Gozo wins the Best in the Mediterranean Destination at the World’s Best Sustainable Destinations at ITB Berlin

March 22, 2018

Gozo is one of many Mediterranean islands. Here’s one great reason why IT IS the island you need to visit!

On March 7, Gozo was chosen as the Best in the Mediterranean at the World’s Best Sustainable Destinations, which were unveiled in the Awards Hall of ITB Berlin. The winners of this award were chosen from among the finalists that have been selected by a Jury representing 12 international organisations, from a total of 100 top-sustainable destinations.

The Jury announced the Best of Cities, Communities & Culture, the Best of Nature, the Best of Seaside, the Earth Award (for environment & climate), and also the best of each part of the world, including the best in the Mediterranean.

ITB Berlin is the world’s leading Travel Trade Show. ITB provides its prime auditorium (Palais am Funkturm) to a new mainstream award scheme exclusively dedicated to destinations: the Sustainable Destinations Top 100 Awards. In fact, this is the most prestigious opportunity to showcase “green destinations” to the world.

 

It’s about food
This award echoes the fact that the island of Gozo is striving to be as eco-friendly as possible. Though this is easier said than done, Gozo is starting early by getting school children involved in projects that focus on the traditional produce of the island. One such product involved the carob syrup, the ultra-sweet syrup that is extracted from the beans of the carob tree, which is itself an indigenous tree of the Mediterranean region. Many of the dishes that one can eat in Gozo are traditional dishes that have been prepared and eaten by the inhabitants of the island for generations. Such dishes include kusksu, lampuki, minestra, kawlata and different stews including rabbit stew. Such dishes are prepared when the particular produce or catch is in season.

Traditional food from Gozo
Traditional food from Gozo

It’s about beaches
As an island in the Mediterranean sea, beaches, coves and secret inlets are a key attraction of the island both for locals and travellers. Gozo’s beaches are second to none and in fact, many of Gozo’s beaches are Blue Flag Mediterranean beaches. Whilst the popular Ramla l-Ħamra is visited by most of the travellers that set foot on Gozo, there are several beaches that are still hidden and known only to the locals.

Beaches, coves and secret inlets - a Mediterranean paradise
Beaches, coves and secret inlets – a Mediterranean paradise

It’s about diving and watersports
Beyond the beaches, Gozo provides opportunities for great diving adventures. There are many natural diving spots, but credit is also to be given to the island for creating artificial reefs by scuttling off vessels in certain areas. These reefs are now thriving with marine life and are in themselves fantastic diving wrecks sought by many of the divers who enjoy the thrill of wreck expeditions. Above the surface, Gozo promises great fun with activities like jet-skis, towables, stand-up paddle boarding, wake boarding and the ultimate hydro-flying.

Gozo provides many diving sites
Gozo provides many diving sites

It’s about adventure
The call of nature and outdoors is felt throughout all the seasons. The island’s location in the centre of the Mediterranean sea means that the island enjoys a mild climate. From biking to hiking, rambling, abseiling and kayaking, Gozo is becoming a mecca for those who seek to shake off the stress of everyday life by getting away from it all and indulging in physical activity. Naturally the charming countryside and blue skies help…

Gozo is about the call of outdoors and adventure
Gozo is about the call of outdoors and adventure

It’s about romance
Gozo is often referred to as the island of joy and there is no doubt that Gozo is the perfect romantic island. Sunrise and sunset on the island is truly an idyllic experience and in Gozo couples can choose to stay in quaint farmhouses or stylish villas tucked away in the countryside. Gozo now also has a series of luxurious and trendy boutique hotels. Gozo is also silently and steadily becoming a wedding destination for all seasons. Everywhere you go on the island is practically a perfect backdrop for your wedding and service providers are friendly, helpful and professional.

A unique Mediterranean backdrop for weddings
A unique Mediterranean backdrop for weddings

It’s about culture
Gozo is not only about nature. Gozitans are keen to celebrate what they passionately love and that can take many forms and expressions in a vareity of different arts. Hailed for its opera season, but also recongised as the island which goes out of its way to remember Christmas and Easter, there is no doubt that the essence of the Gozitan identity is intrinsically interwoven with the summer feasts celebrating the patron saints of different villages. These feasts, with a typical Mediterranean flavour are a must for any traveller who happens to be in Gozo during the season.

Summer feasts are a magnificent display of the Gozitan culture.
Summer feasts are a magnificent display of the Gozitan culture.

It’about history
For those who are after a dose of history, exploring Gozo is like walking through a history book. On every page there is a different story but one cannot ignore that the island is internationally acclaimed for its Citadel and Ġgantija temples. These temples which are the world’s oldest freestanding structures raise many questions about the role that the island could have played at the centre of the Mediterranean sea in antiquity.

Ggantija Temples are a key landmark in Gozo's rich history.
Ggantija Temples are a key landmark in Gozo’s rich history.

All in all it’s about a great Mediterranean holiday.

Getting here
Unless you’re sailing directly into Mġarr harbour on your own vessel or yacht (Gozo is also a sailing destination), Gozo is linked to the rest of the world via the Malta International Airport. Flights from all over Europe and other main hubs land daily and from there it’s only matter of being taxied to the ferry boat that will bring you to Gozo.