Xaghra Farmhouse

Gozo, Malta Book from £127.86

Reviewed by Abigail Blasi
A huge rustic townhouse in the charismatic small Gozitan town of Xaghra; ideal for families or friends and excellent value (sleeps 6-8)
For a small island, only 14km in length and 7km at its widest point, Gozo packs in an astounding amount of charm. It’s an otherworldly landscape of terraced, curious little hills, fantastical seacliffs and red-sand beaches lapped by the blindingly blue Mediterranean sea. And Xaghra is one of the island’s prettiest and most intriguing towns - small enough to feel like a village, but large enough to be interesting.

Xaghra Farmhouse is only a short walk from the main square, situated on a narrow little street. It’s built out of sandy-coloured limestone, a great renovated house that’s about 400 years old; it was formerly a working farmhouse. Walk in and it’s the sense of space that hits you first of all, with a big entrance hall and large kitchen leading through to the spacious sitting room, with its huge fireplace. Vast arched French doors give onto the pool terrace, where you'll find loungers and an alfresco dining table. It’s not fancy but it's a great place for a holiday with a group of friends or family.

Highs

  • A great location in picturesque Xaghra and close to Gozo’s best beaches and the mystical Ggantija Temples
  • Fantastic value for money
  • Lots of space to spread out; 3 bedrooms (2 doubles and 1 twin), plus a sofabed and 4 bathrooms
  • A very well-equipped kitchen with a range cooker and BBQ; wonderful fresh ingredients are on sale in town, and there are great local restaurants if you want a night off
  • A local concierge will meet you and is a phone call away if you need any help

Lows

  • In places it feels lacking in furnishings
  • Bathrooms are functional rather than luxurious
  • Not loads of outdoor space
  • Minimum 7-night rental (though they can occasionally be flexible on this)

Best time to go

Gozo’s finest hour is spring (May-June), when the weather is perfect, wild flowers run riot and the beaches and towns are uncrowded, though September and October are also great. Both Malta and Gozo get busy and baking in July and August.

Our top tips

  • Make sure you explore Gozo’s implausible coastline, walking down to San Blas Bay and finding your way to Wied il-Ghasri.
  • Throughout the summer months local villages take it in turn to hold their own ‘festa’ at weekends with processions, fireworks and traditional horse racing up the main street.
  • Great for...

    Beach
    Cheap & Chic
    Family
    • = Recommended
    • = Best in region
    • = World favourite
    • Boutique Villa
    • 2 double rooms + 1 twin room
    • Self-catering (restaurants nearby)
    • All ages welcome
    • Open all year
    • Outdoor Pool
    • Spa Treatments
    • WiFi
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Beach Nearby
    • Off-street Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    • Daily Maid Service
    • Towels & Bedlinen
    • Concierge Service
    Room:

    Rooms

    Walk up the broad, sweeping staircase and you’ll reach 2 large bedrooms on the first floor, both of which have ensuite bathrooms. The master double bedroom is large, and has a small balcony that overlooks the pool and the tangle of cactus in the neighbouring farmhouse’s field. It’s furnished with an antique wrought-iron bed, canopied by a filmy white mosquito net. There’s a rustic dressing table and a wardrobe. The bathroom leads off the bedroom and is white tiled - it has a tub (with an overhead shower), which can be a rarity in accommodation around these parts and is useful for those travelling with kids.

    Along the hall is a twin room with 2 slightly high, charmingly vintage wrought-iron bedsteads, plus an additional sofabed. This room has a balcony overlooking the quiet street. The ensuite bathroom has a shower only, and again is plain and unfussy.

    From the first floor, an almost-hidden flight of stairs leads up to the third bedroom - another double. It feels very private and nicely separated from the other bedrooms - again it’s of a good size and has an ensuite shower bathroom. Doors here lead out to the house's roof terrace, which is as yet unexploited, but has views across the town's rooftops.

    Optional air conditioning is installed in all rooms on a pay-as-you-go meter system, though more traditional room fans are always available if you want something with a little more charm.

