Baron Gozo Blog

Our guide to Gozo’s gorgeous villages – Part 2: southern Gozo

Posted on 05 April 2024

Baron Holiday Homes

Welcome to Part 2 of our guide to Gozo’s villages. Part 1 focused on four villages in the north west of the island. In this blog post we’ll take a look at four more villages from the south of Gozo.

Regular visitors to Gozo already know our secret – that Gozo offers the best of all worlds as a holiday destination. There’s plenty to do and see – from watersports and rock climbing to going to the opera and exploring our ancient cultural heritage. But if you want to slow down and enjoy your precious holiday, Gozo’s traditional, rural way of life offers a peaceful, calm sanctuary.

Our blog post Relax To The Slower Pace of Village Life In Gozo describes how a holiday on Gozo can help you recharge your batteries. Our lovely island’s rolling green countryside can be explored by walking, cycling, driving or getting a bus.  There’s no rush – take your time and enjoy the warm welcome you’ll receive from the locals.

In the first of our village guides we looked at four villages on the north western side of Gozo: Kerċem, Għarb, Għasri, and San Lawrenz.

In this second guide we head to the south of Gozo and throw a spotlight on four more charming villages: Qala, Għajnsielem, Xewkija, and Sannat.




View of the Gozo channel from Qala. Photo Credit: Baron Holiday Homes

Qala (pronounced Uhala) is found in Gozo’s south eastern corner and has the best views of the Gozo Channel framed with Comino and Malta nearby.

The rocky coastline here is easy to explore on foot – in fact, there is an easy 4.3mile (6.9km) circular trail from Qala to Mgarr which is well worth tackling, and takes in some fabulous viewpoints.

Nearby is a small sandy beach in a sheltered inlet called Hondoq ir-Rummien, which is very popular for swimming and diving. It faces Gozo’s tiny neighbour Comino. And along the coast you’ll find the 18th century defensive battery of Ras il-Qala, known as St. Anthony’s Battery, built by the Knights of St. John.

Qala’s lovely parish church is dedicated to St. Joseph and becomes the focus of activity for events throughout the year – including Christmas, Easter, the village festa in early August, and the Qala International Folk Festival in September.

Another Qala landmark is the Ta' Randu Windmill, now a private residence but operated as a grain mill until 1977.


Baron Holiday Homes in Qala:


Veduta Holiday Home in Qala. Photo Credit: Baron Holiday Homes

If you want to use Qala as the base for your Gozo holiday we offer a lovely country house. Veduta Holiday Home  sleeps up to 7 people and has a private pool and jacuzzi. Best of all it has stunning sea views.





Ghajnsielem’s Our Lady of Loreto church at sunset. Photo credit: Instagram @aurore_alifanti

The Gothic steeple of the parish church in Għajnsielem (pronounced yan-shielem) is one of the first things you see as you approach Mġarr Harbour by sea, standing tall on the skyline.

Għajnsielem means ‘peaceful spring’ and the village is named after the freshwater spring which was first harnessed for public bathing by the Knights of St. John in 1700. Located in the south of Gozo, Għajnsielem offers amazing views of Mġarr Harbour and the channel beyond.

The village has two churches – the newer Gothic parish church of Our Lady of Loretta and an older church dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua. This means there are two village festas: in early June to celebrate St. Anthony, and in September to celebrate Our Lady.

And every year at Christmas in the fields surrounding the village, you can experience the unique live-action nativity Bethlehem Għajnsielem. First put on in 2008, this amazing event involves hundreds of volunteers to act as the Holy family, baby Jesus, shepherds and villagers going about their traditional lives.

You can hike from Għajnsielem to the coast, taking in one of Gozo’s hidden gems  – Ix-Xatt l-Aħmar just to the west of Mġarr Harbour. This small pebbly beach is safe for families and is popular for diving (there are three wrecks to explore) and swimming. Fort Chambray is also close by.


Baron Holiday Homes in Għajnsielem:


The Harbour Holiday Home. Photo credit: Baron Holiday Home

Our nearest property to Għajnsielem is The Harbour in Mġarr Harbour. This stunning country house property sleeps up to 9 people and overlooks the busy harbour. It also has spectacular views of the Gozo channel.





