The Isle of Calypso

No, we’re not talking about Trinidad and Tobago but another small island located almost half way around the world! The island of Gozo (the smaller sister iland of Malta) is also know as the Isle of Calypso as it was reputedly the location where the nymph Calyso imprisoned Odysseus for a number of years, as chronicled in Homer’s Odyssey. For such a small and sparsely populated island of 31,00 souls, it contains 22 churches, one of which — Xewkija — has a dome that is larger than St. Pauls in London and which can house the entire population (3,000) of the village of Xiwkija!

But of course people don’t come to Gozo just to see churches. They also come to see the quaint rural scenery, unusual maritime caves and tiny fishing villages and of course, last but by no means least — the Ggantija temples — the world’s oldest free-standing structures which also happen to be the world’s oldest religious structures.

The island’s capital is called Victoria but referred to locally as Rabat. Gozo has some stunning beaches, the most dramatic of which can be found at Ramla Bay with its brilliant orange-red sand and clear turquoise waters.

The next time you’re in Malta, take a day out and do the ferry to this little gem of an island — a mere 20 minutes sailing time away from the ‘mainland’. Mercury Direct, a UK-based specialist tour operator but who trades in Ireland and is Irish government bonded and licensed are acknowledged experts when it comes to the Maltese market.


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