Culture & Heritage of Gozo

Where’s Gozo? The usual response when someone asks me where I live. Gozo, the little sister island of Malta, with freestanding man-made structures from 3600 BC, more than a thousand years older than the pyramids of Egypt, has over the centuries been invaded by almost all the powers in the Mediterranean region, yet still remains relatively unknown and undiscovered within 21st century Europe.  Gozo or Ghawdex  (in Maltese) meaning Joy, was perhaps better known in the past; as Gaudisium in the Middle Ages (1100-1280AD), Gawdex  during the Arab period (870-1100AD), Gaudos in the Byzantine Greek time (535-870AD), Gaulus by the Romans (derived from Gaulos, meaning Phoenician merchant ship, 220BC-400AD), Gwl by the Phoenicians (also a type of ship, 750-220BC). In Greek mythology Gozo is Ogygia, the island of Calypso  

Today however, Gozo’s fortresses and coastal watch towers are trying to attract guests rather than repelling invaders.

The prehistory of the Maltese islands has as many questions as answers, including the origins of the (Punic) temples and the cart ruts. In partnership with local heritage organisations guided visits can be arranged to the heritage properties they manage.


Between June and September, each village in Gozo has a festival, to celebrate its patron saint. An ideal chance for visitors to experience local culture and meet Gozitans, as well as enjoy the ubiquitous fireworks.