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• What can I do during my stay and what are the main attractions ?
Although the island is mainly marketed in the 3S (i.e. Sun, Sea andSand) market, which can be freely enjoyed in summer, in reality one can find a plethora of things to do on the island.
Whilst we do suggest that you enjoy our clean sea and sun-batheaccording to your pleasure near a swimming pool or on the beach (do use plenty ofsun-blocking cream if you come from a Northern European climate), other popular activities include:
• Sea-Diving - there are eight diving schools in Gozo alone (one of which has won the “Best diving school in the Mediterranean” for two years running) all offering top-class PADi diving courses by well qualified instructors. Gozo - with its crystal clear sea-water (40m plus of visibility underwater!), and underwater attractions such as caves, rock formations and wrecks - is ideal for this activity.
• Water sports - such as boating and kayaking (canooing) – perfect for a round Gozo trip which can be done in a single day. Why not take the opportunity to discover the coast-line of the other Maltese islands? Boats and canoos can be hired from Xlendi Bay and other places.
• History – Gozo is very abundant in history with its mighty Citadel dating from the Phoenicians (a Phoenician wall was discovered below the present day Catherdral and can be visited at the Cittadella) and re-modelled first by the Arabs (800 to 1024 AD) and then by the Knights of St John (18th century) to Ggantija (pronounced JIG-ant-iyah) temples which conservatively date from 3,500 B.C. and are 1000 years older than the oldest pyramid in Egypt and 2000 years than England’s Stonehenge! Gozo, like Malta, was conquered and settled first by Neolithic man who is though to have crossed over from Sicily around 5000 B.C. , then by the Phoenicians, Romans, Bizantines (indeed the bay of Xlendi is named after a Bizantine ship: a Shilandi – one of which was wrecked on the reef at the entrance of the bay and parts of which were discovered [and looted] in the 1960s!), Arabs, Normans, Angovines, Aragonese, Knights of St. John, French and British which only left the island in 1979! Remains from all these periods survive to this day. Plenty of good museums. Available year round.
• Religion - plenty of gorgeous churches – do visit at least St George and the Cathedral – both in Victoria. Plenty of good paintings dating from the 17th century or earlier – the main altar piece at St. George is by Mattia Preti. Another musts are the Xewkija church (with the third largest dome in the world [the largest after St. Peter’s in the Vatican and St. Paul’s in London]. Don’t miss the old church museum which is accessed from this church! Another must is the church at Ta’ Pinu which has plenty of carvings all done in the local globigerina stone as well as a very old painting of our Lady which is said to be miraculous. In the summer, each village celebrates its own festa with traditional band-marches, fun, petards and fireworks! The festa ceremonies in church are pretty impressive especially the ones in Victoria (3rd Sunday in July for St. George’s festa – marvelous choral singing in the last three days of the festa! Don’t miss these or the main sung mass if you are interested in choral or classical music! – and on the 15th of August for the Assumption festa at the Cathedral church in the citadel). Apart from the festa days available year round.
• Countryside – lovely walks with good views are available in all parts of the island and can be classified into easy walking and strenuous. Mountain Biking for off-raod biking can also be had (Gozo is very hilly – so good biking can be had). Although these sports are available on a year round basis, because of the summer heat, these can best be enjoyed in the cool months when Gozo is green and lovely.
• Opera Season – Victoria boasts two of the best band-clubs in Europe. These are very large premises that even include their own theatres. During the Theatre season (cool months) many activities are held not the least being the operas held at the two theatres who vie with each other for holding the best performance. These two theatres are the only places in Malta where operas (with both local and foreign talent) are staged on an annual basis.
• Plenty of other activities (such as fishing, boating, abseiling) can also be had.