Several times we've journeyed to Gozo (one of the 3 inhabited islands of Malta), generally with guests in town, and most of the time we only hit 2 or 3 sites. We've seen the Azure Window many times, the Citadel and salt pans several times. The ferry is always a highlight, just because the kids enjoy it so much.
Recently, a friend mama from Ceti's school and I were talking about Gozo. She said how much she loved it; I agreed it was nice, but said I'd not seen too much of the island. That we usually have good intentions, but the kids get tired, and we don't know our way around well. Her father is Gozitan, and she grew up most of her childhood in Gozo, so she was hellbent to change our minds about the neighboring island. I loved her enthusiasm, like my own if someone wants to hear about our home state.
She sent me an itinerary of the sites she wanted to show us (awesome). It worked out well that we had a minivan to use for Saturday, so we all loved the convenience of one car and knew the kids would love being together (with a dvd player). She laid out some beautiful sites, and we enjoyed the day immensely!!
We began at a cave perched high above Ramla Beach, a hidden gem known only to the locals really. Most tourists go to Calypso Cave, but this cave was on the opposite side of the beach. The entrance was a stairwell, only a dot of ocean visible through the opening. Just walking up to the site, I almost buckled to one knee. Stunning! Inside... it was incredible with old stoves and fire pits and several openings to other parts of the cliffside. We ventured out several sides with the kids, never letting them out from arms' length away.
I doubted the remaining sites could possibly top this first spot. Happily, I was wrong.
Along the drive, we stopped to view the sprawling valley from high above Nadur. We drove to San Blas in the north, a pinnacle of sandstone surrounded by turquoise seas. The beaches of Hondoq ir-Rummien were our lunch stop, snacking on pizza and sandwiches from a beachside food stand. The kids played in the water in between bites. A warm apple cake from home sweetened our meal for dessert. (I remember loving the lunches my mom would pack on our family outings as kids.)
Marsalforn/Salt Pans/Xwejni and the finale of amazing Wied l-Ghasri, where we hiked down the cliffside, hearing the crashing seas all the way. The wind kicked up and while the view was amazing, our friend said we need to see the cove on a calm day, a completely different scene. Now on the to-do list for another day!
The day was relaxed and gorgeous. In our last 3-4 months, here's hoping we get another day or two in beautiful Gozo! So appreciate having been shown around by a Gozitan, who knows the hidden gems!