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GOZO & COMINO 144 lonelyplanet.com G O Z O V i c t o r i a ( R a b a t ) 145

GOZO & COMINO


0 2 km
GOZO & COMINO
Gozo & Comino
0 1 mile

Wied
ilGasri Salt Pans Xwieni Qbajjar
Bay
Bay Salt Pans

y
San ordan

Gasri Valle
Dimitri Qbajjar Marsalforn
Lighthouse ebbu Bay
MEDITERRANEAN
Point Chapel of
San Dimitri Marsalforn SEA
For the holidaymaker, Gozo has an air of exclusivity about it, no doubt helped by the surfeit of Ta'Gammar
Christ Statue
rn
Birbuba lfo Ramla
sa ey
upmarket hotels, luxuriously converted farmhouses and high-quality restaurants, and the lack Santa
Pietru
Basilica of ar ll
M Va Calypso's
Bay
San Blas
Garb Ta'Pinu Cave Bay
of package-holiday crowds such as those found on bigger, brasher Malta to the south. San Wilga
Gasri GOZO

Ramla
Dwejra

Valley
Point Lawrenz 1 10 Dalet
Ta'Dbiei 3
Gozo, called Gawdex (aow-desh) in Malti, provides soothing respite from the bustling, Aqueduct
Xagra
15
Qorrot
Dwejra Gajn gantija
noisy resorts and manic drivers of Malta. Although it is more than one-third the size of its Bay Abdul Temples
Santa Victoria
4
larger sister island, it has less than one-tenth of the population only about 30,000 Gozitans Lucija Kerem (Rabat)
Windmill
Wardija Nadur
live here (and they are Gozitans first, Maltese second). The land is more fertile, the scenery Wardija
10 Xewkija 2 Qala
Point 1 Qala Point
is greener, the pace of life is much slower and the locals seem friendlier. Xlendi Xlendi Munxar Hotel
Rotunda
St Cecilia's
Redoubt
Bay Ta'en Burial Mounds Tower Marr ondoq
Torri ta' Cart Ruts
Xlendi Gozo Gajnsielem ir-Rummien
and Dolmen Marr Harbour
The island offers all the attractions of Malta but in a more compact package: good walk- Sannat Heliport San Santa
Ta'en Torri ta' Fort Chambray L Niklaw Marija Bay
NE
ing, a superb coastal landscape and excellent scuba diving and snorkelling, plus history in Ta'en Cl
iffs
Marr ix-Xini Tafal Cliffs
C H A N Bay
Cart Ruts I N O
M
the form of megalithic temples and medieval citadels. If youre looking for action-packed Marr
Fessej Rock
H
CO Blue
Lagoon
RT
ix-Xini NO
nightlife youll be disappointed, but if youre interested in a chance to enjoy warm hospitality Cominotto
COMINO

and see how the rest of Malta must have been before the advent of mass tourism, youre MEDITERRANEAN
SEA
in luck. A day trip wont allow enough time to sample this tiny islands treasures, however. O CHAN
NEL
COMIN
Its worth scheduling at least a few days here, or, indeed, making Gozo the primary focus SOUTH
To irkewwa
of your trip.
Victorias narrow streets are a labyrinthine
And while youre in the neighbourhood, consider slipping across to Maltas third island,
tiny Comino. Youve seen the image of the stunning Blue Lagoon on enough postcards its GOZO one-way system it may take several circuits
of the town and unintentional trips to Kerem
time to check out the real thing. An afternoon here provides ample time for top-class swim- VICTORIA (RABAT) before you find your way around.
ming and snorkelling. pop 6640
Victoria, the chief town of Gozo, sits in the Information
centre of the island, 6km from the ferry termi- BOOKSHOPS
nal at Marr and 3.5km from the resort town Bookworm (Map p146; %2155 6215; 105 Triq
of Marsalforn. Victorias main attraction is the ir-Repubblika) Well-stocked shop with a good range of
HIGHLIGHTS
compact and photogenic citadel Il-Kastell. books, plus local and British newspapers.
Exploring Victorias historic charm in both Marsalforn Victoria is Gozos main hub of shops and
Il-Kastell (p146) and the laneways of Ramla Bay services. It was named for the Diamond Ju- EMERGENCY
Il-Borgo (p148)
San Lawrenz bilee of Queen Victoria in 1897. Originally Police station (Map p146; %2156 2040; Triq ir-
Victoria
known as Rabat, it is still called that by many Repubblika)
Getting red sand in your shorts at lovely
of the islanders (and by several road signs).
Ramla Bay (p163) Xlendi
INTERNET ACCESS
Taking in the impressive 360-degree views Orientation Arkadia Shopping Centre (Map p146; Triq Fortunato
Comino
from tiny Comino (p164), then going for a Victoria is on a hill crowned by the ramparts Mizzi; per hr Lm1.20; hMon-Sat) There is a row of comput-
dip in crystal-clear waters of Il-Kastell (the Citadel, or its Italian names ers inside the complex, in front of the Body Shop. Machines
Renting a converted farmhouse (p150) in a sleepy Gozitan village and spending of Gran Castello/the Cittadella). Telga Tal- can be used when the complex is open, but vouchers to use
a blissful week unwinding Belt (Castle Hill) runs downhill from Il-Kastell them can only be purchased from the lotto booth here, which
to Pjazza Indipendenza (aka It-Tokk). Triq ir- is open 9am to 1pm and 4pm to 7pm Monday to Saturday.
Learning to dive (p44) with the experts in Xlendi or Marsalforn
Repubblika, Victorias main street, runs east Aurora Opera House (Map p146; %2156 2974; Triq
Enjoying a fine meal at one of Gozos top restaurants, including Restaurant TaFren (p160) downhill from Pjazza Indipendenza. The bus ir-Repubblika; per 75min Lm1; h7am-1am) There are a
outside Marsalforn; It-Tmun Victoria (p150) in the capital; or Tatitas (p157) in San Lawrenz station and main car park are on Triq Putirjal, few computers in the foyer of the opera house; to use them,
running south off Triq ir-Repubblika. buy your coupon from the bar here.
GOZO & COMINO 146 G O Z O V i c t o r i a ( R a b a t ) lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com G O Z O V i c t o r i a ( R a b a t ) 147

GOZO & COMINO


POST ILKASTELL 0
0
50 m
0.05 miles
PRACTICALITIES Post Office (Map p147; Triq ir-Repubblika; h8.15am-
In this chapter, Gozos main town, Victo- 4.30pm Mon-Fri, 8.15am-12.30pm Sat) A B C D
ria, is described first, followed by Marr, INFORMATION
Post Office...................................1 C4
the main harbour. The rest of the island is TOURIST INFORMATION Travelex....................................... 2 B3
er
covered in a roughly clockwise direction Tourist Information Office (Map p146; %2156 1 rti

wa
SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES r
from Marr. 1419; Tigrija Palazz, cnr Triq ir-Reppublika & Triq Putirjal; artie

il-K
Archaeology Museum.................. 3 C2 il-Kw ann
Triq Sa Triq an w

iq
There are some very good websites to h9am-5pm Mon-Sat, 9am-12.30pm Sun & public n u

Tr
Banca Giuratale............................4 B3 epp S
Basilica of St George.....................5 B4
help with planning a visit to Gozo try www holidays) On the ground floor of a shopping arcade, not far 9

Triq Bernardo de Opuo


Cathedral Museum...................... 6 D2
.gozo.com, www.islandofgozo.org, www.dis from the bus station. Often closed between 12.30pm and Cathedral of the Assumption........7 C2
Folklore Museum......................... 8 C2
coveringgozo.com or www.gozo.gov.mt. 1pm for lunch. Gozo 360...............................(see 17) St Martin's
Demi-Bastion
See p17 for ideas on how to amuse yourself Natural Science Museum..............9 B1 8

Triq enqa
Old Prisons................................ 10 C2
for a week on the island. Sights Ticket Office & Entrance for Cathedral
15 ssos
6
IL-KASTELL of the Assumption................. 11 C2 10 il-Fo
Triq
All items mentioned here feature on the map 2 EATING Misra 7
il-Katidral St
Caf Jubilee................................12 B3
MEDICAL SERVICES on p147. Grapes Wine Bar........................ 13 B4
Main
a
John's
Demi-
Gate din
General Hospital (Map p146; %2156 1600; The Cathedral of the Assumption (Misra il-Katidral; Maji Wine & Dine...................... 14 A3 11
Bieb
il-M Bastion
Ta'Rikardu................................. 15 C2 Triq

elt
Triq l-Arisqof Pietru Pace) Also known as Craig adult/child Lm1.25/free; h9am-5pm Mon-Sat) was built

a Tal-B
3
Hospital. between 1697 and 1711 to replace a church ENTERTAINMENT Ditch
Astra Theatre............................. 16 C4

Telg
Reservoir
that had been destroyed by earthquake in Citadel Cinema...........................17 B3 (covered) St Michael's
MONEY 1693. The earthquake had struck in southern Bastion
TRANSPORT
Bank of Valletta (Map p146; 102 Triq ir-Repubblika) Italy yet caused damage as far away as Malta. Triq
Air Malta................................... 18 C4 il-Kastell
Has ATM. The cathedral was designed by Lorenzo Gafa, Taxis.......................................... 19 B4

Travelex (Map p147; cnr Triq ir-Repubblika & Telga who was also responsible for St Pauls Ca- 3 tch
Di
Church of Pjazza Triq 17
Tal-Belt; h9am-5pm Mon-Fri, 9am-3.30pm Sat) Cashes thedral at Mdina (p124). The elegant faade St Ursula Savina Sir
Adr
ian
travellers cheques and changes money. is adorned with the escutcheons of Grand 14
Din
gli 2

4 12
0 200 m
VICTORIA


0 0.1 miles 18
To Marsalforn Pjazza Indipendenza
16
A B C (3.5km) D (It-Tokk)
ini

ini

Triq l-Imgallem

To ebbu u Church of


p 19 Triq
Ka St James

pu
(3km) on ir-R
l- Lanz
qi

Ka
epu
Tri nu bbli

il-
rja To ka
Di

iq
Xagra 1

Tr
4
1 To Garb (2km)
Te

13
lg

(3.5km)
Pjazza
a Tal-Belt

6
L Camil
leri Triqropa San or

jal
Sant' Orsla Sir w
L-E

tir
lla

Pu
9 To Bus
s Ve
Mon

iq
To Kerem 5 Station

Tr
(1km) 7 See Il-Kastell Map (p147) Triq ir (50m)
-Re
em bblik pu
Ker Pjazza San or 5 4 2 a Karlu
ir q 1 Galea
T Triq L'Assunta Basilica of 11 Triq Arkadia
Fortu
Master Ramon de Perellos and Bishop Palm- 19th-century painting depicting the martyr-
Ninu Cremona

