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Gozo is a small rural island and part of the Malta archipelago located in the Mediterranean sea and is said to be the island that Malta used to be a long time ago: rural, quiet and untouched. Gozo is a great place for a peaceful (family or couples) holidays, with beautiful beaches and countryside views. Wherever you look, the sea is never more than a few steps away and with its remarkable coastline that stimulates the imagination your stay will be even better.
Gozo is also embellished with beautiful natural harbours, valleys and cliffs. Gozo is also popular with sun seekers for its two sandy beaches, San Blas and Ramla Bay with its clear waters and orangey-red sand.
Ramla Bay is located at the bottom of a fertile, rich valley on the northern edge of Gozo. It’s a popular tourist destination and because of the colour of the sand is known colloquially as ‘The Red Sandy Beach’. There are a host of historical remains in the area. Indeed underneath the sand on the beach is Roman remains. On the western side of the beach is Calypso Cave. Mentioned by Homer in ‘The Odyssey’, this is the cave where the nymph Calypso entertained Ulysses for seven years before he resumed his questing. Actually, Calypso Caves are a series of caves that extend right down to the sea.
Another famous visitor attraction on the island of Gozo is the ‘Azure Window’, which is a natural limestone arch, with a table rock on top. It can be found at Dwejira Bay, a popular scuba diving site. Recently measured, the ‘Azure Window’ was found to be 22.54 metres high. The arch is very famous and has appeared in the films ‘Clash of The Titans’ and ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’. Unfortunately, the limestone arch is rapidly disintegrating. Another famous rock in Gozo is ‘Fungus Rock’ which is located at the entrance to a circular lagoon at Dwejira Bay. It gets its name from a fungus growing on the rock’s flat surface. Actually, the fungus is a tuber and is repulsive-smelling. Traditionally it was used as a wound dressing and to prevent infection. Once highly prized, it was given to distinguished visitors to the island. Today, pharmacologists are still investigating the properties of Cymomorium coccineum.
Gozo may be small in size but it packs a lot in. It is also the ideal backdrop for rock climbing, paragliding and abseiling while watery pursuits include windsurfing, kayaking, deep sea fishing, sailing and kite surfing. The vibe is local and laidback with brilliant accommodation option varying from luxury five star hotels and chic villas to authentic farmhouses.
But there is no doubt that much of Gozo’s wow factor comes from its incredible dive scene. The calmness and clarity of the water (visibility often reaches 30 metres), shallow reefs, lack of currents and excellent dive schools attract many beginners, while the labyrinthine caves and war-time wrecks add interest for the advanced
Gozo also offers a relatively clean-air environment which results primarily from the total absence of the tall smoking chimneys characteristic of the big cities of Europe and also from the fact that a slight breeze can easily sweep clean the whole island from end to end. The local people are well aware of this generous gift of nature and it shows in their smile and friendliness to foreign visitors.
Gozo is full of interesting houses and buildings. You just have to walk down any street or alley to see something unusual. It also has 46 churches including the stunning Ta’ Pinu church which is well worth a visit.
All the local buildings are built from stone, particularly from globigerina limestone, a sedimentary rock which the Maltese islands are formed from. Due to using this type of stone, most of the houses are pale yellow in colour but get darker (reddish-brown) over time due to natural weathering.
Newcomers to Gozo are often impressed by the helpful attitude of the local people, by the peaceful and quiet surroundings and by the quaint little villages still separated from each other by vast stretches of the countryside still untouched by human hands. They find it hard to resist falling in love with Gozo and make it a point to return to the legendary Island of Calypso.
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