Today we were going into full on exploration mode. After another wonderful breakfast we took the bus over to Victoria also known as Rabat, the capital of Gozo.
The main sight here is the Citadel, it dominates the skyline in Victoria, and it’s just a short walk up from the bus station.
The first fortifications were built here in 1500BC and it’s believed to be the Acropolis of a Roman City called Gaulos. The buildings you see now are from the 15th century.
It once would have served as a defense against pirates, and until 1637 the Gozitan settlers had to stay within the walls at night by law.
A 5 Euro ticket gets you access to the main citadel, a few museums and a prison. It starts with an amazing digital show charting the history of the place.
From there you’re free to wander at your own leisure, the size of the place is amazing and we started by following along the huge outer walls.
From here we climbed up into the depths of the Citadel, and found ourselves in front of the magnificent Cathedral of Gozo. Unfortunately you have to pay to go inside so we just enjoyed the lovely square and baroque architecture.
We checked out some of the museums, they’re only small but the nature museum was pretty interesting, and the prison was cool.
One of the best parts was wandering the little side streets, there were a few nice shops around and the views from the Citadel walkway were unreal. You could see the Gozitan countryside for miles around, and it was such a beautiful day.
Once we had exhausted the sights inside the Citadel, it was time to explore the main town. It’s full of charming alleyways, hidden squares and lots of nice little restaurants and bars.
We tried the local pastizzi, a pastry stuffed with ricotta cheese which was delicious. After this little snack we stopped for lunch on St George’s square.
We shared a traditional platter, filled with everything I love about Mediterranean food. Washed down with a couple of cold beers.
You can also try Capitan Spriss for something more modern and for some good wine and cake.
We headed back towards the bus station through the narrow streets, stoping to admire flowers cascading down the walls and old wooden doorways.
We were heading over to Dwejra bay, but we had 45 minutes to spare so we walked around the Villa Rundle gardens. These were really pretty, and I loved the little art sculptures like the bees and the rainbow.
We noticed a gelato place opposite the bus station and it’s some of the best ice cream either of us had ever had. It was called Vanilla+ and it was soooo creamy and delicious.
We were soon on our way to Dwejra. Once famous for the Azure Window, a natural arch formation that collapsed in 2017.
Despite this I had heard it was a beautiful spot, with a sea tunnel and some amazing rock formations. Sadly the boats that take you through the tunnel weren’t running that day, but we had great fun exploring the crazy landscape.
The cliffs and rock pools are fun to wander around, and in Summer you can get a better chance to swim apparently. The Azure Window restaurant is also a good place to grab lunch or even just a beer.
The bus journey there is also amazing, you can spot Ta’pinu, the oldest church on the island, legend says that after it was ordered to be demolished, the first hammer blow to it broke the workers arm, so they left it standing!
We also passed golden fields of corn, and even the ruins of an aqueduct! If we’d had more time or a car we definitely would have stopped to explore these places.
After a long day we decided to cook for ourselves to save some money, so we stopped at the Arkadia foodstore. There was so much amazing stuff here, we had to hold back from buying too much!
Finally we arrived home, after eating a lovely little meal we took our wine down to the terrace lookout and watched the sun set on another amazing day in Gozo.