Last updated on January 4th, 2019 at 05:48 pm
Gozo is a beautiful island in the country of Malta. Compared to mainland Malta, Gozo is the much quieter destination that’s perfect for families and those who just want to bask in the beauty of nature. Much like the other islands in the country, Gozo has spectacular natural formations, awe-inspiring churches and gorgeous beaches that you can enjoy. There are actually so many things to do in Gozo that we decided to stay in the island for 2 days, but we actually recommend that you explore the second largest island in Malta for at least 3-4 days.
Gozo is a magical place that is believed to be the Isle of Calypso in Homer’s Odyssey. Whether this is true or not, Gozo is definitely a must-see in Malta. In this Gozo travel guide, we’ll let you in on all the things to do in Gozo, how to get around Gozo, the best food to try in Gozo and the festivals in Gozo that you shouldn’t miss.
How to get to Gozo
When traveling to Malta, you typically arrive at the mainland and biggest island that is also called Malta. You can take a ferry to reach the harbor Mġarr in Gozo island from Ċirkewwa in Malta. The trip costs less than €5 and lasts less than an hour since the two islands are only 5-6 km away. These ferry trips are available until late in the evening for those who prefer night travel.
If you are bringing a car as we did it will cost €15 included the driver. But, you pay only once when you are leaving Gozo. It means is so affordable to go to Gozo even in a day trip with your car.
Transportation around Gozo
Though buses don’t travel as frequently in Gozo as they do in Malta, you can use the same tickets you bought in the mainland on this island destination. A single journey ticket can be bought for €2 for any location within 2 hours from your point of origin. An even cheaper option is to buy the 12 tickets at once for only €15 or to get the 7-day explore card that only costs €21.
Gozo also has a hop-on-hop-off bus perfect for those who want to go sightseeing around Gozo in one day. After all, riding on an open top bus is a thrill in any destination. These sightseeing bus tours are available all year round and start at 9:30 AM until 5 PM from Mġarr. A ticket costs around €18. The bus ride comes with pre-recorded commentaries in different languages like English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew and many more.
For those who want to travel Gozo in their own time and pace, renting a car is also possible in the island. There are car hire services available in Gozo. Just ask your accommodation for the nearest one possible or a company they can maybe connect you with. Taking a rented car on a ferry from mainland Malta costs €16 for those who want to travel between both islands on an automobile.
We went with a rental car from Malta, and we can recommend this option especially if you are more than one person to move around Gozo.
Perhaps the most expensive means of traveling around Gozo is riding a taxi. There are white taxis all over the island but you will have to check for accurate rates at the taxi stand by the boat dock or the one at the bus terminal in Victoria to avoid being overcharged.
An excellent way to travel and one of my personal favorite means of getting around is through hitchhiking. Click here to read on hitchhiking tips from my personal experience. I believe it’s the best way to make new friends in a new destination. The locals and tourists in Gozo are friendly enough to make this option possible in the island.
Best time to visit Gozo
Many tend to visit island destinations during the summer months. However, for those who like us prefer going against the influx of tourists, you might want to consider other seasons. We visited Malta during fall and we thoroughly enjoyed the weather during this time. Many say that the best time to visit Gozo is actually from May to June, Gozo’s springtime. The weather is very pleasant during this season and tourists don’t frequent the island in these months.
Daily Budget to visit Gozo
During our travels, we realized how Malta is one of the cheaper destinations in Europe. Despite its inexpensiveness, the country and the island of Gozo itself still has an unlimited list of things to do in Gozo and places to visit in Gozo for all sorts of travelers. Want to see just how cheap traveling around the island can be? Let’s talk about your daily budget to visit Gozo.
You can choose among a plate of pasta, some sandwiches or pizza in many of Gozo’s restaurants for around €6-15. On the other hand, a hearty meal can go for as much as €20-40 while top restaurants can charge up to €100. A bottle of local beer can be afforded at €2-3. Traveling around the island costs as low as €15 for a 12-journey pass while a car rental can go for €25, more or less. Feeling fancier than usual? Take a yacht to explore Gozo’s beaches for €400 a day.
Those looking for a place to stay will find many options for accommodations in Gozo. There are guesthouses, dorm beds, apartments and B&Bs for €20-90 while boutique hotels, mid-range establishments and can go for as much as €130. A luxurious stay in the finest accommodations in Gozo may cost up to €250. Looking for a cheaper way to experience comfort and style in Gozo? Why not try AirBnB? Gozo has shared and private rooms that you can avail for as low as €10.50! Click here to get a great discount when you sign up with AirBnB!
