Gozo, meaning “joy” in Castilian, is the second largest Island of the Maltese archipelago, with a population of approximately 30,000.The first settlers arrived on Malta and Gozo around 5000 BCE from Sicily.
Life in Gozo was harsh for well over two millennia, as the Islands were left exposed to any passing raiders, much more so than Malta with its natural harbours and defences.
Throughout the Middle Ages and into the rule of the Knights, Barbary corsairs and Saracens raided the island at intervals. In 1551, the Saracens carried out a devastating raid, taking almost the entire population away into slavery.
The Island never really recovered from this and remained under populated for centuries until the arrival of the Knights saw the medieval Citadel (in Victoria, or Rabat) refortified and the Gozitans began to venture down to the rest of the Island.
The real beauty of Gozo, apart from its stunning seascape and interior, lies in the villages. Here, it seems as if time really does stand still.
All roads in Gozo lead to Victoria, also known as Rabat, which is where the fortified citadel sits atop a summit.
Victoria is not just the geographic heart of Gozo, but also the centre of everyday activity.
Our trip to-day first took us to Cirkewwa to board the ferry over to Gozo. We then travelled by coach to Santa Luclija where we started our walk along the cliff paths to finish at Dwerja. The weather on ou walk was dry but very very windy.
We travelled by coach back to Victoria where we had lunch. After lunch we were able to visit the Citadel where we saw some fantastic scenery over the island .