When It’s Raining On Holiday

It is objectionable when it rains on a vacation. When booking a trip, the majority of us spend so much time programming activities or finding the best beaches. However, if it rains during the week you are on holiday it doesn’t have to stop you from having a great time.

The whole point of a vacation is to unwind and take it easy. And there are numerous ways to do that even if it’s pouring rain outside. In fact, finding these alternate rainy-day ventures will substantially slow things down.

It is forecasted to rain next Sunday so we thought of sharing our top ten preferred things to do when the weather is gloomy:

  1. Send some post cards. From experience, finding postcards, writing postcards, remembering addresses, finding stamps and locating a post-box is easily half a day’s work.
  2. Ignore the rain and go for a hike. Just put on a lightweight windbreaker and continue with your already planned out itinerary. And think how rewarding the hot shower will be when you peel off your wet clothes.
  3. Find a great restaurant and savour a long, easy-going meal. Rain is a great excuse to stick-around your favourite restaurant trying different appetizers paired with a satin-smooth bottle of wine. (Always drink responsibly though!)
  4. Spa: A massage or facial is exceptional anytime, but for some reason you might feel slightly remorseful getting treatments when it’s amazing outside. If it’s gloomy outside, it’s the perfect reason to get a little pampering.
  5. Find a local charity to donate to. Do some research – what local causes could you contribute to? Find a local cause and donate some of the money you’re not spending because you’re inside escaping the rain. (You will get some good travel karma, promise!)
  6. Lie in. Remember all those times you were at home, when the alarm went off at the crack-of-dawn, then you heard the rain and wanted to roll over and go back to sleep? Now’s your chance.
  7. Do some yoga. If you’re a yogi, this will already be on your list. If you’re not, when was the last time you really stretched your limbs? Book yourself a local class or use a class on an app. 
  8. Journal. Another rainy day activity that is adequate for your health. From promoting mindfulness and inspiring creativity, a little bit of writing every day has massive benefits.
  9. Do some puzzles. Exercise your brain with some puzzles – crosswords, sudoku, maths challenges, give your brain something to chew on and get a bit shrewd in the process.
  10. Write some reviews. Share your experience online and you will be helping other visitors make a good decision.

So, that’s our list of 10 things to do when it’s raining on holiday. With any luck, the rain has already cleared by the time you get to the end of this list.

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Beaches on our doorstep

Gozo’s tiny size is a blessing in disguise as everywhere is within a few minutes reach! This might contribute to one of the many reasons Gozo is a unique destination that can be enjoyed ….

At Abraham’s farmhouses we are proud that from our location perched on the hilltop village of Xagħra, we have at least 4 incredible beaches literally on our doorstep.   Naturally there are a great many other beaches along the coast of Gozo!

Starting from Marsalforn which is literally down the slope on the northern side of Xagħra, Marsalforn is one of the popular tourist zones of the island. Originally a fishing village, the beach offers a sandy shore and rocky areas from which to swim off and enjoy snorkelling. Marsalforn is also a great place to spend the evening amid the bars and restaurants along the promenade.

Next on the line is Ramla l-Ħamra bay. The unique red sandy bay is a favourite because of the wide expanse of red sand. The beach, which is also a Natura 2000 site, is also famous because legend has it that the cave on top of Ramla was the abode of the nymph Calypso.   Between Ramla l-Ħamra and Marsalforn, there is also one hidden beach – Għajn Barrani, a site that is completely unspoilt. This beach is completely off the beaten track but well worth the visit.

Yet another picturesque beach is San Blas, a beautiful cove which one can reach through Nadur.  The road to San Blas is a steep one and this makes San Blas a more peaceful spot.

All these beaches are just a couple of minutes away from our farmhouses. Enjoy a holiday you will never forget. We’re ready to welcome you to one of our farmhouses where you can enjoy the experience of authentic Gozitan living, a step away from the mesmerising turquoise waters of our beaches.

If you want to book your holiday or need help in planning out your next holiday on the island of Gozo, contact us today.

Gozo’s a little paradise.

Whilst we cannot claim that it is still a secret island, there is no doubt that although the island’s amenities are highly comparable to the mainland, Gozo has not lost its authentic rustic and rural vibes.

