Valleys of Peace

By turns, lush and mysterious or craggy and spectacular, Gozo’s valleys constitute often overlooked passageways, deep inside the little island.

Lunzjata Valley

This valley is possibly one of Gozo’s most charming and dreamlike. Boasting fairy tale features such as medieval chapel partially build in a cave, an old fountain and a thick walled archway at its entrance, it certainly feels like something out of a fantasy world. The presence of a number of natural springs also means that the sound of water flowing down the valley can be heard all year round, enhancing the sense of lushness and magic. Its charm has long been acknowledged and this valley was a game reserve for several grandmasters. Its perennial watercourse means that it is also home to the Maltese fresh water crab – a species endemic to the Maltese islands – and which is found only near permanent freshwater courses. The large historic fountain in the valley was restored not a long time ago.

Mgarr ix-Xini Valley

A little inland from the beach in which it ends, this valley teems with life – from bats which inhabit the caves and dank vegetation at its sides, to various birds which find shelter and refuge in its fertile shade. So dense is the vegetation in some areas that it is almost impenetrable, making it difficult to cross on foot. In its deepest reaches, trees grow thick and tall, closing off the sunlight, and the terrain is wild and unruly. Nevertheless, what might seem like a hostile environment is gentle with its smaller inhabitants. This was one of the last places where the barn owl was recorded to breed on our islands. Those who brave the unruly and dense vegetation might come across an old pumping station rising along the cliff edges like a medieval castle from the dark foliage beneath. Its gothic fairy tale qualities however belong only to the imagination as this was connected to a system of archways to pump water up from the valley.

This beautiful valley lies in a gorge accessible from Sannat and Xewkija. Probably one of the best developed river valleys, it ends in a small bay and continues beneath the sea as a sunken or underwater valley, conveying the idea of a miniature fjord.

Ghasri Valley

With its sheer cliffs rising straight up from the sea and its huge masses of craggy stone, the setting here is nothing short of spectacular. At its end the valley forms a deep narrow ravine with several miniature cascades where water smooths out the rock and cuts deep into it, forming small freshwater pools at the base. Its valley bed, with its floor of dense reeds, is quite impenetrable. The landward part ends in a beautiful pebble beach, a rare sight! Remnants of small boathouses are cut in the rock. Like Mgarr ix-Xini, this valley continues underwater as well – another miniature sunken fjord.

San Blas Valley

This valley offer some of Gozo’s most stunning sceneries, including magnificent views of cliffs and picturesque boulder screes, a landscape endemic to the Maltese islands. Traditional farming practices can also be observed on their slopping sides, with small pocket fields for instance, being sheltered by cane curtains. In fact, San Blas Valley is the farmers’ valley in the village of Nadur. The terraced fields, many of which are sheltered with reed fencing, along the valley’s sides are known for the orchards and organic fresh produce. A narrow but steep country road leads you to the red sandy San Blas beach. A hike in this area will delight nature lovers as it is like opening up a treasure trove of wild plants and flowers along with the songs of the birds that thrive there.