There certainly isnâ€™t a lack of photographs of the iconic, ever-popular Mediterranean Sea and all the islands that call it home. So much so that you wouldnâ€™t expect to be surprised by any of their coastlines; already familiar with the crystal blue, crystal clear water theyâ€™re so famous for, without even having to behold it with oneâ€™s own eyes. For photographer Holly Farrier (@hollyfarrierphotography), however, the Island of Gozo proved not only to fulfill and exceed her expectations of its natural beauty, but surprised her with the opportunity to photograph what she describes as almost space-like landscapes. The â€śother- worldly,â€ť weathered rock formations that line the beaches and the yellow stone and salt pans that span for miles were enough to make her feel as though she was more likely on Mars than in Malta.
Beyond this, she was most powerfully struck by the seemingly infinite number of beaches, coves and bays boasted by this very small island. Though a pristine coastline is only to be expected, the opportunities for exploration far-surpassed what she could have hoped for, with each discovery vastly different to the one that came before it; from the landscape itself to the changing shades of the water. On a sunset paddle-boarding expedition around the island and across to Comino island, rich with jellyfish spotting opportunities and otherwise-unreachable hidden caves and breathtaking lagoons, the sky was saturated with orange and pink hues.
â€śOf course, there are the typical long stretches of sandy beaches, but the real beauty of Gozo lies in places like MÄˇarr ix-Xini bay with its ladders down into the crystal-clear sea and an exquisite seafood restaurant steps from the beach, or the lightning-bolt shaped Wied l-GÄ§asri bay, which is the perfect snorkelling spot.
Places like The Blue Hole, a 10-metre deep natural pool that attracts snorkelers and scuba divers alike, or The Inland Sea, a lagoon connected to the Mediterranean by a natural doorway that has been carved out the rock and surrounded by stone beach huts, are only some of the discoveries that allowed Holly to capture exactly what makes Gozo â€śso different to any regular European beach holiday.â€ť
Equally so, Holly couldnâ€™t help but be enchanted by Gozoâ€™s capital city, Victoria. There she spent the majority of her trip, staying in a traditional (almost crumbling) yellow stone house with a spiral staircase, view of the local church bells and an authentic charm mirrored by everything else around her. The architecture of the traditional buildings of Victoria, much like this one, were accompanied by countless delightful restaurants offering the local Maltese cuisine.
It is often said that the most important part of travelling is to attempt to live as the locals do, and it was in the MÄˇarr harbour, on a small rented yacht, where Holly was best able to witness and experience the localsâ€™ life at sea, admiring their unique and simple way of life. In the bay next to the harbour she spent her days swimming and snorkelling with expats and locals alike, who all knew each other. By her last day she found herself talking with some of them as well, her heart utterly touched by this friendly community of people; villagers, sailors and retirees who meet at the sea every day.
Together they would float in the sea for hours, treading water, chatting, and â€“ most-notably â€“ laughing.
Holly is a photographer who embodies a great enthusiasm for natural, authentic and beautiful imagery, her work spanning commercial, travel, editorial and lifestyle photography. With an eye for the finer details and an appreciation for simplicity, Holly brings dedication and new ideas to every project. Good food, travel and design are her three passions in her life and work.