Monday, February 8, 2010

Top Retirement Destination-Gozo

Why is Gozo ideal for a Winter Holiday or even the best place to settle in for good? Malta, Gozo and Comino form the Maltese Archipelago situated right in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, sixty nautical miles below the toe of Sicily.

Malta is the smallest member of the European Union both in size and population and there are many people in the world who have never yet heard of it. Malta and Gozo do not have any natural resources, in the strict sense of the word, such as gas, oil and iron ore, not even enough water.

When the Knights of St. John (bless their souls) first arrived in Malta in the mid-1500s this was their first disappointing finding, no water. However, having no other choice they made Malta and Gozo their home and left us their culture, customs and a wealthy heritage of baroque buildings, churches and auberges.

Nature however has not left our nation totally destitute of resources. In Malta we have a flexible work force, our natural environment which includes the countryside, the sea and the coastline and above all our climate, typical Mediterranean with its long hot summers and mild short winters. The Maltese climate is a valuable asset indeed which if expertly harnessed should contribute in no small way to the Islands economy.

I keep wondering why we do not have many more Winter visitors to our Islands. Winter in Malta is not cruel at all, not really cold. Temperatures rarely go below 17 or 16 degrees. Rainfall days are few and far between. In general just putting on a sweater is enough to keep warm. We have many sunshine days all the year round when the sun is really warm and welcoming. And what is more pleasant than a beautiful sunny day under a blue sky with just a cool breeze in November or December or even in January and February which are supposed to be our main rainfall months. Excellent weather to go for a country walk or go biking along the country lanes.

And Gozo is special, the smaller sister Island of Malta just 8 kilometers away by Ferry. It is this small stretch of sea that gives Gozo its allure and its special character. It is more rugged than Malta, greener and more primitive in some ways - - such as you arrive by car in one of the smaller villages at 8.30 in the morning and you do not see one living soul in the main square opposite the parish church. Not a sound anywhere. And this on a fine day, not rainy or stormy at all. Where else in the world can you still expect to find such peaceful and quiet surroundings!

As soon as one sets foot on Gozo, one is at once aware of the friendliness of the inhabitants. Anyone can tell you that. The prevalent clean atmosphere and fresh invigorating air must be owing first of all to the complete absence of smoking factory chimneys and secondly to the small size of the island. Gozo is only 9 miles by 5 and a slight breeze can sweep the island from end to end thus clearing the atmosphere and continually renew the flow of air.

In my opinion, the excellent winter weather conditions together with the fresh invigorating atmosphere surrounding the island, make Gozo the ideal destination for those senior citizens who would prefer a long stay away from the cold bitter winters of Northern Europe and for many others who dream of a sojourn in peaceful and quiet surroundings.

I like to write about Gozo my Island Home and about other things as well. My Twitter page is : if you'd like to talk about Gozo and Malta or anything else:)

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