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It is a crying shame that many British holidaymakers only see the island of Malta itself and do not take the opportunity to visit the hidden gem that is Gozo.

Malta's sister island, Gozo, is a small and rural island full of legend and romance. Its people have a rural gruffness and irreverence, and uniformly seem to live in sumptuously baroque townhouses. Compared to Malta, Gozo offers a stark contrast in terms of the pace of life and the scenery. Whilst Malta is bustling and has a high level of urban development, Gozo is in comparison a tranquil, sleepy backwater.

Gozo is a hilly island in contrast to most of Malta and has many bays and inlets as well as the famous rock arches that have been worn by the pounding seas over the millennia.

The landscapes are beautiful - an interior of table-top hills and undulating valleys, and a coastline of bluffs and sandy beaches on the north and sheer cliffs on the south. Edward Lear, who visited in 1865, described its coastal scenery in his own inimitable style as "pomskizillious and gromphiberrous... there being no other words to describe its magnificence".

Whether you choose to stay on Gozo or are coming just for the day, you will be taken aback by its charm, the friendliness of the locals and its fine local home-grown cuisine. Whilst it is quieter than its larger neighbour, there are still plenty of bars and restaurants in the main towns to keep you enjoying this island gem until well into the small hours.

Gozo is easily achieved as a day trip from anywhere on Malta, but why not slow down the pace of life, enjoy some great food & wines, stunning scenery and stay in one of Gozo's great hotels.