Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 18.5 miles, approximately 1.5 hours. Walking up to 2 miles and standing up to 2 hours at a time; varied terrain; limited/little shade. Extent and duration of free time activities according to personal choice.
At the hotel, breakfasts will typically offer breads, cheeses, cold cuts, yogurt, fruit, cereals, juice, milk, coffee, tea.
We will meet in the lobby and board a motorcoach for a field trip to Xaghra. Here with our expert historian, we will explore Ggantija, the first in the series of Malta’s megalithic temples. This UNESCO World Heritage Site consists of side-by-side temples that were constructed between 5600 and 5200 BCE. The Coralline limestone rocks of which these temples are constructed are more than five meters in length, and weigh more than fifty tons. They are so large that Gozitans — residents of Gozo — used to believe they were built by giants, which is why the name of these temples comes from the Maltese word for giant. From here we will ride to Calypso Cave overlooking Ramla Bay. According to legend, the island of Gozo is actually Homer’s island of Ogygia in his epic poem, “The Odyssey.” This cave, with a beautiful view over the bay, is allegedly where the sea nymph Calypso kept Odysseus as a prisoner of love for seven years. We’ll then ride on to one of the last active salt pans in Gozo. It has been family run for five generations. We will have an opportunity to talk with the owners about how they farm sea salt and the impact climate change has had on this process.
At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with beverage choices of a glass of wine and water; other beverages available for purchase.
Next, we will take a short ride to Dwejra on the west coast of Gozo. This spot is known for its small bay surrounded by cliffs and was the location of the so-called Azure Window — a 92-foot high natural limestone arch — that collapsed in 2017. The “Inland Sea” lagoon was created when the open ocean began to seep into a sinkhole through a tunnel in the rocks. Returning to the hotel, we’ll have some time to freshen up and relax before regrouping for a lecture by a local expert on church history and church-state relations on the islands of Malta and Gozo.
Hotel plated meal.