Things to do in Gozo
1. See the Ggantija Megalithic Temples
The most well-known tourist attraction in Gozo are the Ggantija Megalithic Temples. It is made up of a complex of three temples and is a a UNESCO World Heritage site. Translated in English as the “Giants’ Tower,” the Ggantija temples are believed to be the place of worship of giants. The complex opens at 9 AM and closes at 5 PM everyday. You can visit the site for €9 but if you choose to go later in the afternoon, at around 4 PM, you can enter for only €6!
2. Visit Blue Lagoon
Just 15 minutes away from Gozo is the gorgeous Blue Lagoon in Comino, another island in Malta. Famed for its sky blue waters and white sand, Blue Lagoon is warm and shallow so it’s safe even for children. You can also go snorkeling and scuba diving to see the marine life in the lagoon. As it is one of the most famous places to visit in Malta, expect the spot to be a bit crowded. There are day trips from Buġibba, Qawra and Sliema to the Blue Lagoon while a ferry from Cirkewwa costs €10. If you’re coming from Gozo, there are ferries that leave for Comino every hour at €8.
Blue Lagoon was one of our favorite things to do in Gozo. We recommend you to go first thing in the morning since it can be crowded during the afternoon.
3. Chill at Ramla Beach
One of the best places to visit in Gozo is Ramla Beach, a place known for its gorgeous sunsets and peaceful atmosphere. It is a red sand beach where people can chill on sunbeds under colorful umbrellas for around €5-15. You can also enjoy the clear waters that are perfect for snorkeling and diving. Ramla Beach is surrounded by terraced grounds which adds to the unspoilt beauty of this bay.
The beach is so quiet during the sunset comparing with other beaches that we visit in Gozo.
4. See the Citadel in Gozo
A well-known landmark in Gozo is the Citadel, the island’s ancient city. The Citadel is a culturally, historically and architecturally valuable site making a trip here one of the best things to do in Gozo. The place is filled with well-preserved arches, beautiful churches, historic houses and Gozo’s baroque cathedral. It is also close to several museums so you’re sure to have a memorable day when you go around the Citadel.
5. Visit St. George’s Basilica
A church originating from medieval times in Gozo is St. George’s Basilica in Victoria. Located at the heart of the island’s capital, this magnificent church is surrounded by marble and has a bronze and gold canopy on its altar. The ceiling is filled with awe inspiring artworks. The basilica also has a wooden statue of its patron saint, St. George, that was made in 1838. This historic building is one of the most important churches in all of Malta. St. George’s Basilica is a stunning baroque church with amazing art that you can visit for free.
6. Wine tasting and vineyard tours at Tal-Massar Winery
A trip to Gozo will not be complete without visiting a winery or two. If you must visit one, make sure it’s Tal-Massar, the island’s boutique winery where you can sample the best that Gozo has to offer. Tours can be booked in advance while wine tasting occurs every Tuesday and Saturday. Aside from wine, local finger food like Gozitan crackers, bread and sheeps cheese can also be tried here.
7. Relax at San Blas Bay
Another red sand beach in Gozo is San Blas, a quiet beach in the island. Its tranquility is rooted in the bay’s inaccessibility as the narrow road to the beach ends on a steep hill that discourages many visitors. However, you can pay for a jeep to take you up and down the hill. This comes with a fee of €3-5 so you might just want to bring your hiking shoes and have an adventure. The beach is definitely worth it! Those traveling from Victoria can take Bus 303 and travel for less than 20 minutes to reach San Blas.
8. Enjoy Hondoq Bay
Hondoq Bay is a small beach in Gozo that has beautiful views of Comino and mainland Malta. There are three platforms with different levels in Hondoqthat kids will enjoy while adults can have fun on banana boats and speed boats, going snorkeling and diving. The facilities in Hondoq Bay are excellent and the food in the restaurant and cafe are also quite nice.
It´s crowded and it´s the favorite beach of locals and foreigners in Gozo.
More things to do in Gozo
9. Diving at Marsalforn Bay
A pebble beach backed by a beautiful promenade is Marsalforn Bay, a legit diver paradise with many schools and sites to choose from. While Marsalforn is quite small, the beach is still popular and can therefore get very crowded especially in the summer. Still, going to Marsalforn Bay is still a treat for all the wonderful memories you can make in this cozy beach where sunbeds can be availed at only €5.
