To get to the heart of Gozo, you need to go to the villages. Unlike Malta which is primarily an urban island with patches of unspoilt countryside, Gozo is rural with patches of habitation, much of it in traditional villages. The capital ir-Rabat (Victoria) is the only town of any size and even this is small. The rest of the island is hills and valleys dotted with charming villages, each with a parish church at its centre, usually in an attractive village square of traditional limestone houses, perhaps with balconies of carved stone or painted wood.
Older men hang around the square chatting and watching the world go by while women come and go from the church or the village shop – unless it is a summer afternoon, of course, when all is quiet. The sun shines brightly off the warm yellow stone and the church clock strikes without urgency. Gozo’s villages are peaceful places to travel back in time, slow the pace and recharge your batteries.