The white linen curtains fluttered in the gentle breeze when I opened the window on my first morning in Gozo. The sun was rising over the island of Malta. It cast a band of red-orange between the cobalt night sky and the glittering deep blue of the Mediterranean.
We strolled to the garden where our breakfast was waiting. The terraced garden overlooked the harbor and marina. Small fishing boats came and went, and ferries passed in and out of the ferry terminal. The Mediterranean was impossibly blue — its usual color.
Each day we were greeted with freshly squeezed juice and Moroccan-spiced tea. A round of just-made goat cheese was spread on crusty Maltese bread.
A visit to Gozo, Malta, has much to offer folks of all interests, ages, and budgets. But the very best thing you will experience is Gozitan hospitality. On the small island of Gozo, Mediterranean hospitality can be experienced in hotels, B&Bs, guest houses, and villas.
Here are six accommodations where you can luxuriate in Gozitan hospitality.
1. Hotel Ta’ Cenc & Spa
Outstanding Natural Beauty
The entrance to Hotel Ta’ Cenc and Spa is lush with native plants. A windmill once used to grind wheat to flour for bread stands as a stately sentinel, welcoming you to a Mediterranean retreat unlike any on the island.
Five-star Ta’ Cenc has it all. Seventy-four rooms and bungalows, a full-service spa, two outdoor pools, one indoor pool, two tennis courts, a private beach, a gym, a hot tub, a sauna, and many more amenities will ensure you never get bored.
Ta’ Cenc has three restaurants and a bar/lounge. Dine poolside or have breakfast or dinner in the garden or dining room. The Il-Kantra Lido Bar & Restaurant is a spectacular lido high above Kantra Cove. Your meal here will be an unforgettable experience. The food and service are excellent, but the setting and view are incomparable. Ta’ Cenc is in Sannat.
Don’t Miss: Ta’ Ċenċ Cliffs
The cliffs are a 10-minute walk from Hotel Ta’ Cenc. Rising 490 feet above the sea, the Ta’ Ċenċ Cliffs are on Gozo’s southern coast, near the village of Sannat. Ta’ Ċenċ is an area of outstanding natural beauty, important ecological value, and archaeological status.
The cliffs are also a globally important bird area with breeding sites for peregrine falcons, barn owls, kestrels, cory’s shearwaters, yelkouan shearwaters, storm petrels, and Malta’s national bird the blue rock thrush.
Walking through the countryside to the cliffs, you will pass through an area with many archeological sites, such as small temples, burial chambers, and farmers’ huts. If you are a guest at Hotel Ta’ Cenc and Spa, they will provide a map that indicates where these sites are located.
2. The Grand Hotel Gozo
Sea And Harbor View
Perched on the top terrace of Mgarr Harbor, in Ghajnsielem, The Grand Hotel Gozo is, indeed, grand with 95 rooms. The largest hotel on the island, Grand is splendidly located with jaw-dropping Gozo Channel and Mgarr Harbor views.
Rooms and suites offer sea and country views overlooking the Mediterranean or the Gozo countryside. Accommodations with private terraces are ideal for sunrise and sunset viewing and sunbathing. Family rooms and suites offer a variety of sleeping arrangements and plenty of space.
Take a splash in the rooftop pool and indulge yourself at the spa. Ask the concierge to help with dinner reservations or arrange a guided tour of Gozo.
Grand has a rooftop bar, Mediterranean Breeze, with a barbecue buffet serving dinner and cocktails. For me, Mediterranean Breeze is the place for sunset and dinner. You can also enjoy the bar and terrace on the ground floor, along with Il Migiarro, the main restaurant serving breakfast and dinner. Grand’s location is minutes from the ferry terminal. From the harbor, take a leisurely sail to Valletta, Malta, Camino island, or the Blue Lagoon.
Don’t Miss: Mgarr Harbor
The harbor is a six-minute walk from Grand Hotel Gozo. Mgarr Harbor is more than a ferry/bus terminal. This bustling waterfront is home to a fishing fleet, tour boats, tour buses, and some of Gozo’s best restaurants. It is also the trailhead to Hondoq Bay, a lovely beach for swimming and sunning.
3. Il-Bàrraġ Farmhouse B&B
Located on a narrow street in the heart of Nadur, Gozo, Bàrraġ Farmhouse B&B is one of the finest B&Bs in Malta. A lovingly renovated 400-year-old farmhouse is a few steps off the village square. Entering the bright red door takes you to another time when the building and property were a stand-alone farm. Made entirely of limestone, Italian marble, and handmade Maltese tiles, the interior is luxurious and rustic at the same time.
Bàrraġ is intimate, with only five rooms. You can enjoy a communal lounge, sitting room, and a lovely garden. Breakfast is served buffet style with traditional Maltese food that includes vegan options.