10. Visit the Xewkija Rotunda
Formally known as the Church of St. John the Baptist, the Xewkija Rotunda is a 17th century structure that has a huge dome, an altar made from Carrara marble, a beautiful spiral staircase that leads to the bell tower, an amazing pipe organ and magnificent statues all around. The Xewkija Rotunda is open to visitors with a fee of €3 from Monday to Saturday at 8 AM to 7 PM, and only until 12 noon on Sundays.
11. Swim at Mgarr Ix-Xini
Xewkija is also home to Mgarr Ix-Xini, a scenic beach with a narrow inlet that gently leads tourists into the water. This beautiful bay is ideal for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. You can also find lots of fresh seafood like rock fish and king prawns at the seafood restaurant in the area. Mgarr Ix-Xini is definitely a hidden gem in Gozo.
12. Dive at Dwejra Bay
Another magical destination in Gozo is Dwejra Bay, a peaceful destination in the island. With its crystal clear waters, Dwejra Bay is a great place for snorkeling and diving. Aside from that, visitors will also enjoy Fungus Rock and Crocodile Rock, some natural formations in the area. Dwejra Bay is one of the best places in Gozo to go sunbathing and to enjoy the unspoilt beauty of Malta.
13. Visit Gozo’s Salt Pans
Marsalforn is also home to the famous Salt Pans of Gozo. These amazing formations are excellent for taking pictures and are 100% Instagram-worthy. Aside from their aesthetic appeal, the Salt Pans are also historically important as they have existed for over 300 years. The Salt Pans are still being put to use and during the summer, you can even see locals gathering sea salt here. The finished product is also sold nearby.
Food to try in Gozo
Try Gozo’s wine and beer
Looking for the perfect drink to celebrate your amazing trip to Gozo? You’ll find fruity, round-bodied wines in Tal-Massar Winery and Ta’ Mena where tastings and tours are offered regularly. Those who prefer beer can always try Gozo’s craft beer in the Lord Chambray microbrewery.
Sample local desserts in Gozo
Those with a sweet tooth will also enjoy the variety of desserts available in the island. The selection varies from season to season. Christmas is a great time to try qagħaq tal-għasel or honey rings while almond stuffed pastry called figolli are sold during Easter. Fans of ricotta cheese will also enjoy trying cassata and kannoli.
Speaking of cheese, Malta takes pride in its traditional sheep cheese called gbejniet. This Maltese cheese can be served fresh, dried or peppered and is found in most kitchens in Malta.
Rabbit is a staple in Maltese cuisine and fenkata is one of the best ways to serve this meat. Fenkata is prepared as two dishes made of spaghetti with rabbit sauce and fried or stewed rabbit meat. The rabbit is marinated in wine and bay leaves and is traditionally served during festive occasions with family and friends.
Enjoy some pastizzi
A famous delicacy all over Gozo and the rest of the country is pastizzi, a savoury pastry that is comparable to an empanada or a calzone. The dish is made from the most simple ingredients like ricotta cheese and curried peas but leaves a memorable taste that will leave you wanting more.
Where to sleep in Gozo
Our choice was The Duke Boutique Hotel located in Victoria. It’s a great hotel situated just 10-15 minutes from the beaches and the port via car. There are restaurants, bars and malls all around Victoria. The views from our room to the citadel were amazing! The breakfast is tasty, the staff are friendly and helpful especially with giving directions and tips on places to visit around Gozo.
We loved it so much having a jacuzzi outside our room! Perfect for relaxing in the morning and before sleeping.
Festivals in Gozo
Celebrating the arts and culture of Gozo, Festival Mediterranea is held every year in the island and is filled with events both indoor and outdoor. There are art exhibits, talks, food and drink events, concerts and many more. Festival Mediterranea is celebrated in mid-autumn and is a great time to learn about Maltese culture.
Gozo’s village festi
Every village in Gozo holds an annual festa that honors the town’s patron saint through processions, fireworks and lots of street food. These festi are celebrated in the summer starting from late May to mid-September. June to August are particularly packed with the Feast of St. John the Baptist at Ix-Xewkija, the Feast of St. George at Ir-Rabat and the Feast of Our Lady of Loreto at Għajnsielem occuring in those months.
That wraps up our Gozo travel guide! You can also read about our entire trip to Malta, our adventures in Algarve or our travels to Marseille. Our amazing time in Greek islands: Mykonos and Santorini. Are there any things to do in Gozo that we missed? Let us know in the comments! We love hearing from you.
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