Winter sun does not hide with a total of 300 sunny days per year/Mediterranean island presents itself as a perfect destination for exciting adventure tours and diverse outdoor activities

“Wow. The crystal clear water sparkles just like in the Caribbean.” Sounds like Peter is also noticeably impressed by this location. While I know that my English friend has seen quite a lot of the world, his visit to Gozo, he now tells me, will be particularly fondly remembered.

Peter has been on Gozo for almost two weeks now and today is sadly his penultimate day. From Xlendi to Wied il-Ghasri, we therefore hiked a particularly beautiful route – into the small sea bay in the north of the island, with its unspoilt natural beach of gravel and rugged cliffs rising steeply into the sky. Although it is already well into October, the sun has reliably accompanied us on this tour – just like all the days before. It is pleasantly warm, but not too hot, and a light breeze is blowing from the sea over the Mediterranean landscape. There is absolutely no sign of a cold, wet autumn or grey winter feeling, as is often the case in Central Europe at this time of year. Nevertheless, it is now time to make our way back to Xlendi – we walk across terraced fields with Mediterranean bushes and plants, the sea is usually in sight and every now and then a hand-sized wall gecko flits across the hiking path.


A favourite tonight would be really delicious fried fish in one of the restaurants right by the sea.

Fisherman in Xlendi

At our destination, the coastal village of Xlendi, we would like to celebrate our final evening in one of the restaurants right by the sea: Preferably with a large platter full of delicious fish, which the Gozitan fishermen always pull out of the Mediterranean early in the morning on their colourful wooden boats. Before we leave for the restaurant, Peter makes a quick call to his wife in Newcastle. “The weather has been perfect all the time,” I hear him say enthusiastically. And the Mediterranean island of Gozo is also described by Peter in this phone call as the perfect destination when it comes to the desire for fascinating discovery tours, sporting activities or even just pure relaxation. “That’s why I’d really like,” Peter ends the call, ” for us to travel here together with our whole family on our next autumn or winter holiday…”

Like a leisurely bus ride, only on the sea: the ferries between Gozo and Malta sail at a steady pace

So, the next day I took my old friend Peter to Luqa International Airport in Malta. With ferries plying the sea in both directions between Gozo and Malta almost round the clock, the crossing to Malta is no big deal. The journey from Cirkewwa (Malta) to Mgarr (Gozo), and of course vice versa, takes barely 20 minutes by car ferry, that’s it. There are also passenger-only ferries (from Malta’s capital Valletta to Mgarr on Gozo and vice versa). They only run during the day in winter and take just under 60 minutes to reach the port in Mgarr on Gozo because of the longer distance across the sea.

300 days of sunshine a year, imposing cathedrals and a church dome on Gozo that packs a punch

But what exactly else did my friend Peter and I experience during his visit? The answer fits into two tiny little words: a lot. Because no matter whether you come to Gozo by yourself, with friends, your best mates from the sports club or for a family holiday including the children – Malta’s smaller sister island is definitely worth a winter holiday as well. The fact that the 300 or so days of sunshine per year provide a welcome foundation for this is something we are very happy to mention first. The fact that Malta and Gozo together have, as they say, 365 equally imposing cathedrals and beautiful smaller church buildings is also an exciting number for culture and history freaks.

Xewkija Church

Or to put it more precisely: Those who – like Peter and me – are interested in architecturally often outstanding sacred buildings, full of precious master paintings, lots of other art and relics made of textile, wood or magnificent precious metal, will find a new and always worthwhile point of attraction practically every single day of the year. And even if you don’t really care for such monuments, including their inner treasures, it’s hard to escape their majestic effect, at the latest after the first step through the entrance portal – I’ll bet. To whet your appetite, let me pick out one of the most outstanding church buildings on Gozo: Would you have even guessed that the Basilica of St. John Baptist in the small town of Xewkija (population around 3,500) has one of the very largest church domes in the whole of Europe? No? Yes, it does! The figures read like this: the basilica dedicated to John the Baptist in Xewkija is crowned by a 75-metre-high dome with an inner diameter of a proud 27 metres.

Only a few European churches are able to keep up, because their domes are a bit more massive: St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, the Duomo in Florence or the Church of the Assumption in Mosta…

Where again please…? Oh, do you now have a certain idea where this “Mosta” is possibly to be found? Let’s make it short and sweet, because this hunch is correct: Mosta is not just anywhere, but a town in Malta. The Church of the Assumption there, also known as the Rotunda of Mosta, even beats the dome of Xewkija with its church dome (the inner diameter here is 35.97 metres) – and is worth a side trip to the neighbouring island during your upcoming, sunny winter holiday on Gozo.

The ancient hero, a nymph with certain desires, the affair and a cave on Gozo as a love nest

In fact, there is no other way to put it: both islands, Gozo and Malta, seem to me like a treasure chest filled to the brim with ancient, modern, historically documented and legendary cultural heritage. It is not for nothing that Gozo played a prominent role in the life of the famous Odysseus, for example. According to the “Odyssey”, written by the Greek master poet Homer probably around the turn of the 8th to the 7th century B.C., the hero Odysseus spent seven years on Gozo during his adventurous travels across the Mediterranean. There he is said to have met the nymph Calypso – and she straightaway made him her lover. Lured with the promise that she, Kalypso, would make him, Odysseus, immortal as a reward for this loving attention. Not a bad deal. As always, a love nest was sought and found for this affair – to be marvelled at until this day, where else, of course, on Gozo with the so-called “Calypso Cave”.

