The quiet village of Qala (pronounced 'a-la') is one of the oldest areas on the idyllic island of Gozo. Situated on the easternmost part of the island and surrounded by countryside, guests on a villa holiday here can expect many natural and historic attractions.
Qala is well-known with locals for its natural gem, Hondoq ir-Rummien, a popular swimming cove with a sliver of sand. The rest of the coastline is largely rocky, where rock-cut saltpans form pretty caves with crystal-clear waters – great for snorkelling. One of the prettiest caves is Għar Minka, only accessible by boat. Qala offers some wonderful rural walks, with stunning views across the sea to Comino and Malta. Search for the deep parallel tracks known as cart-ruts, which extend over 180 meters making them some of the longest in Gozo. Along the way, you may also stumble across a chapel known as Il-Madonna tal-Blat (Saint Mary of the Rocks) and historical defence towers. Other interesting things to see around Qala include the islands' best-preserved windmill, and even some prehistoric remains.
The social life in Qala revolves mostly around the village square, where a variety of restaurants and bars are open all year round. Every evening the square becomes the relaxing meeting place for locals and tourists alike, who visit from all over Gozo and Malta. Qala is also home to the largest traditional folk festival in the Maltese Islands, usually held in mid-September.