St George Shopping
i

Taxi nato 8
Vian

Mizz
al

10 Rundle 13 Centre
Karita

14 i
Triq Putirj

Il-Borgo
12
Gardens Triq
S a n uze
ieri. Due to lack of money the dome was never dom of St Agatha (see boxed text, p126, for
pp La
Triq il-

Pjazza JF
Triq
iorio
bre'
Kennedy
To Xagra (3km);
Nadur (5km) completed, but the impression of one was more on her grisly end). The ground floor
B org Olivier Triq
2 iorio maintained inside by way of a clever trompe houses various items including a 19th-century
inga Borg
Olivie
Vajr
Triq Triq l-Arisqof
Pietru
r loeil painting. The admission price includes bishops carriage and an altar with a wax
Enrico Mizzi

G Triq
jn

Pace
L-Isptar
a self-guided audio tour (but note that you model of the Last Supper.
Ga

ajn
San iljan Qa
tet
need to pay a Lm10 refundable deposit, or There are four other small museums within
Tal

To Xlendi
Triq

(2.5km) To Gozo Heliport


(3.5km); Marr (6km)
leave ID such as a licence, to be given the the Citadel. They display reasonable collec-
INFORMATION
3
audio piece). The ticket office is in the pas- tions, but if youre pushed for time, dont feel
Bank of Valletta..................................1 B2
Bookworm..........................................2 B2
To Sannat To Xewkija sageway connecting Misra il-Katidral with as though youve missed out the museums in
(2km) (1.5km)
General Hospital (Craig Hospital)....... 3 C3 Triq Bieb il-Mdina. Valletta are better. If you do plan to visit more
Internet Access.................................(see 8) EATING
Internet Access...............................(see 11) Arkadia Supermarket..........................8 C2
The Cathedral Museum (%2155 6087; Triq il-Fossos; than one of the four, its worth buying a Cita-
3 Police Station......................................4 B1 Crai Foodstore.................................(see 5) admission included in cathedral ticket price; h9am-5pm del Day Ticket (Lm2), which gives entry to all
Tourist Information Office..................5 B1 It-Tmun Victoria.................................9 D1
Mill Room.........................................10 B2 TRANSPORT
Mon-Sat) is just northeast of the cathedral. The four sites and is available at each of them.
SLEEPING Bus Station.......................................12 B2 downstairs vault contains church gold and The Archaeology Museum (%2155 6144; Triq Bieb
Downtown Hotel................................6 C1 ENTERTAINMENT Mayjo Car Rentals............................13 C2
Gardens..............................................7 A1 Aurora Opera House........................ 11 C2 Victoria Garage................................ 14 B2 silver, while the upstairs gallery is devoted to il-Mdina; adult/child Lm1/0.25; h9am-5pm) contains
religious art and includes quite a disturbing finds from the islands prehistoric temples
GOZO & COMINO 148 G O Z O V i c t o r i a ( R a b a t ) lonelyplanet.com Book accommodation online atat lonelyplanet.com
lonelyplanet.com G O Z O V i c t o r i a ( R a b a t ) 149

GOZO & COMINO


at gantija (p161), though the model of the of Rabat dating from 1678. The lavish interior Opuo, past a beautifully restored medieval
temple is more interesting than the array of contains a fine altarpiece of St George and the WALK FACTS building that houses the Folklore Museum (8;
pottery shards. Finds from the Punic and Dragon by Mattia Preti. The old town, known Start Pjazza Indipendenza opposite), and then right on Triq il-Fossos.
Roman periods are displayed upstairs, includ- as Il-Borgo, is a maze of narrow, meandering Finish Cathedral of the Assumption Stop in at TaRikardu (9; below) to sample some
ing inscriptions, terracotta cremation urns, alleys around Pjazza San or and is a lovely Distance approx 600m fine local produce, then continue along Triq
lots of amphorae and anchors, and some fas- place to wander. Duration 20 minutes il-Fossos to arrive in the little square in front
cinating jewellery and amulets in the form Rundle Gardens (Map p146; h6am-8pm summer, of the cathedral. In the passageway south
of the Eye of Osiris an ancient link to the 7am-6pm winter), south of Triq ir-Repubblika, of the square is the entry to the early-18th-
symbols found on Maltese fishing boats of were laid out by General Sir Leslie Rundle 0 50 m century Cathedral of the Assumption (10; p146),
today. The museum has received funds for (Governor of Malta from 1909 to 1915) in worth a look for the painted ceiling. From
upgrading, and by the time you read this around 1914. here, make your way back to Victoria to con-
it should be displaying a number of other tinue your explorations of the town, and be
artefacts from gantija temples and related AUDIOVISUAL SHOWS & EXHIBITIONS sure to take time to wander the peaceful alleys
Xagra excavations. Although theyve taken off in Valletta and artie
r of Il-Borgo.
il-Kw ann
The Folklore Museum (%2156 2034; Triq Bernardo Mdina on Malta, audiovisual shows and ex-

er
Triq Sa TriqSan w

i
art

n u
epp
Festivals & Events

il-Kw
de Opuo; adult/child Lm1/0.25; h9am-5pm) is in a lovely hibitions have yet to hit Gozo to the same

Triq Bernardo de Opuo


7
6
old building that dates from around 1500, and extent. Perhaps its just a matter of time before See p172 for details of some of the countrys

Triq
shows Sicilian and Catalan influences; note there are dungeons and assorted gory tableaux St Martin's 8
foremost festivals, some with events held on
Demi-Bastion
the beautiful arched windows overlooking around every corner inside the Citadel. Gozo. Mediterranea (www.mediterranea.com.mt) is a

Triq enqa
Triq Bernardo de Opuo. The museum is a For now, you can take in Gozo 360 (Map Misra
9 St John's
Cavalier Gozo-specific festival of culture held every
il-Katidral
ssos
maze of stairs, rooms and courtyards, and p147; %2155 9955; entrance on Telga Tal-Belt; adult/child Triq
il-Fo
5
November.
the building itself is more interesting than Lm1.75/0.85; hevery half-hr 10.30am-3.30pm Mon-Sat, 10
dina
il-M
the large collection of domestic, trade and 10.30am-1pm Sun & public holidays), shown at the Cita- T riq B
ieb 4 Sleeping
1
farming implements that give an insight into del Cinema. Its a 30-minute audiovisual show Gardens (Map p146; %2155 7737, 2155 3723; www.casal
rural life on Gozo. on the history of Gozo, along the lines of the 2 Ditch goholidays.com; Triq Kerem; B&B per person with shared

elt
The Natural Science Museum (%2155 6153; Triq il-

a Tal-B
Malta Experience in Valletta (p65). Commen- Reservoir
bathroom Lm6) Found west of the main square,
3
Kwartier; adult/child Lm1/0.25; h9am-5pm), in another tary is available in eight languages. (covered) this building has a small, difficult-to-spot

Telg
gracious old building, has low-key exhibits sign at the front. The warm, hospitable own-
explaining the geology of the island and its Walking Tour Di
tch ers rent out simple, comfortable rooms for
water supply. On display upstairs is a rather From Pjazza Indipendenza, cross the main affordable prices, over three floors (connected
sad collection of stuffed birds. street and climb up Telga Tal-Belt to the by lift). Facilities include guest kitchens and
The Old Prisons (%2156 5988; Misra il-Katidral; Citadels main gate. There are two gates into Triq
garden terraces. Its a very good budget op-
adult/child Lm1/0.25; h9am-5pm) served as a jail Il-Kastell enter through the Old Main Gate (1) ir-R
epu
bbli
tion in a good location. The owners also have
ka
from the late 1500s to 1904. The cells here on the right (the larger new gate was opened in Pjazza Indipendenza self-catering apartments and farmhouses for
(It-Tokk)
once held Jean Parisot de la Valette (see boxed 1957), noting the Roman inscription on the left- rent, scattered around Gozo; see the website
text, p57) for the crime of aggressive be- hand inner wall from the 2nd century AD. for more information.
haviour for a few months before he became On your right after you enter is the Archaeol- Downtown Hotel (Map p146; %2210 8000; www
Grand Master. The most interesting part of ogy Museum (2; p147). Pass the museum and go Climb the stairs below St Johns Cavalier .downtown.com.mt; Triq L-Ewropa; B&B per person Lm7-16;
a visit to the prison is the extensive historic up the stairs on the right into St Michaels Bas- to reach the upper battlements, with more isa) Victorias only hotel opened in
graffiti etched into the walls by the inmates, tion (3), and continue along the top of the city good views to the north and west. The forti- mid-2005 and offers bright, fuss-free rooms
including crosses, ships, hands and the cross wall to St Johns Demi-Bastion (4). There is a good fications (6) were built at the beginning of the with good amenities (cable TV, hairdryer,
of the Knights. panorama from here. Look for the huge dome 17th century to guard against further Turk- minibar). Prices are slightly higher on the
of the Rotunda at Xewkija, with Comino and ish attacks following the Great Siege of 1565. weekends, giving an indication of the main
TOWN Malta in the background; the distant Gothic Until 1637, when the Turkish threat receded, clientele visitors over from Malta. Theres
Pjazza Indipendenza, the main square of spire of the church above Marr harbour; the all Gozitans were bound by law to spend each a family-friendly feel, with a rooftop pool
Victoria, hosts a daily market (from around watchtower of Nadur, and the dome and twin night within the city walls. After that date (with magic views), kids club, a nightclub that
6.30am to 2pm) known throughout the island clock-towers of its parish church; and the view people drifted back to the countryside, and rocks from October to May and a restaurant
as It-Tokk (the meeting place). The semicir- of Xagra on its hilltop to the east, capped many of the abandoned houses were ruined and caf.
cular baroque building at the western end of by TaKola Windmill and the Church of Our in the huge earthquake of 1693 (which rocked
the square is the Banca Giuratale (Map p147), Lady of Victory. Off to the left you can see the southern Italy and did considerable damage Eating & Drinking
built in 1733 to house the city council; today white apartment blocks around Marsalforn in Malta). Their tumbled remains can still IL-KASTELL
it contains government offices. Bay. The Gozo Craft Centre (5; h8am-around 4.30pm be seen. TaRikardu (Map p147; %2155 5953; 4 Triq il-Fossos; plat-
A narrow lane behind the Banca Giuratale Mon-Sat) is in the old prison building behind the Walk down Triq il-Kwartier San wann. ter for 2 Lm3.60; h10am-6pm) An institution in Vic-
leads to Pjazza San or and the Basilica of St bastion; stop in to admire the lace and other Beyond the archway, at the little Chapel of St toria, Rikardus sells souvenirs and paintings
George (Map p147), the original parish church local handiwork. Joseph (7), turn left down Triq Bernardo de as well as local produce such as honey, cheese
GOZO & COMINO 150 G O Z O V i c t o r i a ( R a b a t ) lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com G O Z O M a r r 151

