Walking on Gozo - Calypso's Isle
Gozo is the second largest of the Maltese islands, yet at only 14km by 7km at its widest point, nowhere in Gozo is too far away, making it the ideal choice for a walking holiday. The slow pace of life along with the air of tranquillity also makes Gozo the perfect place to relax. Rich in history and culture you must visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Ggantija Tombs at Xaghra, the oldest freestanding temples in the world dating back to 3500BC, and the Ta' Pinu sanctuary.
The walks guide you around the island's impressive coastline and through the cobbled streets of the traditional towns and villages and you'll have plenty of time for exploring, swimming and just soaking up Gozo's tranquil atmosphere. Its rugged landscape ensures spectacular views including Fungus Rock, a natural stone outcrop in the centre of Dwejra Bay, and its amazing natural arch, the Azure Window. Between autumn and late spring, the countryside bursts into life, revealing an incredible wealth of flora and fauna, with colourful wild flowers and scented herbs.
You stay at the 5-star Hotel Ta' Cenc, wonderfully secluded, set in 400 acres of private grounds and built on one level to blend in sensitively with the natural surroundings. The hotel offers complete serenity, a friendly atmosphere and a regular, complimentary shuttle service to the island's capital of Victoria. There are swimming pools, a hydro-massage jacuzzi, a fitness centre and tennis courts. Customers are accommodated in individual, tastefully furnished, air-conditioned stone bungalows, each with its own terrace. Breakfast is a delicious hot and cold buffet, and evening meals offer a mouth-watering selection of Gozitan and Italian specialities, served al fresco on the patio under a 200-year-old carob tree.
The terrain is moderate with some small hills and the walking is often along ancient roads and old farm tracks. There are some steep descents to the coast and the occasional rough, stony section. Otherwise the walking is essentially 1-boot level.
Read press reviews of this holiday in The Telegraph.
Day 1 - Arrival in Malta/Transfer to Gozo
Our taxi meets you in Malta and takes you to the ferry for the 25min trip across to Gozo.
Day 2 - Mgarr and the Raiders' Cove 7km/4.5mi/2.5hr
Mgarr is Gozo's port, full of traditional and colourful luzzu fishing boats, and dominated by the C18 Fort Chambray, built by the Knights of St John. The path from here hugs the coast as far as the narrow creek of Mgarr ix-Xini where Turkish raiders landed in 1551 - the perfect place for a picnic and swim. From here, you follow an old mule track up through the hotel's rocky grounds with fine views across to Malta, stopping to explore the remains of a copper age temple and Neolithic dolmen.
Day 3 - Ta'Pinu and Gharb 12km/7.5mi/3.5hr or 14km/9mi/4hr
The north western corner of the island is only accessible on foot, along easy to navigate farm tracks. First stop is the remarkable neo-Romanesque basilica Ta' Pinu, a huge national shrine built on the site of a miracle in 1923. Your route then leads through unique ravine-like wieds (streams) to Gharb with a stunning Baroque church dating from 1699 and traditional stone houses. The final stretch takes you along the striking cliffs of the north coast where you are rewarded with fantastic views across Gozo's famous salt pans.
Day 4 - Xlendi Bay and Layercake Cliffs 9km/6mi/2.5hr or 10km/6.5mi/3hr
The cliffs near Sannat are the highest and most dramatic cliffs on Gozo and in late spring are alive with Mediterranean shearwaters. The route includes breathtaking views to Comino and Malta as it winds down through tamarisk trees to the gorgeous Xlendi Bay. Then it's up through the terraced fields, bright with poppies and gladioli cultivated in rows like Provencal lavender.
Day 5 - Free day for independent exploring
Today you could take a ride on one of Gozo's quirky buses to Xaghra and head towards the Ggantija Tombs, a massive freestanding temple of 6m-high monoliths, and Calypso's Cave. Have lunch on Ramla Bay, undeniably the best beach on the island, then perhaps head on to the lively capital, Victoria, for the afternoon. The bustling market square, used as a meeting place since Roman times, is dominated by the mediaeval citadel with spectacular views over the whole island. However, the real charm lies in the maze of tiny back streets clustered around the Basilica, with carved stone balconies, flower-decked doorways and statuettes of the Madonna in street-corner niches
Day 6 - Fungus Rock and the Azure Window 13km/8mi/4hr
To the west coast and the fascinating Punic burial site at Wardija Point. There's a mythical feeling here, like being on the edge of the world. Narrow stone-walled lanes lead down to bamboo groves and to Fungus Rock (named after the 'magic' plant which grew there) and the Azure Window, a stunning stone archway framing the blue sea and sky behind.
