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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sign Me Up Sunday: Gozo

It's possible many of you have heard of the Maltese Falcon, but how many of you knew the Maltese islands were not only an actual place, but also quite a desirable destination and in a wonderful location?

Sign Me Up Sunday: Gozo
photo credit: Gozo via photopin (license)

The Maltese islands are located very near the center of the Mediterranean Sea. The Maltese archipelago is comprised of three islands - Malta, Comino, and Gozo. I first became aware that Gozo existed when searching for dive sites in the Mediterranean. The first couple sites that mentioned it were vacation rental sites offering week long stays in luxuriously refurbished historic farmhouses.

Luxurious Farmhouse on Gozo
photo found on:

Luxurious farmhouse?! These places were amazing!

I saw site after site offering amenity after amenity in an endless supply of gorgeous mini-castles (farmhouses, that is) to lure me to Gozo's beautiful shores. Known for its tranquility, it is greener and more rural that its larger counterpart, Malta.

Steeped in myth, Gozo is thought to be the legendary Calypso's isle of Homer's Odyssey - a peaceful, mystical backwater. Baroque churches and old stone farmhouses dot the countryside. Gozo's rugged landscape and spectacular coastline await exploration with some of the Mediterranean's best dive sites.

On top of world class diving there are myriad historical sites, forts, and temples as well as amazing panoramas. All that, and with so many untouched beaches and lagoons, there are many activities that make Gozo a more than worthwhile destination.

The Trip

I wondered if there was a way to train and ferry to the Maltese islands from Rome, so I did a Google search. Lo and behold, some guy had already done it. Though his route(s) start from the UK, he gave all the information I would need to plan a dream trip.

We would fly into Rome, take a sleeper train down the Italian coast from Rome to Messina, where the train would be shunted onto a ferry (one of the last few places in the world where trains are still ferried) across Straits of Messina, continue down the coast of Sicily, where we would catch the Virtu Ferry to Malta, and from there it's just another short ferry ride to Gozo.

Travel from Rome to Malta

Once on Gozo, we would simply taxi to whichever of the wonderful, historic farmhouses we had chosen out of the many and begin our exploration of this ancient, marvelous isle.


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