Fireworks explode during the Xewkija festa. Photo credit: @_pwl_falzon_

The village of Xewkija (pronounced Shhewkiyuh) lies mid-way between Gozo’s capital Victoria and Mġarr Harbour. And there’s no mistaking where it is, as the spectacular Xewkija Rotunda church stands out clearly on the skyline.

Gozo has an abundance of amazing church architecture but the Xewkija Rotunda has the honour of not only being the island’s biggest church, but also features the third largest dome in the world. Taking the lift up to the dome’s balcony is definitely recommended to enjoy incredible panoramic views of Gozo, and even catch a glimpse of Malta on a clear day.

The Rotunda was built by highly skilled local stone masons and the village still has a reputation for having the best stone craftsmen on Gozo. Towards the end of June every year the church is the focal point for Xewkija’s annual village festa in honour of St. John the Baptist.

Entering the village from the south you can’t miss another local landmark – a windmill on an octagonal base. This windmill is the oldest on Gozo and was originally built in 1710 but restored more recently after a devastating fire in the 19th century left it in ruins.

If you’re staying in the area you’re in easy reach of the lovely Mġarr ix-Xini valley, which can be explored on foot if you’re a hiker. The valley leads to the tranquil Mġarr ix-Xini bay where Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie filmed By The Sea. The bay offers safe swimming and snorkelling and is also a popular diving spot.


Baron Holiday Homes in Xewkija


Dar tal-Moghoz Holiday Home in Xewkija. Photo Credit: Baron Holiday Homes

We have 2: Mgarr-ix-Xini Maisonnette which sleeps up to six and the larger Dar Tal-Moghoz Holiday Home which can sleep up to 12. Both offer a great base for exploring Gozo as well as being a short walk from Xewkija’s vibrant restaurants and cafes in the village square.




The towering Ta’ Cenc cliffs near Sannat, Gozo. Photo credit:

Sannat is a quiet village located in the south of Gozo. But, as you’d expect on Gozo, it has an impressive Baroque parish church which is the hub of various religious and cultural events, including the village festa for St. Margaret in late June.

The village is best known for its proximity to the spectacular Ta’Cenc cliffs, which tower 143 metres (470 feet) above sea level. The area offers fabulous views and the Ta’Cenc plateau itself is a great place to explore the amazing variety of wild plants that make up the typical Mediterranean garrigue habitat. The plateau also offers intriguing evidence of Gozo’s ancient past with Neolithic cart ruts and stone burial sites.

The Ta’ Cenc cliffs are also popular with hikers and especially for birdwatchers as they are an important breeding ground for seabirds such as Cory’s Shearwaters. As well as walking, the cliffs are a great place to bring a picnic and watch the sunset.


Baron Holiday Homes in Sannat:


Aerial view of the Djar Ta’ Menzja complex, Sannat, Gozo. Photo credit: Baron Holiday Homes

We have three lovely properties in Sannat, a cluster comprising Djar Ta Menzja 1, 2 and 3. We are proud to say that Djar Ta Menzja 1 was the very first rental property on Gozo we restored and offered to guests back in 1995. It set the example we have followed with all our other properties – from apartments to villas and restored farmhouses.


The Baron Experience

Baron Holiday Homes offers more than 90 fantastic rental properties on Gozo including apartments, villas and farmhouses, many with private pools. Booking your holiday with us is easy and we have a flexible booking policy with a low booking deposit – you only pay the balance 15 days before arrival.

Our guests can book with confidence as we offer a grace period. Our money-back guarantee means that if you have up to 24 hours to cancel a booking (at least two days prior to the arrival date) and will get a full refund with no extra fees.

We have more than 25 years’ experience of operating high quality holiday homes in Gozo and we also offer a great range of extra services and activities to make your holiday even more special.

Posted in Beach, Churches, Cultural activities, Diving, Family, Festa, Fun, In-house services, Language, Local, Properties, Spring, Summer, Things to do, Traditions, Village life, Walk, What to see in Gozo

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