30 Days in Malta: Chapter 4

Birgu Bay, Malta. All photos from Visit Malta.
Birgu Bay, Malta. All photos from Visit Malta.

By Mary Charlebois

Some say Gozo and Malta are part of Atlantis.

Often called Calypso’s Isle; Gozo is thought to be the place Calypso enchanted Odysseus for several years in Homer’s Odyssey. I’m taking a 7-day walking tour of this Mediterranean paradise.

Gozo is small, 26-square miles. The tiny island is one of three in the Mediterranean Archipelago of Malta. I’m eager for my visit to this quiet, historical, and mysterious island.

Let’s walk

Gozo country road
Gozo country road

I’ll be walking around the island’s coast, crisscrossing the interior, and meandering through towns and villages over cobbled bridges and streets with centuries-old stone buildings and fortresses. Each day a curated walking route takes me to swimming holes, over the rugged landscape, along farm lanes, and UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Crystal Lagoon - Gozo Malta
Crystal Lagoon – Gozo Malta

One day, for lunch, I’ll stop in Mgarr, a fishing harbor filled with vividly painted luzzu and their Eye of Osiris painted or carved on the bow. These traditional fishing vessels are double-ended and made of wood. The boats and their colors are passed down from father to son. The Eye of Osiris has several legends, the most common—it’s an evil eye to be cast upon envious neighbors. They remind me of the gondolas in Venice.

Ggantija Temples on Gozo. Older than the Egyptian Pyramids.
Ggantija Temples on Gozo. Older than the Egyptian Pyramids.

I’ll visit megaliths older than Egypt’s pyramids with names like the Ggantija Temples. I’ll refresh in an inland sea, take Turkish Coffee at an outdoor café, explore a neo-Romanesque basilica, and wander the countryside, in autumn’s wildflower bloom. My camera will be with me always.

 

 

Hotel Ta Cenc, Gozo Malta

Hotel Ta Cenc, Gozo Malta

My walking holiday is vetted and organized by Headwater, a self-guided walking tour company, with outings world-wide. Most of Headwater’s excursions take you to a different luxury accommodation each night, where your bags have been deposited by Headwater staff. When you arrive at your night’s lodging, everything is waiting in your room. Headwater takes travelers on journeys by foot and bike throughout 18 countries worldwide.

Hotel Ta Cenc - Gozo Malta
Hotel Ta Cenc – Gozo Malta

My tour, Walking on Gozo—Calypso’s Isle, stay at the same hotel for the entire week, the incredible, 5-star, Hotel Ta Cenc & Spa. The resort has 400-acres designated as SAC (Special Area for Conservation) under the European Natura 2000 network. The network protects vital wildlife areas and species in Europe, to keep the planet livable and beautiful while encouraging diversity in food, energy, wood, raw materials, clean air, and clean water.

Ta’ Cenc is one of 25,000 protected areas within the EU Member States. European Natura 2000 safeguards the vast array of pervasive, and unique species found in this abundant natural region.

Hotel Ta Cenc - Gozo Malta
Hotel Ta Cenc – Gozo Malta

The hotel is sumptuous. The spa is regenerative. Three restaurants serve fresh, local, and sustainable food and wine. The Kantra Beach Club overlooks Kantra, a fiord-like inlet. It looks like the place for spectacular sunset dining and sipping. Of course, I haven’t been there yet, I’ve only drooled over photos.

Lost one apartment

Earlier in June, I had a bit of a bummer when my apartment on Malta canceled. Air B&B handled it beautifully. My deposit was refunded to my card immediately. The apartment owner received sanctions from Air B&B. I much appreciated their proactive service.

Marsaxlokk Fish Market - Malta
Marsaxlokk Fish Market – Malta

I got lucky and found another place quickly, but prices were higher than four months ago when I booked the first place. Oh well, that’s travel sometimes. I’ll use that kitchen a bit more than planned to make up the rent difference.

Found another

The new one bedroom is on the fishing harbor, Marsaskala, south of the Grand Harbor and busy tourist area where the first place was located. Other folks that stayed in the new apartment mentioned fish peddlers along the embarcadero across the street. I think that will be a daily shopping destination.

 

 

Greengrocer - Malta
Greengrocer – Malta

A farmer’s market sets up nearby. Bus stops and taxis are close at hand. Small crafts are available to take me around to the Grand Harbor for a few Euro. The embarcadero is lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants. Don’t you just love Google Satellite View?

 

 

 

It’s 85 days till I leave and I’m ready! Thanks for stopping by, MaryGo

Folks Helping Me Plan My Trip to Malta
~ Visit MaltaMalta Uncovered ~

Some of My Malta ESP (eat, sleep, play)
~ Air – Virgin AtlanticAir Malta ~
~ Headwater Walking ToursHotel Ta Cenc & Spa ~
~ Housing – Air B&B ~
~ Travel Insurance – Allianz ~

*All photos courtesy of Visit Malta

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Loraine Joyner says:

    Mary, this looks like a fabulous trip—so happy and excited for you! Wish I were going too. But a year from now, it’s Alaska for me! Bon voyage.

    Like

    1. Malta is budget friendly. Come on over. –MaryGo

      Like

  2. Lady Eloise says:

    I so admire the tremendous effort you put in to achieve adventures like this! So much support and perks, that I’m sure, you worked hard to find, solicit and now reaping these wonderful benefits! You are an inspiration to others and some day, when I have more “free” time (yeah, right), perhaps I will get to do the same. I love your writing and perspective. Thank you so much for sharing so we can enjoy vicariously!

    Like

    1. Deb, your so sweet. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Bob Labozetta says:

    You go, Mary Go! Have a fabulous time and keep us in the loop

    Like

  4. Phyl Doppelt says:

    Meticulously planned and I can’t wait to read about your travels on Malta.

    Like

    1. Thanks Phyl. 80-days till takeoff.

      Like

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