Choosing Gozo as a family holiday destination is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Although you won’t find all the normal tourist traps you’d expect in a holiday hot spot, what you will find is a family-friendly island unlike any place else on earth. There is plenty to do and see in Gozo, but what you’ll appreciate more is the warm and inviting ways of the locals. On Gozo, everyone is family, as you’ll soon see and if you’re travelling with your family and you’re looking for a place to stay in, you might want to consider looking at old farmhouses for rent.
A Rich and Varied History
Before travelling to Gozo, take a few minutes to read up on the rich history of this 2nd largest island in the Maltese archipelago. In fact, it’s enlightening to read the history of Malta as a whole. If you look at a world map, you’ll see why the islands that make up this archipelago have always been susceptible to invaders from both the north and the south. Located to the east of North Africa and just to the south of Sicily, the islands saw a number of invaders over the ages; some conquered the islands while others were successfully fought off.
Small Island – Big Spirit
Over time, the culture of the nation of Malta was spiced up with influences of the Spaniards, French, English, Phoenicians, but most importantly, Sicilians, who are said to be the first settlers around 5,200 BC. The importance of this will be self-evident the moment you arrive in Gozo. From the architecture of the amazing buildings, many of which have stood for centuries, to the cuisine that you’ll most definitely enjoy, you will see Sicilian cultural influences.
Some people have said that the nation of Malta is a ‘melting pot’ shaped by ruling invaders, but that isn’t exactly correct either. Rather, you will find Malta quite like Sicily or Italy in terms of a strong religious culture, but the foods, architecture and even the language has absorbed other bits and pieces along the way, making it truly unique and distinct from Sicily.
Family Fun throughout the Year
Now you will understand why Gozo is so family-oriented. Unlike big sister island, Malta, the delights found on Gozo are honestly more family-friendly. Yes, Victoria is a hot spot for tourists and many of the large hotels and restaurants cater for a global audience, but the island as a whole offers entertainment for people of all ages and from all walks of life. Since the weather is mild throughout the year, with only a few chilly days, any time of year is great for a holiday in Gozo.
Lovely Gozo beaches are a huge attraction and usually less crowded than the beaches on Malta. Just a few steps away from beaches, you’ll find much to do as well. In Marsalforn, for example, you can build sand castles on the beach, walk the promenade that skirts the bay, and then dip in the refreshingly cool water for another romp with the kids. Even when the weather is too chilly for swimming, you will find that divers are still able to enjoy the waters of the Mediterranean because the heat from the sun keeps the water warm enough to enjoy when dipping below the surface.
Ancient Remains a Global Curiosity
For years, there has been a huge amount of speculation about the pyramids of Egypt, Stonehenge, and even temples erected in South America, yet the world knows little of the Ġgantija Temples in Xagħra on the island of Gozo. Interestingly enough, these are the earliest known free-standing structures archaeologists have found to date, said to have been finalised and opened in 3,600 BC.
That’s an amazing 1,100 years before the oldest pyramid and long before Stonehenge or ancient ruins and spider lines in South America, all dating from 2000 BC to 200 AD. These giant temples predate others by literally thousands of years – a true curiosity. Who built them? Perhaps aliens, but until we actually meet a celestial traveller, no one knows!
From Petting Zoos to Watersports and Beyond
As an island, Gozo is surrounded on all sides by water, so you would expect family-friendly activities to include swimming, diving, snorkelling, surfing, and even boating or kayaking. However, there are vineyards to explore as a family as well. Mum and dad can taste local wines whilst kiddies pick fresh strawberries and grapes, in season. Then it’s off to the petting zoo at Ta’ Mena Estate for a lovely family day at the vineyard.
With such a rich history that shaped the culture of the Maltese people living on the island of Gozo, and a strong emphasis on family and heritage, this is a top-rated place to go for a fun-filled family holiday.