Last weekend we enjoyed a weekend on Gozo island. Timed with #Inhobbok, the Valentine’s Campaign by VisitGozo.com which included a wide range of activities and events across two weeks, it was the cutest excuse to go on a little romantic getaway, two days of relaxation and enjoying the present moment with my husband Marco. Gozo is such a beautiful island, a ferry boat ride away from Malta, and every time we visit, it’s such a recharging, relaxing experience with lots of things to see and do. I really should visit more often!
Ta Pinu Church
It is thought that Gozo is older than the island of Malta. Dating right back to 5,000 BC, Gozo has been inhabited by everyone from the Romans, Phoenicians, Arabs, French, British, and many others in between. It has also been continually tormented over many centuries by pirates and others wishing to control the island. I can understand why ! It was and still is a little paradise, still untainted by over commercialism and modernity, in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea.
Where We Stayed? At Arzella Apartments, Xlendi
This time, instead of staying at a 4 or 5 star hotel, we chose the Arzella Gozo Apartments as our accomodation. We stayed in one of their premium apartments situated in Xlendi, a beautiful one with 2 bedrooms, living and dining area, 3 showers and a front terrace with unobstructed views of the Xlendi valley.
The apartment was recently refurbished with modern furnishings and we were so happy with it! The bedrooms were spacious and very clean, with attractive bed linen and a cosy atmosphere. The pillows and cushions were super comfy! The apartment offered a self-catering kitchenette with all basic amenities, heating facilities and free Wi Fi too.
Marco and I were happy with our choice and we highly recommend this place for its quality and good value for moneyin this sought-after location in the town of Xlendi.
DIVINE BREAKFAST AT FRONT BAR
We love a good breakfast when travelling. It’s part of the fun. I was not expecting much to be honest. I thought that in Xlendi we would have a very basic offering but when we were told that our breakfast was to be at Front Bar, we were blown away!
For breakfast, we walked about a hundred metres away from the Arzella Gozo apartment we were in to enjoy what must be the Best Breakfast Place in Xlendi in my books to date! This pretty looking new bar and eatery is run by a couple who moved here from Thailand and brought with them a great deal of experience and passion for hospitality and Diving courses at their business called Ritual.
Front is the location where breakfast, lunch and dinner is served and in the evenings, there are various entertainment nights offered including music gigs and stand up comedies. As I said in my Instagram stories, I will repeat myself and say how I was blown away by the excellent menu, quality and service here. If you live in Gozo or are visiting Gozo, a stop at Front Bar is a must! Here are some pics of the breakfasts we enjoyed this weekend including avocado toast, smoothies and Asian type breakfast – there are options for all including vegans! Very instagrammable too for Instagram-friendly social media freaks out there like me 😉
DISCOVERED GHAR MIXTA IN NADUR FOR THE FIRST TIME
L-Għar tal-Mixta sits overlooking the beautiful red sands of Ramla l-Ħamra, on the opposite side of the iconic Calypso Cave on the island of Gozo. It was our first time visiting this site. The grotto, with its mouth yawning onto the reddish, fertile terraced fields below, can be reached from the northern side of Nadur. This is typical of many similar caverns all over the Maltese Islands.
You’ll want to visit this place next time you’re in Gozo! Here’s my fave instagram shot 😉
Visited the ARTISAN FAIR at Villa Rundle Gardens, Victoria
What did we enjoy in Gozo this weekend? Well for starters, we strolled through the Villa Rundle Gardens on a beautiful sunny day and enjoyed a variety of genuine handmade goods made by local artisans. The fair featured a vast assortment of goods for sale, including crafts, personal care products and art and local handmade food products, all of which truly reveal the artisans’ passion and make for great, unique gifts. We purchased a few hand-painted pebbles as gifts for our daughter Luna. Need I say that she really loved the thoughtful gift. LOVE is one of the first words she knows how to read and write 😉
STROLLED ALONG RAMLA BAY BEACH
We stopped at Ramla Bay in Gozo for a cute walk along the sandy beach. Ramla Bay Beachhas been named among the seven most beautiful red sand beaches by US-based Travel and Leisure magazine. Because it’s nestled at the bottom of a valley, Ramla I-Hamra beach is also a sanctuary for wildlife and vegetation.
WOWED BY THE UPGRADES DONE AT CITTADELLA, VICTORIA GOZO
I haven’t been here in about 3 years to be honest and this time, we were so surprised with the upgrades that have been done to the area and the entire sight-seeing experience! This ancient fortified city on the island of Gozo, Malta, has been restored with the help of EU funding in recents years. This has improved accessibility and is apparently helping to attract more tourists to this imposing landmark, which had fallen into disrepair over many decades.
The project involved the restoration and rehabilitation of internal structures within the walls of the Cittadella. The work undertaken included:
• rebuilding the facades of all the public buildings;
• the rehabilitation of Cathedral square;
• creating accessible paths across the site;
• converting an unused water reservoir into a visitors’ centre; and
• restoring an access road and installing lighting.
In addition, an existing Folklore Museum was converted into an historical house that provides a look at life in the Cittadella during the 17th Century. The project also improved accessibility for physically infirm people. Replacing stairs with ramps and lifts has made more than 60 % of the site accessible to everyone.
The entrance is Free so again .. if you have not been here in a while, add this on your list of things to see and do in Gozo, even if you are local. It is beautiful! Enjoy your own country’s charm.
RESTAURANTS WE ENJOYED THIS WEEKEND
For Valentine’s Day, we dined at a really lovely restaurant run by Italians called OSTERIA SCOTTA DITO in Nadur, where we had both pasta a mixed seafood platters served with a smile and excellent attitude. One afternoon, we shared a mouth-watering salami pizza at “Il-Kcina Ghawdxija in Xliendi with views of the little beach. If you want to experience a buzzing atmosphere and yummy food, this is fantastic for both.
pasta and platter at Osteria Scotta Dito
Last but not least, on Saturday we were in the mood for Indian cuisine, some spices and a cosy restaurant, still in Valentines mode, so we opted for SAPANA RESTAURANT, an indian restaurant also in Xlendi, 5 minutes walk away from the Arzella apartments. Once again, well served by the local team who show so much passion and commitment to their work. Thank you all for the lovely experiences. We will be back for more!
These flowers from Bouquet of Love were so beautiful!!!!
We had a great time in Gozo. Even if only for a couple of days, the beautiful energy of the island literally recharged our batteries, we got the romantic break we needed and we will definitely be back in the coming months for more exploration, food and drink. Gozo is one destination we recommend!
Stay tuned to my BLOG!