All about the Maltese island of Gozo

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The beautiful island of Gozo is just a 25 minute ferry ride from mainland Malta. Although part of Malta, Gozo has a much more relaxed lifestyle than its bigger neighbour and the Gozitans, who are very proud of their traditions and culture, love nothing more than welcoming guests to their island. The slow pace of life in Gozo will suit holidaymakers looking to get away from it all and to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday living.

Among the many features you will notice on the ferry crossing is the number of churches on the island with the striking dome of Xewkija's Rotunda Church dominant. Gozitans claim it is the third largest unsupported dome in the world. Throughout the summer months each village holds a "Festa" in honour of its patron saint with processions, band marches and wonderful firework displays.

The island of Gozo is only 14km long and 7km wide and English, as Malta's official second language, is widely spoken. With its many fertile valleys, farming and the local fishing industry remain as important today as they have been for centuries. The Mediterranean is easily accessible within a 10 minute drive from almost everywhere on the island with beaches varying from the golden sands of Ramla to the pebble beach of Dahlet Qorrot; there is plenty to suit all ages.

Malta and Gozo are at the crossroads of the Mediterranean and have a vivid history dating from their pre-historic megalithic temples - the oldest free-standing buildings in the world are the Temples of Ggantija in Gozo dating back to 3500 BC (1000 years before the pyramids and now a World Heritage Site) - through settlement by the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Knights of St John and the British, all of whom have left traces of their periods of occupation of the islands.

The capital town of Gozo is Victoria, still known locally as Rabat, having been renamed in honour of Queen Victoria for her Golden Jubilee in 1887. Dominating the skyline of Victoria is the ancient Citadel. This Fortress is believed a strong point since the Bronze Age with continuing development right down to the time of the Knights. Wandering through the narrow streets of the old town beneath the Citadel will take you back through the centuries and there are plenty of bars and cafes in and around the main square with its daily market.

Eating out in Gozo is a great experience with a wide variety of restaurants offering local fish, homemade pasta, Mediterranean and international cuisine. Most boast an international range of wines in addition to an increasing selection of wines now being produced on the island.

Gozo with its varied greener landscape of valleys, hills, villages and beautiful coastline will give you a holiday to remember anytime of the year...
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