Characteristics

POPULATION Gozo was first inhabited before the Neolithic Period (ca. 4th Millenium BC). Even so, according to archaeological finds, this means that Gozo received its first inhabitants from Sicily before mainland Malta. Today's Gozitan has typical Mediterranean features that closely match with Spanish or Italian looks. Gozitans are renowned hard-workers, religiously influenced and with an admirable sence of hospitality. The population of Gozo stands at about 31,000 and is distributed amongst Victoria and the surrounding thirteen villages.

LANGUAGE The official language is Maltese which is spoken in a distinguished dialect that amazingly differs slightly from one village to another. As applies for the whole Maltese islands, the language has Semitic origins and Romance influences, while the English language stands as the second official language.

RELIGION Religion is predominantly Roman Catholic. The village parish church is evidently the nucleus of local life and there are over 40 churches and chapels scattered around the island. Gozo has its own Diocese and its Seminary since 1864. The Bishop of Gozo has his seat at the Gozo Cathedral in Victoria.

CROSSING FROM MALTA Gozo could be reached in two ways; either by Ferry or by Seaplane. The most common is the Ferry service between Mgarr Harbour in Gozo and Cirkewwa Harbour in Malta, with a basically roll-on/roll-off schedule. However, there is a convenient Seaplane service operating between Valletta Waterfront in Malta and Mgarr Harbour Gozo.

TRANSPORT Transport is provided by a fair service of buses from Mgarr to Victoria and vice-versa and from Victoria to all towns and villages in Gozo. The main bus terminus is situated in Victoria and route numbers are on the front of the buses. Taxi stands are found in Victoria and Mgarr. One can also go around in hired cars, motorbikes and bicycles. In Gozo as in Malta and Britain, vehicle traffic travels on the left-hand side of the road. The relatively short travel distances make trekking and hiking in Gozo a worthwhile venture.

CLIMATE The climate is typically Mediterranean. It is generally mild in winter save for the first four to six weeks of the year when it is normally a bit cool, wet and sometimes unpredictable. The average temperature for winter is 16 degrees Celsius and it covers the period between December and March. Summer is rather long, dry and sunny, with August being the warmest month. The average temperature for summer is 25 degrees Celsius and it covers the period between April and November.

CURRENCY The Maltese currency since January 2008 is the Euro.