GOZO & COMINO


(Map p146; Triq Fortunato Mizzi; h8am-7pm Mon-Sat) is according to the needs of the local schools and
GOZITAN FARMHOUSES on the basement level of the Arkadia shopping shoppers so the schedule is not often con-
One of the best accommodation options for a stay on Gozo, especially if youre looking for a centre; closer to the bus station theres Crai venient for sightseeing. Theres a flat fare of
little local colour and rustic charm, is to rent a farmhouse. Dozens of these old, square-set farm Foodstore (Map p146; Tigrija Palazz, cnr Triq ir-Reppublika Lm0.20, except for summer tourist routes to
buildings have been converted into accommodation, and many retain the beautiful stone arches, & Triq Putirjal; h7am-1pm & 4.30-7pm Mon-Sat). Dwejra and Ramla Bay (Lm0.35). Schedule
wooden beams and flagstone floors of their original construction (some are up to 400 years old). inquiries can be made on %2156 2040.
Most rental properties now have all the facilities youll need for an easy holiday, including full Entertainment
kitchen, swimming pool, outdoor terrace and barbecue, laundry and cable TV. They can sleep Despite its diminutive size, Victoria has two CAR & BICYCLE
anywhere from two to 16 people, so are perfect for families or groups of friends, and the costs theatres to Vallettas one. The Aurora Opera If you want to see as much of the island as
are very reasonable from around Lm350 per week for two people in the high season (most House (Map p146; %2156 2974) is the home of the possible, then it makes sense to rent a car.
high-season rentals are weekly), or from Lm30 per night for two people in the low season. The Leone Philharmonic Society, and the Astra Its also quite cheap even cheaper than on
farmhouses are usually inland in pretty, slow-paced villages like Xagra and Garb. Almost anyone Theatre (Map p147; %2155 6256) is home to La Malta. Youll also find that the quieter roads
with a guesthouse or hotel on the island can arrange a farmhouse for visitors; check the following Stella Philharmonic Society. Both are on Triq and shorter distances make cycling a more
websites for details of properties for rent (note that many agencies offer cheaper apartments ir-Repubblika and stage opera, ballet, com- attractive option on Gozo than on Malta.
and villas on Gozo, as well as vintage farmhouses): edy, drama, cabaret, pantomime and celebrity Victoria Garage (Map p146; %2155 6414, 2155 3741;
www.farmhousegozo.com concerts. Check the local press for details of Triq Putirjal), opposite the bus station, rents out
www.gozo.com/gozodirectory/farmhouses.php performances. bicycles (Lm2 per day, or Lm1.50 per day for
www.gozofarmhouses.com Victoria also has the two-screen Citadel Cin- longer rentals) and cars (daily rate of around
www.gozorentals.com ema (Map p147; %2155 9955; www.citadelcinema.com; Lm10, or Lm8 for longer periods).
www.gozogreatescapes.com Telga Tal-Belt; ticket per adult/child Lm1.85/1.35), which Mayjo Car Rentals (Map p146; %2155 6678; www
shows mainstream films. Check the website or .mayjo.com.mt; Triq Fortunato Mizzi) has a large range
local newspapers to see whats showing. of vehicles and good rates (from Lm6/8 per
and wine. Take a seat and order a cheap, deli- Malta. For a memorable Gozitan experience, day in the low/high season for the smallest
cious platter, which includes cheese, bread, sit at the old sewing machine tables with views Getting There & Away vehicle for rentals of a week or longer).
locally grown fresh tomatoes, sundried toma- of the basilica, choose a good local (or for- A regular helicopter service operates between Prices vary with length of rental, size of car
toes, capers and olives. Vegie soup or home- eign) wine, and graze on a platter of regional Malta International Airport and Gozo. For and time of year.
made ravioli is also available; wash it all down cheese/sausage/seafood. details see p185. The main ferry service be-
with a glass or two of Gozitan wine. It-Tmun Victoria (Map p146; %2156 6667; Triq L- tween Malta and Gozo has frequent crossings TAXI
Ewropa; mains Lm3.50-6.50; hdinner Fri-Wed, lunch Sun) during the day and also operates throughout Taxis hang around at the bus station and at
TOWN Take a turn at the Arkadia shopping com- the night during summer (see p189 for more Pjazza Indipendenza (Map p147). Approxi-
Caf Jubilee (Map p147; %2155 8921; Pjazza Indipendenza; plex to reach It-Tmun, polished and profes- information). mate taxi fares from Victoria: to Marsalforn
snacks & meals Lm0.40-2.25; h8am-1am) This lovely sional from the linen-covered tables to the Air Malta (Map p147; %2299 9624; 13 Pjazza In- Lm4; to Marr Lm5.50; to Xagra Lm3.50;
old-fashioned bar (the sister establishment extensive wine list and menu of fusion dishes. dipendenza; h8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri) has a central and to Xlendi Lm3. To book a taxi, try phon-
of Caf Jubilee in Valletta, p69) has a classy Asian influences, New Zealand beef, fresh office in Victoria. ing Belmont Garage (%2155 6962) or Marios Taxis
interior featuring a marble counter, brass rails, local fish and creative pasta options come (%2155 7242).
lots of dark wood and waiters in black waist- together wonderfully in an elegant blue and Getting Around
coats. It serves an affordable all-day menu white dining room. Theres a lounge and bar TO/FROM THE HELIPORT WALKING
of snacks and light meals, which you can available for nightcaps and chilling out, too. Gozos heliport is just south of St Cecilias Gozo is so small that you could walk from
also enjoy at the outdoor tables on the main This place has won a number of local awards; Tower, about 3.5km southeast of Victoria and Marr to Marsalforn in two hours. Away from
square. Of an evening it becomes a popular its worth booking ahead. signposted off the main road to Marr. Most the relatively busy road between Marr and
wine bar and serves good local drops. Maji Wine & Dine (Map p147; %2155 0878; 6 Triq hotels will offer to pick you up from the heli- Victoria the roads are pretty quiet and there
Mill Room (Map p146; %2155 5323; 94 Triq Il-Karita; Sir Adrian Dingli; mains Lm4-7; hlunch & dinner Thu-Tue) port, and rental agencies can organise trans- are lots of attractive hikes around the coast.
snacks & meals Lm0.50-3.20; h9am-6pm Mon-Sat) Take Foodies on Gozo are rejoicing at the opening fers; otherwise, you could phone and arrange
the narrow street to the left of the Basilica of another top-quality restaurant in Victoria. for a taxi to meet your flight. Alternatively, MARR
of St George (facing the church) to find this Maji smoothly combines bar, lounge and res- you can walk 200m up to the main road and Marr is Gozos main harbour and the point of
intriguing caf, with a fab snacky menu of taurant with stylish contemporary dcor and catch bus 25 into Victoria (Lm0.20). arrival for ferries from Malta. When we visited,
sandwiches and salads served in all sorts of an impressively modern menu (wild mush- the waterfront was a mess a new ferry terminal
wonderful indoor-outdoor, upstairs-down- room risotto, coconut-crusted halibut, mac- BUS was under construction. The tourist informa-
stairs rooms and terraces. In the past its also adamia nut meringue). Theres great local art Victorias bus station (Map p146; Triq Putirjal) is just tion office and bank that once welcomed visi-
been a wine bar its worth heading here to on display (and for sale). Bookings advised. south of Triq ir-Repubblika, about 200m tors had closed; hopefully they will return in a
see if it has extended its hours again (note that from Il-Kastell. All the bus routes are circu- new home when the new terminal opens.
the sign above the gate reads Tickety-boo). SELF-CATERING lar, starting and finishing at Victoria. Except The 20th-century neogothic Church of Our
Grapes Wine Bar (Map p147; %7947 3503; Pjazza San There are fruit and vegetable vendors around for bus 25, which shuttles regularly between Lady of Lourdes (Triq Lourdes) appears almost to
or; snacks & meals Lm1-3; hlunch & dinner) One of a It-Tokk and at the car park beside the bus Victoria and Marr and connects with the hang over the village. Begun in 1924, lack
new breed of wine bars springing up all over station. The well-stocked Arkadia supermarket ferries to Malta, the buses are slow and run of funds meant that its construction was
GOZO & COMINO 152 G O Z O M a r r Bookaccommodation
Book accommodationonline
online at lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com G O Z O G a j n s i e l e m 153

GOZO & COMINO


MARR 0
0
200 m
0.1 miles
Eating & Drinking Getting There & Around
To Xerri il-Bukkett Yacht
Xerri il-Bukkett (%2155 3500; Triq i-ewwiega; snacks Gozo Channel (% 2155 6016; www.gozochannel
A B ga C D
i-e
ww
ie Restaurant (800m);
Qala (1.5km) es
Marina & meals Lm1-5.50) Who cares about the menu .com) operates the car ferry that shuttles be-
Triq rc
To Nadur ino
Ga when the view is this good? Xerri il-Bukkett tween Maltas irkewwa and Gozos Marr
art
(1.5km)
Tri
q M is just south of Qala, about 1.8km uphill from every 45 to 60 minutes from 6am to around
3
1 Belvedere tni
n Marr harbour, and has a terrace with a stu- 8pm (and roughly every two hours through-
t'An
qS
an Marr SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES pendous view across the channel to Comino out the night). Return tickets are purchased in
Tri Harbour Boats to Comino.......................... 1 C2
Church of Our Lady of Lourdes....2 B2 and northern Malta. Theres a pub area for irkewwa, so theres no need to buy a ticket
a casual drink and snack, and a restaurant in Marr.
SLEEPING
ar
r Triq Manoel Grand Hotel..................................3 B1 serving traditional dishes such as fried rabbit, Bus 25 meets ferry arrivals and runs from

Xatt Tal-I
de Vilhena
L-Im 6 4 swordfish, braioli (thin, rolled slices of beef the harbour to Victoria (Lm0.20). Taxi driv-
Triq 2 EATING
1
Horatio's Tavern...........................4 B2 stuffed and then braised in a red-wine sauce) ers tout for business among the crowds dis-
marr
To Victoria 7
L-Ankra........................................5 B2
and so on. And its great to see that this place embarking from the ferry; a taxi to Victoria
es
rd

