Part two of Malta starts with two tiny little islands located just off of Malta; Comino and Gozo. When we arrived in Malta we met with our travel rep who allowed us to book lots of tours and sightseeing opportunities. The Azure Window in Gozo was on my bucket list so pounced on the chance to do this – even though it was a bus tour. There’s something about running to someone else’s schedule which really wears me out!
The trip to Comino was a boat tour that included a couple of stops, I absolutely love being by the water so was super excited about this; we were picked up at the hotel and then taken to the promenade in Sliema. Comino is situated in between the island of Malta and Gozo and sits at just 3.5 square km in size. It is car free and only has one hotel.
There was a slight mix up when we arrived as the boat we were due to go on wasn’t available however we were upgraded to a nice big boat that served us food and drink and it wasn’t too crowded. Win! Unfortunately for this trip we didn’t take a normal camera – which made a nice change to be viewing the sights with my eyes instead of through a lens. We were armed with our disposable underwater camera as we knew we’d be snorkelling in the Blue Lagoon – famous for its crystal blue waters. It was an incredible trip which circled the whole of the island with lots of stop off points along the way. During one of the stops we were able to purchase a speedboat ride; I was totally up for this, Mr M? Not so much, we both got on and it was quite possibly the most exhilarating thing I’ve ever done. I’m gutted we didn’t have a camera for this but seriously – if you’re in Malta this is not to be missed!
Gozo is so different to Malta, remote, rural and tranquil. The peacefulness is wonderful. To get to Gozo you need to take a ferry from Malta. The ferry takes around 25 minutes and runs at least once an hour. When we arrived at Gozo we jumped on our bus to get to our first stop – The Azure Window. The arch is natural limestone and was formed after two limestone sea caves collapsed. The water here like Comino is crystal clear and is so inviting. The hot temperature of this day sticks with me well, I had definitely had too much sun, which made me a bit grumpy… branded now as ‘a Gozo day’. Mr M and I allow each other to have one ‘Gozo day’ per holiday. Usually when we’ve not had enough water, or cooled down frequently in the pool.
Next up was a visit to one of Gozo’s many churches – the Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary. The amount of churches on the island is unreal, and they aren’t just small little churches, they are big, decorative, bold and absolutely beautiful.
Fast approaching lunch time we headed into the capital of Gozo – Victoria. The name Victoria, locally known as ‘Rabat’, was given to the town in 1887 in honour of our famous British Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. Victoria was busily preparing for the celebration of St George, their patron saint. The streets were adorned with flags showing the George cross, bunting and lights. The Maltese are extremely passionate and proud of their country and embrace their history which is truly heartwarming.
Calypso’s Cave & Temples
Our next stop was Calypso’s Cave. It has been associated by many authors with the Homeric legendary epic the Odyssey. The cave overlooks Ramla Bay – with it’s unusual golden sands it’s one of the most idyllic beaches on the island part of which is a Natura 2000 site. Unfortunately due to the cave structure it was closed to the public as it had become unsafe.
Some are even certain that Gozo is the Island of Ogygia and the cave to be the one where the beautiful nymph Calypso kept Odysseus as a “prisoner of love” for seven years.
Lastly we visited 5500 year old Ggantja Megalithic Temples which are outstanding. Ggantija is Maltese for “giant’s grotto.” According to an ancient legend, the temple walls were built in one day and one night by a female giant named Sunsuna, who did it while nursing a baby.
It’s crazy to imagine all those years ago these massive stones were moved and placed, with no help from machinery, to build these temples.
That’s it for part 2, next up – the city of Valetta!
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