Baron Gozo Blog

How to have an eco-friendly holiday on Gozo

Posted on 02 July 2019

People visit Gozo to relax in its unspoilt beauty and to enjoy our ancient heritage and culture. Yet we are a tiny island and need to also preserve our local environment and traditional way of life.

Gozo is committed to becoming an eco-island by the year 2020. Over the past 10 years efforts have been made to improve the quality of life on the island, while reducing the island’s carbon and water footprints and protecting our cultural and environmental heritage.

These efforts were recognised in 2018 when Gozo won ‘Best in the Mediterranean’, in the Green Destinations Awards at ITB Berlin (an international travel trade show). 

The range of activities which secured this prestigious award included the eco-Gozo 2020 strategy, Gozo’s well-curated heritage sites, clean waters, and even our local, organic food.

This blog post provides some ideas on how visitors to our beautiful island can have an eco-friendly holiday on Gozo. 

Baron Holiday Homes’ eco-tourism focus

When you book a Gozo holiday with Baron Holiday Homes you are actively helping Gozo’s economy and contributing to a sustainable future for the island. 

We are proud of our pioneering eco-friendly achievements:

  • Saving water and plastic reduction:

Low rainfall and limited freshwater supplies makes water conservation a key priority on Gozo. More than 50% of Baron Holiday Homes’ rental properties now collect rainwater and we use this to water our gardens.

Gozo tap water isn’t drinkable so residents and visitors alike rely on bottled water. Baron Holiday Homes has partnered with a local water supplier (H2only) to offer our guests an alternative water service – a 19-litre water jug for only €6.00. You can pre-order this up to one week before your arrival to save money and help reduce plastic waste on Gozo.

  • Reducing energy costs:

We have installed photovoltaic (PV) solar panels to the roofs of around 50% of Baron Holiday Homes' rental properties to generate electricity for Gozo. And a quarter of our properties also feature a pioneering intelligent management system to monitor temperature. This means we can diagnose and fix issues rapidly as they arise.

  • Eco-certification:
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The Olives Holiday Home on Gozo comes with its own olive grove. Photo credit: Baron Holiday Homes

We are pleased that our efforts to improve sustainable tourism in our Gozo properties has resulted in two of our restored farmhouses being given ECO-certification by the Maltese Government. This is fully recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

Criteria for Eco-certification include environmental, social, cultural, economic, quality and health and safety. To remain certified, third-party audits are carried out every two years.

Seven farmhouses on Gozo have so far received ECO-certification, including Baron Holiday Homes’ Djar Ta Menjza 1 in Sannat and The Olives in San Lawrenz.

The Olives farmhouse features its own private grove of olive trees and guests can pick olives from these trees. We are hoping to make our own olive oil in the future.  

  • Preserving local skills and architecture:

Baron Holiday Homes recognises that it has a great responsibility towards Gozo’s remarkable architectural heritage.  As custodians of this heritage our aim is to leave a lasting legacy on the island.

We employ highly skilled local craftsmen on our restoration projects who use traditional skills and methods. We hope to preserve the incredible local skills and architecture of Gozo in a sensitive and sustainable manner.

  • Working with partners to promote local culture and activities:

All of us at Baron Holiday Homes are local and love to share our knowledge of things to do on Gozo. We also work with trusted local partners to help our guests access a diverse range of cultural and sporting activities on the island.

For example, our blog post How To Make an Adventure of Your Gozo Holiday comprises an interview with Gozo Adventures – a local partner that offers a range of fun eco-friendly activities on Gozo.

It’s also important to us that our guests get a real insight into the island’s unique and traditional way of life while they are on holiday on Gozo.

 

Green transport on Gozo

When it comes to getting around Gozo, it’s easy to be green. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint while you’re on holiday on Gozo, then there are plenty of options:

  • Walking and hiking

Gozo is a rambler’s paradise and walking is definitely one of the best ways to explore our island’s countryside, villages, heritage sites and coastline. VisitGozo has produced 10 downloadable PDF route maps for those who wish to hike around Gozo.

