We also decided to take a shot with the Hop-on-Hop-Off Gozo sightseeing bus tour one day. This was a cool way to see the entire island in a short amount of time. It cost €15 per person, but with the air-conditioned buses and the interesting audio listening option between stops, it was well worth it. The buses have two routes and they come about every 45 minutes.
We stopped off in Victoria, the capital city of Gozo, for a nice stroll through an open-air market where we tried cheeses, olive oils, and wine. We also took a nice walk up to the Citadel, which is a fortified area that is in the heart of the city. This area was first fortified during the Bronze Age (1500BC). Since that time, various groups and people that occupied Malta, including the Nights of Saint John, have used it. The main purpose of this fortified city was to help keep the Gozitan population safe during times of attack on the small island. From the top of the citadel, you can see panoramic views of Gozo. There are also a lot of shops and places where you can stop and have a drink or snack within the walled area.
One interesting fact that we learned while visiting Gozo was the fact that during the 16th and 17th century the island’s inhabitants were often times victims of pirates. Thousands of Gozitans were kidnapped and sold into slavery during this period. On one raid, all of the inhabitants of Gozo were taken. To help with this little fort-like towers were built, and can still be seen today. These towers were used to communicate warnings that pirates were spotted near the island. The people would light signal fires on top of the towers, and the warning spread throughout the island.
Another cool sight to see on The Hop-on-Hop-Off Gozo route is the Ggantija temple. This temple is the second oldest known manmade structure in the world. Built between 3600 and 2500 BC the prehistoric sight is said to be a religious sight that natives would worship and make offerings to the gods. According to local Gozitan folklore, a giantess gave birth to a child from a man of the common people. With the child hanging from her shoulder, she built these temples and used them as places of worship. There are also several other myths and legends about this interesting site. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and viewed as one of the ancient wonders of the world.