Carnival Gozo 2018 was officially opened on Sunday 4 February. However it will reach its climax in its classical five day festival between Friday 9 February and Tuesday 13 February, exactly before the forty day long Lent time.
This year’s opening of the Gozo Carnival was certainly a spectacular one. Over 500 participants from various dance schools across Malta and Gozo participated in the opening session on the sunny Sunday afternoon.
But this is just the starting point. What’s coming up on Gozo in the next days is surely a must-see event. As a local, one cannot but notice the huge activity going on till late in the small villages and towns – preparations, rehearsals and final touching of all Carnival floats and colourful costumes.
The pictures below certainly do not do justice to the amazing performance of all groups during the Gozo Carnival 2018 official opening at Nadur.
Got to one of our favourite Gozo family bakeries and there we had the Gozo best ftira, the local pizza version perfectly done in the old log oven.
In Malta and Gozo, the ftira has a thicker crust and dough similar to bread making and different toppings.
But the Gozo best ftira looks and tastes are second to none!
There, the bakers and I invited our guests to actually help us prepare the ftiras in the oven.
Guests were simply delighted with such hands-on-activity and pizza making on Gozo.
In these pictures, Rosi and Ewald, our guests are taking out very carefully 🙂 the fresh sheep cheese ftira…
…and then also taking out from the old oven the mouth-watering Gozo tuna ftira or pizza.
The cheese ftira just taken out from the old log oven. Incredible aroma!
Rosi and Ewald could not stop taking pictures!!! 🙂 while at the same time, we were all in a such a hurry to start dining!!! 🙂
After leaving the bakery, we found a secret panoramic spot, away from it all… and there we had the ftiras (plural of ftira) together.
It was truly another great experience for our guests and a wonderful experience for us hosts.
It’s a huge satisfaction when guests could not stop talking about the local experiences they have just had. They look back at their past holiday experiences…. and soon realise about the BIG difference of staying in a hotel or hotel chain or third party companies or group of holiday homes with so many villas, farmhouses and apartments…..AND the beauty, peace of mind and true experience when guests go local and book direct with the local owner.
Gozo best ftira is very juicy with a crunchy crust – typical of Gozitan ftira bread. In brief, a ftira or pizza to die for!!! 🙂
On October 12, 2012, Valletta, Malta’s capital city was officially declared the European Capital of Culture (ECoC). During the past six years, the Valletta 2018 Foundation did a superb job to prepare the Maltese capital city for this European title of prestige.
Over 400 events will be taking place all around the islands of Malta and Gozo to celebrate all Maltese and European heritage as one people – unity in diversity.
The official opening of Valletta 2018 (V.18) is on Saturday, January 20th 1900hrs.
But in practice, what’s Valletta 2018 all about? Watch out this video.
If you’ve never been to Malta and Gozo, then enjoy this colourful walk through the noble city of Valletta, named after Grand Master Jean Parisot de la Valette.
…and why not? Watch the latest spectacular laser show on the facade of the GrandMaster Palace in Valletta celebrating V.18.
Thinking of visiting Malta this year? Check out all the events happening at Valletta 2018 here:
… and stay tuned for all the local updates we’ll bring you straight from the European Capital of Culture 2018!
As soon as you leave the Mgarr Marina and the breakwater, you’ll find Zewwieqa bay, a perfect spot for swimming and snorkeling.
The coastal walk actually starts from here.
There is a coastal path from Zewwieqa bay in the fields and on the rock area side between Mgarr and Hondoq bay. The coastal walk itself should not take more than one hour, of course depending if you do not stop very often to take pictures! 🙂
Looking back… lovely panorama half way from the harbour towards Hondoq bay.
The coastal area is covered in very small shrubs, typically Mediterranean. Being so exposed to the natural elements, plants and shrubs tend to grow very short, but certainly are very well rooted in the natural rock formations.
Would we get lost? No, definitely. It is an easy to medium level walk and the Gozo coastal trail is clear most of the way towards Hondoq beach. Very important to use the appropriate walking shoes, take enough water to drink and take care especially where the path is very close to the cliff edge.
Great view of the little rock formation jutting out from the rest of mainland Gozo. One of our favourite spots for snorkeling!
