I’d never heard of Gozo, a tiny Island a short 30 minute ferry journey away from Malta that lies between Gibraltar and Alexandria, Sicily and North Africa. I stumbled across it whilst looking for a little winter retreat away with only 2 pre-requisites in mind – to be somewhere in Europe and with daily yoga.
I arrived in Gozo (who’s name means ‘joy’) at night time and spent my first evening in a quaint little village called Xaghra, located in the North East part of Gozo, mid-way between Victoria (Gozo’s capital city) and Ramla Bay (one of Gozo’s most popular sandy beaches). I woke up the next day to the sound of church bells and the most beautiful views across the stunning landscape, leading upwards to a church perched on top of hill in the capital, Rabat.
Gozo in known as the Island of 3 hills, and on the first day I hired a bike and cycled down narrow lanes and picturesque windy lanes, up challenging hills and down again, enjoying the breathtaking scenery and spectacular coastline, past Unesco World Heritage status temples and breathing in the nature.
For the time being at least, Gozo remains largely unspoilt. Apart from walking or cycling, or sitting outside sleepy cafés, there’s really not much to do. It is therefore, the perfect place to host a yoga retreat. The retreat is located in a cosy farmhouse in Gharb, and I received a warm welcoming from duo Michelle and Dini who have come together for the first time to run this 7 day yoga and wellness retreat.
The retreat is described by Michelle as ”A getaway for the soul hosted in a lovely setting filled with peace and modern beauty. A place to retreat from our everyday lives and practice presence which means leave the laptop and mobile phone behind!”.
There are 2 yoga classes per day, beginning with a 1.5 hour invigorating flow class in the morning. Even though it was winter we were blessed with warm weather and able to practice the morning yoga class on the outdoor terrace followed by a healthy breakfast. In the evening we practiced a 60 minute Restorative Yoga class and ended with a 30 minute guided Meditation.
Afternoons were free time to explore the sights of Gozo, go for walks, head to the beach for a swim or just chill out at the house with a good book on the south facing upper terrace, where you could enjoy an incredible sunset and views over Dwejra and the Azure window.
The highlight of the retreat was a sunset yoga class on the rocks across from the Azure Window, a 165ft-high rock arch in the Dwejra Point cliffs. The sea has worn a hole through a narrow headland forming “the window”.
This 7 day yoga and wellness retreat was ran by two lovely ladies – Dini Martinez and Michelle Bartolo.
• A healthy vegetarian welcome meal
• Yoga every morning and evening .
• Healthy breakfasts every morning after yoga .
• Ayurvedic workshops.
650 euros sharing/ 850 euros single
Further Info and Contact
Michelle and Dini run their own individual retreats, Dini has one coming up in February in Malta and Michelle in April in Malta. Book through Soul Seed Media to receive a complimentary ayurvedic consultation with Dini and a guided meditation on Michelle’s retreat.