The Citadel of Victoria is located on a flattened hill, visible from almost the entire island. You will find this "fortress" in the center of Victoria. It was used as a protection against outside attacks. Gozo was attacked several times, including by pirates and the Ottomans. During this process many residents were murdered or taken prisoner, to be used as slaves. To protect the inhabitants from the many attacks, the people from 1565 to 1637 were legally obliged to spend the night in the Citadel.
After this obligation was abolished in peacetime, citizens began to settle around the site, creating the city of Victoria. Until 1897 called the city of Rabat. The Citadel has been almost completely restored and is well maintained. It is more than worth a visit. We could park very close to the entrance. In Victora itself it is nice to walk, but if you visit everything in the Citadel, it might be advisable to come back another day. Victoria is easy with bus 301 to grow from Mgarr.
Cathedral of Gozo
Once through the big gate you can see the Cathedral. Inside you will find a painted dome that was never built. I remember that you had to pay an entrance fee to see it.
You can view a short film about the history of Gozo when you visit the Citadel. They use projections on the walls, so that the film can be shown in 360 °.
There are several attractions in the Citadel, one more interesting than the other. We had a combined ticket. With that ticket you can visit the old prison, the Cathedral Museum, the Archaeological Museum, the Folklore Museum and the Nature Museum. If you do not have that much time and have to choose, the Old Prison is the best choice. It is also possible to visit the Gun Battery. It is equally interesting and it is free to visit. To get there, you need to walk through some storage tanks that used to be storage silos for grain.
Opening hours Citadel
If you do not visit the paying attractions, you can go outside the opening hours. It is then quieter to enjoy the beautiful views and better to take pictures. The temperature is also more pleasant from 16u30.
Monday till Saturday :
10u00-13u00 en 13u30-16u30
Sunday and public holidays:
The Inland Sea and Fungus Rock at Dwejra Bay
The inland sea is a small lake, where you can swim as well. The water is calm and slightly warmer than the sea in open water. There are many boathouses around the lake and there are many fishing boats. If the sea is calm enough, you can take a boat trip for a small fee, through the tunnel towards the open sea.
Azure Window (collapsed)
Not long ago you saw the Azure Window on your left, once through the tunnel, but unfortunately after a heavy storm on 8 in March 2017 collapsed. The caves, cliffs, Crocodile rock and Fungus Rock are also worth seeing from the sea. The price to sail with was 5 euros per person. As a dive location this place is excellent. It is even seen as the best dive site in Malta. From the beach on the inland sea, scuba divers can easily enter the water. They go through the tunnel and reach the open sea after a few minutes. Turn left to see the remains of the collapsed Azure Window. The depth in the cave goes from shallow in the lake, to around 20-30 meters at the end of the tunnel.
Snorkeling or diving
It is not advisable to snorkel in the cave or swim through the cave to the open sea, as this is extremely dangerous. The boats sail there frequently through the tunnel. The depth at the end of the tunnel quickly drops to 50-60 meters. An absolute hotspot for divers is also the Blue Hole, a rockpool with a diameter of 10 meters and a depth of 16 meters. Under water you will find an impressive water arch from 8 to 15 meters, which gives access to the open sea. You can see, for example, grouper, squid and rays. You can book a diving excursion at St. Andrews Divers Cove.
Fungus Rock is located on Dwejra Bay and owes its name to the stinking mushroom that grows on it. The local people call the rock "The General's Rock" because a General of the St. John Order would have discovered the fungus. The rock was guarded for a long time, because people thought the fungus had medicinal powers against some diseases. In 1744 the rock was made completely inaccessible to the people. Only with a basket on a string one could go to the rock, to harvest the fungus.
It is still forbidden today to go on the rock. Diving on the bottom of the rock is allowed, which is done a lot. This place is also considered one of the best places for diving.
Salt pans from Qbajjar
The salt pans of Qbajjar are the largest in Gozo and easy to reach. They still collect tons of salt every year.
These are Megalithic temples, built in the period between 3600 VC and 2500 VC and were excavated in 1827. The Site consists of 2 temples and is the oldest of its kind on Gozo and Malta, similar to Stonehenge. Ggantija is the 2de oldest temple with carved stones in the world. The temple is built with large stones, hence Ggantija, which means something like giant. Legend has it that the large stones were carried by a giant woman with a baby on her back from Ta 'Cenc.
The best time to visit the temples is in the morning. In summer, at noon, when we visited the temple, it was actually too hot.
You can best visit the temples in the morning, because at noon when we visited the temple, it was actually too hot.
Monday to Sunday:
The mill is not far from the Ggantija Temple and is easy to combine. The mill is located next to an old tree and the shade that day was welcome after our visit in the full sun at the Ggantija Temples. Inside the mill the heat was not too bad. It was built in 1724, together with 2 other mills, one in Nadur and the other in Gharb. We stayed in a farmhouse in Nadur and passed the mill often. The mill has been nicely restored.