Day 7 - Bays and Towers Walk 11km/7mi/4.5hr
Beginning at Qala, it's an easy stroll to Dahlet Qorrot, a tiny harbour with gaily coloured boat houses. Then it's on through fragrant lemon groves and vineyards and past fig and peach trees to San Blas Bay, a hidden beach with gorgeous ochre-coloured sand. Your final stop is Nadur where the spectacular views at the end of the day are a great finale to your week.
Day 8 - Leave Gozo
Where you stay
This single-centre holiday is based at the following hotel. If you'd like to extend your stay here, or upgrade your room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.
Hotel Ta'Cenc, Sannat (5 Star)
The Hotel Ta'Cenc has an inimitable setting, scattered across the Ta'Cenc cliffs, just near the town of Sannat. This is the highest point on the island, and the views from the hotel's 400 acres of ground sweep across the entire island to the sea, even taking in Malta and Comino.
The hotel offers two enormous outdoor swimming pools and a heated indoor/outdoor pool in the spa area where treatments can be booked (payable locally). The hotel also offers a fitness centre and has tranquil gardens and the bar terrace overlooks the pool and surrounding countryside. The building itself has been built on one level to blend in sensitively with the natural surroundings, and guests are accommodated in individual air-conditioned stone bungalows, each with its own terrace or small garden.
The standard double or twin rooms are spacious and have a private terrace or patio. The standard double rooms have a Super King size bed (75' width) and the twin rooms have 2 x single beds (37' width). Both are equipped with satellite television, minibar, safety deposit box, air conditioning/ heating, tea and coffee making facilities, a trouser press and en-suite bathrooms with hairdryers. Meals are usually served al fresco on the patio under a 200-year old carob tree or in the main restaurant.
Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.
Extra nights and stop over hotels
If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.
Hotel Phoenicia, Malta (5 Star)
The Hotel Phoenicia is a large, elegant hotel just outside the old city walls of Malta's capital, Valletta, and just 3 minutes walk from the city gate. It has retained its original architecture based on the grand style of the 1920's, with a luxurious classical décor and a blend of warm hospitality and old world service.
Unusually for a city hotel, it has extensive and quiet rear gardens with an open-air rotunda, mini golf course, gazebo, and outdoor swimming pool (heated in winter)- A lovely place to stretch your legs or relax with a good book away from the hubbub of the city.
Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.
Excelsior Grand Hotel Malta, Valletta (5 Star)
The 5* Excelsior Grand Hotel Malta has magnificent views overlooking Marsamxett Harbour and Fort Manoel and is ideally placed just 2 minutes away from the walled old town centre of the Maltese capital of Valletta. It is a relaxing haven in the bustling city and its facilities boast both an indoor and outdoor pool, (pool towels available), gym, hairdressing salon, relaxing bar area with beautiful views, restaurant and impressive spa facilities.
There are a variety of rooms on offer, including the sea front rooms with amazing views, all rooms have satellite television with international channels, tea and coffee making facilities, mini bar, large safe and air conditioning and free wifi is available throughout the hotel.
Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.
Transfers included from Malta Luqa airport at 15:35, and back to Malta Luqa airport at 11:15.
Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange connecting flights.
Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
Reviewed by Ms Coates on 25/05/2016
Walking with confidence and accommodation with comfort.
Reviewed by Mr Bauld on 24/05/2016
Gozo & Malta, a great combination for peace & tranquility & great walking opportunities in Gozo at Ta Cenc plus all contrasting attractions of Malta!
Reviewed by Mrs Jennings on 26/04/2016
Walking notes were excellent, the hotel was very comfortable if maybe a little formal for us. We had no problems getting around the island but it was very windy while we were there and some of the cliff edge walks were a little scary
Reviewed by Mrs Simpson on 11/04/2016
Very comfortable accommodation. Good walking. Quiet. Excellent bus service from outside hotel to all parts of island. Suited us well for relaxing walking break.
Reviewed by Ms Burrow on 10/04/2016
Gozo is rather small to provide long enough cycle rides. We did not expect wind and would have found it helpful to be told about how windy it can be. It was a lovely holiday with enough variety to keep us interested. The Cornucopia food was very disappointing and the breakfasts unappealing.
Reviewed by Ms Day on 17/03/2016
A very enjoyable holiday, that matched our expectations derived from the description of it in the brochure.
Reviewed by Mrs Quant on 16/03/2016
The hotel was excellent - beautiful surroundings and facilities. The food was varied and plentiful and you were spoilt for choice with local dishes included. The staff were very friendly and Gozo is a lovely unspoilt place where you felt safe to walk in the countryside and enjoy the wonderful scenery. It was a place to relax and unwind. The walking routes took you through a lot of different scenarios and gave options to visit sites of interest.
Reviewed by Mr Butler on 16/03/2016
Nice hotel with friendly staff. Coastal walking was good. Some of the walks involved long stretches on road, and although there is not much traffic, this is quite tiring.
