Of Lands and Lore – Gozo’s Enigmatic Charm
Seductive nymphs, vengeful pirates, buried volcanoes, miraculous chapels… few islands come with a history as colourful and legendary as our very own Gozo. And the same can be said for its property offering.
Many people are lured into buying or renting a property in Gozo. The Maltese love Gozo as a holiday destination, a place where they can escape the hustle and bustle of Malta and relax in peace in the weekend, or possibly for the Summer months. They also see the value of owning a property in Gozo, where thanks to a strong property market, they know that they are not only getting a holiday home, but also a solid and lucrative investment.
This concept has also rubbed on to foreign nationals (or possibly the other way round), who are enchanted by the tranquility and laid back lifestyle that this tiny island has to offer. Many have come to realize that there is no better place to retire than this Mediterranean island, where time has stood still for a decade or two, where the sun is always shining, and where one can still wake up in the morning to the sound of the cockerels and the scent of freshly baked bread and home-brewed coffee. And the beauty of it all is that whilst Gozo offers a green and relaxed pace of life, one can still enjoy all the amenities and comfort of today’s life – all at an affordable property price tag.
In terms of property, Gozo caters for all tastes and budgets, from the techie and ultra modern to the charming and traditional. For those who love character houses, Gozo is the obvious choice. Farmhouses and townhouses can be found throughout the island, some perched on top of plateaus and hills, offering exceptional views, and others clustered into village cores, close to the quaint buzz of the local village life. Most Gozo farmhouses are hundreds of years old, and have been expertly converted to cater for the modern comforts of today’s times, most notably with the introduction of swimming pools to give that extra element of privacy and luxury accommodation.
The island also offers a number of fishing villages along its coast, such as Marsalforn and Xlendi, probably Gozo’s most popular and developed sea resorts. Although being the most developed they are still small in size and have thus retained a village like charm. In summer months Gozitans and Maltese flock here on weekend evenings for their stroll along the lovely promenades. Lovely townhouses adorn the scenario, together with modern apartments and penthouses, often also offering breathtaking countryside and sea views.
Gozo is very much a multi-cultural destination with lots of artists, writers and musicians not only visiting often, but some of them also having opted to permanently live there. The same can be said for the island’s rich history, dating back to more than 4,000 years ago. Such history has reflected itself in all aspects of life, including the island’s architecture. Worth mentioning is Fort Chambray, a unique development built within the walls of a fortress. The site was intended to be a fortified city built by the Knights of the Order of St John 250 years ago, but which project was never fully completed. Today, the site is being completely rehabilitated and offers a unique and rare opportunity for those who want a distinctive residential address.
And what else is yet to come for Gozo when it comes to property? A good number of attractive projects are currently underway. However, the beauty of Gozo is that whilst development is going on, the local people and the developers have ensured not to spoil the island’s natural beauties and eco-climate. Some have gone even further, such as Hal Saghtrija in Zebbug. This forthcoming prime residential address is set on 15 tumoli of land of which over 85% consist of landscaped gardens and cultivated fields. Apartment owners will not only enjoy the best of luxuries and amenities, but they will also be able to enjoy the fresh produce from the fields and partake in the community life since the area will also include open air stone ovens for traditional Gozitan cooking, wine cellars converted from a war shelter, olive groves, orchards, a massive communal pool, lawned picnic and BBQ areas, kids playing area, a chapel, a horse paddock, a modern spa and much more.