Our blog post Get Out And Walk gives you a taste of Gozo’s 50km Coastal Walk which can be done in four sections. And you can Discover the Delights of Gozo’s North Coast on foot too – taking in the famous salt pans at Xwejni.

  • Cycling
  • bikes-san-blas-gozo.JPGExplore Gozo by Mountain Bike. Photo credit: Baron Holiday Homes

Of course, you can also explore Gozo on two wheels. And Baron Holiday Homes is happy to organise cycle hire for our guests or book a guided cycle ride.

Mountain bike enthusiasts love the twisting scenic pathways of Gozo. In fact, our Property Manager, Donald Said, is a keen cyclist and helped to develop Three Fun Mountain Bike Trails on Gozo for our guests.

  • Segways and E-bikes

For those who prefer to take a more relaxed approach to travelling around Gozo, we have the answer! Why not try an eco-friendly and fun Segway or an electric bike? Our local partner Gozo Segway Tours offers guided rambling and hiking experiences as well as Segway and e-bikes tours. More information can be found in our blog interview with owner Kevin Grech.

  • New electric car hire service

On those days when you feel like touring Gozo by car, one eco-friendly option is to download the GOTO car sharing app and hire an electric car for the day.

And if you'd like a tour of Gozo in an electric Tuk-Tuk, let us know as Baron Holiday Homes can help organise this for you. You can choose from full or half-day tours and you’ll get to see some hidden parts of Gozo and have lots of fun along the way. Some tours include a boat trip too. You can find out more on our Baron Experiences page.

  • Public transport

Gozo has a good bus service with 9 routes running every hour in each direction. The 301 service runs every 30 minutes between the ferry terminal at Mġarr to Gozo’s capital Victoria.  The Malta Public Transport website has full details of the bus schedule.

Many of our properties are often just a short walk from a local bus stop. We let our guests know which buses run near to their Baron Holiday Home so you can plan how best to explore Gozo using public transport.

In addition, some people opt for a guided bus tour on one of the open-topped City Sightseeing buses on Gozo. You can hop off and on at various stops along the way, enabling you to do some sightseeing, then maybe hop off at a beach to relax.

 

A glimpse of Gozo’s traditional way of life

We know that visitors to Gozo are charmed by our island’s unique culture and traditions. Our food, our architecture, our traditional arts and crafts and our agriculture have all been influenced by our rich and varied history.

There is so much to see and experience on Gozo:

  • Traditional artisans at work

Our blog post The Unique Arts And Crafts Of Gozo gives a brief introduction to our island’s heritage.

At the Ta’ Dbiegi Crafts Village in Gharb you can watch skilled glassblowers, potters, jewellery makers and more and choose from a wide range of locally-made crafts to take home as souvenirs of your visit to Gozo.

We also recommend you take time to wander through some of the old streets in the Citadella in Victoria where you might stumble upon some skilled lace-makers, preserving an ancient island skill.

 
  • Agritourism on Gozo  

On Gozo many people still farm in a traditional and organic way, growing a variety of fruit and vegetables as well as keeping goats, chickens and bee hives.

Eating out on Gozo is a wonderful experience as you’ll get to taste our unique Gozitan dishes. And our blog post Enjoy a Hands On Harvest Experience explains how you can experience the authentic traditional lifestyle of farmers and wine producers (as well as sample their produce) by visiting some of the working farms and estates on the island.

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A tour of the Tal Massar Winery on Gozo. Photo credit: Tal Massar Winery Facebook Page

Baron Holiday Homes can arrange such farm and winery tours for our guests. In addition, we can organise a gastronomic experience with our local partner Maldonado Bistro. This experience includes a guided walking tour of Victoria, a wine tasting session and a fabulous three-course meal cooked by the owner.

Don’t forget to book our dining out coupons which can typically save a family of 4 over €100 on eating out at some of our favourite restaurants.

 

Ask us for help

Baron Holiday Homes is happy to help you enjoy your holiday on Gozo and we make sure our representative provides you with all the information you need about our in-house services and our wide range of activities on the island so you don’t miss out.

 

Posted in Activity, Adventure, Agritourism, Baron Experience, Cycling, Family, Fun, Segway

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