[[Image:100 1979.JPG|thumb|250px|Landscape of Gozo featuring Xewkija Church]]
'''Gozo ''' is an island of the [[Malta|Maltese archipelago]] in the Mediterranean Sea. Smaller, more remote and less built-up than Malta itself, it is a popular destination in its own right, particularly for more mature British and German couples. With pretty if unspectacular countryside, and interesting churches alongside historic fortifications and megalithic temples it makes a good excursion from Malta and an even better destination for a relaxed short break.
* [[Victoria (Malta)|Victoria]] - Also called '''Rabat''', the island's capital and
only real city
There are also a number of small villages on the island* ''' Mgarr''' - Not to be confused with Mgarr, Malta, this is where the ferry arrives from Cirkewwa.* '''Ghajnsielem''' - A sleepy village that is on the hill above Mgarr which is mostly residential and not worth stopping at on your way to the capital.* [[Xaghra]] - where Ġgantija Temples are located.* '''Qala''' - where 'Ġebla l-Wieqfa' (another prehistoric dolmen ) is located. Other interesting things in Qala are Ħondoq Bay, 'Belvedere ' offering a nice view of the main islands of the Maltese archipelago and a small fortress at present in restoration.* '''Nadur''' - where Ramla Bay is located.* '''Xewkija''' - featuring an impressive large rotunda church visible from almost all villages and towns in Gozo.* '''Għarb''' and '''Għasri''' are 2 small villages in the western part of Gozo among which lies 'Ta` Pinu' basilica, which is a Marian shrine where on 22nd June 1883 the Virgin Mary was heard by Karmela Grima calling her for prayer.* '''San Lawrenz''' - where 'Dwejra' (Azure Window ) is located.
and some settlements that are used primarily as summer residences and mostly deserted during the rest of the year* [[Marsalforn]] - A popular seaside resort north west coast of Gozo. The famous salt pans are located here. [http://www.gozoandmalta.com/marsalforn.php]* [[Xlendi]] - A popular place of entertainment located south west of Gozo. The beach here is small but enclosed between high spectacular cliffs which make Xlendi one of the best spots in Gozo. [http://www.gozoandmalta.com/xlendi. php]
One sometimes gets the sense that Gozo is how Malta could have been. With the exceptions of Marsalforn and Xlendi, it has been largely spared from
short-sighted overdevelopment, the traditional way of life and society has survived better, and the land has been maintained better giving more fertile ground. Buildings and houses on Gozo are mainly done with natural materials, as opposed to many of the concrete and breeze-block constructions on the mainland.
It should also be noted that if you do learn some Maltese, there are different dialects throughout different parts of the country. People on Gozo speak Maltese with a slightly different accent from the main Maltese islanders, and people from the different Gozitan villages each have their own different dialect .
Like the main island, English is also an official language of Gozo.
Get in== There is the [http://www.gozochannel.com/ ferry] from [[Ċirkewwa]] on Malta to [[Mġarr]], Gozo's main harbor. It departs every 45 minutes in the summer and almost as often in the winter. A round trip costs €4.65. Bus stops are outside the ferry terminals, and it is synchronized with the ferry arrivals and departures. The bus ride to [[Victoria (Malta)|Victoria]] takes around 20 minutes. On the Malta side, buses run from Valetta's bus terminus to Cirkewwa taking about 75 minutes. There are plans to build a small airport on the beautiful and unspoilt Ta' Cenc cliffs of this tiny island, but hopefully someone will realize that the main airport, which already stretches across almost a quarter of Malta itself, is more than enough.
==Get around== *The bus system is possibly even more antiquated than on Malta proper, with plenty of the same quaint 50's style buses to take you around at a leisurely pace. All buses depart from the bus terminal in Victoria/ Rabat and go to most villages around the island. Be very sure to check the timetable to make sure you can get back when you want to, as sometimes buses will go from Victoria and not make a return trip. A bus fare is a mere €0. 48 one way, though you may also be charged the same amount for your bags. *The taxi drivers are unscrupulous, and will try to charge the unsuspecting tourist as much as they can . There is an approximate price list posted at the taxi stand at the boat dock, and another at the bus terminal in Victoria. Don't accept a price that is unreasonably higher than the suggested price. If you end up taking more than one or two taxis a day you are better off hiring a car. *A car is probably the best option if one has a busy schedule. If not, hitchiking is a nice way to get around. *Even on foot many of the distances are negligible and most of the roads are fairly quiet and pleasant to walk along. There is also a footpath network, though the paths require good shoes and a good map (they are not always very clear on the ground).
If you need flexibility and speed in getting around, your best option is to hire a car. (try TRAC +35699826339 [http://www.tracgozo.com] or Mayjo car rentals [http://www.mayjocarhire.com] ). You need to be over 21 years old and hold a valid driving license. It's fine to travel to the mainland Malta with his hired car.
'''By taxi '''
You will find white taxis also on the island of Gozo however these tend to be more expensive.
It is suggested to prebook your taxi or airport transfer with a local company.
*'''Ta' Pinu Basilica''', situated in open countryside is an important place of pilgrimage as miracles are claimed to have occurred here. The interior of the Basicila is rich in decoration. One can enjoy views of open countryside from outside the church.[http://www.gozoandmalta.com/museums-and-churches.php#tapinu]
*If one only has one day, it is recommended to spend the morning in the Citadella of '''Rabat''', have lunch there, in the cafe next to the cathedral, and spend the afternoon either at '''Ramla il-Hamra''' or '''The Inland Sea'''. At least one week is needed to visit in detail the main attractions the island has to offer.
*Outside the busiest areas and outside the high season, hitchhiking is easy here and can lead to unexpected social interactions and changes to one's plans.
*Gozo boasts one of the most remarkable churches on the archipelago, situated at Ta'Pinu, which was visited by Pope John Paul II in 1990. A record of his visit is situated at the rear of the church.
As Gozo is the breadbasket of Malta, the ground is more fertile, and the place is more rural. Therefore there is more fresh produce to be had. One should definitely try Gozo's own cheese: Gbejniet. This cheese is lovely when had fresh, but also nice when cured with pepper and vinegar.