The main island of Malta is very densely populated, at the edges of the main villages you will see many high rise buildings, housing lots of people. There is always construction going on and you will spot cranes everywhere. The historic centers of the villages are absolutely breathtaking, but if you want to see more of nature Gozo, and not Malta, is the place to be. Gozo is one of the three islands that comprise Malta Republic and I highly recommend visiting it, even if just for one day. If you have the opportunity you should definitely stay the night on this island, because my blogpost is only the tip of the iceberg of what’s to explore on Gozo!
The Xwejni Salt Pans are one of the reasons why I wanted to visit Gozo. I have this strange obsession with salt pans, as they often create such beautiful forms and colors. Unfortunately, we got caught in a storm at the salt pans, so we didn’t stay that long. However, you could do a long walk next to all the salt pans, in my pictures below you can see the first salt pans that you encounter, but they stretch much longer and you will see many different forms and shapes. You can just park your car roadside. Unfortunately, it was forbidden to walk into the salt pans, so I stayed out of them 😉
Gozo has several coastal viewpoints, where you can enjoy views over the Mediterranean Sea and high cliffs. We decided to visit the Sanap Cliffs for sunset, but there are many viewpoints you can chose, such as Ta Cenc cliffs and the Flo Azure window (where a natural arch has recently collapsed). Just beware that there are not many parking spots nearby, so you must be lucky or factor in some time walking from the nearest village. The roads are very narrow near Sanap Cliffs.
Gozo is incredibly green! From natural vegetation to terraces with produce, you will see blue and green everywhere you look. I personally found this a real treat, compared to dry Malta Island.
Tal Mixta Cave
This was my favorite spot on Gozo: Tal Mixta Cave! You have to be a bit adventurous to get here, as you will have to drive on a dirt road for some time, but we just had a small car and made it. There are only a few parking spots, but that helps in spreading the visitors, so it doesn’t get too crowded. If you are feeling super adventurous, you can also do a hike up to Tal Mixta Cave, from the beach that you can spot on the picture below (Ramla Beach). We saw several people arriving in that way, covered in sweat.
Ta’ Pinu Cathedral
Ta’Pinu Cathedral is one of the most important religious sites of Malta. The church is situated very lonely in the green landscapes, I found the drive there incredibly impressive. The sandstone contrasted lovely with the stormy skies. Near the cathedral you will spot colorful mosaics.
Wied il-Ghasri is a canyon that end in the sea. We decided not to hike all the way down to the beach (with a baby in a stroller), but enjoyed the views from above. On sunny days, this is a lovely spot for sea bathing. Make sure you arrive early, so you can have it all to yourself!