Unlike many visitors to Malta who simply take a day trip to the nearby island of Gozo, we stayed five nights at the Grand, overlooking Mgarr Harbour.
Gozo is about a quarter of the size of Malta and getting around by bus was easy, with the capital Victoria being a 15-minute ride away. The main sight is the magnificent Citadella. Unfortunately, we visited on a Monday, when its four museums were closed, although Lonely Planet suggests only two are worth visiting. However, we enjoyed walking around the huge impressive, well restored Citadella with the wonderfully named Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven. There were splendid views of the surrounding countryside but as there are a lot of steps involved, you need to be relatively mobile and fit.
In Victoria’s main square, Pjazza Indipendencia, were several cafes and we chose Café Royal for beers and a shared ftira, a Maltese sandwich made with tinned tuna, capers, olives and tomato puree. Revived, we explored the tourist market where we bought prickly pear jam, Gozo salt and cheese. The latter was from a farmer selling small balls made with milk from his 150 strong flock of sheep, which were then either pickled or salted so refrigeration wasn’t required. The cheese was strong and not for the feint hearted, but on return our friends invariably gave it the thumbs up, but in small quantities.
Having visited St George’s Basilica (free entry) with its massive alter piece of St George and the Dragon, we wandered the small narrow streets of the old city, with lots of religious icons on walls and corner. We finished in the Villa Rundle Gardens next to the bus stop, which were unremarkable but pleasant with interesting statues and benches playing music.