Exploring Gozo is not only about visiting the string of archaeological sites, museums and historical places but it is also about indulging the senses.   For example, one cannot understand the essence of Gozitan life before he or she has stayed in a farmhouse or tasted the dishes that are typical of the island.

The farmhouses or these abodes from time ago used to be the farmsteads where the farmer lived with his family and his animals.   Today these gems have been renovated and can be enjoyed as luxurious holiday retreats.  If you think that farmhouses are only for those who are after a laid-back holiday, it’s time to shift that view!  There’s nothing better than indulging in an active sports adventure like kayaking, climbing, hiking, cycling and diving and returning to the base of a comfortable and luxurious farmhouse.

Recently at Vini and Capricci, the flagship store for exquisite foods and wines, also owned by Abraham and his wife Michelle, hosted Alex Vizeo. Vizeo is a French blogger, who visited Gozo and had words of praise for the island’s gastronomic experience. Together with our resident chef George Borg, Alex Vizeo visited the local markets in search of the local produce and then embarked on preparing some typical Gozitan dishes.

We look forward to welcoming Alex Vizeo again and others like him!

Contact us for more information about staying in Abraham’s Farmhouses.

A Winter Break

Gozo’s been blessed by a great winter.

The earlier rains have yielded green hills and valleys and our countryside is bursting with the fresh energy of a land that has been watered after a very dry spell!

It’s true that the weather can be a bit chilly and cold but the sunny days that we’re having, mean that there’s nothing to stop you from planning out a fabulous February getaway. You can enjoy a break from the routine of everyday life at our farmhouses located in Xaghra where the comfort and luxury of our cosy holiday homes will leave you recharged and energised.

Whilst you’re in Gozo you can enjoy roaming the countryside and the coast at a leisurely pace and if you’re up to some more hectic activity you can consider exploring the country lanes and routes from the seat of a mountain bike.

If you’re thinking of spending time with your loved one to celebrate Valentine’s Day, make sure you make an early booking. You might also indulge in private meals that are prepared by our expert private chef as per your requirements.

And don’t forget to wrap it all up with the delightful gifts of chocolates and wines. At Abraham’s Vini & Capricci we’re offering a wide selection of wines and exquisite chocolates to indulge the senses.

As always, we look forward to welcoming you to our farmhouses and ensuring that your stay is a memorable one!

Christmas in Gozo

It’s that special time of the year when everything seems to have an extra dose of ‘cheerful’.  Gozo has already been transformed into a Christmas island and there’s a lot of activities and celebrations going on.

 

Closer to home, in the village of Xagħra, where our farmhouses are located Christmas has been in the air for a while as the village’s starts preparing for the season before December’s here!  This year, the Basilica in Xagħra will host the International Choir Festival on the 9th of December.  The evening will feature performances by 6 different choirs.  Then on the 28th December, the same church will be the venue for another Christmas Concert.

 

The village of Xagħra is also home to at least 20 recognised cribs that will be open for public display. Some of these cribs are mechanical cribs that present the nativity scene with figurines in motion.   It’s definitely worth investing a morning touring these cribs and dioramas that local artists and craftsmen have created and are showcasing around the village. From Monday 26th to Wednesday 28th December, one can drive through the interactive Live Crib that will be held in the Ramla Valley Road leading up to Xagħra.

 

At Abraham’s   preparations for the Christmas season have long begun. The sourcing of a variety of local and foreign delicacies and wines to be included in our hampers is always a great exciting activity.     This year ‘The Hamper Journal’ features a wide assortment of gifts, wines, liquors and naturally hampers all laden with genuine goodness that is synonymous with the quality of Abraham’s flagship store Vini e Capricci.

On 10th and 11th December, we will be having our own Christmas Village at the Gozitano Agricultural Village in Xewkija.   Join us on these days and rest assured that you will enjoy the food stalls, the tastings, the mulled wine, Christmas pastries, the porchetta, the  sausage stands and the coffee and hot chocolate.  A variety of other stalls will also be present.