Reviewed by Mr McNab on 08/03/2016
Gozo is a small island but packed with interest. We loved the Hotel Ta Cenc, its architecture, location, friendly service and very good food. The walks were excellent and took us from quiet villages to fantastic coastlines through terraced valleys. It was sunny and mild and just what we needed after a very wet and very windy winter..
Reviewed by Mr Elcome on 15/10/2015
Although Ta Cenc is a lovely hotel with a great location it cannot be really classified as a typical 5 star/top of the range hotel; the bedrooms/bathrooms are rather dated, there are not staff always available to help/advise. We had to search for things rather than them being provided. Hotel staff were friendly, the food particularly the breakfast buffet and in the restaurant (il Cantra) at the beach were excellent. Having stayed in a number of 5 star hotels this isn't one. However, we really enjoyed ourselves at the hotel and had no complaints. Gozo was a lovely surprise (the lovely weather helped!) with pretty villages, friendly people and a very efficient bus service. However, overall there is too much walking on roads; we recommend that people use the buses to avoid some of this (a 15 euro pass for 12 trips was great value and we could use it on Malta) There are also additional walks we were told about including one of the best walks we did from Gharb up to the coast and then along to Marsalforn which is part of the coastal walk; there is a brochure called the Gozo coastal walk - perhaps George could have told us a bit more about where to get bus passes, other walks and local information and a bit more about the hotel. Whilst pleasant we had the impression he has done it so many times before he has become a bit stale! On Malta the Phoenicia is a great location; it has a 5 star appearance but the breakfast buffet wasn't as tasty as Ta Cenc; the serving staff, while many of them, were not too attentive to our needs. It did not have the same friendly feel as the Ta Cenc - there was no personal feel, they were going through the motions rather than making any real effort. If you want any clarification of the above please let me know; hopefully this 'summary' adds a bit of colour to the ratings above. Overall we all had a really great time and would recommend it to anyone but people need to know what to and what not to expect.
Reviewed by Mr Latham on 13/10/2015
Gozo is a lovely location. We thoroughly enjoyed exploring the island and will likely visit again to see more. We'd be unlikely to stay at Hotel Ta Cenc again though ... Hotel service was a mixed bag - front desk were ok, bar/restaurant were good, housekeeping were good. Room was poor. Mould on the walls and a very strong smell of damp which was reported to reception but they were unable to do anything and there was no offer of an alternative room. Our clothes smelled of the damp by the end of the week as well. The kettle leaked, and was replaced. A leg fell off the bed, and was promptly repaired by staff. The room and hotel in general was tired-looking and really needs some TLC. Food in the main hotel restaurant was ok, but we needed a change after about 3 or 4 days. Breakfasts were very good, though. Make sure you try the honey rings!! An evening meal at the Kantra restaurant was excellent, despite the stormy weather. Charging for wifi in the rooms feels like nickel and diming the customers in the 21st century.
Reviewed by Mrs Simms on 12/10/2015
Holiday was well organised by helpful staff. Flexibility on departure airport is a big plus.
Reviewed by Mr Bell on 06/10/2015
Lovely hotel on the beautiful island of Gozo. Natives very friendly!
Reviewed by Rev Pearson on 05/10/2015
A lovely way to get to know a charming island, in a luxurious hotel. Gozo is easy to navigate around and the paths have been upgraded recently. A very enjoyable and relaxing holiday.
Reviewed by Mrs Campling on 22/09/2015
Headwater take the pressure of organising your holiday off you and have never disappointed us in their attention to detail.
Reviewed by Dr Gompertz on 15/09/2015
A great holiday.. enjoyable as other HW holidays we have had!. A little too hot...perhaps we should have waited for 2 weeks later in September.
Reviewed by Ms Griffin on 13/09/2015
September is a poor choice for a walking holiday on Gozo. The interior is typically very hot and humid and the landscape very dry and baron. There are few trees on the island and the sun beats down on you all day. The coast is lovely and there was, at times, a small breeze, but most of the suggested walking routes are not coastal. We were told by locals that the landscape is lovely and green, with lots of wildflowers, around May,and the temperatures more suitable for walking. Ta Cenc is a comfortable hotel but more like a -4 star hotel, rather than a 5 star.
Reviewed by Mrs Moran on 15/06/2015
It was a very relaxing holiday and the Ta Cenc hotel was fabulous.
Reviewed by Mr Fennell on 27/05/2015
A very enjoyable experience overall; the hotel is very comfortable and the food is first class, but some of the directions for walking in the quarry areas in the west of the island are wrong or inadequately explained, so some trial and error was involved.
Reviewed by Mr Mitchell on 18/05/2015
Delightful walking week in very pleasant hotel.