I highly recommend Bàrraġ but suggest you book early; it’s a popular stay in the lovely village of Nadur. Immerse yourself in traditional Gozitan hospitality and village life in this truly unique B&B.
Don’t Miss: Ramla Bay
The bay is a 10-minute bus ride from Bàrraġ Farmhouse B&B. A crescent of red sand makes Ramla Bay Gozo’s finest beach for swimming, sunbathing, and beach combing. Snorkeling here is also popular. There is a restaurant and a kiosk for meals, libations, and snacks. Public showers and toilets can be found on the trail to the beach.
4. Townhouse 17
Townhouse 17 is in the heart of Victoria, Gozo’s capital and largest city. Called Rabat by locals, this centuries-old city is the seat of Gozo’s government and home to the Cittadella, the walled enclosure that once protected citizens from invaders and pirates.
Townhouse 17 has nine rooms — seven doubles, one accessible, and a rare single for the solo traveler. Each room has a balcony or a French window overlooking a small park. A laptop workspace and Wi-Fi make keeping in touch comfortable.
A café and rooftop lounge offer libations and traditional Maltese food. Breakfast and an evening manager’s reception are included with each room. The rooftop offers an outstanding view of the Cittadella during the day and night when spectacular illumination shows the bastion in a different light.
You’ll find the bus terminal directly connecting to all of Gozo’s destinations just steps from the front door.
Don’t Miss: The Cittadella
The Cittadella is a 10-minute walk from Townhouse 17. Cittadella, also called the Citadel, is located in Victoria (called Rabat by locals). The UNESCO World Heritage Site is a fortified town that humans have occupied since the Bronze Age. Today, the magnificently walled structures are home to a baroque church, several museums, eateries, shops, and art galleries. Plan a day at this fascinating part of Gozo’s history.
5. Ta Pinu Guesthouse
The charming village of Gharb is home to Ta Pinu Guesthouse. Situated in a 500-year-old farmhouse, Ta Pinu’s stone walls and tile floors are enchanting. Each of the six rooms is individually decorated, offering breathtaking countryside views.
Snooze away with memory foam mattresses, Egyptian cotton linens, and my must-have, plenty of pillows. En-suite baths have plenty of Egyptian cotton towels, plus laundry facilities in some suites.
A luxurious breakfast of local Gozitan foods is served each day. An indoor pool is a perfect way to relax after sightseeing. The terrace is ideal for enjoying wine sipping at sunset and outstanding views of the Basilica of Ta’ Pinu and the Gozo countryside.
Don’t Miss The Basilica Of The National Shrine Of The Blessed Virgin Of Ta’ Pinu
The basilica is less than one-half mile from Ta Pinu Guesthouse. Ta Pinu National Shrine is one of the most visited places in Gozo. This inspiring church is an architectural masterpiece filled with priceless art and sculpture.
6. The Segond Hotel
The village of Xaghra is the beguiling setting for The Segond Hotel. Relax in one of the 51 rooms or suites: some with private pools! This pet-friendly hotel welcomes dogs and cats. The rooftop pool is perfect for sun and swimming or simply relaxing and enjoying the coastal and countryside views.
A buffet breakfast is included with your accommodation. Lunch and dinner are served in the restaurant daily. The Indian buffet is one of my favorite treats. In addition, local libations are available in the bar.
Don’t Miss: Ggantija Archaeological Park
The park is a 10-minute walk from The Segond Hotel. One of the oldest free-standing buildings in the world, Ggantija is a temple built between 3600 and 3200 BC. Older than the pyramids, the temples were constructed from massive local limestone by the Temple Builders, a Neolithic culture. The UNESCO World Heritage Site includes a museum that shows how a culture with no written language accomplished the gigantic feat. Ggantija is in the village of Xaghra.
Getting To And Around Gozo
Take a taxi from Malta’s International Airport (MLA) to the ferry terminal at Cirkewwa. A quick 20-minute ferry ride takes you to the Mgarr ferry/bus terminal. From there, take a bus or taxi to your hotel.
While on Gozo, leave the driving to the fast, safe, and reliable bus and taxi drivers. Unless you are accustomed to driving on the left in a right-hand drive car on narrow streets, driving here can be challenging.
Don’t Miss: Tuk-Tuk Tour
On your first day on Gozo, get oriented with a tour of the island. Yippie Tours will pick you up and return you to your hotel or the ferry/bus terminal. A delightful seaside lunch is included. Yippie also has self-drive tours in E-Jeeps, Go-Cars, and Quads.
The Mediterranean hospitality, warm and welcoming people, fresh, delicious food, 3,000+ hours of sunshine a year, and of course, the impossibly blue Mediterranean.
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