(5.5km) ou
L Ta'Pawlu......................................6 B2
Triq 5
Tr
iq
ix-
Ferries
To Malta
appeals as much to locals as to view-impressed will cost around Lm5.50, to Xagra its Lm5,
2 Xa DRINKING
tt
Gleneagles Bar............................. 7 B2
tourists at the front of the restaurant is an to Xlendi its Lm7 and to Marsalforn expect
8
area where local men gather to play bocce. Lm7.50.
North TRANSPORT
Comino New Ferry Terminal (under L-Ankra (%2155 5656; Triq ix-Xatt; mains Lm1.50-6;
Fort
Chambray
Channel construction)............................8 B2 hlunch & dinner) Up the hill from the ferry ter- GAJNSIELEM
minal and opposite Gleneagles Bar, L-Ankra pop 2480
has a brightly coloured dining room and a Marr merges uphill into the town of
not finally completed until the 1970s. The Lm8.50/4.75. And youre not too far away menu full of the usual suspects (pasta, fresh Gajnsielem (ayn-see-lem, meaning spring
hilltop above it is capped by the ramparts of to take in some of the highlights of the big fish, fried rabbit, king prawns) which it of peace). The huge, modern Church of Our Lady
Fort Chambray, built by the Knights of St John sister down south a full day visiting Valletta executes very well. Of an evening there are of Loreto, built in neogothic style, looms over
in the early 18th century. It was originally and Grand Harbour costs Lm16.50/8. On all also pizza selections, including the Gozitan, the village square.
intended to supplant Victorias Citadel as trips an optional buffet lunch costs an extra a great introduction to the local produce its On the western edge of the village, on the
Gozos main fortified town, and the area Lm3.20/2. Trips depart from Marr harbour, groaning under the weight of anchovies, ca- main road from Marr to Victoria, is Gozo
within the walls was laid out with a grid of but theres free transport for participants pers, black olives, potatoes, onion, basil, tuna Heritage (%2156 1280; Triq l-Imh9am-4.30pm Mon-
streets similar to that of Valletta. But with the from Xlendi and Marsalforn to the departure and fresh tomato. Sat), which advertises itself as a walk through
decline of the order in the late 18th century point (and transfers can be arranged from Horatios Tavern (%2156 6669; 9 Triq Manoel de Vil- 7000 years of living history. Its a pretty lame
the plan came to naught. Instead, the fort other points of the island). You can book hena; platters for 2 Lm3-4; hnoon-late) Triq Manoel series of historical tableaux the legend of
served as a garrison and later as a mental trips through most travel agents in the resort de Vilhena is lined with restaurants. Hora- Calypso, gantija temples, the Romans, the
hospital; its rumoured that the on-again towns on Gozo. tios, at the top of the hill, is a cosy, casual Great Siege, WWII accompanied by special
off-again developments to turn the fort into Ticket-sellers selling tickets to Comino sit midrange option. Its a nautically themed light and sound effects (why are there so many
a hotel and residential complex are back on, by the kerb of the main road through town tavern with outdoor seating and a menu of of these attractions in Malta?).
but its hard to keep up the going rate is Lm3 return, and boats gener- sandwiches, salads and platters. Try a platter Another 100m along the road to Victoria
ally leave Marr hourly from around 10am to of local treats (including Gozitan cheeses and is St Cecilias Tower. The level area around the
Activities 4pm. Anselma (%9945 9389) is one such ferry sausage), fish (marinated swordfish and salted tower served as a temporary airfield in 1943
A right turn at the top of the harbour hill service; its worth telephoning ahead to check tuna), Italian hams and salamis, or imported during the invasion of Sicily. A left turn at the
leads to a belvedere with a grand view over the if and when the boats are operating. cheeses. tower leads to Gozo heliport (see p185 for de-
harbour to Comino and northern Malta. Triq TaPawlu (%2155 8355; 4 Triq Manoel de Vilhena; mains tails on the MaltaGozo helicopter service).
i-ewwiega leads to an even better viewpoint Sleeping Lm5-7; hdinner Wed-Mon) Next door to Horatios,
just south of Qala (its worth the effort to get Grand Hotel (%2156 3840; www.grandhotelmalta.com; this restaurant raises the bar with a more el- MARR IX-XINI
here its 1.8km uphill from the harbour to Triq SantAntnin; B&B per person Lm8.50-17.50 low season, egant dining room and more-upmarket selec- The narrow, cliff-bound inlet of Marr ix-Xini
the viewpoint, and once here you can enjoy Lm12-23 high season; asi) With the recent tions. Mains might include sauted calamari (Port of the Galleys) was once used by the
the magnificent panorama from Xerri Il- closure of L-Imarr Hotel, theres only one or king prawns; duck breast with honey and Knights of St John as their main harbour on
Bukkett restaurant (opposite). accommodation option left in Marr. The orange sauce; or veal with cognac sauce. Leave Gozo one of their watchtowers still guards
Xlendi Pleasure Cruises (%2155 9967; www.xlendi four-star Grand Hotel has a fine position room for the crme caramel, homemade ice the entrance. It was also used by Turkish
cruises.com) offers half- and full-day boat trips overlooking the harbour, with bright, airy cream or surprise crepes for dessert. admiral Dragut Reis, who raided Gozo in
around Gozo and/or Comino from April to rooms and extensive facilities including a Gleneagles Bar (Triq ix-Xatt) This is the place 1551 and took most of the islands population
October. A full-day trip taking in Gozo and sauna, gym, games room, restaurant and to head for a cold beer at the end of the day. into slavery.
Comino costs Lm13.50/7.50 per adult/child cocktail bar. Its least expensive rooms have It commands a view over the harbour, and Theres a tiny shingle beach at the head
and includes swimming stops and free use no view; from these its a small step up to is the social hub of the village, filling up in of the inlet, and a paved area where tourists
of snorkelling equipment. A half-day trip a country view room; sea-view rooms are the early evening with a lively mix of locals, and locals stake out their sunbathing territor-
around Gozo is Lm10/5 per adult/child; naturally at the top of the scale, and are a very fishermen, yachties and tourists looking for ies. The swimming and snorkelling along the
around Comino and the Blue Lagoon is worthy investment. some Maltese colour. rocks is very good, and the little cove near the
GOZO & COMINO 154 G O Z O X e w k i j a lonelyplanet.com Book accommodation online atat lonelyplanet.com
lonelyplanet.com G O Z O X l e n d i 155

GOZO & COMINO


western headland of the bay is a private lido spectacular limestone crags, more than 130m Dwejra Bay. On the south side of Xlendi Bay, the view is indeed lovely. Theres a rooftop
that belongs to Hotel Taen high, were once the breeding ground of the a footpath winds around to the 17th-century terrace with spa, and a ground-level waterside
The road from Sannat and Xewkija down to Maltese peregrine falcon (see boxed text, watchtower, Torri taXlendi, on Ras il-Bajjada. restaurant.
Marr ix-Xini is quite steep and narrow, and p41). Near the cliff top you can see traces of From here you can hike east to the Sanap Also recommended:
wouldnt be much fun on a day with lots of prehistoric cart ruts, origins unknown (see cliffs, and on towards Taen. Serena Aparthotel (%2155 3719; www.serena.com
beach traffic. You can walk here from Victoria boxed text, p133). At the time of research Xlendi Pleasure Cruises (%2155 9967; www.xlendi .mt; Triq Punii; B&B per person from Lm10/14 low/high
in just over an hour. concerned locals were involved in a fight to cruises.com) is set up beside the water and of- season; as) A large, well-equipped complex on the
protect the area from planned development, fers motorboats, canoes and paddleboats for south side of the bay, with self-catering suites and a heavy
XEWKIJA which included a five-storey hotel, bungalows hire, as well as fishing trips, water-skiing, dose of 70s dcor.
pop 3280 and a golf course read about it at www snorkelling and cave tours. The company San Andrea Hotel (%2156 5555; www.hotelsan
The village of Xewkija and most of south- .savetacenc.com. also has a menu of cruises leaving from Marr andrea.com; Xatt ix-Xlendi; B&B per person Lm8-17; a)
ern Gozo is dominated by the vast dome The ritzy, five-star Hotel Taen (%2155 6819; harbour see p152 for itineraries and prices. Smaller than St Patricks Hotel but in an equally lovely
of the Parish Church of St John the Baptist, www.vjborg.com/tacenc; Triq Ta-enasi) hides in Note that there are free transfers from Xlendi location and with similar facilities. Rooms are undersized
better known as the Rotunda (h5am-noon & 3- 160 hectares on a remote cliff-top plateau just to Marr for cruise passengers. but comfy.
8pm). Work on the new church began in 1951 east of Sannat and has an attractive low-rise There are a couple of dive operators in town
and was finally completed in 1971; it was design that makes good use of local stone. that can help you explore the excellent nearby Eating
built mainly with the volunteer labour of the Rooms are surprisingly modest, but the loca- dive sites (see p48), offering taster dives, Herbees Diner (%2155 6323; meals from Lm1.50; h6am-
parishioners, and paid for by local donations. tion and facilities do much to compensate. beginner courses, and excursions for those 11pm Mon-Thu, to 4am Fri, 11am-2.30pm & 6pm-4am Sat,
Its vast size the 75m dome is higher than St The main building has a beckoning array of who already know what theyre doing. They 11.30am-11.45pm Sun) This late-night fast-food joint
Pauls Cathedral in London, and the nave can sofa-filled living spaces, and beyond these are can also help arrange accommodation. by the car park (back from the waterfront) has a
seat 4000 people is said to be due to rivalry landscaped gardens and two outdoor pools. Moby Dives (%2155 1616; www.mobydivesgozo.com; cheap menu of fried or roasted chicken, kebabs
with Mosta on Malta, whose rotunda was also If these dont appeal, head to the indoor- Triq il-Gostra) and burgers. It also has internet access (Lm1
funded by the local people. outdoor pool at the relaxation-inducing well- St Andrews Divers Cove (%2155 1301; www.gozo for 70 minutes).
The rotunda was built around the old 17th- ness spa, or catch the courtesy bus to the dive.com; Triq San Ximun) Stone Crab (%2155 6400; Xlendi Bay; mains Lm2-
century church, which was too small for the hotels private rocky beach, complete with 7; hlunch Mar-Oct, dinner Jun-Oct) This cheerful,
communitys needs the new one can seat bar and restaurant. And when youve checked Sleeping family-friendly restaurant has a winning com-
around three times the villages population. out your surrounds, retire to a sought-after San Antonio Guesthouse (%2156 3555; www.clubgozo bination of waterside tables and a huge menu
The interior is plain, but impresses through table under the carob tree of the hotels highly .com.mt; Triq it-Torri; B&B per person Lm6.50-13; as) of well-priced pasta, pizza and seafood favour-
sheer size. Paintings of scenes from the life regarded Italian restaurant, Il-Carrubo (open This guesthouse is perfectly located, a fair ites. The regular special of crab-filled ravioli is
of St John the Baptist adorn the six side- for lunch and dinner). climb up the hill on the south side of the bay. delicious; other dishes include spaghetti with
chapels. To the left of the altar is a museum Buses 50 and 51 run between Victoria and Its close enough to Xlendis harbour-front octopus, clams or shellfish; pizzas heavy with
where baroque sculptures and other relics Sannat (Lm0.20). activity when you want it, yet far enough fishy morsels; or Maltese specialities including
salvaged from the old church are displayed. to allow a relaxing holiday. The rates pro- octopus cooked in garlic.
The wooden statue of St John was fashioned in XLENDI vide marvellous value and get you one of 13 I-ima Restaurant (%2155 8407; Triq San Xmun;
1845 by Maltese sculptor Paul Azzopardi. Development has turned the fishing village rooms all large, bright and spotless, decked mains Lm3-6; hlunch & dinner Wed-Mon) High up over
of Xlendi into a popular resort town. Sure, out in chunky pine furniture. Surprisingly, the village, away from the waterfront hubbub,
TAEN its busier now, but theres no denying that air-con, cable TV, big private bathrooms and this friendly place has an outstanding view
pop 1735 the bay is still beautiful considerably more balconies/terraces are standard, and theres over the bay and the coastal cliffs from its
The quiet village of Sannat, once famed for so than at Marsalforn, Gozos other popular a garden, swimming pool and kiddies pool. large outdoor terrace (across the road from
its lace-making, lies 2km south of Victoria, resort town. Its a favourite place for locals For optimum views, request a pool-facing the restaurant itself). Its an excellent choice
and gives access to the Taen plateau. Signs (Maltese crossing over to the quieter island for room on the 1st floor. The accommodat- for Gozitan and Italian cuisine, with the em-
from the village square point the way to Hotel a weekend break) and tourists to chill out by ing owners can help arrange transfers, car phasis on seafood, but theres also a variety of
Taen, one of Gozos best hotels. The track the sea, with good swimming, snorkelling and hire and various extras; they also have self- inexpensive pizzas to choose from.
to the left of the entrance to the walled hotel diving, and plenty of rocks for sunbathing. catering apartments and farmhouses check It-Tmun (%2155 1571; 3 Triq il-Madonna Tal-Karmnu;
grounds leads to the high plateau of Taen By the bus stop and car park, a block back the website for more information. mains Lm5-7; hlunch & dinner Wed-Mon) There are
the views north to Victoria, Xewkija and from the waterfront, is an ATM and currency St Patricks Hotel (%2156 2951; www.vjborg.com plenty of waterfront restaurants in Xlendi
Xagra are good, especially towards sunset. exchange machine. Nearby, Herbees Diner (op- /stpatricks; Xatt ix-Xlendi; B&B per person Lm9-25; ai) but the best culinary hot spots can be found
Wander off to the left of the track, near the posite; per hr Lm1) offers internet access. Bang in the middle of the Xlendi waterfront along Triq il-Madonna Tal-Karmnu, back
edge of the limestone crag, and you will find is the four-star St Patricks, with attractive, from the seaside. Judging by the crowds,
a prehistoric dolmen a large slab propped up Sights & Activities well-equipped rooms that are popular with It-Tmun (predecessor of It-Tmun Victoria,
on three smaller stones like a table. Keep your At the head of the bay, steps lead up the cliff weekending Maltese. The cheaper rooms face p150) is clearly the Sunday-lunch favourite.
eyes peeled the dolmen is not signposted above the little fishing-boat harbour to a tiny a nice internal courtyard; the next step up sees A sure bet is the fresh catch of the day, or you
and is a little tricky to spot. cove in the rocks where you can swim. Alter- rooms with a balcony and view over the town might opt for calamari, Barbary duck or roast
The best walking is off to the right, along natively, you can keep walking up the hillside car park and valley beyond. Youll pay more chicken. Round things off nicely with cherry
the top of the huge Taen sea cliffs. These above and then hike over to Wardija Point and for a room with balcony and sea view, but cheesecake or tiramisu.
GOZO & COMINO 156 G O Z O G a r b lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com G O Z O D w e j r a 157

