Christmas is over and the annual assault from the holiday companies has begun, with firms urging everyone to book our summer vacations.
One of the destinations being advertised is our very own Gozo, Malta’s picturesque smaller sister. But Gozo is not just good for a holiday rental – it is worth buying there too, especially because of the limelight that will shine upon it in the coming year.
In the autumn, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt completed filming their romantic drama By The Sea on the nine-by-four-mile island. It is scheduled for release in 2015.
The couple, who married on August 23, seemed to treat filming as a mix of a belated honeymoon and work.
Much of this filming took place on one of Gozo’s favourite secluded beaches – Mgarr ix-Xini, which was closed to the public for three months while the production team took it over.
They also filmed in the square in the village of Gharb.
‘It’s been very good for Gozo having Brad and Angelina here,’ says Marie Grech, manager of Frank Salt Real Estate’s Gozo branch.
‘It has raised the island’s profile and increased the number of people visiting while they were filming. Hopefully, some of these people will return.’
Although small – the island has only 37,000 residents, known as Gozitans – Gozo has 13 villages and two seaside holiday areas.
The capital, Victoria, has two opera houses and a magnificent citadel built on raised ground. There is no airstrip on the island so visitors arrive by ferry from Malta.