Gozo life is slightly more laid back than that on mainland Malta, but still has plenty to offer. A regular ferry service connects the two islands.

With most shops, schools, and offices located in Victoria, the capital is the centre of almost all activity. Victoria is overlooked by the fortified old city, Iċ-Ċittadella, which was recently regenerated. The walls of the old city enclose the law courts, the majestic Gozo Cathedral, and a number of museums, including the Museum of Archeology and the old prison.

Dwejra Bay in Gozo is home to the Inland Sea and the Blue Hole, two very popular dive sites. Still unaffected by light pollution, Dwejra is an excellent place where astronomy buffs can marvel at the spectacle provided by August’s Perseid meteor showers and other astronomical occurrences.

The Ġgantija temples in Xagħra are one of Gozo’s most important archaeological sites and in fact are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The temples are one of the oldest free-standing stone monuments, predating the Pyramids in Egypt. While in Xagħra, you might also be interested in visiting the Ta’ Kola Windmill, which is one of the few surviving mills on the islands and dates back to the Knights’ period.

 

Situated between Malta and Gozo, the smaller island of Comino is a paradise for snorkelers, divers, windsurfers and ramblers.

Only 3.5 square kilometers, Comino is car-free and apart from one hotel, is virtually uninhabited.

The island’s main attraction is the Blue Lagoon. In summer, this sheltered inlet of shimmering aquamarine water over white sand is very popular with day-trippers. Other beaches on the island include Santa Marija Bay and San Niklaw Bay.

Comino is also worth a visit in winter, and is ideal for walkers and photographers. With no urban areas or cars on the island, one can easily smell the scent of wild thyme and other herbs.

Comino was inhabited in the Roman period, but did not have much significance until the Knights arrived. It then had a dual role: hunting grounds and a staging post in the defence of the Maltese Islands against the Ottoman Turks.

The island had proved a useful base for pirates operating in the central Mediterranean and, though stark and barren today, it was home to wild boar and hares when the Knightsarrived in 1530. The Grandmasters went to great lengths to ensure that their game on Comino was protected: anyone found breaking the embargo on hunting could expect to serve three years rowing on a galley.

After WWII, Comino remained a backwater until its fortunes revived with tourism in the mid-1960s.