Last week we hopped on to the ferry boat from Malta to spend a few days of simple bliss on the island of Gozo. After many months of confinement and strict Covid measures, this was to be our first little family getaway this Summer. And what a treat to the mind, body and soul! We travelled as a family with our little 5 year old daughter this time, so the activities were planned with her in mind.
Gozo is an idyllic Mediterranean island of fishing villages and peaceful bays. The landscape at this time of year is beautiful, featuring green, rolling hills with a patchwork of small farms that lead down to sandy beaches and small coves. Gozo is known for its sleepy ambiance but comes to life during summer, holidays, and festivals. The main resort town, Marsalforn, has excellent restaurants and outdoor cafés. Most visitors are drawn to the island’s picturesque coastline of sheltered beaches. The crystal-clear waters are ideal for swimming, snorkelling, and scuba diving. The countryside also has many scenic pathways, ranging from gentle walks to invigorating hikes.
During this visit, our intentions were to relax in this environment, enjoy some delicious cuisine at restaurants serving different cuisines, and to visit some places which we had never explored before. This year, is the year we will all remember for its unprecedented pandemic, and we should all be grateful that we are alive and continuing with our lives, slowly but surely, learning from this experience and moving forward with more wisdom and gratititude for life and health.
I believe that since travelling is not yet back to normal as yet, we should aim at supporting our local areas and businesses. In our case, lving in Malta and Gozo, I believe it is the time we need to support local hotels, and restaurants. This Summer will be just that for us!
OUR FAVOURITE DINING SPOTS DURING THIS VISIT TO GOZO
As I shared in my Instagram stories, our outings to the restaurants were special highlights. We visited these venues and were blown away by the excellent cuisine and service.
Il-Kcina Ghawdxija, Xlendi
Il-Kcina Ghawdxija situated on the Xlendi seafront serves excellent Mediterranean cuisine with focus on many Maltese dishes on the menu including fresh seafood soup, pan fried Gozitan cheeselets, a selection of pasta dishes, mouth-watering pizzas and many salads, all served by the friendly staff. We highly recommend this place both for lunch, or for a sunset experience in the relaxing, timeless atmosphere of Xlendi Bay.
Sapana Indian Restaurant, Xlendi
Sapana Indian Restaurant is located in the picturesque bay of Xlendi, a few metres away from the sea front. The name of the restaurant means a ‘dream’ in Hindu. It was always the patron’s dream to open an Indian Restaurant in the island of Gozo. Frank has been managing Asian restaurants for over 10 years. He is very friendly and exceptionally knowledgeable about his cuisine. As for the service it is his priority to be impeccable.
We love the menu but our absolute favourite is the Chicken Korma! Indian food is very enjoyable in good company and if you choose the less spicy ones, the children enjoy it too. Luna absolutely loved it and can’t wait to return for another experience with us in Gozo.
Il-Gabbiano Restaurant, Marsalforn
Il Gabbiano is a unique restaurant, run by a team who obviously have a passion, love for food and who want to offer a 5 star dining experience at prices everyone can afford. The setting is beautiful whether you are a family looking for a day to remember, or a romantic couple who want to soak up the perfect setting for a meal, this is a lovely place to go, with tables and chairs overlooking the sea. We even had candles lit all along the sea side which just melted my heart.
The chairs are comfortable and the service is perfect. Each plate is ‘work of art’ , and every dish offers a special experience. Marco and I enjoyed mussels as starters, followed by a beautifully cooked Rib Eye for three persons. Luna ordered a plate of home made pasta and ate the rib eye and vegetables with us. Everything was top notch, excellent quality with 5 star service by the ever so attentive and friendly staff, all taking good precautions wearing masks etc as per Covid guidelines.
The hostess Roseanne, who is an absolute gem, was so friendly with us and we had the most amazing dining experience here. We definitely will return and recommend this place to all those looking for a genuine, Mediterranean cuisine restaurant in Gozo.
Front Bar, Xlendi
As I had mentioned in a previous blog post of mine from a Gozo visit in Winter, Front is a bar in Xlendi which is where we had Breakfast every morning as part of the package with Arzella Apartments, and it has become our firm favourite. If you look at these photos, I m sure you can tell what I’m talking about 😉
Front Bar serves excellent types of breakfast from the traditional English Breakfast to the very healthy freshly made granolas and smoothies, using super fresh fruit and ingredients hand-picked by their chefs.