Unfortunately, the inside of the cave is no longer accessible, but the viewing platform in the immediate vicinity is. From there, you can enjoy a first-class panoramic view over Gozo’s longest sandy beach, Ramla Bay. The word Ramla stands for red in the Maltese language. It is not least this attractive colour that makes the fine-grained sand of this beach, several hundred metres long, so wonderful for a winter walk by the sea. Apropos: Despite the many beauties that Gozo has offered since time immemorial, not only at Ramla Bay, homesickness won out for Odysseus in the end and the ancient hero returned to the arms of his wife Penelope.

Relax, engage in sports, enjoy your holiday – either in an apartment, farmhouse or hotel room, the choice is great even in winter.

If you don’t want to stay on Gozo for seven years straight away, you are sure to find suitable accommodation just for your winter holiday. Privately rented apartments, farmhouses with several rooms or classic hotel offers (including various boutique hotels) provide the desired variety in the supply market in different price ranges. Simply inform yourself online on the usual travel portals and discover that every individual wish can really be fulfilled. This also applies to the planned duration of the stay. Whether it’s for a few relaxing days, an extended break (why not at Christmas through to New Year’s Eve) or over an extended monthly period to really show the frosty winter in Central Europe the red card – there’s something for everyone from the small to the larger purse.

Be active outdoors on land or in the water - on the bike or diving, everything you need will of course be provided for you.

Let off steam with boundless outdoor fun every day – is that actually possible in winter on Gozo? Not only my friend Peter from England would say: Yes!

Exploring every nook and cranny of the island by bike over hill and dale is just one of the available components for a varied active holiday. Because the waters around Gozo, as you know by now…, are crystal clear and of course teeming with marine life, the local areas are highly sought after by scuba divers even in the winter months. Underwater caves, shipwrecks, a wide range of reefs and steep walls, experienced divers in particular consistently place Gozo’s underwater world at number one in their personal rankings. Decisive advantage: Those who want to rent bicycles, of course also e-bikes, as well as motorbikes or squads for even more racy trips, will quickly find what they are looking for on the island – quite a few rental companies and professional diving schools also make these holiday experiences convenient for the island guests with the necessary equipment.


I'm Singing in the Rain... - not only all kinds of vegetables, but also various museums are already waiting for you.

But what is the best thing to do when the water on Gozo actually comes from above? No one should assume that it can’t rain once in a while during the winter months on this island. Only in this way can the farmers, with their extensive, terraced fields, supply not only Gozo with its 30,000 inhabitants, but also the almost 500,000 people in Malta as a vegetable garden. Travelling on Gozo means seeing olive trees, the cultivation of artichokes, aubergines, various types of melons, tomatoes, potatoes and other typical Mediterranean vegetables. The water is sent to the ground by the clouds, which are rare in the winter months, but this should not be a reason to just put your feet up in your holiday home. The local public transport buses are inexpensive and reliable. Various taxi systems support all routes from A to B, as do the rental car companies.


One of the most remarkable destinations, not only because there is actually rain for once, will be the “Cittadella” in the island capital Victoria. The grandiose fortress is enthroned on a hill, making it an unmistakable landmark even from a distance. Inside, museums await with exhibits that – including interactive applications – take you on a journey into the archaeology, natural history and folklore of Gozo and its people. The old prison and former courthouse in the middle of the citadel give this venue an additional historically interesting touch.

If drops continue to fall from the sky before the winter sun shines again, visit Ta’ Dbiegi Crafts Village in the village of Għarb. Just about every craft that the Gozitans have mastered to perfection for centuries can be seen here – often “live”. You can watch glassblowers at work, marvel at the individual steps in the creation of jewellery or leather goods, there are many products from Gozo’s vegetable garden and sea, from olive oil to handmade sea salt… all inspiring things to bring home as gifts for family and friends.

A first glimpse of the new year 2023 - and thyme that continues to smell pleasantly.

In the meantime, my friend Peter has actually announced that he will probably come back to Gozo in the first week of January 2023, together with his wife. He plans to rent a poolside flat again at “Villa Marni“, the chic modern apartment building opposite my house, which stands on the same street, Triq ir-Rumani – meaning “Roman Street” – in the charming village of Xlendi. I myself moved from Germany to Gozo a few years ago, together with my sweetheart. A move I don’t regret, because I am a so-called digital nomad who is lucky enough to now sit at my laptop while looking at the blue sea. I will be happy to keep you informed about life on Gozo and what is happening here in all seasons. With this in mind, see you soon…


I almost forgot: Peter called me a few days ago and told me that the thyme he stashed in his chest bag on our tour to the sea bay of Wied il-Ghasri continues to smell pleasantly to this day.


Sonne Apartment

Sonne is a private one bedroom airy and luxurious unit that boasts a modern and prestigious design. Furnished with a sofa bed, it can accommodate an additional two persons for a total number of four. The unit is spread out on one floor and encompasses an open floor design connecting the kitchen, living and dining. The sliding windows allow natural light and natural ventilation to flow freely and abundantly into the open space. The unit leads you to the large communal pool and deck area where you can kick back, relax and enjoy the atmosphere…

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