10 Holiday Islands You Didn’t Know About

  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • The best places to feel happily cut off from the rest of the world…

    Malta’s equally picturesque, and perhaps more rugged, little sister, Gozo is a 25-minute ferry journey from the northern tip of the island and has some jaw-dropping natural scenery, much of which can be discovered on a day trip. To the west is Dwerja, home to the Azure Window, a huge, striking natural arch carved into the cliffs, which has served as a location in Game of Thrones. On the east side of the island, near the seaside town of Malsalforn, are Gozo’s picturesque salt pans, a carved chequerboard of shallow natural containers, which are still used every day.

    If you want beaches, head for nearby Xwieni Bay, a slightly craggy stretch of shore which offers good diving, or Ramla Bay, a pretty and popular beach known for its red sand. Gozo’s main town is Victoria (also known as Rabat), situated right in the centre of the island, on top of which sits the citadel of Il-Kastell, home to an impressive cathedral, and a couple of museums, including the Old Prison, into which hot tempered Knights of St John – the famous religious military order which helped defend Malta and Gozo from Ottoman attackers – were routinely slung until they’d calmed down. And don’t miss the impressive Church of Ta’Pinu, a beautiful basilica perched by the edge of a cliff.

    HOW: Seven nights in Malta staying at The George Urban Boutique hotel in St Julian’s on a B&B basis costs from £470 per person, including return flights from the UK. For more info, visit www.thomson.co.uk, or call 0871 230 2555. For more info, visit www.visitmalta.com and www.visitgozo.com