Reviewed by Mr Bauld on 17/05/2015
Excellent. We enjoyed the combination of great walks during our peaceful relaxing stay at Ta Cenc on Gozo and our extra nights at the Phoenicia enabling us to explore the fascinating city of Valletta.
Reviewed by Mr Goodall on 12/05/2015
lovely hotel, beautiful location and scenery, reasonably demanding walks.
Reviewed by Ms Elliott on 12/05/2015
This was the first holiday of this type that we have taken. I have had some health issues so was concerned that this might be a problem, but there was complete flexibility regarding which walks we could do, and the grading of the walks was so accurate, that this simply wasn't an issue. The hotel was really lovely, the briefing from our holiday rep was extremely useful, and all the travel arrangements worked perfectly. We are very impressed and are hoping to be able to take another holiday with Headwater in the Autumn.
Reviewed by Mr Edwards on 06/05/2015
The holiday was well planned and organised but, because we were in one hotel, we had the flexibility to change the order of the walks to suit ourselves. This meant no pressure to be at a certain place by a certain time - very relaxing.
Reviewed by Mrs Tuck on 19/04/2015
Excellent holiday, Gozo in the spring is a great place to have a walking holiday. The hotel is first class, very welcoming and good service and food
Reviewed by Mr Crook on 31/03/2015
Much prefer guided walking holidays - I could have put together this package myself.We got lost a few times as the island is very well signposted and it would help if there was a few suggestions where you could go to the toilet and eat/drink.On one of the walks it should be emphasised you need to take a packed lunch.The hotel though excellent in many ways had dinner too late[7pm onwards] which meant you couldnt go anywhere else say for a folk evening or pub quiz because they started about 7.30.As the hotel didn't have anything on in the evenings unless you missed dinner[which we did] you were a bit trapped at the hotel.The rep didn't make any suggestions as to what was on in other locations - the pub quiz on Friday in Xlendi was really good and there are some excellent restaurants there to eat.
Reviewed by Mr Cunnah on 02/03/2015
It was as described and very well organised and thought through
Reviewed by Mr Smith on 27/11/2014
A very good week's walking with opportunities to see the culture and history of Gozo, whilst accommodated in a comfortable hotel of good standard. The local people are most welcoming and helpful. The only dark cloud is the continuance of the Maltese habit of shooting small songbirds, which is no longer necessary 'for the pot'. Any open area is blighted by the presence of pathetic looking men in camouflage clothing, sheltering in stone hides, waiting to shoot small birds trapped on the ground by their wires and nets, using large bore shotguns. The sporting etiquette of only shooting a bird that is flying, and thus requiring some skill, most certainly does not apply! Walkers must be continually aware of wires that stray across footpaths and the potential field of fire from these hides.
Dear Mr Smith, Thank you for taking the time to write in with your feedback. It was lovely to see that you enjoyed your week in Gozo, taking in the sights and sounds this unique region has to offer .We were also sorry to read of the upset the bird shooting caused you and Mrs Smith. Please be assured that we have passed on your comments to our local agent and have asked them to highlight your feedback to the necessary governing body in Gozo. Yours sincerely, Lisa
Reviewed by Mrs Blake on 30/10/2014
Disappointed because Headwater had informed us that an area (the Kantra bay and cafÃ©) would be unavailable because of filming - only to arrive and get message that whole swathes of land were inaccessible and our Day 1 walk wasn't possible. (We were able to walk the start of the route, but then had to turn around.) Film unit security was spread across a wide area from close to the hotel, and we were challenged regularly by security personnel if we got anywhere near to the unit. We hadn't been given to understand that the restrictions would be so all-enveloping. We believe filming will continue until November.
Reviewed by Mr Marroney on 30/09/2014
Walking in Gozo is almost too good to share. By turns breathtaking (cliffs) and relaxing. Returning to Ta Cenc every day was bliss.
Reviewed by Mr MacKenzie on 30/09/2014
Well organised, lovely hotel and location. Good well described walks. Very good holiday. Thoroughly recommended.
Reviewed by Mrs Turnbull on 12/06/2014
Gozo was a great island to explore on foot. The local bus service was excellent and buying a weekly ticket was excellent value. The walks along the cliff tops were spectacular. The hotel was lovely and the pools a perfect place to relax aftrea days walking.
Reviewed by Mrs Hayes on 05/06/2014
this was wonderful holiday based in an amazing hotel with superb facilities
Reviewed by Mrs Duncan on 03/06/2014
Can trust the organisation and information
Reviewed by Mrs Bryan on 28/05/2014
Fabulous hotel with excellent facilities, food and staff. Gozo is great for walking as it is so small. Beautiful views and lovely wild flowers. The bus service is excellent and very cheap - a weekly season ticket is only 6 euros 50. Very good comprehensive walking notes which were usually very clear, but we did have a couple of incidents where they could have been better explained. Our boat trip to Comino was great - the Blue lagoon is beautiful.