Rock erosion due to natural elements. This is actually the erosion of the globigerina limestone, the sand stone quarried here and used in Malta and Gozo for building practically all dwelling structures, churches, palaces, schools, etc.
Another close up of the little rock formation and the rich flora diversity in this beautiful natural park on Gozo.
While doing this coastal walk, you’ll also find some farm land especially to your left side. Please kindly respect all farming signs.
A typical picture of Gozo right now – Gozo in winter time. Fields covered in yellow Cape Sorrel flowers locally known as l-Ingliza. This non-native plant was introduced about 500 years ago and gradually became part of the Maltese natural environment.
During our walk, we met some lovely curious pigeons who kept following us for a while… and this is their selfie! 🙂
Getting closer to Hondoq bay, the environmental habitat changes even more. Less shrubs, less greenery and more wilderness with hard rock formations.
The wilderness area is covered with a number of very low growing shrubs, some of which flower in winter and spring time. The one below is the Mediterranean Heath, locally called the Erika.
Certainly, you cannot miss the aromatic wild Mediterranean Thyme. It grows only around the cliffs and this wilderness area near the coast on Gozo. It normally flowers in June.
Just about 300 metres from Hondoq bay, you’ll see Ta’ Bamberin cave, a little lovely secluded inlet beach.
and finally you arrive at one of the most beautiful and popular beaches on Gozo – Hondoq Bay!
Amazing crystal clear waters at Hondoq Bay. In fact this beach is rated as Excellent in terms of Quality of Water for public interest.
In the Maltese Islands, Good Friday processions involving a majority of the whole community are organised each year. This Gozo photogallery illustrates one of such amazing Good Friday processions on the island of Gozo yesterday – on Friday late afternoon 14 April 2017 at 6.00pm.
In brief, it is a perfect reenactment of the Bible history from the Old Testament to the New Testament reaching its climax in the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ. During the procession too, about eight large statues illustrating important moments from the fourteen stations of the Cross, are carried shoulder high in the main streets of the towns and villages.
In the Christian faith, Good Friday is the final day of pain and agony before Vigil Saturday and Easter Sunday liturgy changes completely to a highly festive event with cheerful music, bell ringing and whole communities sharing local Easter delights such as the sweet figolli.
On Good Friday, several men (seen dressed completely in white) carry either heavy wooden crosses or chains. They do it for two reasons – one as a thanksgiving to the Lord and secondly as an obligation for what they promised to do in favour of the health of one of their family members. It is truly an external act of faith, carrying such a weight barefoot for more than two hours.
Lent time is over… and this is the most important week, known as the Holy Week leading to the greatest feast of all – Easter – the birth or the very beginning of no end!
On the island of Gozo, traditional food is very widespread in the local tiny villages. The so called ‘Qaghak tal-Appostli’ or the Apostles Rings are traditional rings made for hundreds of years.
People on Gozo enjoy buying these freshly baked rings from our town of Ghajnsielem – straight from the wood oven. Many like to eat them as a snack, others sipping them in coffee and tea and children and teenagers make sure it is part of their lunch to school.
Very tasty and not sugary. No chocolate. Few dried fruits and almonds. Excellent treat whether for breakfast, fruit break, tea time, lunch or dinner.
This week, in our town, these popular rings are freshly baked every day till Good Friday.
After these rings, it’s another very popular Easter treat which takes over in practically all local homes… more details another time!
Pictures below taken this afternoon at 6.15pm while sharing some of the freshly baked rings with our current guests – Paul and his family from Australia.
Discover the beautiful island of Gozo during your Gozo holidays in Malta this year! We provide you with free new 21-speed bicycles, helmets, locks, guidebooks and maps so you can enjoy and discover Gozo by bike at your own pace.
Certainly the winter and spring seasons are the perfect time to visit Gozo and discover it by bike. Great weather, perfect temperature to ride the bikes, great views to stop and be amazed and wonderful local tasty food to try out in all the small villages you can visit very easily from HolidaysonGozo.com We are just 10 minutes walk from the sea and beaches and all the shops, restaurants and bars.
We make it very easy – just check ouravailability or if you like, email us on [email protected] and we will provide you all the details by email.