Island of Gozo in Malta

Wednesday, 12 April 2017 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General

© ZiYouXunLu/cc-by-sa-4.0

© ZiYouXunLu/cc-by-sa-4.0

Gozo is an island of the Maltese archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. The island is part of Malta. After the island of Malta itself, it is the second-largest island in the archipelago. The island capital is Victoria with a population of 7,000. Compared to its southeastern neighbour, Gozo is more rural and known for its scenic hills, which are featured on its coat of arms. The island of Gozo has long been associated with Ogygia, the island home of the nymph Calypso in Homer‘s Odyssey. In that story, Calypso, possessed of great supernatural powers, and in love with Odysseus, holds him captive for a number of years, until finally releasing him to continue his journey home.

The island has a population of around 37,000 people (all of Malta combined has 445,000), and its inhabitants are known as Gozitans. It is rich in historic locations such as the Ġgantija temples, which, along with the other Megalithic Temples of Malta, are among the world’s oldest free-standing structures. The island is rural in character and, compared to the main island Malta, less developed. Azure Window is a remarkable geologic feature of the island; it is a natural stone arch that was formed millions of years ago when a limestone cave collapsed. There are many beaches on the island, as well as seaside resorts that are popular with tourists and locals alike. The most popular are Marsalforn and Xlendi Bay. Gozo is considered one of the top diving destinations in the Mediterranean and a centre for water sports.

© ZiYouXunLu/cc-by-sa-4.0 Azure Window © Berthold Werner/cc-by-sa-3.0 Fort Chambray panorama © Sudika/cc-by-sa-3.0 Oldest watch tower © A,Ocram/cc-by-sa-3.0 Salt pans © Thyes Victoria © Berthold Werner/cc-by-sa-3-0
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Fort Chambray panorama © Sudika/cc-by-sa-3.0
Gozo is known for its “Karnival” (carnival). Feasts are important tradition on the island with their celebrations, including fireworks and bands, in the summer season. During the weekend of the various festas in the villages, many Maltese people (Malta is a separate island) come over from Malta to experience Gozo’s unique carnival. In the past, Festas were a time for young Gozitan men and women to meet up and many of those meetings resulted in formal courtship and subsequent marriage. In the village of Nadur many locals dress up in colourful and also outrageous costumes with the intention of not being recognised. Some of Maltese dishes or variants of these dishes are associated with Gozo. Gozo is particularly known for its local cheeselet. Gozo has two opera houses. Astra and Aurora are owned by rival band clubs that both trace their founding to 1863. For over a century they have been one-upping each other in everything from musical performances to feast-day celebrations. Once, when Aurora heard rumors that Astra planned to bring a horse onstage during a performance of “Aida,” the competing house—which was presenting its own “Aida”—secretly cast two horses. Some locals on the island compare the rivalry to an arms race.

Gozo is famed for its character and places of interest. Some of these include the Calypso Cave and the Ġgantija Neolithic temples which are among the oldest surviving man-made structures. Gozo covers 67 square kilometres (26 sq mi), approximately the same area as New York City‘s Manhattan island. It lies approximately 6 kilometres (4 mi) northwest of the nearest point of Malta, is of oval form, and is 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) long and 7.25 kilometres (4.50 mi) wide. Notable beaches in Gozo include San Blas and the beach at Ramla Bay.

Read more on VisitGozo.com, VisitMalta.com – Gozo, Wikivoyage Gozo and Wikipedia Gozo (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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