Reviewed by Ms Thomson on 26/05/2014
Gozo is a delightful little island with beautiful scenery and flowers. Ta Cenc was a totally relaxing place to be and the staff were excellent.
Reviewed by Mrs McQuin on 20/05/2014
Beautiful setting, no hidden extras, peaceful.
Reviewed by Dr Walsh Atkins on 28/04/2014
Was not sent any walking notes which was a problem. Hotel had none and Rep-George- in his 60 second briefing- was uninterested in this. After some nagging he sent me some notes-but they mainly concerned the cycling holiday based in another hotel which with 24 km cycles etc was not that much use. Sorted myself out eventually as I managed to get hold of a good map which had good walking routes linked to bus routes which was great. Hotel excellent and travel arrangements fine.
Reviewed by Mrs Preshaw on 13/04/2014
One of the best walking holidays we have had. Easy route notes to follow which took us to every corner of a small island using good local buses to get us to and from the walks which did not start or finish at the hotel. We were based at a superb luxury hotel with a fantastic relaxed atmosphere with superb views of Malta and bedrooms in a fantastic garden setting and overlooking the pool. The friendly staff and the service they gave were in a class of their own as was the breakfast buffet and the choice of dishes for dinner each evening was also excellent.
Reviewed by Mr Dodds on 11/04/2014
We found Gozo quite charming and we believe we visited at just the right time of year - we do not think we would go any later because the holiday was enchanting principally because of the spring flowers and scenery at this time of year . Also the hotel was probably just sufficiently busy but not overcrowded which it might well be later in the year . The principal attractions of spring flowers, easy walking , friendly people and an excellent hotel made for a memorable 7 days
Reviewed by Dr McClean on 27/03/2014
We were looking for a more relaxing walking holiday and this was perfect. We have had many holidays with headwater and the standard is always good. I have introduced friends to this company.
Reviewed by Dr Banks on 26/03/2014
Ta cenc was a lovely hotel, very comfortable, big rooms, good food, friendly and helpful staff. Walks in Gozo were beautiful around the cliffs and through the valleys but some of the road walking was less pleasant and unavoidable.
Reviewed by Ms Wager on 25/03/2014
Gozo is a lovely unspoilt Island - very green with lots of wild flowers in early spring. The Ta Cenc Hotel has a wonderful location. The staff are very friendly and helpful. All in all a most enjoyable weeks holiday
Reviewed by Mr Kalfayan on 22/03/2014
Excellent destination (Gozo) for gentle walking at this time of year. Great feeling of solitude, some days we hardly saw anybody else out in the countryside. Very friendly staff; whole island seemed safe, easy to get around, welcoming, low-key. Excellent views, wild flowers, dramatic coastlines, interesting archeological sites.
Reviewed by Mr Blain on 19/03/2014
For what we required-an escape from rain and winter dismal Ta Cenc was fine,and the walks laid out in your leaflet were easy enough to cope with for an oldie (84) like me who can no longer cope with real peaks and the tougher walking of middle age. Returning daily to the warm water pool and jacuzzi was a real bonus. But and we think you should Know this, Ta Cenc is getting a bit tired. Staff were delightful and the room very comfortable, BUT the lighting was abysmal if you wished to read in bed. Plumbing too was poor-no pressure on sink taps and infuriating variations of temp in the shower:quite dangerous in fact as nearly scalding water gushed unexpectedly. Infuriating when it ran bitterly cold We complained but it wasn't fixed. There was also a a 60 euro miscalculation on the bill which to be fair was rectified with good grace. No wonder that the owner Mr Borgon turned on max charm while we were waiting to be taken to the airport.. Just a tad complacent all round we thought.
Dear Mr Blain, Thank you for taking the time to complete our on line questionnaire and for the feedback you have provided. We were pleased to read that you enjoyed your holiday and found the walks suitable for your level of ability. It was also good to see that you enjoyed the facilities that the hotel has to offer. I am sorry however that you had some issues with the maintenance and plumbing in your room. We have passed on your feedback to the hotel, they have offered a sincere apology to you and Mrs Blain and have assured us that they have fixed the issues you had reported. Including replacing the light bulbs for brighter ones and fixing the pressure issue in the bathroom. Please be assured that we do realise how important it is to maintain our high standards of accommodation and service, and we do appreciate we cannot afford to let our standards slip. We will continue to monitor this hotel to ensure that the high standards that both our customers and Headwater expect are maintained. We would like to thank you for bringing these matters to our attention, and apologise most sincerely once again that you had cause for complaint. Yours sincerely, Headwater
Reviewed by Mrs Murphy on 07/03/2014
You did it again, a fabulous chill out holiday in a delightful hotel. So quiet and peaceful, helpful, friendly staff could not have done more for us. The scenery and flowers were fabulous a great time of year to visit. The first time we have been to hotel where all the gym ans health centre equipment worked! Walks fantastic well done, we did not get lost. Buses fabulous and punctual so easy to use I was a bit put off using them for the walks ,but so easy and cheap, punctuality could teach the uk something. We would definitely return.
