Gozo, which in Maltese is called Ghawdex is a derivation of other older names such as Gaulos. It has an area of 67 square kms, is 14 kms long and 7 kms wide. With a coastline of 43 km, it is the second largest island of the Maltese Archipelago that, together with the smaller isle of Comino and the main island of Malta form the Republic of Malta. Gozo is popularly called The Island of Calypso, that is a nickname originating from the Greek mythological location of Ogygia referred to in Homer’s Odyssey. In this epic poem, the fabled island was controlled by the nymph Calypso, who had detained the Greek hero Odysseus for seven long years as prisoner of love.
The Maltese Islands are situated in the centre of the Mediterranean – 93 km south of Italy and 290 km north of North Africa. Gozo lies about 5 km in the North West of Malta and the distance between Cirkewwa in Malta and Mgarr Harbour in Gozo, involves a 25 minute ferry crossing. It therefore enjoys warm summers and mild winters and this makes it the ideal holiday destination at any time of the year.
In comparison with mainland Malta, one finds a more varied geology and larger relief contrasts, with typical flat-topped hills. Over 31000 people inhabit the island and this amounts to one-twelfth of the overall population of Malta. When compared to the overall area of the Maltese Islands, Gozo covers approximately one-third of that area. This means that the island of Gozo is not overpopulated, and therefore greener and quite more peaceful.