About Gozo

Gozo may be small, but it boasts a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy including exploring local villages, dining on succulent Mediterranean cuisine, soaking up the sun at the beach or sailing to nearby Comino for a fun-filled day at the Blue Lagoon.

Tales of Gozo are nearly as ancient as the island itself; it was immortalized by Homer in the Greek epic poem, The Odyssey. The poem tells us of the hero, Odysseus, and his 10-year voyage back to Ithaca from Troy.

The prehistoric Ggantija temples are one of the island’s main attractions and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But your Gozitan history lesson won’t end there. rolling around Victoria (Rabat) will reveal centuries-old houses along narrow, cobblestone streets as well as charming pijazzas (squares). The island also features luxury hotels, scenic seaside villages and two impressive churches, the Gozo Cathedral and the Basilica of St. George. But if what you are really after is some R&R, you’re headed to the right place. Gozitans know how to relax and enjoy simple pleasures, and did I mention that they love to eat!

Getting around Malta with the newly established bus system is now easier than ever. Traveling by bus is definitely the the most cost-effective method of public transportation. Mainland routes pass through the main bus terminal in Valletta while direct routes provide service through smaller towns and villages without a stop in Valletta. Bus services run from 5:30 am to 11:00 pm with night buses in select areas

Book your Full-Day Gozo Island Excursion from Malta here.

 

 

 

 

Easter weekend in Gozo

Gozo – Art, Faith and Tradition, Easter activities comes to a close this evening, following a programme of events that have been held both inside and outside the churches and all across the island.
These have included concerts of sacred music, processions, pageants and exhibitions of statues, visual arts exhibitions, and many activities for children.

Heritage Malta senior passport for over 60s

Heritage Malta, within the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government, has launched a scheme aimed at Senior Citizens – the Heritage Malta Senior Passport.

With this passport, an elder and two accompanying youths will have free and unlimited access to all Heritage Malta’s sites and museums (except the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum).

Heritage Malta explained that this scheme will be supported by the Local Councils’ Association and a memorandum of understanding will be signed in the coming days to effectively implement this scheme.

It said that individuals who are aged 60+ are invited to call with their identity card at their Local Councils to apply for Heritage Malta’s Senior Passport.

The Local Council staff will enrol them in the system, and the passport together with an information leaflet will be received by post within 10 working days.

Heritage Malta’s Senior Passport holders can enjoy free and unlimited visits to 27 sites which include prehistoric temples and caves, historic houses and prisons, fortresses and palaces, and a selection of museums relating to nature, archaeology, maritime, war, and art.

Gozo ferry crossings

According to data from the National Statistics Office today, 1,146,490 passengers crossed between Malta and Gozo during the first quarter this year, this was a 2.3% increase on 2018.

March saw the highest number of passengers – 477,945 or 41.7% of the total for the quarter. The number of vehicles increased by 7.1%, totalling 363,460.

There were 5,449 trips, which was an increase of 3.6% over 2018. The NSO noted that mos trips took place in March – 2,034, or 37.3% of total trips for the quarter.

Passenger traffic originating from Cirkewwa was busiest on Fridays (104,495) and Saturdays (98,900), whereas highest numbers from Mgarr were recorded on Sundays (117,125) and Saturdays (83,906), the NSO said.

Operas in Gozo

Despite having just 30,000 inhabitants, the island of Gozo has two opera houses in Ir-Rabat , the Astra Theatre and the Aurora Opera House.

Each puts on at least one fully staged opera a year, often with international soloists. In fact, this opera season is now a regular appointment for opera enthusiasts.

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Online booking and more information on the opera and Festival is available on www.teatruastra.org.mt.

 

Gozo Faith & Traditions

This April, Gozo will become a hub of activities in preparation for the Good Friday processions and pageants, which provide real life re-enactments of the life and passion of Christ.
The pealing of church bells on Easter Sunday on the 21st April heralds the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ. An exuberant mode prevails in some localities as groups of bearers wearing the kunfratija, gloriously lift the statue of Christ along the streets to the sound of lively band marches. These celebrations intertwine with local life and traditions and offer the visitor an authentic experience of Gozo.

Festi

A summer trip to Gozo would not be complete without a visit to a village festa. These are held between the last weekend in May and mid-September.
Each town/village holds its annual feast dedicated to its Patron Saint. A typical ‘festa’ lasts three days or longer. The church and village are decorated with lights and bunting and the colourful festa statues of Saints stand outside the church. The main festa statue of the patron saint is paraded through the streets and local musicians provide extra support to the priest and choir in a special mass.

