Mgarr (Victoria), Gozo, Malta
Best of Gozo
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Approximately 6 Hours
The essence of Gozo is contained within the intricate weave of heritage, history and religion that makes up the DNA of this tiny island population.
Begin your tour with a drive to the Ggantija Temples in Xaghra, which are one of the most important archaeological sites in the Maltese Islands and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The well-preserved site consists of two temples dating back to between 3600 and 3200 BC. Pre-dating Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids, they represent a phenomenal ancient culture and are considered to be one of the oldest freestanding monuments in the world. Enter via the newly-constructed Interpretative Center, which helps to put context around the mysterious civilization that built the temples. From here, walk with your guide to explore the site via a pathway that provides terrific views of the natural landscape surrounding Ggantija.
Next, proceed to Victoria -- Gozo's capital city. It is still called Rabat by the locals. Rabat is an Arabic word meaning 'tethered' and indeed Victoria is tethered to the Citadel. The name was changed in 1887, in honor of Queen Victoria in her Jubilee year. Check out the Arab and British influence interwoven here so well that to the locals it appears the norm. To visitors, it is fascinating. Take a brief walking tour with your guide; then, you will have some free time to either visit the Citadel or to relax at a local café (at your own expense).
Re-board your coach for a panoramic drive outside of town. You'll stop for photos at the Basilica of Ta' Pinu -- a center of pilgrimage. The origins of this church date back to 1883, when a peasant woman claimed to have heard the voice of the Virgin Mary talking to her in the old chapel. Later, the site became a shrine. Later still, a larger and more magnificent church was built on the site.
Lunch is served at a local restaurant.
From the hilltop village of Qala, take in the vista across to Comino Island and the whole Maltese archipelago in the distance, with picture-perfect views of Gozo. Capture with your camera your ship anchored between the Maltese Islands.
Use of an audio headset (included) will enhance your tour experience; each guest is responsible for returning his/her headset after the tour. Missing or damaged headsets incur a €80 fee. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Bring a sunhats and sunscreen. At Ta' Pinu, you can visit the church independently; arms and legs must be covered.