GOZO & COMINO


Entertainment road to the left of the church). This small, clone of Maltas TaQali (p129) selling handi- DWEJRA 0
0
500 m
0.25 miles
La Grotta (%2155 1583; www.lagrottaleisure.com; Triq ix- square church with its baroque cupola dates crafts, lace, glass and pottery. The stalls have San Tatita's
Natural Inland Sea Lawrenz Restaurant
Xlendi; h10pm-dawn Fri & Sat May-Oct) On the road to originally from the 15th century, though it variable hours, generally from around 10am Azure Window Tunnel
Fishermen's Huts Ta'Dbiei
Victoria about 600m east of Xlendi, is the best was rebuilt in the 1730s. It stands in splendid to 4pm, but its best to go in the morning. A Dwejra Point & Boat Trip Departures Crafts
Blue Hole Chapel of St Anne Village
nightclub in the Maltese Islands, in a unique, isolation amid terraced fields. You can con- left turn just after the crafts village leads to Crocodile Rock
Kempinski
Hotel San
lovely setting. Its housed in a limestone cave tinue the walk down to the coast, and return the Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz (%2211 0000; www Caf &
Kiosks Lawrenz
in the cliffs above the valley, with two large via the hilltop of ordan Lighthouse, or the .kempinski-gozo.com; Triq ir-Rokon; r Lm75-95; ais), Qawra Tower
To Garb (1.2km);
Victoria (4.7km)
dance areas (indoors and out). The admission Basilica of TaPinu. a swish hideaway set in landscaped grounds.
price varies, depending upon the attraction The Basilica of TaPinu (Triq taPinu; h7am-12.30pm You get the feeling nothing is too much trouble Fungus Rock
Dwejra
Bay
that night (DJs, live music etc). & 1.30-7pm) is Maltas national shrine to the Vir- for the obliging staff here, and the crowd is an
Club Paradiso (%2156 0810; Triq ix-Xlendi; hyear- gin Mary and is an important centre of pil- interesting mix of honeymooners, families and
round) Found above La Grotta and run by the grimage. It was built in the 1920s on the site well-heeled older Europeans. Facilities to help vast, underground caverns in the limestone
same people, is this smaller scale, more- of a chapel where a local woman, Carmela pass the time include a large health spa (with have collapsed to create two circular depres-
traditional (indoor) club pumping out com- Grima, heard the Virgin speak to her in 1883. a huge list of de-stress treatments), tennis and sions now occupied by Dwejra Bay and the
mercial tracks and R&B. Thereafter, numerous miracles were attributed squash courts, a gym, indoor and outdoor pools Inland Sea.
to the intercession of Our Lady of Pinu, and it and pool bars. Theres also a coffee lounge, trat- The Inland Sea is a cliff-bound lagoon con-
Getting There & Away was decided to replace the old church with a toria and fine-dining restaurant. The spa and nected to the open sea by a tunnel that runs
Bus 87 runs between Xlendi and Victoria. By grand new one. Built in a Romanesque style, eateries are open to the public. for 100m through the headland of Dwejra
car, follow signs from the roundabout at the with an Italianate campanile, the interior of Back in San Lawrenz, right by the church Point. The tunnel is big enough for small
southern end of Triq Putirjal in Victoria. Or, pale golden stone is calming and peaceful. Part on the charming town square is Tatitas boats to sail through in calm weather, and
its a 3km walk from Victoria bus station. of the original chapel, with Carmela Grimas (%2156 6482; Pjazza San Lawrenz; mains Lm3-6.50; the Inland Sea has been used as a fishermens
tomb, is incorporated behind the altar. The hlunch & dinner Apr-Oct), which comes highly haven for centuries. Today the fishermen sup-
GARB basilicas name comes from the man, Filippino recommended by our readers. Smart modern plement their income by taking tourists on
pop 1050 Gauci, who used to tend the old church Pinu renovations have turned this town house boat trips (per person Lm1.50) through the cave.
The village of Garb (pronounced aarb, mean- is the Malti diminutive for Filippino. The track into a stylish restaurant, or you can dine A few minutes walk from the Inland Sea is
ing west) in the northwest of Gozo has one leading to the top of the hill of TaGammar alfresco on the postcard-perfect square. The a huge natural arch in the sea cliffs, known as
of the most beautiful churches in the Maltese opposite the church is punctuated by mar- kitchen prepares local treats such as home- the Azure Window. In the rocks in front of it is
Islands. The baroque Church of the Visitation was ble statues marking the Stations of the Cross. made ravioli filled with Gozo cheese; grilled another geological freak called the Blue Hole a
built between 1699 and 1729, with an elegant Visitors to the basilica should note that no stuffed quail; and fresh local calamari and natural vertical chimney in the limestone,
curved faade and twin bell-towers. Three shorts, miniskirts or sleeveless dresses are king prawns. about 10m in diameter and 25m deep, that
female figures adorn the front: Faith, above allowed. Buses 1, 2 or 91 connect San Lawrenz with connects with the open sea through an under-
the door; Hope, with her anchor, to the right; Where the road to Garb from Victoria Victoria (Lm0.20). water arch about 8m down. Understandably,
and Charity. Inside, there is an altarpiece, The forks (400m after the turning to TaPinu) its a very popular dive site. The snorkelling
Visitation of Our Lady to St Elizabeth, which youll find Jeffreys Restaurant (%2156 1006; 10 DWEJRA here is excellent, too. Between the Inland Sea
was gifted to the church by Grand Master de Triq il-Garb; mains Lm4-6.50; hdinner Mon-Sat Apr-Oct). Geology and the sea have conspired to pro- and the Azure Window is the little Chapel of
Vilhena. Set in a converted farmhouse with a pretty duce some of Gozos most spectacular coastal St Anne, built in 1963 on the site of a much
The attractive village square was the location courtyard, Jeffreys offers home-style cooking scenery at Dwejra on the west coast. Two older church.
for the classic postcard, on sale throughout that makes good use of local produce, and
Malta and Gozo, showing a traditional British you can sample Maltese specialities such as
red telephone box beside a red letter box and braioli (p52), stuffed marrow and the highly FUNGUS ROCK
a blue police station lamp (unfortunately the rated rabbit in wine and garlic. Known in Malti as Il-ebla tal-eneral (The Generals Rock), Fungus Rock takes both of its names
red letter box has since been removed). Buses 1, 2 and 91 go to Garb; bus 91 will from the fact that the Knights of St John used to collect a rare plant from the rocks summit.
Next door to the police station is Garb take you to TaPinu (Lm0.20). The plant (Cynomorium coccineus) is dark brown and club-shaped, and grows to about 18cm in
Folklore Museum (%2156 1929; Triq il-Knisja; adult/child height. It is parasitic and has no green leaves, which is why it was called a fungus or, in Malti,
Lm1.50/free; h9.30am-4pm Mon-Sat, 9.30am-noon Sun). SAN LAWRENZ gerq tal-eneral (the Generals root). Its native to North Africa, and Fungus Rock is the only
This early-18th-century house has 28 rooms pop 570 place in Europe where its found.
crammed with a fascinating private collection A left turn at Jeffreys restaurant in Garb (see Extracts from the plant had powerful pharmaceutical qualities, and were said to stem bleeding
of folk artefacts. The exhibits, assembled by above) leads to the village of San Lawrenz, and prevent infection when used to dress wounds. The plant cured dysentery and ulcers, and was
the owner over the past 20 years, include an where novelist Nicholas Monsarrat (191079) used to treat apoplexy and venereal diseases. It was long known to the Arabs as the treasure
early-18th-century printing press, a childs lived and worked for four years in the early among drugs, and when a general of the Knights of St John discovered it growing on a rock on
hearse, farming implements, fishing gear, 1970s. His love for the Maltese Islands is re- Gozo, he knew he had struck gold. A rope was strung between the mainland and the rock, and
jam-making equipment and much more. flected in his novel The Kappillan of Malta, harvesters were shuttled back and forth in a tiny, one-man cable car. Qawra Tower was built to
A drive or pleasant walk of about 30 min- which grew out of his experiences here. guard the precious resource. The plant extract was much in demand in the Knights hospitals; it
utes (just over 2km) from Garb leads to the En route from Garb to San Lawrenz youll was sold at a high price to the various courts of Europe.
tiny Chapel of San Dimitri (signposted on the pass the TaDbiei Crafts Village a miniature
GOZO & COMINO 158 G O Z O M a r s a l f o r n lonelyplanet.com Book accommodation online atat lonelyplanet.com
lonelyplanet.com G O Z O M a r s a l f o r n 159

