Myself and my partner stayed on Gozo for 2 nights after a week on mainland Malta, and Gozo was definitely the highlight of our holiday. It feels more authentic and relaxed than the mainland, and Saviour, the accommodation owner, is a fantastic host and his family are really lovely.
In all honesty, he had a rare admin blip the day before we were due to arrive and we discovered we couldn't stay in Red Sands Apartment after all, but Saviour was completely honest about this and an excellent communicator who couldn't do enough for us from this point onwards. He ensured we had an amazing alternative in his parents' farmhouse, only a couple of streets away from the original apartment. This was an old mill, apparently the oldest on the island, beautifully rustic and well-stocked for us in time for our arrival. His aunt, who lived in the adjoining part, was lovely and so friendly, giving us advice on what to see as the local festival reached its climactic weekend.
Although this property wasn't the intended one we'd booked on TripAdvisor, I feel confident to highly recommend Saviour's qualities as a host. He will now be super aware of bookings coming from TripAdvisor in future and is a very kind, genuine guy who wanted us to have a fantastic time on his island, which we certainly did!
The two nights we were there, Xaghra village was celebrating the birthday of their patron saint, Maria Bambina. The first night we walked only a minute or so down the street to see her statue being brought out of the local church with crazy Catherine Wheels and fireworks going off, and confetti and balloons being dropped from rooftops and balconies all along the streets as they carried the statue to the main square in front of the basilica. I've never experienced anything like it! Amazing!
The next morning we watched the Victory Day reenactments in the same square, showing Malta's victory against the Ottoman Empire in 1565 and how they bravely held out during WWII. We visited the UNESCO Ġgantija temples and Ta' Kola Windmill, which are in easy walking distance and a must-see. That night a spectacular firework display was set off from Nuffara Hill and a 3D Architectural Show was displayed on the front of the basilica; again, all within very easy walking distance to participate in all these evening festivities. Victory Day itself was mind-blowing with parades and celebrations. We loved being right in the middle of this awesome festival!
In other recommendations, Ramla Beach is a sandy bay 5min drive away (we had a hire car) and we toured the island easily in 2 days, managing to see Ta' Pinu Sanctuary, the inland sea and Blue Hole close to where the Azure Window used to be, another window that still stands called Weid Il-Mielah, the salt pans, the Citadel in the capital Victoria (Rabat). We didn't get to swim at Xlendi Bay or Ta Cenc cliffs but we had a look and I would definitely advise anyone else to if they have more time - A friend had told me about Ta Cenc and it was gorgeous to visit: Follow signs to the cliffs and there's a lush restaurant called Il Kantra you would need to be a patron at to swim, but the food is amazing and the area is so beautiful and well worth it. (Book lunch or dinner ahead though, it's popular.)
All in all, one of the best holidays we've ever had! Thank you so much again to Saviour and his family for such a special experience.