Gozo is the perfect escape all year: From outdoor yoga, to hiking & crystal seas

A beautiful country farmhouse looks out over the tranquil, balmy and blue Mediterranean as the sun sets on the island of Gozo.

One of three islands that makes up the Maltese Archipelago, Gozo is a luscious landscape of green fields, blue lagoons and orange dirt tracks.

Often overlooked by its sister island, Malta – known for its rich history, culture and incredible temples – the Gozitan countryside, coastal paths and sleepy villages are the perfect break away for complete and utter relaxation.

Those travelling to Malta can get a ferry over to the island of Gozo for less than five euros, and the beautiful journey will only take you approximately 25 minutes.

During a long weekend on Gozo in March, I enjoyed everything from morning outdoor yoga classes, boat trips through crystal clear seas to hidden caves and blue lagoons, and homemade Gozitan picnics in ancient olive groves.

The island is blessed with tranquility and everything feels fresh, from the fish that tastes like it came straight from sea to plate, to refreshing coastal walks and friendly locals.

By 2020, Gozo is aiming to become an eco-island, and those that live there are determined to protect the Gozitan lifestyle, culture and identity.

As a result, the island feels completely untouched, rustic and full of charm.

Not only is it a breath of fresh air, but Malta enjoys almost 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, making it an option for a quick holiday all year round.

Those wanting to enjoy nothing but the outdoors and the beautiful panoramic views of the island can do so from a James Villas property.

The UK’s leading villa holiday specialists can offer a range of properties from stone-clad farmhouses offering coastal views, to a more contemporary villa situated hillside with rolling views of the country.

I stayed in the former, which was positioned perfectly overlooking Pergla valley and Ghajn Barrani Bay, those residing here can enjoy the outdoor swimming pool and palm trees while looking down on the glistening Mediterranean waters.

If you want to spend more time in the comfort of your own villa you can do, as there are plenty of businesses that offer mobile services on Gozo, such as chefs and yoga instructors that will come to you.

There’s something special about waking up to a coffee before heading out for a morning stretch without leaving your rental, or enjoying a glass of wine at sundown while devouring and learning about local food with friends without having to get a taxi home.

And while, like Malta, Gozo is also rich in history and culture – the island’s must visits are the fortress, its museum and the famous Citadel – here, you can really take in nature.

I enjoyed a hike through small towns and villages to Ramla Bay, which has incredible views of both the countryside and sea, as well as a Tuk Tuk tour around the island where you can take in unlimited glimpses of the coast.

Gozo also has plenty of vineyards, I visited the family run Ta’ Mena Food Boutique and Winery, where you can try delicious reds, whites and rosé in the company of farm animals and friendly pet dogs.

Other options include the unique Gozo Picnic experience, an adventure dining service offering local food and wine prepared especially for you and your party.

The catering service has a range of menus available, from vegan and gluten free to Tokyo options, traditional and Mediterranean.

Gozo Picnic also sources local and organic produce and will set up the picnic in a range of locations across the island – a pretty special experience.

And if you fancy being pampered, that’s available too, I enjoyed a massage and spa day at the Kempinski San Lawrenz and it did not disappoint.

Dining on the island is also incredible, chefs at local restaurants are proud of their dishes and are willing to talk to you about their food, while staff are always on hand to recommend wine pairings.

I spent Saturday night in Ta’Philip’s in Ghajnsielem – a restaurant Meghan Markle once dined in – where the accommodating owner is more than happy to rustle you up anything that takes your fancy.

The place has incredible ambience and everyone working there makes you feel like part of the furniture.

Following a boat trip to the blue lagoon and the third island, Comino, Sunday lunchtime was spent on the seafront surrounded by families enjoying the sunshine.

After working up an appetite during the trip – which takes you on a journey through mind-blowing crystal clear seas around the small island of Comino – I had lunch at Il Kartell restaurant in Xlendi.

The restaurant offers up delicious fresh fish which was washed down with a holiday Aperol Spritz or two while breathing in the sea air and stunning views.

If you’re thinking about making a trip to Malta, Gozo, is definitely worth a thought.

The island is perfect for groups, hen dos or couples looking for a cultured, relaxing and outdoorsy adventure with guaranteed sunshine all year round.

For more information head to Visit Malta UK.

And to take a look at what James Villas has to offer, click here.

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