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Many people don't realise Malta's charms extend beyond the shores of the main island - to Gozo, smaller, quieter, with more of an Arabian look to its smattering of pretty towns, and some of the world's best diving sites. The Hotel Guru's pick of the best places to stay in Gozo ranges from a chic guesthouse to five star luxury resort.
Gozo can only be reached by ferry or seaplane, and while its beaches are nice there aren't that many of them, so its never really become a popular destination. However thi means that Gozo is safe, sleepy and unspoiled. A great place for some quality relaxation.
Take strolls to pretty towns, or cycle to cover more ground, sit outside cafes contemplating the island's beauty, and cap it off with a dip before supper.
Instead of beaches the island has a spectacularly rocky coastline, with towering torts and natural bridges and a landscape which is, apparently, equally interesting once you get below the waves.
Divers know about the 'Inland Sea', a deep hole illuminated by fluorescent corals, and the 'Azure Window', but even surface-dwellers can experience some of their wonder looking overboard one of the little tour boats.
Rabat is the island's largest town, topped by an impressive fortified citadel. The streets spread outwards like a spider's web, along which the square buildings gather. Folks here value their peace, and it's only been in the last decade or so that people have started driving cars instead of horse and carts. But it's not just Rabat where peace is valued, this is the warm blanket enveloping all of Gozo.
Gozo does have one tourist site, Ggantija, two temples made from giant, freestanding stones. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, a thousand years older than Stonehenge, and just as atmospheric, mysterious and humbling.
The site, on a hilltop near Xaghra, does attract day-trippers from Malta, so this area is the busiest the island gets. There are other archaeologically interesting reserves on the island as well, if you fancy poking through the wild herbs and gladioli.
For such a tiny island there are a large number of churches, and wherever you are on the island you'll be within the sound of church bells pealing. For such a small place, Gozo also has one particularly large church, at Xewkija - with the third largest unsupported rotunda in Europe. This island is so devout, that they built this new church on top of their old church, before dissembling their original church and rebuilding it elsewhere.
- The Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz is one of the best places to stay on Gozo for divers, and those who love a dramatic coastline. The hotel's beautiful pools, manicured gardens and award-winning spa serve to highlight the drama of the wild, natural surrounds. Suites and private balconies mean this is a wonderful spot for families too.
- Ta' Cenc is a luxurious eco-retreat within the grounds of a bird sanctuary, so it's all about getting back to nature in a five star environment.
Best Hotels in Gozo
Quaint Boutique Hotel 12 rooms from $77In-Nadur, Gozo
The Quaint Boutique Hotel provides an excellent, cost effective service in Nadur. The stylish bedrooms combine historic building features with modern, chic interiors. Offering spacious, comfortable rooms and an atmospheric bar, it's the perfect launchpad for a few days on Gozo.Romantic Break - Smart, stylish rooms with the beautiful island of Gozo on the doorstep combine to make it a great spot for a romantic break.Value chic - The perfect chic base for exploring the stunning island of Gozo, without breaking the bank.Sights nearby - Take a day trip to the stunning Azure Window.Local markets - Browse the bustling local market in Nadur.
Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz 122 rooms from $118San Lawrenz, Gozo
A luxurious palace with epic views, on Gozo Island. Beautiful pools, manicured gardens, and lovely private balconies. Cooling stone interiors, fantastic Mediterranean food and an award-winning spa. Perfect for relaxation, beach life and families.Families - There'e a kids club will keep little ones entertained, and tennis courts, two pools, hot tub and hammam to keep you happy!Romantic Break - An indulgent retreat- with candlelite dining, romantic boat trips, serene secluded suites and couples spa treatments.Diving - Explore the submerged caves, tunnels and arches with an experienced guide.Sights nearby - Visit the Citadel fortified during the Bronze Age around 1500 BC.Recommended by - Kiwi Collection
Ta' Cenc 83 rooms from $175Sannat, Gozo
Eco friendly luxury hotel on the island of Gozo. Charming rooms, suites and trulli all at ground level. Wellness spa, two swimming pools and idyllic setting amid grounds rich in local flora and faunaSwimming Pool - Outdoor and Indoor PoolsFour poster beds - For romantics.SpaGreat walks - Good for walkers.