Gozo excursion (optional)

Thursday: 30th September, 2010
 
INCLUDING:

  • Private coach transport from hotel to ferry and return
  • Private coach transport on Gozo Island
  • English speaking Licensed Tour Guide for full tour duration
  • Ggantija Temples Entrance fee
  • Sample of local delicacies at Ta’ Mena Estates
  • Lunch at top fish restaurant (meat/vegetarian alternative available)

       
DURATION:  10hrs.


PRICE: 80€ (to be paid on the registration day)


Enjoy the charms of Malta's sister island Gozo in one exciting day visiting the following sites......

  • 

in the capital city of VICTORIA where you can enjoy an unobstructed panorama of most of the Gozitan countryside.
  • GGANTIJA TEMPLES – the oldest free standing temples in the world, a UNESCO heritage site.
  • RAMLA BAY – characterized by its red sands.
  • AZZUR WINDOW AND INLAND SEA – a unique natural phenomenon renowned for its geology and underwater scenery.
  • QBAJJAR SALT PANS – salt has been produced for thousands of years.

 

Comino TowerTransfer from hotel to Cirkewwa ferry terminal, departing hotel at 0800hrs.
We start our tour to Gozo with a pleasant 25 minute ferry crossing. From the ferry, a stone's throw away, you can see the tiny deserted island of Comino whose crystal clear surrounding sea is often exploited by snorkelers and scuba divers.
 

Even before the ship reaches the small harbour of Mgarr in Gozo, you have the opportunity to enjoy typical Gozo scenery: green hills, church steeples, white cliffs and numerous typical fishing boats anchored alongside the Mgarr pier.
 

Ggantija TemplesWe will pass through quaint sleepy villages to get to our first highlight – the Ggantija Temples.  The temples date to prehistoric times, with one of them considered to be the oldest stone structure in the world, predating Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids by hundreds of years. Round in shape and containing statues of full-figured goddesses, the Ggantija temples were dedicated to the Great Earth Mother and probably included an oracle. The site was a place of pilgrimage for the ancient inhabitants of Malta.
 

From there we continue our tour to Calypso Cave which offers magnificent views over the red sands of Ramla Bay.
 

VictoriaOur next stop takes us to Victoria. The main square, colloquially known as 'it-Tokk,' is the venue for a crowded daily outdoor market where fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers and souvenirs are displayed for sale.  You have time for a quick refreshing drink, a Gozitan cheesecake, stuffed with ricotta or maybe a spot of shopping for popular buys such as lace. From here, walk along narrow meandering streets towards the Citadel, a ring of thick defensive walls constructed around a hill from where the view of Gozitan church steeples, domes and towers is unforgettable. The history of the Citadel dates back to an early period when Gozo was under Roman and Arab occupation. Enter the nearby 17th-century cathedral dedicated to the Assumption. Adorned with numerous priceless paintings and works of art, this is one of Gozo's highlights. The dome which gives an impression of immense height is just a trompe l'oeil, a flat painting attributed to the Sicilian artist Antonio Manuele. The adjoining Cathedral museum houses numerous ecclesiastical works of art which include silverware, church vestments and a unique bishop's carriage.
 

We then continue to Marsalforn, with its wonderful promenade to eat lunch at one of the top fish restaurants, a favourite with the locals. But on our way we will stop at Ta’ Mena Estate, one of the first examples of agro-tourism on Gozo where we taste the Ta’ Mena wine, red, white & rose’, together with galletti and bigilla, bread with sweet sundried tomato paste and marinated olives.  The treat should be enough to bring on an appetite for a full lunch, including local wine at il-Kartell. On our way to our final destination we will travel further west to see the Qbajjar salt pans, a place where sea salt has been produced since the times of the Romans.
 

Azure WindowOur last stop is to one of the most photographed sites in Gozo, Dwejra Bay, a peaceful shallow lagoon protected from the open sea by a stretch of cliffs. A natural arch carved out of the rocks called the Azure Window connects the lagoon with the sea. Here you can take an optional boat trip (weather permitting, Eur7.00 paid on the day) around the splendid coastline nearby.
 

Our trip comes to an end and we make our way back to the ferry terminal for our return to the main island.  Approximate return time to the hotel at 1730hrs.
 

(Time permitting, we could stop to the Church of St. John the Baptist in the village of Xewkija – which is the third highest cathedral in all of Europe. A magnificent example of the craftmanship of the local stonemasons - built in the traditional Maltese limestone which is quarried nearby).