    Features include:

    • A/C (coin operated)
    • Barbeque
    • Coffee tea making
    • Cots Available
    • Dishwasher
    • Extra beds
    • Fan
    • Fireplace
    • Food blender
    • Fridge
    • Full kitchen
    • Hairdryer
    • Hob stove
    • Ipod dock
    • Iron
    • Microwave
    • Mosquito net
    • Oven
    • Swimming pool
    • Terrace
    • Terrace
    • Toaster
    • Toiletries
    • Washing machine
    • WiFi
    • Wifi internet

    Eating

    The kitchen is well kitted out, and a lovely place to cook, with lots of pale limestone work surfaces and a large wooden farmhouse table for convivial meals. Appliances are Smeg and include a large fridge-freezer and a gas range cooker. There’s a great array of sharp knives, good quality saucepans and enough crockery to supply a small army. There’s also a barbecue outside and you can ask the villa concierge if you need any extra fuel.

    You'll receive a welcome pack to start you off (local sourdough bread, a bottle of red wine, local honey, butter, water and milk), and basics are supplied (bin bags, washing-up liquid, sponges, loo roll). Local butchers, greengrocers and fishmongers are all listed in the villa book - there’s a small local supermarket and several vans pull up in the main square every day to sell fresh fruit and vegetables.

    There are also several excellent restaurants in the main square, including D-Venue (grills, seafood and cocktails on a lovely terrace) and Oleander (traditional Maltese food), plus a handy café for coffee and cakes. There are lots of takeaways offering good pizza if you don’t feel like going out.

    Features include:

    • Coffee tea making
    • Food blender
    • Fridge
    • Full kitchen
    • Hob stove
    • Microwave
    • Oven
    • Restaurants nearby
    • Toaster
    • Welcome hamper
    Eating:
    Activity:

    Activities

    • Lounge around, bask by and splash in the pool; the terrace has all-day sun

    • Visit Xaghra’s mysterious Ggantija Temples and wonder why and how they were built. Afterwards, explore the underground caverns that lie beneath people's houses, with stalagmites and stalagtites

    • Enjoy beach fun at beautiful red-sand Ramla and San Blas Bays; the villa has beach toys to borrow. Or explore Dwerja, a coastal area with extraordinary rock formations

    • Families will love the charming Pomskizillious Museum of Toys in Xaghra

    • Hike through Gozo's extraordinary countryside by taking a coastal walk on one of the island’s many winding paths

    • Visit Victoria, with its walled citadel, beautiful cathedral and fascinating Museum of Archaeology

    • Take a day trip to the beautiful, barren island of Comino, and swim in the Blue Lagoon

    • Go diving or snorkelling from one of Gozo’s many picturesque coves

    • The villa concierge can book horse riding, boat trips, guided island walks and jeep safaris to explore the countryside

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Boat trips
    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Horse-riding
    • Kayaking
    • Museums / galleries
    • Nightlife
    • Private guided tours
    • Scuba diving
    • Snorkelling
    • Swimming

    Kids

    This house is perfect for families, and is equipped with babies and children in mind. There’s lots of space and a pool (though it’s not fenced). In the hallway there's a box of beach and pool toys (including inflatables) and another box full of toys such as Lego. There are a few DVDs for younger kids and children’s books in the bookshelves; there’s no TV but you could play films on your laptop. There are plenty of plastic plates and cups in the kitchen, plus a microwave, dishwasher, hand blender, ice-cube trays for purees, washing machine and a picnic bag. A pre-arrival shop can be done for you and the villa book gives details of local doctors, hospitals, shops for baby/toddler supplies and suggestions for family days out.

    Best for:

    Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

    Family friendly accommodation:

    The twin room is ideal for kids, and also has a double sofabed. This room has a ensuite shower room, but there is a bathtub in the master bedroom's ensuite

    Babysitting:

    Available on request

    Baby equipment:

    • Travel cot with bedding (please request)
    • Baby monitor
    • Bottle steriliser
    • Trainer toilet seat and potty
    • Highchair
    • Changing mat
    • Plastic cutlery and crockery

    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

    Creche/Kid's Club:

    Daytime creche childcare available nearby

    Kids Activities on site:

    • Toys including Lego and books
    • Beach and pool toys
    • DVDs to watch (bring your laptop)

    Kids Activities nearby:

    • Beaches
    • Museum of Toys
    • Horse riding
    • Boat trips

    Families Should Know:

    The pool is not fenced, and the indoor staircase is steep

    Distances:

    • Airport: 2 hours (including the ferry to Gozo)
    • Hospital: 10 minutes
    • Shops: 2 minutes
    Kid Friendly:

    Our guests' ratings...

    10/
    Rooms
    9/
    Service
    10/
    Value
    10/
    Overall

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