Gozo, the smaller island of Malta is full of beautiful natural attractions and most visitors who get there probably wish to see the famous Azure Window - natural arch stretching from the cliff into the sea. Unfortunately, this most popular wonder collapsed last week! So you might be wondering if it's still worth it to visit Gozo. The answer is yes - here in this post, I will show you the other attractions of Gozo, and will probably surprise you when I say that Gozo has another "arch window" which is even more beautiful than the unlucky Azure Window that was swept away by the storm. For some reason, I haven't noticed any info about the other arch in the media so far - and I love to show you what the media don't - so I'm filling this gap!
How to get to Gozo
Getting to Gozo is cheap and convenient. If you're staying in Valletta - Malta's capital, you must hop on the bus towards Cirkewwa Ferry Port. If you're staying somewhere else, take a look at the route map of public transport here on the official website.
From Cirkewwa - take a ferry to L-Imgarr (1 on the map) - the port in the island of Gozo. From there, you must catch another bus to the capital of Gozo - Victoria. Note that the public transport card for Malta does not work in Gozo.
Here's the official website of the ferry service between Malta and Gozo - you can find fares and timetables.
What to see in Gozo
Azure Window - Cliffs, Sea Water Lake, Natural Pools and Fossils
While traveling in Malta, we stayed at the student accommodation, so a few of the people we shared the apartment with joined us for the trip to explore Gozo. Our first stop was the famous Azure Window (2 on the map - which doesn't exist anymore). We were lucky to get there before it collapsed and now at least we have some photos.
There's a public bus service from Victoria to the Azure Window - bus number 311 towards San Lawrens. Check the map of public transport here.
You might think there's no point to go to the site anymore as the Azure Window is not there anymore. There are, however, other attractions just beside it - beautiful, high cliffs, natural pools made of volcanic rock and a lake of sea water that managed to squeeze inland through the tiny slits in the rocks.
There's another thing that's so interesting - in the golden sandstone layers beneath your feet, you can see multiple fossils of ancient sea creatures from the times when Malta was covered by the ocean. If you don't pay attention - it can be easy to be missed - most people don't care about such stuff but I love to see things in the natural environment rather than in the museum.
As an interesting fact, I can say that pavements and buildings in the capital of Malta - Valletta and other Maltese towns are built from the golden rock found everywhere on the island - so you can actually see the fossils in them too! Check my post about Valletta to see it.
Wied il-Mielah Window - The Other Azure Window
Wied il-Mielah Window (3 on the map) is a silimar arch to the famous Azure Window but, in my opinon is even more interesting. Not only are there beautiful sites around but also it has a very unique, simingly man-made rectangular shape!
Personally, I found it even attractive than the original Azure Window. Surprisingly, there were no buses that could take you nor other public transport and few people had even known about this place at all!
So how to get there? Probably you won't have to worry about reaching Wied il-Mielah Window for long as I found out that the Maltese government is planning to built a proper road to this unique wonder, but for now - this is how we had traveled there:
Note that google maps are confusing and don't even display the proper photo for Wied il-Mielah (at least in March 2017), instead showing the image of the Wied il-Ghasri gorge which is nearby (and I've described it below). Take a look at the map above - it shows exactly the places we visited.
With no public transport to take, we decided to chip in and take a taxi from Victoria to Wied il-Mielah. It was around 20 EUR and there were 4 of us traveling, so we shared the cost - it wasn't so bad.
The taxi driver left and the area around the Wied il-Mielah arch was completely empty - we didn't sea any other tourists or even villages.
Wied il-Ghasri Gorge
After spending some amazing time at Wied il-Mielah arch window, we went for a hike to the next attraction which was also completely off the beaten path - the beautiful Wied il-Ghasri Gorge (4 on the map). It's situated around 2 km (1.25 miles) from Wied il-Mielah - a very pleasant walk.
Wied il-Ghasri is completely different from the other places in Gozo which are dry, barren and lined with yellow-golden rocks. This little creek squeezed between the rocks has beautiful turquoise water and looks like a little river winding towards the land and suddenly disappearing before cit creates a small beach.
It was a beautiful sight and even better, entirely empty with zero tourists whatsoever to spoil the view.
The golden cliffs on the way back
We continued for another 1.5 km (1 mile) towards the village of Zebbug (5 on the map). On the way, we could admire amazing golden rock formations and more cliffs along the coast.
The village of Zebbug is not too spectacular but it is the closest place from Wied il-Ghasri gorge to take a bus back to Victoria. It was a Sunday evening, so we waited more than 1 hour for the bus, but it finally arrived. Then, we took another bus to the ferry port and from there on of the last ferries back to Malta. We got to Valletta late at night, but the whole trip was worth it and we were happy to see the other side of Gozo which was out of the reach for the most of the tourists.
Author: Tom @ adventurous-travels.com
Take a look also at the "Related posts" section below - I've described another off the beaten trek in Malta.
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