 

If you love wine and good food, do not forget that at Vini e Capricci, we will be having our traditional lunch and dinner on 10th, 17th and 18th December.   The Taverna Menu never ceases to delight and early booking is needed to avoid disappointment.

Luxury Breaks in Gozo

If your life is insanely hectic, then you may worry that your only chance for peace and quiet would be to move to a monastery in Nepal. Luckily, thanks to the atmosphere on the island of Gozo, you need not venture that far…

 

Ask anyone: if there’s one thing you’re guaranteed on Gozo, it’s complete and utter tranquillity. And what better way to enjoy that tranquillity than to indulge in all of life’s simple, and some not-so-simple, pleasures?

 

Firstly, just because you’ve gone off the beaten track doesn’t mean that your comfort has to suffer – Gozo offers some of the most beautiful properties on the Maltese islands. Known locally as farmhouses (although not actually a working farm) these treasured abodes are welcoming and spacious, often fully decked out with pools, jacuzzis and large communal spaces. These secluded gozo farmhouses are ideal if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life where technology reigns supreme.

 

As you’re in the midst of giving yourself some well deserved rest and relaxation, Gozo boasts numerous gourmet restaurants and swanky wine bars where you can treat your senses to the best that the local cuisine has to offer. From scrumptious bread to freshly-caught seafood and fish, as well as unique and traditional local delicacies, you’re certainly spoilt for choice. On the flip side, if you’re not in the mood to leave your luxurious temporary home, you can easily bring in a private chef to put together a lovely meal for you in the comfort of your own farmhouse.

 

If you do eventually feel like you want to venture back outdoors, then the cultural scene in Gozo provides an endless list of events and venues worth visiting, from the local opera houses in the capital of Victoria, to the countless museums and historical sites dotted around, including the Ggantija temples in Xaghra. There’s always something brewing in the local village square or in the city centre too, be it music festivals, an annual arts festival or one of the many firework shows.

 

To round off your trip, and to really make sure you leave with a bang, we recommend chartering a luxury yacht for a day or two to explore the Med and bask in the serenity that only being out in the middle of the deep blue can offer.

 

Luxury comes in many forms, be it a ride on a deluxe vessel, a five-course gourmet meal, or lounging by the pool at the gorgeous farmhouse you’ve rented out for your trip… Either way, you’ll find it on Gozo.

Gozo Hills Are Alive with Hikers – Hiking in Gozo

Truly ideal as a nature-lover’s paradise, Gozo tempts visitors for an escape into the tranquillity and picturesque scenery it offers. In spite of its small size, the island boasts a beautiful countryside, best seen from atop one of Gozo’s many hills. So, if you’re visiting Gozo with the intention of exploring, pull on your hiking books and prepare to enjoy some stunning views from Gozo’s highest peaks.

Seeing how the favourable Mediterranean weather offers near day-to-day sunshine across the year, there is no bad time to set off on a hiking adventure. That said, make sure you’ve got plenty of sunscreen to slap on to protect your skin, as the UV rays can be deceptively strong, even in winter.

The best way to really get the most out of your trip is to cover the span on the island over a few days, as you can easily spend a morning and afternoon exploring one area with frequent breaks to take in the scenery. Plus, if you’re not keen on trekking on your own, there are plenty of tours available to take you off the beaten track.

Here are our top three picks for hiking in Gozo:

Ta’ Dbiegi Hill

Reaching a height of 190 meters, this hill near the village of San Lawrenz promises amazing country views of the whole island, so you should try to plan your hike on a clear day to get the best visibility possible. Being so close to town, this is a great space to explore, both for its views and the potential for finding some scrumptious, Gozitan food along the way!

The Cliffs Overlooking Ramla Bay  

It’s hardly surprising that this gorgeous bay, with its richly-coloured sand, is a sight to behold from afar as much as it is up close. Luscious green-topped cliffs envelope this beautiful beach, where you can get a bird’s eye view of the deep blue waves bubbling towards the copper coloured sand.

