Our training session takes place in the newly revamped
Pjazza San Guzepp (Qala square), one of the main touristic hubs on the island. As soon as everyone is confident with their segway, we head up the hill to
Triq il-Mithna, and are welcomed by the mouth watering smell of an old wood stove bakery, one of the last remaining on the island. Here we can stop to buy some freshly baked traditional "Qaghaq" (sweet sesame rings).
This route will take us out of the urban area and into a beautiful local farming zone called
Ta' Tocc. This relatively unexplored part of the island, situated on its very eastern tip, enjoys some of the most spectacular views of both the North coast and the Gozo channel, and on a clear day it is not unusual to see the island of Sicily on the horizon!
Pjazza San Kurraw is our next pit stop before proceeding down the road leading to
Hondoq ir-Rummien Bay. The crystalline water, identical to the Blue lagoon of nearby Comino, makes Hondoq Bay very popular amongst the locals especially in summer-time.
Heading back up, and before re-entering Qala Square, we take a detour to
Triq il-Wardija, and the island of Comino is within touching distance from here. Further down, Triq ic-Cawl is arguably one of the most breath taking streets in Gozo.
Start/Finish: Mgarr Harbour - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Start your tour from Mgarr Harbour and add some postcard photos to your tour when passing through the stunning Belvedere overlooking the Harbour. Along the way up the hill to Qala, we will also take time to visit the beautiful Yacht Marina in Mgarr,
Fort Chambray and the popular all year round Christmas Village called 'Bethlehem' in Ghajnsielem which attracts tens of thousands of visitors in the Christmas month.
Qala is the easternmost point of Gozo - the village furthest from the capital Victoria and nearest to the other main islands in the Maltese archipelago, Comino and Malta. Its name is both Arabic and Maltese for sheltered haven or bay, and this is reflected in its coat of arms - a local boat sailing on rough seas. The village parish church is dedicated to Saint Joseph, and was built by Dun Guzepp Diacono, between 1882 and 1889. Its style is baroque, as in many other churches on the island.
In this narrow little street we find two very interesting pieces of Maltese history - the oldest wood stove bakery in Gozo, and the island's best preserved windmill. There are at least 69 surviving stone windmills in the Maltese islands. Almost all were grain mills. Out of the 54 windmills in Malta and 15 in Gozo, only 3 of these mills have still sails.
This area enjoys some of the most beautiful views of the North coast and on a clear day it is not unusual to see the island of Sicily on the horizon!
The chapel in Pjazza San Kurraw, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception is one of the oldest chapels in Gozo. In fact no one knows the actual date in which this chapel was built, but records show that this has been a place of high devotion even before the times when Malta was ruled by the Arabs in 870A.D. There are several legends and stories related to this place. One of them states the story of San Kurraw: In the early 15th century a foreign holy man named Kurraw used to live on the island of Malta. This man used to live a holy life as a hermit in a cave near Wied il-Ghasel in Mosta. Unfortunately the local shepherds never welcomed him and daily tried to make him succumb to sin. When Kurraw tried to convert them to his religious ways, they fought with him and tried to stone him to death. After this incident, Kurraw left Malta and continued to live as a poor hermit in Qala, Gozo, until his death where he was buried in the crypt of this church. Later, the story started to surface that this Saint started granting miracles with sickly children and the crypt of this church became such a place of high devotion that locals used to go gather dust from the crypt which was believed to cure their sick relatives at home. This devotion still exists till this very day.
Hondoq ir-Rummien, a beautiful coastal area and bay in Qala Gozo, is one of the few remaining tracts of open countryside left in the Maltese Islands. The sea in this area boasts some of the cleanest, clearest water in all of Malta and Gozo, attracting locals and divers alike. An area of outstanding scenic beauty, it is also a vital habitat for dwindling communities of rare plants.
Heading south, we soon reach Triq il-Wardija, and the island of Comino is within touching distance from here. Further down, Triq ic-Cawl is arguably one of the most breath taking streets in Gozo.
Built in 1749, the fort was originally intended to be a new fortified city like Valletta, and eventually the new capital of Gozo instead of the Cittadella. The project was unsuccessful because by the time construction started, Berber and Turkish marauders were no longer a major threat and people began feeling safer living in the rural areas. While the fort was built, it never developed into a city as planned. The fort was later used as a military hospital by the British army, and was recently transformed into the most luxurious area of residence in Gozo.