Gozo self catering holiday accommodation, Malta
Description from the accommodation owner
Gozo self catering holiday accommodation, Malta: the story of this holiday company
We have restored the bakery with love and passion to high standards and we do our very best to make our special guests to have a memorable stay at "il-forn". For those who wish to live as the locals we invite them to have a free pizza baked in the wood oven on the roof or do a BBQ with us by the beach during the summer season and weather permitting. We will be glad to take you around and visit the salt pans or a local bakery where the bread is freshly baked every day. We live quite close so we are in a very good position to help our guests in whatever they may need.
Responsible tourism: Gozo self catering holiday accommodation, Malta
Our island is promoted as "Eco Gozo" and we are doing our very best to keep up with this title. In our house we have a number of measures so as to make our island more sustainable with regards to the environment.
Nature is at its best throughout the Autumn-Spring season. Around us will turn green and lushes with the wild flora and fauna. We always explain to our guests the nicest walks one can take which are innumerable in our areas with spectacular views of the landscape and the sea views all around us. We give guided walk brochures which they can follow during their hiking.
Although we are in a typical village, away from it all in a laid back, tranquil atmosphere, hiring a car is not recommended. We highly recommend walking as distances here are very short and in a 20 minutes walk you find yourselves in the city centre. However during the summer season when the weather is quite hot for walking, we recommend the use of public transport which besides being cheap is very effective and helps the environment in many ways. The bus stop is just 50 metres from our house and buses run every hour till late.
To promote a sustainable environment we help our guests be more environmentally friendly. First and foremost we give hints and tips on how to save electricity and water. We use many energy saving lights inside the house and we have showers which reduce the amount of water used. Regarding electricity, we give enough free units for normal use according to the number of people staying in the house and then extra units are to be paid for at the normal rate of 25 cents per unit. By using the smart reader, they can see for themselves how many units they are consuming and thus control themselves even better. Our special guests we have had so far really liked this system and wish they have a system like this back home.
Regarding refuse, we promote recycling by giving them bins to separate waste. Recyclable material is collected on Tuesdays and Thursdays which the normal refuse is collected on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
The conservation and restoration of old houses is one of the most important factors to promote a sustainable environment. Part of this historical building dates back to 300 years and was recently restored by the owners with great attention to detail. One can easily feel the warm and cosy atmosphere of this comfortable accommodation as soon as he enters. The house is accessed through a private alley making it very quiet and peaceful. Right at the entrance one can see the original stone oven of the bakery which was still in operation up to the 1980's. Beautiful old vaults house a pleasantly decorated seating area where a sofa can be used as an additional bed. One can admire the "lenbi" where women used to make the dough for a whole week's bread. The entrance, which can easily be heated in winter by the small wood stove, is tastefully decorated with local tiles on the walls together with antique furniture. Another original feature is an ash-pit found during restoration. The flagstone flooring throughout the bakery adds further character. As soon as the special guests enter "il-Forn" (the name meanting "the Bakery" in Maltese) the hosts give a short history of the bakery and explain how long it took them to carefully restore it to the way it is seen today...thus adding more charm to this historical and cultural place.
When guests come over to our restored bakery, we spend the first 2 hours explaining what to do and where to visit while enjoying the local food and drink we have prepared for them. We give hints about the best beaches and even secluded ones and we recommend which ones to visit according to the weather. We give ideas of walks they can do in our areas which are innumerable even though we are so small. We even invite guests to join us to explore more of the island together and visit places which are not found on the map. We even tell them about local factories and the free tours they offer while enjoying the food tasting for free - and then why not buying some local delicacies to take back home!
Besides, our locality is rich in history and so explain historical places, religious sites and cultural activities which one can easily visit. It is our greatest pleasure taking our guests around the village, visiting the main church and explaining how the onyx which covers the inside of the church was once found by a local farmer who donated it to the church. Very interesting are the niches around the village and the stories behind them.
Our guests find it very helpful when we explain which are the best places to do the shopping, the best restaurants to taste the local food and we never miss the two local pizzerias just 50 metres from our place which are so good and offer great pizzas and local wine at really incredibly low price. For the everyday needs we recommend our guests to try the fruit and vegetables and fresh crispy bread or fish from the hawkers that come everyday in the morning tooting just opposite the accomodation. This way one will really live like the locals and can experience the idyllic atmosphere of this typical rural village.
We also recommend local people to hire a car from when our guests need one and also for boat trips around the exceptionally beautiful island of Comino with its crystal clear blue sea. This way we spread tourism income to those who most need it making sure they give an excellent service to those who choose "il-forn" for their holiday stay.
During special festivities like in Easter time with the buying of the local pastries "figolli" and during the local summer festa in August we invite our friends to join us in local fund raising activities like tombola nights or BBQ nights in the village square during the week before the festa so as to help the local organisations while enjoying it to the full and take back home unforgettable memories. This year the feast with spectacular fireworks, local bands and local food is taking place during the week from the 19- 25th of August with Saturday and Sunday being highly celebrated.
Pottery, glass blowing, stone sculptures, local honey and pastries make great gifts for our special guests to take back home for themselves or for friends as a remembrance of their holiday on our unique island. We highly recommend also the local lace "bizzilla" which the local people were really well-known for.