With idyllic coastal pathways lined with wild flowers, joyful Easter processions, an esteemed classical music festival, and near-deserted beaches; there are plenty of reasons to visit Gozo in spring. Out of the peak summer months, visitors can truly make the most of all that this island has to offer, whether you fancy honing your climbing skills scaling one of the many cliffs, leisurely exploring an abundance of local culture or enjoying the island’s perfect stretches of sand. Should you need further persuading, here are our top reasons to visit Gozo in the spring.
A combination of mild weather and fewer visitors make spring the ideal time to explore Gozo on foot. The island offers plenty of rambler-friendly routes, where you can meander along a stunning coastal path or work off those local pastizzi with a hilltop climb. Spring is also the season when Gozo’s beautiful wild flowers are at their best, so expect whatever path you choose to be dotted with aromatic herbs and flora. The route along the Ta’ Ċenċ Cliffs, which can be found between Sannat and Mgarr IX-Xini, is particularly spectacular, or head to the north coast to Wied Il-Ghasri to enjoy the peace and tranquility of this unspoiled spot.
Gozo’s landscape of cliffs and crags makes it ideal for both amateur and experienced climbers. The tiny island is home to a whopping 350 climbing routes, with new ones being added regularly. Enjoy the variety provided by coastal and inland cliffs; beginners should head for Wied il-Mielah first, where they can scale the rocky arch and even pause for a refreshing dip in the water whilst doing so. Additional information about suggested routes can be obtained from the Malta Rock Climbing Club.
Easter is an important festival in Gozo, and the island stages traditional events in the lead up to this religious holiday. Those who plan to visit Gozo on Easter weekend will be able to witness one of several historic processions that take place on Easter Sunday, typically accompanied by a lively local band. It’s a jubilant occasion that has been taking place here for centuries, with locals lining the streets to witness the parade.
Gaulitana Music Festival is an annual classical festival that’s loved by both Gozo locals and visitors to the Maltese archipelago. Taking place throughout April, the festival showcases a range of classical music styles in some impressive venues. This year’s highlight is set to be Bellini’s Norma opera, which will be performed on the final weekend of the festival in the Teatru tal-Opra Aurora, and is a collaboration between the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and Gaulitanus Choir.
Salt production is a centuries-old industry in Gozo, and is still practiced on the north coast. The fascinating landscape of saltpans cut into the coastal rock is hard to miss; the salt is harvested here during the summer but spring visitors will be able to get a good look at the production process. After it’s collected, the salt is then stored in the nearby caves hewn out of the rocky cliffs. If you’re lucky, you may witness one of the locals scraping the saltpans in order to collect the crystals, and you can even ask to buy some Gozo salt to take home.
Gozo is famous for its near perfect beaches, and if you’re visiting in the spring months, chances are you’ll be able to appreciate them without the crowds that descend over the summer. Make the most of celebrated Ramla Bay, known for its wonderfully clear waters and great snorkelling opportunities. Take the path on the eastern cliffs to get to Calypso Cave, said to be the one inhabited by Calypso in Homer’s Odyssey. For even more peace and quiet, head to the pretty and serene surroundings of San Blas Bay.
Are you an art lover or culture vulture holidaying in Malta? Well, you’ll be pleased to find that this Mediterranean island may be small, but it packs a punch when it comes to art and culture. Here are six recommended destinations to add to your itinerary to experience the best of Malta’s art scene.