Dwejra

The area surrounding Dwejra holds some of Malta and Gozo’s most iconic sights, with its most famous being the Azure Window. A short ramble will lead you to that natural limestone arch that has become a must-see for any Game of Thrones fan. Hikers can explore the landscape of Dwejra freely, and should expect to find some surprises along the way – the rocks by the sea actually hold several fossilised layers within them dating back hundreds of years. They make an exciting addition to any Gozo hike!

If on the other hand you prefer cycling to hiking, then there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying the same routes from a mountain bike.  Gozo is an island of hills and valleys, so be prepared for a series of slopes and looping and winding routes. For more information about Cycling in Gozo check out this article here. All in all, you will enjoy cycling because most of the time you will be in the open countryside or passing through quiet and sleepy villages.

Abraham’s Farmhouses tucked away in the village of Xagħra are a perfect accommodation solution. The rustic charms of the farmhouses along with the luxurious services that are provided are a good base to return too after your hiking or cycling expeditions.  We can guarantee an experience, which you will want to repeat. Have a look at the various traditional farmhouses we have to offer. Book your stay with us today or email us for more information.

Cycling in Gozo

A treat for the senses, Gozo and all its surroundings are a delight to take in, with its picturesque views, the experience of the bustling village square, and the refreshing smell of the sea. When roaming around and discovering a beautiful place like Gozo, who would want sit cooped up in a car, unable to fully take in all the character that the island has to offer?

As of late, cycling tourism has taken off like crazy in Gozo and numerous routes have been planned out to help cyclists – novices and pros alike – to really get the best of what Gozo has to offer.

To make the most of your cycling adventure, we suggest travelling to Gozo between the months of October and May when the weather is more favourable for outdoor activities. Several travel companies on the island offer guided bike tours – but if you prefer to go at it alone, here are three of Gozo’s best cycling routes.
The Scenic Route

If the sea holds a special place in your heart, then you’ve come to the right place. Starting from Mgarr, cyclists can take in stunning views of Comino on their way to Qala, from there to Marsalforn to learn about the specifics of Gozitan history at the Qbajjar salt pans, and finally, once you’ve covered most of the coast, you’ll be rewarded with the magnificent view of the Azure Window in Dwejra.

The Historical Route

This route will take you on a live history lesson across Gozo – roam through the pristine streets of the fortified city of the Citadel in Victoria, and visit the national museums that hold centuries of history within. Along your way into Xaghra, you’ll be able to marvel at the Neolithic Ggantija Temples and the Ta’ Kola Windmill, just before heading down to Calypso’s Cave. This route gives you an introduction to a variety of national treasures that are a sight to behold.

The Easy Route

Cycling in Gozo can be tricky – some roads are not ideal for cyclists and what with traffic at peak hours, some routes are best avoided. For a relaxing journey, it’s best to stick to village streets where the plain is often flat and smooth. We recommend visiting the villages of Nadur, Marsalforn and Zebbug, as this provides a fantastic way of seeing the locals in action and getting to know the ins and outs of Gozitan life.

Renting A Bicycle

Unless you have your own trusty bike on hand, there are a couple of great bicycle rental places available to help you get the wheels of your dreams while you’re in Gozo. Rates are usually reasonable and include a helmet and a lock, ensuring that you won’t have to worry about a single thing as you make your way!

 

 

Get Married in Gozo – Intimate Wedding Destinations

Gozo is a dream location for weddings, especially if you want something intimate and unique – it promises the ultimate island nuptials.

Imagine this: you arrive by private yacht with your wedding party, and dock in the pretty bay of Mgarr ix-Xini (a spot made world-famous by the recent film By The Sea, starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie). Next, you take a classic car up along the winding coast, stopping for snaps in the open countryside and with views of the sea, before arriving at the pretty chapel of your choice for a ceremony that’s steeped in history. Finally, you arrive for the reception of your dreams – perhaps a sit-down dinner in an award-winning restaurant, or in a winery with stunning opens vistas and an intriguing menu of fresh, local produce. This really is the recipe for the ultimate Mediterranean island wedding.

And, when you tie the knot in Gozo, none of this is far from reality. As a tiny island in the middle of the Mediterranean, Gozo is a truly unique location – one boasting a history that spans 7,000 years, as well as a cosmopolitan atmosphere that makes it as exciting as it is beguiling.

