is the oldest and most idyllic of all Gozitan villages where you can still come across a shepherd tending his flock of sheep. Gharb is one of the best villages to visit, to experience the older culture of the beautiful island of Gozo. In fact, in 2011 Gharb was listed among the few EDEN destinations of excellence on the Maltese Islands.
Without doubt, the heart of Gharb’s culture lies in the main village square where in fact Mathieu’s Il-GARDJOLA B&B is located. The village square is a traditional one with a baroque basilica dedicated to the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth. It was built between 1699 and 1729, making it one of the oldest parish churches still remaining on the island. It is often compared with Francesco Borromini’s Church of Saint Agnes in Piazza Navona, Rome. The square exhibits the village’s ancient roots with old stone decorated balconies perched from old buildings.
The tranquillity associated with this village has been discovered by many tourists who repeatedly picks this location as their holiday destination.
A visit to the Folklore museum which is about 40m from Il-Gardjola B&B takes you back in time – where all sorts of old tools and related memorabilia are displayed narrating the island’s rural history.
The local artisans’ showcase, Ta’ Dbiegi Crafts Village, is only 200m away. Here one can see glass blowers at Gozo Glass Factory and visit the Pottery Barn where pottery is moulded into ornaments. The famous filigree silver jewellery art is also made on site.
Ta’ Pinu Shrine is a large gothic church built around a small countryside chapel from where in 1883 a local shepherdess Karmni Grima a daughter of this village heard the voice of the Blessed Virgin. It is a national shrine visited by thousands every month. T
Country walks around the village’s narrow and winding alleys which all lead to the open countryside can be enjoyed all year round. Wied il-Mielah is one destination for a relaxing country walk starting from Gharb’s main square . Also San Dimitri Chapel set in the remotest area of the village in the countryside is worth a visit by the hiking enthusiasts. Commuting from Gharb to other towns and villages is easy as the local bus service is frequent and efficient.
The main village feast in honour of the two patron saints is the most awaited week of the year for all villagers. This week of celebrations, with the first Sunday of July being the main feast day exhibits local arts of all form and the dedication of the villagers towards their patron saints. What distinguishes this feast from any other one on the islands is the famous Infiorata – a carpet of flowers which is designed with different themes every year. Lots of locals and foreigners hoard the main square in order to get a glimpse of this magnificent piece of art.
The Azure window and the Inland sea are about 2km from Gharb. This destination is a must for every tourist who visits the Maltese islands. They are a World Heritage site and that says it all. It has also been listed among the Wonders of the World. Taking a boat trip through the cave from the Inland Sea and out to the open sea to catch a close view of the Azure Window and Fungus Rock is an experience of a lifetime.
Marsalforn is the most popular bay on the island with its scenic sandy and rocky beaches offering water sports activities and also playgrounds for families.. Restaurants which serve local dishes especially fish border the seafront together with souvenir shops, bars and ice cream parlours. Marsalforn is also popular for its Diving Schools which cater for professional divers and also beginners. Also one can take a walk along the sea front up to The Promenade and further to the famous Salt pans. Here in the afternoon one can catch the sun setting on the horizon. Early birds can catch a glimpse of the rising sun right on the bay.
Xlendi is one of the traditional fishermen’s villages which is a tourist destination. The beach and the rocky coastline attract swimmers of all ages . Xlendi’s coast watch tower was built in 1650 in order to guard the bay from smuggling and contraband activities and to give the alarm when corsair vessels were spotted approaching the island. Here one can choose to dine in some of the islands primmest restaurants.
Victoria – Ir-Rabat
This is Gozo’s main town which is dominated by the Citadel located high up on a hill offering an unrivalled 360 degrees view of the island of Gozo. The main Republic street leads to the central square it-Tokk where on one side there is the Banca Giuratale which today serves as the quarters of Victoria’s Local Council. Opposite this there is a church and right next to is there is the Tourist Information Office. Opposite it Tokk there is Castle Road which leads one up to the Citadel ic-Cittadella which has recently been restored and now one can enjoy a more authentic experience of this historic site. There are numerous museums one can visit together with the Cathedral is also close.
This is one of the island’s sandy beaches. Located located at the bottom of a rich and fertile valley between Xaghra and Nadur, Ramla is a curving bay of fiery-coloured sands flanked by twin rocky headlands and backed by dunes thick with tamarisk and bamboo.
These are a complex of two temples in the village of Xaghra. These are believed to have been built back in 5000BC whose most impressive feature is the sheer size of the megalithic blocks which measure up to 10m high and weigh several tons.