GOZO & COMINO


The broad horizontal shelf of rock to the MARSALFORN can be found on the rocks out to the west. funky cast-iron beds and colourful linen and
south of Dwejra Point has been eroded along Marsalforn is Gozos main holiday resort, but You could also hike eastward over the hill a rugs. Guests have use of the hostels kitchen,
the geological boundary between the Glo- tourist development has ensured that it is not couple of kilometres to Calypsos Cave and dining area and TV lounge, and breakfast
bigerina Limestone and the Lower Coralline an especially lovely town. The bay of this former Ramla Bay. is included. The friendly owners live across
Limestone the boundary is marked by a fishing village (the name is possibly derived If you walk west from town along the nicely the road and can arrange all sorts of extras
layer of many thousands of fossilised scallop from the Arabic for bay of ships) is now lined updated promenade (with a handful of res- (for a small fee): laundry, home-cooked local
shells and sand dollars (a kind of flattened, with an ugly sprawl of hotels and apartment taurants en route) youll reach the tiny sand meals, taxi service, a water taxi to Comino.
disc-shaped sea urchin). See p40 for more on buildings, gradually spreading northwest along beaches at Qbajjar Bay and Xwieni Bay, separated Nothing seems too much trouble. The owners
these limestone layers. Just offshore is Crocodile the coast towards Qbaijar. Still, its a low-key by a headland with a small fort. Beyond Xw- can also help with self-catering apartments
Rock (seen from near Qawra Tower it looks resort compared with the fleshpots of Sliema ieni the rocky shore has been carved into an and farmhouses check the website for more
like a crocodiles head) between Dwejra Point and Buibba on Malta, and offers some good impressive patchwork of salt pans, which are information.
and Fungus Rock (see below). out-of-season deals on accommodation. still worked in summer. Lantern Guesthouse (%2156 2365; www.gozo.com
Qawra Tower overlooks Dwejra Bay. This Most of the restaurants, hotels and guest- Another 20-minute hike beyond the salt /lantern; Triq il-Munbell; B&B per person Lm6.50-8) Not a
collapsed cavern has been completely invaded houses are clustered around the waterfront. pans will bring you to the narrow, cliff-bound bad fall-back budget option, the Lantern has
by the sea, and is guarded by the brooding You can change money at the Bank of Valletta inlet of Wied il-Gasri. Here a narrow staircase clean, homely rooms, all with en suite, cable
bulk of Fungus Rock (see boxed text, p157). A on the promenade, which has an ATM and a cut into the rock leads down to a tiny shingle TV and fridge. The owners can also hook
path below the tower leads to a flight of stairs, 24-hour moneychanging machine. Extreme beach at the head of the inlet. Its a gorgeously you up with reasonably priced apartments
cut into the rock, which leads down to a little Sports Internet Caf (%2155 0983; Triq il-Munbell; picturesque place and there is good swimming around town.
slipway on the edge of the bay. There is good per 70min Lm1; hnoon-midnight), adjacent to the and snorkelling when the sea is calm, but its Atlantis Hotel (%2156 1826; www.atlantisgozo.com;
swimming and sunbathing here, away from Extreme Sports bar (p160), offers internet. best avoided in rough weather when the waves Triq il-Qolla; B&B per person from Lm10/15 low/high season;
the crowd of day-trippers who throng the come crashing up the narrow defile. You can as) Above the west side of the bay is this
rocks around the Azure Window. For even Sights & Activities also drive or walk to Wied il-Gasri from the large hotel complex, which extends to both
more peace you can hike right around to the Theres not much worth seeing in the town village of Gasri, about 2km south, but its a sides of the street and has loads of facilities.
cliff top on the far side of the bay, where the itself. One reader wrote please mention the bit tricky to find youll need a decent map The dated exterior and lobby dont inspire
view back over Fungus Rock to Dwejra Point Christ statue just outside Marsalforn. It is the if youre coming from this direction. If youre a lot of confidence but the well-equipped
is spectacular. only thing there worth seeing. She is referring coming from Marsalforn, there is an unsigned rooms are decent for the price. Its particularly
You can get snacks from a caf by the car to the large statue of Jesus youll see on the turn-off on the right about 300m after the popular with the diving crowd.
park at Dwejra, and there are a couple of small hill (Rio de Janeirostyle) to the left as coastal road heads inland. Calypso Hotel (%2156 2000; www.hotelcalypsogozo
kiosks here selling drinks and ice creams to you enter town from Victoria. It was erected Check out p152 for information about .com; Triq il-Port; B&B per person from Lm11.50/18 low/high
the day-trippers. in the 1970s, replacing earlier statues and a Xlendi Pleasure Cruises out of Marr that season; as) After recent renovations the
Bus 91 runs infrequently between Victoria wooden cross from around the 1900s. The offer free transfers to/from Marsalforn. There Calypso boasts fresh, stylish dcor and excel-
and Dwejra (Lm0.35) from March to October. 96m-high hill is known as Tas-Salvatur, or are a number of dive operators in town that lent facilities. The large modern guest rooms
Alternatively, catch bus 1, 2 or 91 to San the Redeemer. can help you explore Gozos great dive sites are clean and contemporary, in warm blue
Lawrenz (Lm0.20) and walk the 1.5km down At the head of the bay is a tiny scrap of (p48), including: tones. An international and Maltese crowd
to the bay. sand, but better swimming and sunbathing Atlantis Diving Centre (%2156 1826; www.atlantis makes good use of the handful of on-site
gozo.com; Altantis Hotel, Triq il-Qolla) restaurants and caf, plus the lovely pool, bar
MARSALFORN 0
0
200 m
0.1 miles Calypso Diving Centre (%2156 1757; www.calypso and sun terrace on the roof. Sea-view rooms
10
divers.com; Triq il-Port) Near the Calypso Hotel. cost an additional Lm4 per person.
A B C D Nautic Team Diving Centre (%2155 8507; www
To Qbajjar Bay (500m);
Triq Santa Marija

Xwieni Bay (800m);


Salt Pans (1.2km);
INFORMATION
Bank of Valletta....................... 1 A2
SLEEPING
Atlantis Hotel...........................5 A1
.nauticteam.com; cnr Triq il-Munbell & Triq ir-Rabat) Eating & Drinking
Wied ilGasri (3km)
Extreme Sports Internet Calypso Hotel...........................6 B1 The majority of restaurants in Marsalforn
1 Marsalforn Caf................................(see 14) Lantern Guesthouse.................7
Maria-Giovanna Hostel............8
A2
B2
Sleeping have reduced hours in winter it pays to call
a
5
qi
l-Q
oll Bay SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES oMaria-Giovanna Hostel (%2155 3630; www ahead to check somewhere is open before
Tri Atlantis Diving Centre............(see 5) EATING .gozohostels.com; cnr Triq il-Munbell & Triq ir-Rabat; B&B setting off.
Calypso Diving Centre..............2 B2 Caffino..................................(see 6)
6
Nautic Team Diving Centre......3 B2 Dragon..................................(see 6) per person Lm6-8) No-one else in Malta caters to Il-Kartell (%2155 6918; Triq il-Port; mains Lm2-5.50;
Xlendi Pleasure Cruises Booking Il-Kartell...................................9 A2
12
independent, budget-minded travellers like hlunch & dinner) Sit right by the water or inside
ar

9 Office.................................. 4 A2 Luce D'Oro............................(see 6)


Triq G

2 Otters....................................10 A1 this wonderful hostel. And hostel is perhaps the rustic dining rooms at this bustling place,
Ta' Barda Ritz........................................11 B2
rn
4 Triq
il-P
ort Smuggler's Cave.....................12 B1
a misleading term this is more like a guest- housed in a couple of old boathouses in the
Triq Fo 13
il-Q 11 house, with rooms rented out individually southwestern corner of the bay. The menu
id-Dulur

1
ba 7 8 DRINKING
jjar 14
(no dorm beds, no room-sharing necessary). includes pasta dishes around the Lm2 mark,
Triq il-Wied

Triq ix-X

Dive Bar.................................13 A2
2 Triq il- Munbell 3 Extreme Sports.......................14 A2 From the pretty town-house exterior to the along with fresh fish, traditional dishes and
i
Triq ir-Rabat

fish tank, plants and piano in the communal daily specials chalked up on the blackboard.
agra
F Debono

To Christ
Statue (700m); lounge, this place is clearly well looked after. Otters (%2156 2473; Triq Santa Marija; mains Lm3.50-6;
Restaurant
Ta'Fren (1.5km); To Xagra
(2.5km)
There are only five guest rooms (two with hlunch & dinner) Waterfront Otters, on the west-
Victoria (3.5km)
en suite), each decorated in rustic style, with ern edge of the bay, has stylishly reinvented
GOZO & COMINO 160 G O Z O X a g r a lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com G O Z O X a g r a 161

GOZO & COMINO


itself and now boasts a tasteful charcoal in- XAGRA XAGRA 0
0
200 m
0.1 miles
terior with white and yellow accents, and a pop 3850
fusion menu to match the new surrounds. The pretty village of Xagra (shaa-ra) spreads A To Cornucopia B C To Marsalforn D
Hotel (400m) (2.5km)
Choose from mains along the lines of seared across the flat summit of the hill east of Vic-

rn
l-G

arsalfo
6

Jannar
To Calypso's

a
yellow-fin tuna; braised lamb and date tajine; toria, seemingly lost in a dream of times past.

rt
Cave (1.5km)
Xe

a'