Reviewed by Mr Horton on 21/11/2013
Excellent accommodation and location for a walking holiday outside the peak summer.
Reviewed by Mrs Moss on 13/11/2013
Beautiful hotel in excellent position. Very good and easy bus service on the island, limited hotel courtesy bus in the winter, but the bus stop right outside the hotel makes it easy to get transport into Victoria. Staying in the one hotel makes for a more relaxing holiday, walking as much or little as you want to.
Reviewed by Mr Bell on 13/11/2013
This was our first walking holiday with Headwater - we had previously had cycling holidays - and it was very enjoyable. The fact that it was a one centre holiday we particularly enjoyed because it gave us flexibility in what we chose to do - we particularly wanted to have a day in Malta for instance . The Hotel was excellent with very good facilities and superb food. For anyone wanting a flexible holiday - as much or as little exercise as you want - this is well worth considering.
Reviewed by Mrs Belcher on 07/11/2013
An excellent destination for coastal scenery, swimming and snorkelling if you don't mind the bird shooting.
Reviewed by Mr Tyler on 01/11/2013
Excellent hotel and very good food. We saw nothing of the local representative at any point. Some of the walking instructions were confusing and we got lost twice - once on the Ta Pinu and Lighthouse walk and once on Fungus Rock and Azure window.
Reviewed by Mrs Smith on 02/10/2013
We were charmed by the single-storied hotel set so sympathetically on the cliffs. The layout of the rooms and the terrace gave a feeling of privacy not found in a conventional hotel. The staff, particularly the cleaners and in the restaurant, were very friendly and helpful. Considering there are no signposts or markers for walkers on Gozo we thought the route notes were pretty good. You must be careful, but as long as you ensure that what you are seeing exactly matches the description in the route notes you really shouldn't go wrong. The weather was a little warm for us in September but we bought the 7-day bus pass and cut two of the walks short by getting the bus at villages slightly before the end of the walk. It also meant we were not tied to the times of the hotel courtesy bus and we would recommend purchasing it for the flexibility it provides.
Reviewed by Mrs Arnold on 25/09/2013
Hotel was fabulous. We had not realised it would be so hot, or the landscape so barren at the time of year we had chosen so I would advise potential travellers to do a bot more research than we did before booking!
Reviewed by Ms Tippett on 16/06/2013
I spent a very pleasant week exploring Gozo on foot, and undertook all six of the supplied walk routes. The route descriptions were at times excellent, at times difficult to grasp. Informal discussion with another 'headwater' traveller staying at the same time as me revelead they had similar problems, so I don't think it was purely me! I did not find the map supplied particularly useful, and actually ended up buying a cheap basic map from the local representative in Gozo whilst I was there. Maps are individual, and I realise what did not suit me may suit others. The weather was very hot. The sea breeze helped, but I agree with Headwater that this is about the latest in the summer you could undertake these walks - particularly towards the middle of the day. The hotel has super staff and a relaxed feel to it, is in a stunning situation and has a nice layout with individual bungalows. There are some features that are not the standard which I would expect from a five star hotel. One of these I brought up with the hotel at the time, and others mentioned in the feedback at the end of my stay (a holiday is, after all, meant to be relaxing and not a series of complaints). The room was spacious but the bathroom was very dated (painted murals on the tiles suggest it had not been refitted since 1991) and there was a large crack in the sink in the room. The small spa on site had a changing room and showers. In these there was a lot of green and black mould on the tiles of the shower area. I mentioned this to the hotel spa staff at the time and the next day it was better but not gone. This disappointed me from a five star hotel. The package had half board included, something I would not normally choose. On several nights, particularly over the weekend when we arrived, service was very slow and meals arrived looking like they had sat around for a long time. The waiting staff were, on the whole, excellent, but the food was disappointing. I also found the four courses included too much every day, and would have preferred to have some days without dinner at the hotel so I was free to explore local restaurants. I was asked to specify dietary requirements (no fish in my case) with Headwater but the hotel seemed unaware. On days when the antipasti were fish, I always had to say I did not eat fish. Sometimes I was offered an alternative, sometimes not. Hotel guests are advised local water is safe but unpalatable, however the still bottled water I therefore ordered with dinner each night was charged for, and at over 3 euros a bottle I thought this was a bit much. Do they expect those on half board to just not drink anything with dinner? Finally, transfers were very efficient. Paradoxically, on the way out I had a large minibus all to myself, yet on the way back I was squashed in the back seat of a normal car with two other guests I did not really know (slightly embarassing as there was not much room) as a normal taxi was taking 4 of us to the airport. Overall I had a great time and would definitely visit Gozo again, but was a little disappointed with the details described above, given then star rating of the hotel and cost of the package.
