Day trip to Gozo ( 14/10/2017 )

A visit to the island of Gozo is a must-do when visiting Malta which can be done for a day trip or longer. We decided to spend a full day at the island and planned the activities carefully to get out the best of the day especially photography wise. Unfortunately we managed to nail the Independence day when most of the Maltese people were free and gladly spent the day at Gozo as well. Anyhow the crossing with the Gozo Channel Line ferries went smooth despite the crowded car lanes at the ferry dock. It's not possible to make a reservation for a certain departure time so just place yourself in line. We were quite lucky though that there was an additional ferry that day so we only had to wait for a 45 minutes to drive onboard.


Gozo Channel Line ferry with Malta island as backdrop

The weather was quite calm and the crossing went smooth, I truly recommend to be standing on the sun deck to get a glimpse of the Blue Lagoon on the smaller island of Comino during the crossing. You will also have the chance for some great photos of Gozo when approaching the island. After leaving the ferry we drove to the Church of Rotunda of Xewkija which was visible in the distance already from the ferry. The church is best enlightened during the morning which makes it good as a first photo stop.

The next stop was the most tricky one to find during our whole stay on Malta. I really can't understand why this beautiful view of the Ta Cenc cliffs hasn't been the main attraction after the fall of Azure Window. There was really no sign where to go to find the spot but drive to the village of Ta Cenc and then try to find a small gravel road leading to the Ta Cenc cliff restaurant. Just a few hundreds meters down the road you get a beautiful view of the Rotunda of Xewkija church on your left and shortly thereafter you can see an even smaller gravel road leading to the right. We parked the car here and walked along the small path and after 15 min you get the first glimpse of the beautiful limestone cliffs. There is several good photo spots along the cliff edge but be careful, it's a long way down to the water!

The best view of the Church of Rotunda of Xewkija was actually from the gravel road on the way to the Ta Cenc cliffs.

I really don't understand why the Ta Cenc cliffs haven't become the main attraction of Gozo, especially after the demise of the Azure Window...spectacular views!


My wife and daughter on top of the impressive Ta Cenc cliffs

My first thought when planning the Gozo day trip was to be as early as possible at the Azure Window to get less people at the island's main attraction. After studying the light conditions both at the Ta Cenc cliffs and the Azure Window, I found it much better to make the stop at Ta Cenc first to get that limestone cliffs nicely illuminated of the morning sun. I guess a sunset photo when facing the sun will creat some nice effects of the limestone cliffs as well if you have the opportunity.

Anyhow the next stop coming up was planned to be the Azure Window and nearby attractions of Dwerja Bay. The spot turned out not to be as crowded that I first thought and there was no problem at all getting some clean shots of the remains. The light was actually perfect during the noon as well. We went for a lunch in the touristic restaurant located at the site but the dishes was great and tasty. Some air condition and shadow for our one year old daughter was about time after been sleeping in the baby carrier earlier during our hike to the Ta Cenc cliffs. There is several more attractions to be done at Dwerja Bay than just looking at the remains of the Azure Window but a small child didn't make it a good idea to catch a boat ride or swimming to the Inland Sea through the cliff hole. We got some shots of the remarkable Fungus Rock before leaving for our next stop.

Trying to be creative when the your are six months too late...

Dwerja Bay and the remains of the Azure Window

The hole leading to the Inland Sea


The Fungus Rock

A short drive to Ta Pinu, another beautiful church which could be seen already on the way to Dwerja Bay. It could be a good idea to make a short stop at the church before Dwerja Bay if you want the church in even better light. After Ta Pinu it was time to aim for the northern parts of the island to see the salt pans located there. It was a little tricky to find the right way and when you find it will definitely surprise you both quality wise and and how narrow it is from time to time. Anyhow some nice views can be obtain along the route of the sea and a yellow colored moon landscape. After a while you will see the first salt pan in different layouts and shapes.

Small and narrow country road well worth drive with spectacular views everywhere

Beautiful landscape of limestone formations along the road


One of many salt pan locations along the north shores at Gozo

It's now already afternoon and we haven't yet been to the capital of the island so that will be our last stop. Victoria or Rabat as the locals call it, located almost in the middle of the island. The main attraction, the Citadel, is elevated with walls and could be seen from far away. Our stop was very well in time for a locally produced ice cream from a ice cream bar on the main street. The Citadel as I said is elevated and require a steep walk up the streets for getting there. The view from the walls is beautiful and it's interesting to walk around the small alleys inside the Citadel. Outside the the Citadel there is a beautiful church and a square with restaurants worth a look. For our part we were quite satisfied with our full day at Gozo so it was time to go back to Malta. A 20 minutes drive to the ferry dock which was just as crowded as it was in the morning. Lucky this time as well to get onboard one of the ferries which was docked at the moment. The crossing took about 25 minutes and from the sun deck we had our last view of Gozo and Comino.


The Citadel at Victoria (Rabat)

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