Gozo View, Malta

Gozo: The Isle of Calypso

Day trip from Malta to Gozo

We woke up on our third day in Malta to semi-warm Mediterranean sunshine and decided that it would be a good day to take a journey to the Maltese island of Gozo (Maltese: Għawdex, pronounced OW-desh). Gozo’s a quick 20-minute journey by ferry from the mainland and though it was windy, the journey provided a gorgeous view.

Mellieha, Malta

The glimpses of Mellieha (above) on the way down to the ferry were pretty outstanding, too. Being on the water is such a great add-on experience when visiting an island for a new perspective on architecture, density and landscape. Pulling into Gozo provides a lovely view of the island. It’s so small that you can see the entire thing and capture it with a camera lens from a distance.

Gozo Ferry from Malta

As you can tell, it was a windy day on the ferry but the views of Gozo were worth standing on the sun deck.

Gozo has been inhabited for around 5000 years and has a long and impressive history. Our day was jam-packed with real life history lessons from start to finish. Tip: If your journey is well-planned, you can see all the major sites in a day. First stop on our agenda?

The Azure Window + Ggantija Temples

Azure Window, Gozo, Malta #travel #malta

The terrain leading up to the window view is rugged and rocky, and the views are jaw-dropping. The natural arch is thought to have been created millions of years ago and is absolutely awe-inspiring. The water is the bluest of blues, and the journey to see the arch close-up is a trek along fossilized rock. It’s probably one of the most naturally beautiful things I have seen yet.

Azure Window, Gozo, MaltaAzure Window, Gozo, Malta

After our trip to the Window, we headed to the Citadella, which is set on the hill of the capital city. It was built as a fortress to protect the island from attacks. We got to tour the inside which was an interesting real-life glimpse into the past. After our mini tour and contending with a bout of rain, we headed to the Ggantija Temples, a UNESCO Heritage that dates back to around 3500 BC.

Gozo View, Malta

The temples are older than the pyramids in Egypt and are said to be the oldest freestanding temples in the world. This site represents the earliest and most famous of a series of megalithic temples in Malta, part of its unique history and heritage. While the island is now resoundingly European with a quintessentially Mediterranean vibe, the island’s location has historically made it a strategic spot, and its own culture has been infused with bits and pieces of others groups that have made their way through.

UNESCO World Heritage Site Ggantija Temples, Gozo, MaltaUNESCO World Heritage Site Ggantija Temples, Gozo, MaltaGgantija Temples, Gozo, Malta

By the end of the day, we were officially exhausted and napped on the ferry ride back to Malta. Without a doubt, Gozo is a great add-on for anyone visiting Malta. Its tiny size makes it easy to navigate and with such a rich history and so many incredible sites, it’s worth at least a day to explore. For those that don’t have private guide to show them around (lucky me!), there’s a great Hop On/Hop Off bus option that allows visitors to hit the main spots strewn across Gozo.

Have you been to Gozo? What did you think?

Love from Malta,

More about Shannon Kircher

Shannon Kircher is the founder and editor of The Wanderlust Effect, formerly The Traveling Scholar. Founded in 2009, she has continued to document her international escapes as an expat in Europe and the Caribbean. She is a former resident of London and San Francisco and now calls the island of Anguilla home. In addition to The Wanderlust Effect, Shannon is the Director of Marketing for the Frangipani Beach Resort and is on the Board of Directors of the Omololu International School in Anguilla.