Gozo walking holiday, Malta

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Gozo walking holiday, Malta

UK Office:
We are well aware of the impact tourism has at home and abroad, and we make every effort to balance the environmental impact of travelling with the immense benefits sustainable tourism can bring to destinations and the people who live there. So we start in the office: we turn off all electrical equipment every night; we use energy-efficient bulbs; we measure print and paper consumption, and re-cycle wherever possible; we print our brochures on paper from sustainable sources, and send them out in bio-degradable packaging.

Leaders & local suppliers:
The following extract is from Gail Simmonís interview with our local taxi driver. He collects you at the ferry port and takes you to your hotel. It appeared in The Sunday Telegraph on 10 June 2012:

ďI was 22 when I left Gozo, the Maltese island where I was born. There wasnít enough work so I followed my friends to New York and became an elevator mechanic. Thirty one years later, Iím back. In some ways itís unchanged. Every Gozitan still knows one another; old folk can leave their doors unlocked; some still use horse-drawn carts. But, in other ways, Gozo is unrecognisable. Every year, more than 800,000 tourists visit our once-deserted island, on walking holidays, or to enjoy the coastline. Our neighbour, Malta, has become too busy for them Ė the gridlock is like Manhattan! While tourism revived Gozoís economy, some worry it will destroy our sleepy way of life, as it has Maltaís. Recently, a bridge connecting the islands was proposed, but the older generation refused. Tourism sustains my job driving taxis, though, so I canít complain. Thereís not much work for elevator mechanics on an island with no skyscrapers.Ē

Group size:
Having no minimum number means that groups sizes can be small and therefore the trips have less impact on the environment.

Activity:
Walking has minimal impact on the environment as you provide most of the energy yourself and, when youíre strolling from village to village, you can enjoy a relationship with locals in a way motorists passing through never can. On foot, you get off the beaten track, and youíll find that people treat you as a visitor rather than a tourist. Also, by walking independently, and not having to worry about keeping up with a group, you set the pace so you can soak up the sights, sounds and scents of your surrounds and really get under the skin of the place youíre visiting.

We proactively encourage walking clients to think about travelling responsibly too: packing light, saving water, buying locally and re-cycling all maps and route notes at the end of their trip.

Reviews of Gozo walking holiday, Malta

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 22 Apr 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Hard to pick one specific out of the week. The cliff top walks with the magnificent panoramic views across and beyond the island, surrounded by the vibrant colours and scents of the wild flowers is the stand out memory.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Our top advice would be to go in April the spring flowers are fabulous and the weather was perfect for walking.

The walks very accurate and well described by Headwater and I would recommend following them. We only had one issue with the walk to the Fungus Rock and Azure Window; on the way to Wardija Point the way didn't seem clear. May have been our navigation, but we had no other problems at all. Sometimes there's a bit too much walking on the roads, but once you're on the road it's often feasible to have a rest in one of the villages and pick up a bus if your feet are tired.

Use the local buses, they are brilliant and only Ä6.50 for a weekly pass.

Also make sure to find time out to visit the Citadel in Victoria.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Obviously tourism is a major industry for Gozo and so the local economy was supported. A walking holiday and using local buses clearly has low environmental impact.

We were warned of the likelihood of bird shooting, but we were pleased that we heard not a single shot. Not sure whether that was due to the time of the year or whether the tourist industry is having an impact.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent, relaxing holiday, just what we were looking for. More than met our expectations.

The hotel was excellent, beautiful location and good (too much!) food and friendly staff. I had read, on previous reviews, complaints about bathrooms and I have to agree the bathrooms are rather small and a little tired and jaded for a 5 star establishment. A small complaint in the bigger scheme.

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