There are so many incredible destinations where you could hold your wedding in Gozo. To start with, there are many hotels and restaurants with venues that are perfectly geared up for ceremonies (whatever the size), followed by receptions.

Of course you may want something completely different, and this is where Gozo really comes into its own. Every nook and cranny could be transformed into a magical location with some creativity – and a wedding planner will be able to guide you. So, from a ceremony aboard a yacht, on a beach or on the Citadel bastions, to a reception in one of the iconic museums or in a picturesque town piazza, the options are endless.

Plus, when you’re planning an intimate wedding in Gozo, one of the most fun aspects is choosing your accommodation. We recommend considering a traditional farmhouse – Gozo’s answer to a chalet in the Alps, or a cottage in the Scottish Highlands. These authentic dwellings can also be chosen based on the needs of your wedding – some sleep 12 guests or more with their own swimming pools, while others are more intimate and focus on having incredible views that would look stunning in your wedding photography. A farmhouse provides the perfect place to get ready on your big day with your bridal party, and is also a lovely, homely location for you to leave from as you head to your ceremony. Plus, what could be more fun than sharing a house with your friends and family before embarking on the biggest adventure of your life?

At Abraham’s Farmhouses, we can sort out your accommodation needs and our staff will guide you about other service providers that you might need to organise your dream wedding. Have a look at one of the traditional farmhouse accommodations that we have to offer.  The private complex, Il Vigneto Court is the perfect retreat for those seeking privacy but within easy reach of the cultural delights Gozo has to offer. With beautiful Mediterranean architecture the complex offers a high standard of luxury complete with private pools. If you wish you can book the whole complex in order to have all your dearest and nearest in one location. For availability or special bookings you can contact us today or click here to make a direct booking.

 

 

Your guide to organising a successful event abroad

If you’re in the throes of preparing and organising some kind of event, let us give you a hint… The island of Gozo can be your perfect destination and you have a guarantee of money well spent and satisfaction!

Here we will look at three different types of experiences – weddings, team-building sports and adventure activities and business conferences and events.

Weddings

Getting married in Gozo is as close to a fairytale as you can get.   It’s not only about getting away from it all and opting for a more tranquil and romantic affair….. There are so many options when it comes to wedding celebrations.  From quaint settings in little wayside chapels, churches and informal, intimate events in traditional farmhouses, to elaborate feasts suitable for celebrities, Gozo is a dream come true.  The dramatic backdrop of Dwejra and the Azure Window, the luscious red sand beach of Ramla and the imposing grandeur of the restored Citadel are amongst some of the favourite locations.

Many wedding suppliers operate on the island ensuring that your wedding day is planned to perfection and roping in the services/products that you might require like caterers, transport service providers,  hair stylists and makeup artist, flowers, wedding cake bakers, musicians and even fireworks!

With great sunny weather, dedicated and friendly service providers, Gozo ticks all the points as the perfect wedding and honeymoon destination!

 

Sports and Adventure

Gozo is an ideal sports and adventure destination all year round.  Although it is a very small island, Gozo can be the base for an active holiday for your team.  You can plan out a whole program involving a variety of activities from kayaking to swimming and cycling. You can rope in other high-endurance sport like rock-climbing or opt for activities requiring less stamina and vigour like simple countryside walks.  Apart from the variety of activities that one can engage in while holidaying here, there are services that can be organised specifically for athletes on training like catering for special dietary requirements.

 

Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Events

If you need to organise a corporate meeting with a difference for a smaller type of group, then Gozo is a choice for which you will be complemented and one which your guests will remember for a long time!   Apart from getting away from bustling high-stress city life to a rural setting in a luxury environment, Gozo is indeed a breath of fresh air.  Corporate events can incorporate luxury farmhouse accommodation and relaxing activities in the countryside such as wine tasting in vineyards, exploring the Gozitan gourmet scene and possibly also experiencing some of the local events that are part of the Gozitan cultural calendar.   Meetings can be organised to the highest of standards because although the island seems laid-back, it lacks nothing in terms of facilities, technology and professional services.

It’s the ultimate opportunity to retreat, revitalise and inspire your team …..

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