Triq M
or pork chops topped with pineapple and The early-19th-century Church of Our Lady rri

a
1

Triq
Mar

rik
Im
lime salsa. of Victory looks down benignly on the tree- ien lar
a

Triq il-
n ul 3 ar ta' u
Restaurant TaFren (%2155 3888; Triq ir-Rabat; lined village square, Pjazza Vittorja, where iq 'B G Nin
Tr Ta
mains Lm5-13; hlunch & dinner Wed-Mon) For a special old men sit and chat in the shade of the 4
L-I
occasion and to see what the fuss is about, oleanders. spie
ra 10 Triq
G. Arc Diaco rija
head to this trs lgant restaurant, about To Victoria
Triq il-Knisja
1
Pjazza Church of
no
Triq it -
Ti n
ien
Xib
1.5km south of Marsalforn on the road to Vic- Orientation & Information (2km)
Vittorja Our Lady 2 la

Mitna
of Victory School or

n
Triq Pre

Du
toria. Its in a beautiful setting (a 200-year-old The main road from Marr and Victoria zig- 9 a

il 1 28
8
To Ramla

ini
68
pr it-
8
converted farmhouse surrounded by garden) zags up the hill from the south and passes the Bay (2.5km)

Stell
'A q
ta Tri
2 il-Bambina Grec h
and is polled as the best and the most popular site of the temples of gantija before joining ueppi

Ta'
5

ettembru
eatery in the country. Theres an impressive the village square in front of the church. A INFORMATION

il-M
Bank of Valletta............................1 B2 ia
menu of French, Italian and Maltese dishes, left turn here leads back towards Victoria on rru

itn
Post Office...................................2 C2 Fa

Vjal it-18 ta'S


Triq John Otto Bayer
with rabbit-filled ravioli or traditional aljotta a rough, steep, minor road (affording fabulous M

a
s
SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES a de
(fish soup) to start, followed by slow-cooked views of Victoria and Il-Kastell). A right turn Ninus Cave..................................3 B1 l-Imq
Triq
lamb shank, fresh fish or steak Diane. Crpes leads past the school and post office to the Pomskizillious Museum of Toys....4 D1
TaKola Windmill......................... 5 C2
suzette, flambed at the table, are quite a Marsalforn road. The Bank of Valletta (no

sot
Xerris Grotto............................... 6 A1

Pari
show-stopper. Vegetarians are catered to, as ATM) is at the western end of the square. gantija Temples...........................7 C3

Triq
are children, surprisingly. Theres also an ex- SLEEPING
Tal-
tensive, award-winning winelist take a taxi Sights 3 Xagra Lodge.............................. 8 D2 ala
Id-Dgantija

home. Bookings advised. A narrow lane beside the school leads to EATING 7
Little China................................(see 8)
The Calypso Hotel is home to a very good the restored TaKola Windmill (%2156 1071; Triq Minimarket.................................. 9 B2
Chinese restaurant, the Dragon, plus Luce DOro, il-Bambina; adult/child Lm1/0.25; h9am-5pm). Built Oleander....................................10 B2 Triq Ta
' amet
To Victoria (3km);
Nadur (3.5km);
Marr (4km)
an elegant rooftop restaurant. Fashionable in 1725, the windmill is now something of
Caffino, at ground level, is the best choice for an attraction, housing a museum of country
a snack or drink, with loads of savoury pastr- life with exhibits of woodworking tools, farm complete with stalactites and stalagmites, are hike its just a hollow under an overhang
ies, toasted sandwiches and mouthwatering equipment and period bedroom and living unusual in that they are both entered through at the top of the cliff but the view over
cakes. quarters. Best of all is the climb up the narrow private houses. Having discovered the caves be- Ramla Bay is lovely. On a calm day visitors
The Ritz (%2155 8392; Triq il-Wied; snacks Lm0.30-1) stairs to see the original milling gear, complete neath their homes, the owners decided to cash can usually see the remains of an artificial reef
is far from ritzy its a cheap-and-cheerful with millstones. in on the tourist potential. Xerris Grotto was extending into the sea off the eastern headland
caf-bar selling snacks and sandwiches (a Visitors can also purchase a Xagra Day Ticket discovered in 1923 when Antonio Xerri was of the bay. This was part of the defences built
steak sandwich is Lm0.65). Smugglers Cave (Lm2), which includes entry to the gantija digging a well. Its the bigger, deeper and more by the Knights of St John to prevent attackers
(%2155 1005; Triq il-Port mains Lm2.50-5.50), by the temples and TaKola Windmill on the same interesting of the two. Opening times are at the landing on the beach. In theory, the enemy
Calypso Hotel, has cheap pizzas and burgers day. This ticket is available at both the temples discretion of the owners, but are generally from ships would run aground on the reef, where
(plus the usual pasta, meat and fish), but feels and windmill. 9.30am to 5pm in summer (with shorter hours they would be attacked using primitive mortar
more like a British seaside restaurant than a In the back streets to the north of the village outside the peak tourist months). like weapons.
Maltese one, and you can get a traditional square lie Xerris Grotto (%2155 6863; lGar taXerri; At the eastern end of town the road forks
roast pork or beef. adult/child Lm0.75/0.30) and Ninus Cave (Triq Jannar; left for Marsalforn, right for Ramla Bay. A few GANTIJA
Dive Bar (%2155 9931; Triq il-Port) is a great night- admission Lm0.50). These underground caverns, metres along the Ramla road on the left is the Located on the crest of the hill to the south of
time watering hole stop by for pizza in its Pomskizillious Museum of Toys (%2156 2489; Triq nien Xagra, the megalithic gantija temples (%2155
bright, nautically themed interior, which is Xibla; adult/child Lm1/0.50; h10am-noon & 3-6pm Mon- 3194; access from Triq l-Imqades; adult/child Lm1.50/0.50;
reminiscent of a ships galley. Extreme Sports EDWARD LEAR ON GOZO Sat May-Oct, 10am-1pm Thu-Sat Apr, 10am-1pm Sat & public h9am-5pm) command a splendid view over most
(%2155 0983; Triq il-Munbell), a block back from Edward Lear (181288), an English land- holidays Nov-Mar), popular with kids (and kids at of southern Gozo and beyond to Comino and
the waterfront, is another popular drink- scape painter and nonsense poet (Lear heart) for its impressive array of dolls houses, Malta. As the name implies (gantija dje-gant-
ing den, with a restaurant upstairs, and big popularised the limerick as a form of comic toy soldiers, dolls and various other old toys. ee-ya means giantess), these are the largest
screens televising sporting events in an ex- verse), spent much of his life travelling Signposts near the Pomskizillious Museum of the megalithic temples found in the Maltese
tremely big way. around the Mediterranean. He visited Gozo of Toys point the way through the maze of Islands the walls stand over 6m high, and the
in 1866, and described the scenery as pom- minor roads east of Xagra down to Calypsos two temples together span over 40m.
Getting There & Away skizillious and gromphiberous, being as no Cave, overlooking the sandy beach of Ramla Along with Taarat (p116) and Skorba
Bus 21 runs regularly between Marsalforn and words can describe its magnificence. Bay its a 30-minute walk from the village (p116) on Malta, the gantija temples are
Victoria (Lm0.20). square. The cave itself is hardly worth the thought to be Maltas oldest, dating from
GOZO & COMINO 162 G O Z O N a d u r Book accommodation online at lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com G O Z O A r o u n d N a d u r 163

