Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 2011: Gozo, Calypso’s Isle
By Eleanor from UK, Spring 2012
Trip Description: Eleanor and Michael spend a week touring about Gozo in May 2012
Destinations: Countries - Other Countries
Categories: Hotels/B&Bs; Day Tours; Sightseeing; Walking/Hiking; Independent Travel; 2 People
Page 1 of 26: Introduction and Background
Azure Window, Dwejra
I hadn’t heard of Gozo before I won a week’s free walking holiday based at Ta‘Cenc Hotel with Headwater. I got the guide books and started to read. The more I read the more excited I became.
Headwater specialize in walking and cycling holidays. We found them a friendly and helpful organization. Most contact was by email and responses were quick and to the point, although it could take a couple of days for them to confirm details. We agreed on a date and also arranged to add on an extra four nights at the Phoenicia Hotel in Valletta which would give us chance to see a little bit of Malta. We planned to do this after Gozo - a mistake as Malta is built up and busy compared to Gozo.
This report covers our week on Gozo, I have written a separate trip report for Malta.
The original plan was to use buses on both Gozo and Malta. These are now run by Arriva Malta who run a network of hourly services covering all of the island. However when I came to plan out daily itineraries on Gozo, it soon became obvious we would not be able to achieve everything we wanted to by bus. We therefore hired a car from Gozo Garage. This was a well used automatic Daewoo of indeterminate vintage with plenty of scratches and bumps. It was expensive but well worth it. We managed to see all we set out to do.
In Victoria there is disc parking on the streets which is strictly monitored. Elsewhere there are no restrictions on parking and we rarely had problems finding anywhere to park. There are few roads on the island. There are no advance traffic signs and roads are signed by a small sign on the side of a building by the junction. We missed several turns until we learnt our way around. We got lost a few times but each time discovered something different to see which often didn’t feature in the guide books or on the web.
We bought a monthly pass to all Heritage Malta Sites. At €30, or €22 for senior citizens, it is excellent value if you are intending to visit several of their sites. We used it on both Gozo and Malta. As well as the convenience of only paying once, it saved us over €15 in admission fees.
We flew Air Malta to and from London Heathrow to Malta. This was an acceptable flight. Check in was efficient and flight deck staff pleasant. The plane was beginning to show its age a bit and the only in flight entertainment is a small computer screen with a map and progress update showing altitude, outside temperature, and time to destination. We were glad we had grabbed a free copy of the Malta Times as we boarded. A hot meal was served during the flight. This was unexciting but perfectly acceptable.
Headwater arranged a transfer from the airport to Ta’Cenc Hotel and a transfer from Ta’Cenc to the Phoenicia Hotel at the end of the week.
Included in the travel documents was a pack of suggested walks on Gozo and a reasonable map which showed all roads and most of the tracks on the island. It was small enough to be folded and put in a pocket, although did need repairing with selotape during the holiday. We were given the name and phone number of the local contact on Gozo who met us on the first morning to ensure we had a problem free holiday. We did. We had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed Gozo.
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