Villas and Farmhouses in Gozo
What is the difference?
Have you been looking into booking a holiday in Gozo and came across multiple great offers for self-catering accommodation and vacation rentals in Gozo – apartments, pool villas and farmhouses?
If you are not Maltese or you have never been to Gozo before (or even if you have), it is very likely that you are wondering: What exactly is a farmhouse and what is the difference to a villa in Gozo?
Let us solve the mystery for you in order to help you decide whether a farmhouse or a villa is what you need to fulfil your idea of a perfect holiday in Gozo.
Traditional Maltese Farmhouse (= Razzett)
Back in the day, for convenience purposes, it was normal that Maltese and Gozitan farmers lived directly on the land they were farming, hence the name farmhouse. These farmhouses are called Razzett in Maltese and they were generally located in the open countryside.
Living on these often isolated farms brought great danger with it. Up until 1530 when the Order of the Knights of Saint John arrived in Malta, Malta, as well as Gozo, were constantly under the threat of pirates raiding on the Maltese islands. That is why most of the farmhouses were built with thick double-walls. Additionally, they were enclosed with dry stone walls and surrounded by delicious but thorny prickly pears. Also carob trees or building wall on wall with other farmhouses was a way for Maltese farmers to protect themselves.
Typical Gozitan farmhouses consist of a two-storey structure. While the cattle or domestic animal were held on the ground floor, the family traditionally lived on the upper floor. Having the animals inside the house helped warm up the entire building in the cooler months. The living area was usually accessible through an external staircase leading all the way up to the roof. To be able to collect rainwater, the roofs of the farmhouses were usually flat.
Out of convenience, the entrance door was built as an arch and wide enough for a cart to pass through. The thick walls were usually made out of an outer and inner stone facing. This was for safety concerns, as well as for isolation. While the summers on Gozo are hot and humid, winter on Gozo can be cold, especially without central heating. In order to be more protected, the farmhouse facades usually did not include any openings to the outside. Back then, windows were not made out of glass. They were openings in the wall that had to be closed with a wooden casement. A feature that can still be found today. The windows in the rooms only lead to the internal courtyard. The farmhouses and the courtyard were structured to get most hours of daylight.
On a side note: Did you know that the first electricity was on Gozo only in 1926?
Researches are divided when it comes to the origin of the architecture used to build the traditional Maltese farmhouse. Some believe that farmhouses are influenced by the Arabs. Others believe that their style is influenced by Sicilians or Roman architecture, due to the courtyard being the focal point of the houses.
Farmhouses in Gozo today
Today the convenience of living on the farm and the structure and purpose of these traditional farmhouses are no longer needed. Unfortunately, over the last decades, a lot of these traditional houses were neglected or demolished for new developments.
Luckily, a lot of the farmhouses did survive and were converted and transformed into comfortable homes. These centuries-old buildings today are used for long-let as well as vacation rentals. For example, the large arched rooms that, back in the day were used as stables or milling rooms, are often still intact creating a truly spectacular ambience.
Villas in Gozo, compared to the traditional Gozitan farmhouses are built more recently. Even though their structure is usually more modern, the Villas in Gozo are often kept in a traditional Gozitan design, for example by using limestone, a material that is significant for the Gozitan architecture. This combination of modernity and tradition gives these Villas a unique design and special charm.
Villa or Farmhouse in Gozo – which one is best for you?
There are many ways to visit Gozo. Both, villas and farmhouses are very unique. They come with different features, in different sizes and location. If you are looking for an authentic Gozo experience, you should definitely consider booking your Gozo holiday by renting a traditional Gozitan farmhouse. You will be able to experience a part of Gozitan culture and history in a convenient and modern setting.
Either way, if you stay in a villa or a farmhouse you will have a comfortable vacation in Gozo. Especially during the current situation, couples, friends and families travelling together can rent a private farmhouse or pool villa on Gozo and avoid risks of sharing space with other guests.
Would you like some inspiration of how your private accommodation could look like?
At deReday Holiday Homes, all our farmhouses and villas in Gozo have a private pool and offer stunning countryside or sea view. Our vacation rentals have a fully equipped kitchen, Smart TV and WI-FI. Some of them have a spacious garden, others are captivating due to their luxurious finish. And definitely, all our self-catering accommodations are convincing through their very unique design and ambience.
Self-catering apartments are a great option if you are travelling in a smaller group. Especially the larger farmhouses (photo above) are a great choice for example for a freediving or yoga retreat.