As dusk approaches just before 5 pm, the sun slowly begins to disappear into the Mediterranean. Right before the eyes of the people who have come to see it, there’s one of the most beautiful sunsets in the Mediterranean.
Where is this place? Well, let me tell you – on the Maltese island of Gozo. Today I’d like to show you one of the most famous sights that this small island has to offer: The Azure Window. A unique rock formation that made Gozo world-famous practically overnight.
The Azure Window on Gozo Island
The diverse capital, Valletta, the colourful Popeye Village and the impressive city of Mdina are all sights that you simply must experience on a holiday to the island nation of Malta! And if you head west to Malta’s sister island, Gozo, the list of highlights only continues with the stunning Azure Window. Ever since the wedding of the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen, and Khal Drogo in the first season of Game of Thrones, the once hidden landmark of this island has become known across the world. However, even the non-GoT fans are taken back just by the sight of this rock formation, which is more than a million years old. As soon as the sun starts to set everyone can agree: the Azure Window is simply an extraordinary creation of nature! It’s not just the rock that is a real highlight; the surrounding area is also fascinating and together with the Azure Window, it has been declared as a nature park particularly worthy of protection. Octopuses, barracudas, sea horses and even parrotfish bustle about in the numerous crevices of the limestone rocks, which provide the sea creatures with a well-protected home. Diving is a great way to discover their habitat and very close to the Azure Window, you’ll find one of the most beautiful diving spots in all of Malta: The Blue Hole of Gozo. If you look at the Blue Hole from above, it just looks like a 10 metre-wide, deep blue pool made of limestone. When you dive inside, however, you’ll discover a tunnel that connects the Blue Hole to the open sea. This protected environment facilitates the existence of a colourful and unique vegetation and an animal world, which the divers among you are sure to be amazed by! In good conditions, experienced divers can even dive right through to the Azure Window.
On some days the waves of the Mediterranean beat powerfully and almost incessantly against the cliffs of Gozo. They are what formed the opening millions of year ago. Deep cracks now run through the limestone and strong winds have caused further erosion of the Azure Window. Since 2012, access to the Blue Window has been forbidden as the danger of it collapsing as well as the destruction of the plant world here is too great. However, if you want to see the Azure Window up close, then I recommend taking a boat trip along the cliffs of Gozo, which will bring you right up to the rock. Of course, the Blue Window is not the only highlight of a boat tour as a large part of the Maltese island also has this breathtakingly beautiful and bizarre coastline. You can go on such a trip for under €10. You shouldn’t miss out on this opportunity!
Little Hollywood Malta – more than just Game of Thrones
It comes as no surprise that such a breathtaking place like the Azure Window was quickly discovered by film directors. In addition to the setting of the wedding scene mentioned earlier from Game of Thrones and some scenes of the fictional town Königsmund, shot in medieval Mdina, Malta and her sister islands, Gozo and Comino, have also featured in other top blockbusters such as Gladiator, World War Z and the Count of Monte Cristo. Other famous backdrops include the Fort Ricasoli, a well-preserved fortress of the Order of St. John, which was used not only for the setting in Troy, but also for some scenes in the famous Gladiator, as well as the colourful Popeye Village, which was originally a film set before it became a tourist attraction. The film based on the video game, Assasin’s Creed, was released at the end of the year, where once again Malta played a starring role! Such diversity is not only appreciated by Hollywood directors, but also film/series fans from all over the world, who come to Malta to admire the filming locations of their favourite films.
Fancy a trip to Malta?
Whether for a city break, adventure holiday or to see the locations from your favourite films, Malta is simply so diverse. Experience the unique charm of days gone by, dive into the fantastic world of Game of Thrones or just stroll through the most beautiful cities on the island. It comes as no surprise that such a breathtaking place like the Azure Window was quickly discovered by film directors.
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