Reviewed by Mrs Currie on 02/06/2013
Good walking across the island with some wonderful scenery. Need to pay very close attentin to the route notes as there are no waymarkings. Found the notes for the walk to Fungus Rock and th Azure window difficult to follow and ended up having to make a detour. No problem with the other walks although notes could be clearer. Very good local bus service for getting to the walks. Excellent for seeing wildlife including insects, lizards and non venomous snakes.
Reviewed by Mr Smith on 30/05/2013
It is some years since we have used Headwater, having previously travelled with them to over 30 itineraries since the company was first formed. It was reassuring to find that standard were fully up to the excellent levels we have always experienced.
Reviewed by Mr Previte on 07/05/2013
We greatly enjoyed Gozo and our stay at Ta Cenc. The hotel staff were extremely good and the hotel very comfortable. The bedrooms, with en suite bath, very quiet and secluded. The breakfasts were very good, the dinners not so good. Would give dinner B ; adequate but not imaginative. The wine was extremely expensive. Perhaps if we had had the 'a la carte' dishes the food would have been better, but that would have added considerably to the cost of the holiday. The local buses are good, mostly punctual but occasionally a bus does not turn up. There is always another one. Buses may be very crowded in the high season. Worth getting the weekly season ticket. Check bus numbers as some of these have changed since Headwater notes published.
Reviewed by Mrs Dunn on 30/03/2013
March was a brilliant time of year for a walking holiday in Gozo. We had almost continuous sunshine but temperatures of 15-17 degrees made for comfortable walking - any warmer and it could have been a struggle at times as there's little shelter on many of the walks. The scenery was fantastic and we really felt we got to know Gozo in the week we spent walking round it. The walks were of comfortable length and enabled us to spend time admiring the scenery, both coastal and inland. A thoroughly enjoyable, peaceful and relaxing holiday.
Reviewed by Mr Harding on 23/03/2013
A real surprise package. Gozo has everything in a small area. The people are very friendly and helpful. The bus service is excellent, and the scenery and walks are very tranquil yet quite dynamic with the sea at every turn.. Ta Cenc hotel was well positioned for all activities yet in many ways remote from the town.Whether we ate in the hotel, in the towns or at a beach bar the food and service was very good.
Reviewed by Mr Stevens on 23/03/2013
A superb holiday with flexibilty for as much or as little walking as we wanted.
Reviewed by Mr Higdon on 16/03/2013
Found Hotel Ta Cenc, to be really fantastic. All staff were so friendly and welcoming. Very professional. Lovely hotel set up - bar and restaurant super. Very unspoilt island. All the transfers from airport to ferry to hotel and back - a pleasure.
Reviewed by Ms Bull on 02/03/2013
Ta' Cenc was a fantastic hotel for location, service and food and peace and quiet in February - exactly what we wanted. Opportuntiies for walking were wonderful, although definitions of flat may vary!
Reviewed by Dr Millward on 02/03/2013
It was one of our most enjoyable headwater holidays. The sun shone everyday and it was perfect weather for walking. We enjoy going off season and avoiding the crowds. Ta Cenc is the best Headwater hotel we have stayed at with an excellent restaurant and service. Malta really loves Britsh tourists and everyone speaks English. A very welcoming destination.
Reviewed by Mr Burgoine on 26/02/2013
Others taking a similar holiday in the hotel did not have access to Headwaters walking notes - until they complained and got copies. They were more likely to use Headwaters in future, since they had not used the company before.
Reviewed by Mrs Cassells on 26/02/2013
This was a great holiday. We walked every day, and had time for some sightseeing as well. We very much enjoyed the comfort, food and ambience of the hotel ta Cenc.
Reviewed by Mr Evans on 19/02/2013
the hotel Ta Cinc was advertised as a 5 star hotel but did not live up to that standard in respect of accommodation and food. I recommend that you remove th 5 star from the brochure then customers will not have such high expectations of the hotel and consequently will not have to cope with the disappointment. This was our 6th holiday with Headwater and is the only one that we would not repeat due to the hotel. We would go back to Gozo but would stay in a different hotel.
Thank you for your feedback on the Ta Cenc, we have been working with this hotel for many years and it is a real surprise that it didn't meet expectations. The hotel has undergone an extensive renovation programme over the last couple of years and the feedback we've receive is generally very good indeed. I can assure you however, that your comments have been noted, and forwarded to the Programme Manager in order to be raised with the hotel. The last thing we ever want is for people to return home disappointed and we offer our sincerest apologies if this was the case. We will be monitoring feedback for the Ta Cenc very closely over the coming weeks, and if we feel there are any areas that require improvement, we will work with the hotel to rectify this.
