for washing clothes is called Ghajn tal-Hasselin. and this is what we saw here. Apparently others can be seen in Msida and Rabat on Malta.
I thought this looked like a nice scene, so I stopped to take a photo, although it was getting rather dark and my digital camera is hopeless at taking pics in the dark! After taking the photo, my friend pointed out that I had taken a photo of the Maltese Archipelago and sure enough, here you can see Malta (background), Comino (left), Cominetto (right), and Gozo (foreground). The photo was taken on the way through Qala to Hondoq ir-Rummien.
Our jeep driver took us to a vantage point high above Mgarr harbour (not to be confused with Mgarr on Malta! From this place we had this lovely view of the Maltese archipelago - Malta in the far distance, Gozo in the foreground with the smaller isle of Comino and even smaller Cominotto in-between.
The blue lagoon is situated in the channel between Comino and Cominotto.
On the ferry crossing to Gozo the smaller isle of Comino and even smaller Cominotto are passed on the way. Comino is even more laid back than Gozo - apparently our guide told us there is one policeman and one priest on the island and they go fishing together ! Just one hotel which is only open in the summer months when there is more demand. Its a popular place for the tour boats to stop for a swim in the blue lagoon with its crystal clear waters.
We would never had noticed this quarry had it not been for our jeep guide. he wanted to show us where they cut the rock for the stone houses in Gozo and Malta. He just stopped by the roadside and led us across a field to peer down into this quarry. None is exported it is all used locally.
The Fishing village of Marsalforn is by far one of the most popular holiday destination on Gozo Island.
It is only 10 minutes from the center ot town " Victoria"
See the colourful fishing boats and in the newer area of the bay you'll find the "Salt Pans" that have been carved ot of the rocks to harvest salt .
Legend says that Ulysses lived in this cave for seven years with Calypso. Not much to see about the cave itself, but if you like greek mythology you'll find this trip interesting. From inside the cave you can snap a couple of good pics of the beach below. The admission is free of charge and you can stay as much as you like in there. Take bus 64/65 or if you're driving follow the signs to Xaghra.
Whilst on an archaeological course, I was taken to visit the cart-ruts at Ta' Cenc. As you can see from one of the photos, Ta' Cenc also offers some breath-taking views.
The cliffs reach an altitude of 135 metres above sea-level making them the highest sheer drop on the islands. Part of Ta' Cenc is soon to become protected as a national nature reserve due to its ecological value. Some of the birds which can be found there are the Cory Shearwaters, Storm Petrel, Yelkouan Shearwater and Blue Rock Thrush which is Malta's national bird called Merill. The national plant Widnet il-Bahar can also be found at Ta' Cenc amongst a variety of flora.
By hiring a bicycle you´ll see more! Gozo is a small island so the distances are not demanding. The roads are hilly, so the basic cycling skills and a good physical condition is needed. Cycling is a fun & healthy way to travel and a bike doesn´t need much parking space. See the scenery in the picture; it is from my biking trip near the Ggantija temple ruins.
From the Ggantija temples plateau, everyone has the opportunity to admire a magnificent view of the surroundings as far as to the lovely village of Xewkija, the oldest in Gozo, situated between Ghajnsielem and the capital town, Victoria.
The magnificent Rotunda, the parish church dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is Xewkija's distinctive landmark and raises up in the middle of the agricultural fields.
Ta' Kola windmill, built in 1725 is only three minutes walk from Ggantija Temples in Xaghra . Ta' Kola is one of the windmills financed by built by Grand Master Manoel de Vilhena. It was equipped with a large water cistern, a workshop, and living quarters for the miller and his family. The miller apart from maintaining and operating the windmill, used to perform many other secondary jobs. When wind conditions were favourable, the miller used to sound a large seashell. This served as a signal to the locals who would take their wheat to be processed by the miller.Today, the mill displays a vast array of tools, some of which were originally manufactured by the owners of the mill. On the first floor, the living quarters of the miller have been recreated using traditional furniture and items related to Gozitan crafts such as weaving and lace-making. You can also see the internal and external mechanisms of the windmill, which are still in working order.
This windmill is one of the last few well preserved windmills in the Maltese islands. Follow the signs to Kola Windmill from Ggantija temples. You can buy a day ticket to visit both attractions. Click on pic to see more photos inside the windmills.
When visiting the Rotunda of Xewkija, be sure you won't miss the part dedicated to the remains of the old church that once stood on the place of the current church.
Short time before the Rotunda's completion, the old church was carefully dismantled, and the best parts of it were delicately rebuilt next to the church.
The museum gives everyone the occasion to discover the incredible and delicate "laceworks" on Maltese stone.
The most beautiful works of the old church are including the apse representing the Adoration of the "Lamb" according to St John's Apocalypse, paintings attributed to Mattia Preti or to one of his students or the sculptured tabernacle.
For more details visit my Xewkija page.