My day trip to Gozo started early in the morning as I had to catch a ferry which operates a regular service carrying passengers and cars between Malta and Gozo. The trip took approximately 20 minutes and I had now arrived in Gozo also known as Malta’s little sister.
Gozo is a tiny island gloriously unspoiled scenery as well as attractions linked to TV shows like ‘Game of Thrones’, Greek mythology and is a firm favourite with Hollywood’s film industry elite as an idyllic location. I found Gozo to be more rural than Malta with it’s scenic hills, ancient temples, countless churches, narrow walkways and altogether slower pace and tranquil way of life.
My next stop was Dwejra which is the home to the magnificent Azure Window which is a monumental natural arch standing a mighty twenty metres high. I also recommend that traveller’s explore the Inland Sea which is a dramatic lagoon of shiny shimmery waters amongst a bedrock of cliffs. A small tunnel connects it to the open sea and I am told on a calm day small fishing boats pass through the tunnel. Some boats are used to take visitors through the archway and then for a tour of the nearby cliffs and other sites too, an experience not to be missed.
I arrive back in Malta after my mini adventure to Gozo and I am looking forward to dinner which is taking place at the refined Waterbiscuit restaurant.
The restaurant is based at the Intercontinental Malta, the most glamorous address on the Maltese island and is the jewel in the crown for the hotel offering a gastronomic experience to delight all food lovers in a charming and contemporary atmosphere. James Oakley is the talented Head Chef at the helm and has prepared a heavenly menu consisting of a refreshing and light beetroot cured Scottish salmon with yuzu fluid gel and tapioica crisp for starters. For my main course I sample a succulent slow cooked lamb belly with lamb tenderloin and cumin ratatouille which is delicious. There is just enough room for dessert which was a luscious peanut and milk chocolate bar with a sweet caramelised popcorn, pear gel and salted caramel peanuts. Needlesss to say the cuisine was flawless, presentation immaculate and service was absolutely first class.
James was raised in London and the renowned chef is the newest member to join the award winning InterContinental Malta team after stops in London, Hong Kong and Thailand.
My final day in Malta begins with is a trip to Marsaxlokk which is a fishing village located in the south-eastern part of Malta and is famous for its big Sunday fish market and its many decorative “eyed” painted boats called Luzzus. The market is teeming with locals and tourists who all come together to barter for the finest catch of the day.
After meandering through the fish market I venture onto Vittoriosa, one of the Three Cities of the Cottonera District, which is rich in history despite the damage it suffered in the bombing of World War Two.
Walking through the Collacchio area based in the old quarter it has a very quaint, calm and peaceful atmosphere about it and is where the Knights had their inns and auberges all those years ago.
Malta, in short, is a spectacular setting that has everything from rich cultural history, superb gastronomy, a diverse calendar of events and beautiful baroque architecture that compliments the modern, luxurious and contemporary landscapes.
During my stay on the islands the Maltese hospitality has been out of this world and they certainly know how to host a party too. With approximately 8,000 people in attendance for the Lost & Found Festival, it still managed to keep its quality high and intimacy close. No doubt, due to the phenomenal success of the Lost & Found festival, it will once again be a hot ticket for 2017.
So, whether you are a single traveller, a couple or a family looking for a high-end destination, with copious amounts of sunshine all year around and is less than three hours travel time from the UK then Malta needs to be on your consideration list.
Malta – Where And How?
For further details and information, visit:
National carrier Air Malta continues to operate an extensive year-round scheduled service of up to 26 flights per week from Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester with fares from as little as £75 one way, inclusive of taxes and 20kgs of baggage.
Air Malta also operate regional Summer charter flights from Bristol, Cardiff, Birmingham, Newcastle, Exeter, Norwich and Glasgow.
To book a room at the Intercontinental Malta:
For information on the 2017 Lost & Found Festival, visit: www.lostandfoundfestival.com