Gozitan Festas are not only religious in nature however and there is plenty of secular fun as well. Bands march through the streets of the village and fireworks light up the skies as crowds enjoy traditional as well as fast food from the many street stalls. Tourists are always welcome and joining a festa is a great way to get a real taste of local life.

May
Il-Munxar – Feast of St. Paul – last weekend in May. This festa kicks off the season with week-long celebrations of the shipwreck of St Paul on Malta in 60AD (as described in the bible).

June
L-Għasri – Feast of Christ the Saviour – includes horse racing along the street.

Għajnsielem – Feast of St. Anthony of Padua.

Il-Fontana – Feast of the Sacred Heart.

Ix-Xewkija – Feast of St. John the Baptist – on the Sunday before or after June 24. Includes not only marches but concerts by the local Prekursur brass band and horse racing on the streets.

In-Nadur – Feast of Saints Peter & Paul – on 29th June which is also a national holiday. Includes an agricultural and crafts show, horse race on the street and concerts the local Mnarja brass band.

July
L-Għarb – Feast of the Visit of Our Lady to St. Elizabeth – Includes not only marches but concerts by the local Viżitazzjoni brass band.

Ta’ Kercem – Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour – includes concerts as well as marches by the local San Girgor (St. Gregory) brass band.

Ir-Rabat – Feast of St. George – centred on St George’s Basilica just off the main square, this festa includes horse racing along Ir-Rabat (Victoria)’s main street and concerts by the local La Stella brass band. La Stella, officially called La Stella Philharmonic Society, is based in one of ir-Rabat (Victoria)’s two opera house/theatres, The Astra. This festa is one of two held in ir-Rabat (Victoria). The other is centred on the Cathedral and takes place on August 15.

Ta’ Sannat – Feast of St. Margaret the Martyr – includes concerts by the local St. Margerita (St. Margaret’s) brass band and horse racing on the street.

August
San Lawrenz – Feast of St. Laurence – San Lawrenz is the only village in Gozo to be named after its patron saint. The festa statue of the saint is a fine example made by Gallard et Fils of Marseilles and it arrived in San Lawrenz on 4th August 1895. The first feast was celebrated six days later and has been celebrated every year since, even at the height of the Second World War.

Il-Qala – Feast of St. Joseph – first Sunday of August. Includes not only marches but concerts by the local Ite ad Joseph brass band.

Ir-Rabat – Feast of St. Marija (St. Mary) – 15th August. Includes horse racing along the main street of the capital as well as the Agriculture and Industrial Show at the Villa Rundle. There are also concerts by the Leone brass band, officially called the Leone Philarmonic Society and based in the Aurora Theatre, one of ir-Rabat (Victoria)’s two opera houses-theatres. This is one of two festas in ir-Rabat (Victoria), the other is centred on the Basilica of St George and takes place in July.

Iż-Żebbuġ – Feast of St. Marija – on the first weekend following August 15. Includes not only marches but concerts by the local band Sta. Marija (St. Mary’s) Band as well as horse racing on the street.

Għajnsielem – Feast of Our Lady of Loreto – on the last Sunday of August. Includes not only marches but concerts by the local San Ġużepp (St. Joseph) brass band.

September
Ix-Xlendi – Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel – first Sunday in September. Apart from the marches and concerts, the festivities include the gostra, a diagonal pole along which competitors attempt to walk to reach the flag at the end and win the competition. Most slip off, of course and splash into the warm sea. There are also paddle-boat races and other water games too.

Ix-Xagħra – Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady (also known as the Feast of Our Lady of Victory) – on 8th September, which is also a national holiday known as Jum il-Vittorja (Victory Day). Includes not only marches but concerts by the local Victory brass band and horse racing along the street.

Ir-Rabat – Our Lady of Graces – first Sunday after 8th September.

Festival of Lights

When was the last time that you were truly awed? Make your way to Gozo and enjoy the crisp air as the sun sets and Ghar Ilma hill lights up in a spectacle of hundreds of flaming lanterns. The beauty of light like you have never experienced before. A unique moment to inspire you, against the beautiful backdrop of the Gozitan countryside. Drop in at the beautiful Santa Lucija village square and mingle with the locals, savouring local food and unique hospitality.