Reviewed by Mrs Cardy on 24/01/2013
Hotel Ta Cenc is very well located, in a lovely situation with views, and the most delightful staff. New Year was a good time to visit - it was so quiet and tranquil, and we had sunshine. We wondered whether we'd like it so much with lots of people round the pools etc.
Reviewed by Mr Broughall on 24/01/2013
Excellent hotel, beautiful location, stunning scenery, warm,sunny weather, friendly and hospitable islanders
Reviewed by Rev Dawson on 17/11/2012
We found Gozo to be a very friendly and relaxing place. Altough it is only a small island there is plenty to see, so we were never bored. The bus service is admirable and cheap although some routes are diverted from time to time because a lot of money is being spent on fettling up the roads here. The villages are quite closely spaced so you will find quite long stretches of walking down village streets. Hotel Ta Cenc was a really good hotel. It sits very low on the skyline and sort of merges into the landscape. The facilities are good, the rooms are large and the staff is friendly. Adjacent to the hotel there is a large area of bare limestone containing some of the famous cart ruts. This wild area abuts some of the highest cliffs on the island and falls gently towards the hotel's own private cove. It does have a lot of gentlemen with shotguns traipsing around on it murdering the local bird population early in the morning. This grates a little, but it seems to be an integral part of the local way of life, and we didn't come abroad expecting everybody to be like us, did we?
Reviewed by Mr Smith on 30/10/2012
Hotel Ta Cenc was an excellent hotel with first class service and very good food. Gozo is a lovely island with much of interest and friendly, helpful people.
Reviewed by Mis Turton on 06/10/2012
The hotel was first class with friendly staff, idyllic setting, lovely food and good facilities. Gozo is small and once you have your bearings it is not difficult to find your way around. It was unseasonally hot for the end of September (31 degrees) so walking was very hard work with no shade. I therefore only did one walk and then used the local buses to get around. I should think that in appropriate temperatures the walking would be very enjoyable. Despite that it was one of the most relaxing holidays I have ever been on - it would have been great to stay longer!!
Reviewed by Mr Harrison on 24/09/2012
It was relaxing and as described, lovely location and great food. The suggested walks were varied and flexible with plenty of local interest.
Reviewed by Mrs Cryer on 16/06/2012
We love Gozo and the Ta Cenc - this was our second visit and we will return.
Reviewed by Mr Wasley on 11/06/2012
Gozo was brilliant.
Reviewed by Mis Howell on 11/06/2012
We enjoyed a relaxing holiday. Whilst we enjoyed the excellent restaurant service and location of the hotel, we did feel that our hotel room was not value for money. We paid an extra £406 for a Trullo and whilst the location & space was great, there were a few things which were not up to scratch: a musty smell greeted us, there was thick dust visible under the drinks cabinet, the edge of the duvet (not cover) was stained with what looked like blood, the cupboards/drawers smelt very musty and the bathroom was very tired & in need of updating. The spa also needed a little updating, i.e. the doors to the steam room & sauna did not shut properly and the steam room was looking tired.
Reviewed by Mrs Westall on 25/05/2012
The accommodation and friendliness of everyone we encountered made the holiday
Reviewed by Mrs Watts on 12/05/2012
We had a very pleasant holiday but we were not able to complete the walks.
Reviewed by Mr Thorpe on 12/05/2012
all that we hoped for
Reviewed by Mrs Griffiths on 28/04/2012
Just fine. We had a lovely holiday and the hotel is very good. They coped very well when we had 2 rats fighting in our roof...
Reviewed by Mr Hart on 17/04/2012
One of the best walking holidays we have had.
Reviewed by Mr Haines on 12/01/2012
Well up to your normal high standards
Departure dates & prices
|October 2016 departures||Tour only|
|November 2016 departures||Tour only|
|December 2016 departures||Tour only|
|February 2017 departures||Tour only|
|March 2017 departures||Tour only|
|April 2017 departures||Tour only|
|May 2017 departures||Tour only|
|September 2017 departures||Tour only|
|October 2017 departures||Tour only|
|November 2017 departures||Tour only|
|December 2017 departures||Tour only|
|February 2018 departures||Tour only|
|March 2018 departures||Tour only|
|April 2018 departures||Tour only|
|May 2018 departures||Tour only|
Self-guided walking, single centre. Managed locally by hotelier.
selected dates from 22 Oct '16 to 26 May '18, for 8 days (7 nights). Non standard departures are available on this holiday. Extra nights in Gozo or Malta are recommended.
All buffet breakfasts and evening meals included.
Starting your tour
Transfers included from Malta Luqa airport at 15:35, and back to Malta Luqa airport at 11:15.
Enquire about this holiday
Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and additional information.