GOZO & COMINO


accommodation is available in hotel rooms century the entrance is framed by white and best sandy beach on Gozo, and one of the
CALYPSOS ISLE arranged around a courtyard, pool and pretty statues of the two saints, giving the church prettiest in the islands the strand of reddish-
Gozo is one of the half-dozen or so contend- garden, or in self-catering villas, bungalows, its local nickname of i-ew (the pair). The gold contrasts picturesquely with the blue of
ers for the title of Calypsos Isle the mythical apartments and farmhouses (with an average interior is richly decorated with marble sculp- the sea and white statue of the Virgin Mary.
island of Ogygia described in Homers Odys- price of Lm25/50 per unit low/high season); tures, and the vault is covered with 150 paint- As such, it is usually heaving with people
sey where the nymph Calypso seduced the request a valley view. ings. See the boxed text, p38, for more about in summer, when cafs, souvenir stalls and
hero Odysseus and kept him captive for Xagra Lodge (%2156 2362; www.gozo.com/xaghra the church. water-sports facilities abound. It is much qui-
seven years. But she could not overcome lodge; Triq Dun or Prea; s/d Lm16/21 low season, Lm19/25 A block south of the church (well sign- eter and more pleasant in spring and autumn,
his longing for his home in Ithaca, and Zeus high season; as) This homely guesthouse in posted from the square) is the Kelinu Grima and in winter you can have the place almost
eventually sent Hermes to command her to a quiet neighbourhood is run by a friendly Maritime Museum (%2156 5226; Triq il-Kappillan; adult/ to your (goose-pimpled) self. The minimal
release him. English couple. There are excellent facilities child Lm1/0.50; h9am-4.45pm Mon-Sat), a private col- remains of a Roman villa are hidden among
If the cave above Ramla Bay on Gozo was for the price, including en suite, balcony, lection of ship models, relics and maritime the bamboo behind the beach, and Calypsos
really Calypsos hideaway, then it is no won- cable TV and tea and coffee facilities in all memorabilia. Cave (p161) looks down from the hilltop to
der that Odysseus was keen to get home. rooms; flowering garden with pool and bird On the square directly behind the church the west. Ramla Bay is also easily accessed
Despite the nice view and pretty island, aviary; and an adjacent bar and Chinese res- is Anthonys Bar & Restaurant (%2156 5369; 20 Triq (on foot or by car) from Xagra, and bus 42
its a long, hot and scratchy climb up from taurant. Its a five-minute walk east of the Madre Camilleri; pizzas Lm1.25-2.35, mains Lm2-5.50; runs between the bay and Victoria from July
the beach, and the cramped living quarters town square. hdinner Tue-Sun), a small, friendly place with to September (Lm0.35).
leave a lot to be desired. Oleander (%2155 7230; Pjazza Vittorja; mains Lm3.50- well-priced meals. The next beach to the east is San Blas, a tiny,
6; hlunch & dinner Tue-Sun) On the pretty village To get to Nadur, take bus 42 or 43 from rock-strewn bay with some patches of coarse
square, the popular Oleander has a menu Victoria (Lm0.20). rust-coloured sand backed by steep, terraced
the period 3600 to 3000 BC. Both temples youve probably seen before (pastas, braioli, fields with prickly pear hedges. Its a lovely
face towards the southeast, and both have rabbit, fresh fish, local lamb), but its all well AROUND NADUR place to take a picnic lunch and a good book,
five semicircular niches within. The south prepared and regulars rave over the rabbit Narrow country roads radiate northward and perhaps a mask and fins for snorkelling
temple (on the left) is the older, and is entered dishes Oleander fried rabbit is glazed with a from Nadur to three beaches, all signposted. the water is quite shallow and very clear. There
across a huge threshold slab with four holes red-wine sauce and fried with garlic and mixed Ramla Bay (also called Ir-Ramla) is the biggest are no facilities here, and theres parking space
at each side, thought to be for libations. The spices. Its a pleasant place to while away an
first niche on the right contains an altar with evening, and there are a couple of other decent
some spiral decoration there was once a options on the square. GOZO AGRITOURISM
pillar here with a snake carved on it, but the Little China (%2156 2362; Triq Dun or Prea; dishes At the time of research an excellent new initiative had just been created. It caters to eco-minded
pillar now lives in Victorias Archaeology Lm2-6, set menu from Lm6; hdinner Mon-Sat) If youre travellers interested in experiencing first-hand the islands renowned hospitality and rural
Museum (p147). The left-hand niche in the tired of perusing menus full of pizza, pasta customs.
inner chamber has a well-preserved trilithon and rabbit, head to Little China, adjacent to The nonprofit Ager Foundation (%2156 4378; www.agerfoundation.com) has launched the Gozo
altar; on the right is a circular hearth stone the Xagra Lodge. On offer is a huge range of Experience, a project with the noble aims of promoting responsible, sustainable tourism on Gozo
and a bench altar. meat, vegetable, noodle and seafood dishes and safeguarding the natural environment. It offers visitors (locals and tourists alike) the chance
There is little of interest in the north tem- favourites like sweet and sour pork, beef with to get back to nature milk a goat, go fishing, cook up a traditional feast alongside Gozitans
ple, but the outer wall of the temple complex black bean sauce, lemon chicken and crispy and according to Gozitan traditions. Options for one-day outings include:
is impressive in scale. The largest of the mega- duck. There are lots of soups and starters, and
experiencing the life of a local shepherd, and being shown how bejniet (p51), the traditional
liths measures 6m by 4m and weighs around vegetarian options. cheese, is made
57 tonnes, and the wall may originally have For those who prefer to picnic or self-cater,
stood up to 16m tall. theres a handy minimarket (Vjal it-18 TaSettembru; preparing and tasting natural Gozitan food
Heritage Malta has set up a small info pod h6.30am-7pm Mon-Sat) just south of the square. fishing onshore or from a boat with a local fisherman
giving a short audio narration on the temples learning about local wine-making practices
in a half-dozen different languages. But, as Getting There & Away
with other temple sites in Malta, it has a ways Buses 64 and 65 run between Victoria and bird watching with local birders
to go to ensure that visitors leave the site with Xagra (Lm0.20). exploring Gozos archaeology and heritage
an understanding of what makes these piles
of stones so special. NADUR The experiences are designed with families in mind (especially with parents whod like their kids
pop 4230 to have some understanding of where supermarket produce comes from) and are a hit with city
Sleeping & Eating Nadur is Gozos second city, spreading along slickers enamoured with the romance of rural life. Other back-to-basics outings may include
Cornucopia Hotel (%2155 6486; www.vjborg.com/cornu a high ridge to the east of Victoria. In Malti, herb-picking or wildflower identification, or a visit to a local festa. Groups are kept small (with
copia; Triq nien Imrik; s/d Lm11.25/22.50 low season, Lm26/39 Nadur means lookout, and a 17th-century a maximum of eight participants) and costs are very reasonable (eg a day spent meeting a local
high season, bungalows, villas & apt Lm15-60; as) Cornu watchtower overlooks the Comino sea lanes shepherd, with the chance to milk a sheep and make cheese, costs adult/child Lm8/4, including
copia and its accommodation options are set from the western end of the ridge. lunch). Tailored outings can be arranged. This is a unique project that deserves to do well; check
in and around a converted farmhouse about Nadurs ornate Church of Sts Peter & Paul (Pjazza the website and contact the Ager Foundation for more information.
1km north of the village square. Four-star San Pietru u San Pawl) was built in the late 18th
Lonely Planet Publications
GOZO & COMINO 164 C O M I N O S i g h t s lonelyplanet.com Book
l o n eaccommodation
l y p l a n e t . c o monline at lonelyplanet.com C O M I N O S l e e p i n g & E a t i n g 165

GOZO & COMINO


for only a handful of cars on the very narrow COMINO 0
0
1 km
0.5 miles
SLEEPING & EATING courts and bikes, waters sports (including
track above the bay. You can walk here from To Marr
San An international crowd of sunseekers, scuba rental of windsurfing equipment, sailing and
NO Niklaw Santa
Nadur in about 30 minutes (take Triq San Blas TH C
OMI
L Bay Marija Chapel of Our divers and those who prefer to holiday with- motor boats, and canoes) and boat excursions.
NOR HANNE Bay Lady's Return
off Triq it-Tirija, two blocks north of Nadurs C Blue from Egypt out too many distractions make a regular Or you can simply recharge your batteries
church; its just over 2.5km from town). Lagoon Comino
Hotel
Comino
Hotel
pilgrimage to the well-equipped Comino Hotels in your bright, bland but perfectly adequate
Attractive Dalet Qorrot, the third bay, is Bungalows (%2152 9821; www.cominohotels.com; half board per person room (featuring air-con, phone, cable TV,
Cominotto
popular with local weekenders. Theres a tiny COMINO Lm17-28; ais), the only place to stay on the fridge and balcony).
sandy stretch, but most of the swimming is off St Mary's island. (Note that the hotel is open only from Day-trippers can use the hotels facilities
Tower Redoubt
the rocks beside the rows of little boathouses To
irkewwa
April to October.) The four-star hotel has 95 for a stiff fee of Lm14 a day, but this must
(carved out of the rock, and with brightly rooms at San Niklaw Bay and 46 bungalows at be booked in advance through the hotel. The
painted doors). Theres usually plenty of space Santa Marija Bay, but no self-catering options. price includes lunch, a return boat ticket and
to park; you can buy drinks and snacks in The main part of the Comino Hotel is on Bungalows are a larger option than the hotel use of the pool and private beach. Casual
summer only. A turn-off en route to San Blas San Niklaw Bay, and the Comino Hotel Bun- rooms, with a sitting area; these are open from visitors might like to escape the Blue La-
leads to Dalet Qorrot. galows are on Santa Marija Bay, 500m to the May to October. goon and dine at the caf or buy a drink
east. A rough track lined with oleander trees, Pack a good book there are no muse- at the bar.
QALA rather grandly named Triq Congreve, runs ums or shops to distract you, and only the
The village of Qala (a-la) has little to see except from Santa Marija Bay south to St Marys hotels caf, restaurant and bar (and your GETTING THERE & AWAY
for a couple of 18th-century windmills. The road Tower. Side tracks lead to the Blue Lagoon fellow guests) keep you fed, watered and en- The hotel runs its own boat service, with
east of the village square (Triq il-Kunizzjoni) and San Niklaw Bay. tertained. A garden-view room costs Lm17 around seven crossings a day from irkewwa
leads down to the coast at ondoq ir-Rummien, a per person per night for half board in the in Maltas north (between 7.30am and
cove with a scrap of sand, bathing ladders on SIGHTS low season (April, May and October), Lm23 11.30pm) and Marr in Gozos south (be-
the rocks, and benches with a view across the The only manmade sights of note on Comino in the mid-season (June and from mid- to tween 6.15am and 10pm). Arriving and de-
water to Comino. There are toilets here, and a are the little Chapel of Our Ladys Return from Egypt late September) and Lm28 in the high season parting hotel guests are given priority on the
kiosk catering to sunbathers. at Santa Marija Bay and St Marys Tower, built (July to mid-September). Full board costs an boats, and the return ticket price per adult/
by the Knights in 1618. It was once part of additional Lm6. The buffet meals are of a child is Lm3.50/1.75; the ferry can also be
the chain of signal towers between Gozo and good standard. used by nonresidents of the hotel for the same
COMINO Mdina but today is just an observation post
used by the Maltese military. Climb the steps
By day there are hotel-organised activities
(at additional cost) to occupy your time the
price. The boats do not run from November
to March, when the hotel is closed. To get to
pop 4 and enjoy the views. most popular is scuba diving, taking advan- irkewwa from Valletta, take bus 45.
Its stretching the truth to say that youll be The islands biggest attraction is the Blue tage of Cominos excellent dive sites (see p49). Independent water taxis also operate regu-
getting away from it all here. Comino (Kem- Lagoon, a sheltered cove between the western Instruction and courses for beginners, expe- larly to the island from the two ports from
muna in Malti) was once reportedly the end of the island and the uninhabited islet rienced divers and kids are available through Marr its usually Lm3 return, and from
hide-out of pirates and smugglers, but now of Cominotto (Kemmunett in Malti). This the hotels dive school, Comino Dive Centre irkewwa its Lm4 return. Sightseeing trips
regularly plays host to boatloads of sunseek- immensely photogenic cove has a white-sand (%2157 0354; www.cominodivecentre.com). operate to the Blue Lagoon from tourist areas
ing invaders. Home to the Blue Lagoon, one sea bed and clear turquoise waters its an Other diversions include a private beach like Sliema, Buibba and Golden Bay in Malta,
of Maltas most hyped natural attractions, image repeated on countless souvenir post- (in San Niklaw Bay), swimming pools, tennis and Xlendi and Marsalforn in Gozo.
the island itself is a small, barren chunk of cards from Malta.
limestone wedged smack-bang between Malta In summer the bay gets inundated with
and Gozo. Almost the only inhabitants are the people daily between around 10am and 4pm;
guests and staff of the islands single hotel, if youre staying at the hotel, of course, you
but hordes of day-trippers from Malta and can enjoy the lagoon in relative peace in
Gozo put paid to any desert-island fantasies. the early morning and late afternoon. The
In winter, when the hotel is closed, only a southern end of the lagoon is roped off to
handful of people remain. keep boats out; there is top-notch swimming
Classified as a nature reserve and bird and snorkelling here, plus you can swim over
sanctuary, and free of cars, Comino is only to Cominotto.
2.5km by 1.5km in size, and away from the Take care in the unrelenting summer heat
hotel and the Blue Lagoon the island is peace- there is no shade here, and most sunbathing is
ful and unspoiled. A walk along the rough done on the exposed rocky ledges surround-
tracks affords some great views of northern ing the cove. There are public toilets and a Lonely Planet Publications. To make it easier for you to use, access to this chapter is not digitally
Malta or of Gozo. Its impossible to get lost few kiosks selling cool drinks, ice creams and restricted. In return, we think its fair to ask you to use it for personal, non-commercial purposes
here, given the islands tiny size and the fact snacks (eg burgers, hot dogs and sandwiches). only. In other words, please dont upload this chapter to a peer-to-peer site, mass email it to
that St Marys Tower, the only landmark of Deckchairs (per day Lm1.25) and umbrellas
note, is visible from almost everywhere on (Lm1) can be hired for extended luxurious everyone you know, or resell it. See the terms and conditions on our site for a longer way of saying
the island. lazing about. the above - Do the right thing with our content.

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