Gozo is part of the Republic of Malta, and the Maltese archipelago which consists of three main islands; Malta, Gozo and Comino. It is 67 km² in size and lies approximately 6 km northwest of the nearest point of Malta, is of oval form, and is 14 km in length and 7.25 km in width.
The island of Gozo is situated approximately in the centre of the Mediterranean between the large southern Italian island of Sicily and North Africa. Gozo is more than 90km south of Sicily and almost 300km east of Tunis and some 350km north of Libyan coast.
Inhabited for thousands of years, it shows evidence of historic immigration and rule by the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Sicilians, French and British, among others. It is known for its Neolithic Ġgantija Temples which are the world’s oldest free-standing structures.
Gozo is more rural and known for its scenic hills. The island itself has a population of around 31,000 people.
Its capital is Victoria, also known as Rabat. Towering high above Victoria, sits a majestic fortified town known as the Citadel and locally known as the Citadella. This prominent landmark is the first thing you see in Victoria. The natural defences of the area as well as the spectacular views of the whole island have made it a very popular settlement location since Neolithic times. During the Phoenician and Roman periods, the area became a thriving city known as Gaulcouis Civitas.
Most of what can be seen today of the Cittadella originates from medieval times when the city was transformed into a castle. By this time over a third of the people of Gozo lived around the Cittadella. For safety reasons they were required to spend the night within its walls. The Order of St. John used the fortress as a form of defense against Ottoman attacks on Gozo, of which there were quite a few. Over the years the Knights rebuilt and strengthened the walls of the Cittadella to turn it into the imposing structure we see today.
Gozo is famed for its character and places of interest. Some of these include the Calypso cave and Qbajjar salt pans. Nonetheless in Gozo one can explore the finest beaches such as San Blas and the stunning Ramla Bay, with brilliant orange-red sand and clear turquoise waters. It is also known for rural hiking paths and scuba-diving sites.
Currently the island is reachable by ferry boat and by seaplane. Passenger and car ferries cross on a regular basis between the port of Mġarr on Gozo and Ċirkewwa on Malta.
The Gozitan economy rests upon small and medium enterprises which are the backbone of its economy together with tourism.
IMAGES OF GOZO