In the evening. Front Bar turns into a local hangout with entertainment happening several nights a week, so when you are next in Gozo, make sure to check out their Entertainment Agenda on Facebook and be a part of this fun loving community! We are returning next month to experience something they also offer, but I will not tell you what it is as yet, you will have to tune in again to find out!
WIED IL-GHASRI BEACH
This was the first time we visited this small secluded beach. The very narrow bay is a haven for those who seek a quiet bathing area. Wied il-Għasri has its source at Dbieġi Hill. It winds its way through Għasri between Żebbuġ and Ġordan Hill and flows into the sea between very high impressive cliffs.
A very interesting spot in this place is a cave close to the shore in which a shaft was hewn up to the top of the steep cliffs. A mill made up of several pails used to be rigged up in order to bring up the sea water to fill the neighbouring saltpans.
We spent a few hours here collecting pebbles and throwing them into the sea and soaking up the warm Summer sun. Picturesque and unique, definitely, worth a visit! I would like to thank one of my fans who had contacted me that day to recommend this place and she even sent me a guided map to get there. That is how lovely Gozitan local followers are. Thank you so much!
Visit the Gozo Citadel
The Gozo Citadel is simply stunning. Even more now after it was meticulously restored and officially reopened in June 2016. Its location is unique. Standing right on the flat-topped hill in middle part of the capital of Gozo, Victoria. Whether you’re on a day trip to Gozo or staying on the island, the Gozo Citadel should be on your bucket list. This is because the Citadel in Gozo embraces the rich heritage of the entire island of Gozo.
But where should you start?
Certainly at the Cittadella Visitors Centre. This is half way up on your right in Castle Hill street. Just about 150 metres up from Independence Square in Victoria.
Since its opening in 2016, the Cittadella Visitors Centre has won several prestigious local and international awards.
The visitors centre is divided in two areas.
Area 1 comprises a number of interactive touchscreens and information panels Area 2 resembles a surround theatre where you can watch a brief video about the history of the Gozo Citadel.
After that I highly recommend a walk around the Citadel with a stop for lunch at Rikardu restaurant which specialises in serving platters of fresh Gozitan cheeselets served with traditional super fresh local bread with olives, capers and olive oil. Trust me on this one!
WHERE DID WE STAY? ACCOMODATION IN XLENDI GOZO
We stayed at the wonderful ARZELLA APARTMENTS in Xlendi Bay.
Xlendi is the best place you could choose for your stay at GOZO. The strategic location offers you an ideal location for your vacation, travel and relaxation. Arzella Apartments are a 1-minute walk from Xlendi Bay and fabulous swimming. You will find a bay full of restaurants, a beautiful promenade, breathtaking sea views, natural scenery and sunset over the sea, which are ideal for a walk or picnic by the sea. Arzella Apartments offers 8 large apartments.
The apartment we stayed in was a penthouse with two air-conditioned (winter-heated) bedrooms, one bedroom has a double bed with access to the terrace with sitting area, the second bedroom has separate beds, three bathrooms with shower and toilet, air-conditioned (heated in winter) living area with sofa , dining area, equipped kitchen, smart TV and balcony overlooking the square. Towels and beach towels are provided, as well as a toaster and hairdryer.
The Arzella apartments are run by a very enthusiastic team, they ooze passion in everything they do and they make every guest feel very welcome. Prices are excellent value for money and well worth the visit.
For tourists wishing to visit Gozo
To arrive in Gozo, visitors take a ferry from Cirkewwa on the island of Malta to the seaport of Mgarr on the island of Gozo. Tourists can then hop on the buses (and taxis) to get around the island. Buses run less frequently than on Malta, but it’s easier than renting a car.
For Gozo Ferry Schedule CLICK > HERE
I hope you enjoyed my TRAVEL BLOG about our visit to Gozo island.
Stay tuned for more adventures in Gozo in the coming months.
I also invite any local companies looking to invite us to experience your product, for some mention in my blog and Instagram page @graziellecamilleri to contact me by email on firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you and wish you all the best in your lives!