Baron Gozo Blog


Posted on 30 November 2016

There’s so much to do on Gozo – you can relax by one of our pools, or if you’re feeling energetic you can explore the island’s rich heritage. Sporty types can go hiking, cycling, rock climbing, sea kayaking, or experience some of the best scuba diving in the world. You can sample the local cuisine and culture at an exuberant village festa. And for something different, you can also follow in the footsteps of TV and movie stars!

With a spectacular coastline, timeless rural landscape and gorgeous honey-coloured architecture, beautiful Gozo is immensely photogenic so it’s not surprising that it has featured in several films and TV productions over the years. It’s hard not to fall under the spell of beautiful Gozo.

Game of Thrones

The Azure Window, Gozo as seen in Game of Thrones. Photo credit:

Game of Thrones is one of the most high-profile and successful TV dramas in the world and fans will instantly recognise Gozo’s iconic Azure Window as the backdrop to the wedding of Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo in the first series (2011).

The Azure Window is a natural limestone arch formed thousands of years ago by the collapse of two caves. It currently looms 28 metres (92feet) above the sea and is constantly being eroded. The dramatic coast at Dwerja, on Gozo’s western side is also home to other attractions, including Fungus Rock, the Inland Sea, and the Blue Hole – popular, world class scuba diving sites.

Prior to Game of Thrones, the Azure Window also appeared in another TV fantasy series The Odyssey (1997), based on the epic poem by Homer. It’s fitting that Gozo should be used as a location for this story as, according to Homer’s poem, Odysseus was held captive for several years by the nymph Calypso on the island of Ogygia[1], which is thought to be Gozo.

You’ll find Calypo’s cave near Xaghra on the northern coast of Gozo, overlooking the lovely Ramla Bay. It used to be possible to have a picnic inside the cave but due to rock instability you can no longer enter Calypso’s Cave. You can, however, still enjoy the wonderful view from a viewing platform nearby.

View of Ramla Bay, Gozo, from Calypso’s cave. Photo credit:

The Azure Window has also appeared in some movies. If you watch carefully, you’ll catch a glimpse of it in The Count of Monte Cristo (2002), and Clash of the Titans (1981).

By The Sea with Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt

Mġarr ix-Xini, Gozo, where By The Sea (2015) was filmed. Photo credit;

The most recent movie filmed on Gozo was By The Sea (2015). The film, about a troubled marriage, was written and directed by superstar Angelina Jolie Pitt and she also stars in it, alongside her superstar husband, Brad Pitt.

The setting for the film is supposed to be the South of France, but Gozo makes a pretty good stand-in. Interesting fact; Brad and Angelina were honeymooning on Gozo at the same time as filming the movie.

Many scenes in By The Sea were filmed in and around the beautiful inlet of Mgarr ix-Xini, just along the coast from Gozo’s harbour at Mgarr. A special set was built here to create the hotel the couple were supposed to be staying at. All of that has now disappeared but you can still stop for refreshments at the little kiosk there which doubled as the local shop in the film. If you visit, you must try Gozo’s favourite morning snack – the pastizzi: flaky pastry filled with delicious goats cheese and pea mash.

Some of Gozo’s lovely, winding country roads also feature in the movie as does the island’s oldest village, Gharb. And a key scene was also shot at Ta’ Frenc Restaurant at Xaghra, Gozo, a fabulous location for a romantic dinner.

Gozo has another link with Brad Pitt – the movie Troy (2005). Based loosely on Homer’s other epic poem, The Iliad, this epic movie portrays the battle between the ancient kingdoms of Troy and Sparta, with Mr Pitt playing the famous warrior Achilles.

Keep an eye out for Gozo in some classic films

You never know when Gozo might hover into view on the small screen. The island has served as a useful location for many, many films over the past decades.

When watching old films, remember to keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of gorgeous Gozo:

  • The Battle of The River Plate (1956) – you might get a glimpse of Mgarr harbour.
  • The Guns of Navarone (1961)
  • Warlords of Atlantis       (1978)
  • Inseminoid (1981) – Gozo stands in for an alien planet.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003) – spot the cliffs at Xlendi.

Happy viewing!

Ask us for help

Baron Holiday Homes is happy to organise car hire, tours of Gozo, and special activities for our guests. Just get in touch and we’ll tell you all you need to know about restaurants and things to do near to your rental property, special events in villages nearby, and other local information.

[1] Source: Wikipedia

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