Trip date: December 2021
For such a tiny island, there are a lot of sights to see on Gozo. And right down the street from our rental house was one of them; the Basilica of Ta' Pinu. This huge church is a shrine to the Virgin Mary; there isn't anything else around it except for a parking lot, so it's a bit unusual just sitting out in the middle of a field. The site was chosen because a woman by the name of Carmela Grima claimed she heard the Virgin Mary speak to her there. She is entombed behind the altar as a thank you to for her faith.
Outside of the church are mosaic panels with biblical stories which were created by artists from around the world. The work is quite beautiful.
A very short drive from our house in Ghammar is the Ta'Dbiegi Crafts Village. Local artists each have their own space and most are actively creating while you are there. It's a little touristy but we found some interesting stuff and also learned about the declining lace making industry. The owner of the lace shop wouldn't even let me take photos of their product as he said big manufacturers steal the local designs!
After our shopping we drove up to the north part of the island to Wied il-Għasri. This is quite a unique place with a sea canyon cutting through very tall cliffs and ending at a tiny beach.
There are about 100 stairs down to the beach but it isn't very steep. It was really cool to see the gorgeous blue water rushing in and out through the channel. There is a cave that people dive in and it's also a popular spot for snorkeling in the summer when the sea is calmer.
After checking the area out we walked back up and out onto the limestone cliffs. Wow, the views around here are so stunning! And there were so many fossils!!!
Besides the fossils we also stumbled upon some now out-of-use salt pans from when the area was partially submerged (but now sit on the top of sky-high cliffs!) We then got back to the car and drove to the currently used salt pans at Xwenji Bay. These pans are cut, filled with seawater, and harvested by hand. Some of them go back to the Roman ages!