What to do in Gozo
To visit the island of Gozo is to discover natural and wild landscapes all more beautiful than the others. Gozo is more rural, more authentic, than his big sister, the island of Malta. Here are no big cities, no traffic jams, just nature and calm.
To make sure you do not miss important places of interest during your stay on the island, I have prepared the list of 10 things to do and see in Gozo.
You will then find our advice to visit Gozo in 1, 2 or 3 days with examples of routes and of course our selection of the best accommodations on the island!
Visit Gozo: the must-sees
1. Victoria and its citadel
I suggest you start your stay in Gozo by visiting its largest city, Victoria or Rabat (in Maltese) which is located in the center of the island.
The must -see place to see in Victoria is its citadel. True fortified city, completely renovated recently, it dominates the city and offers a 360 ° panorama over the surrounding countryside, villages and Malta just opposite. The view from the ramparts is definitely worth the detour!
The entrance to the citadel itself is free, and you can browse its narrow streets in peace. You can also visit the Baroque Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption.
Inside the citadel, you will find several museums that are paying:
- The Cathedral Museum presents a collection of objects used by the church such as crucifixes or chalices
- The archeology museum traces the history of ancient civilizations until the arrival of Knights of the Order
- The folklore museum that illustrates the local way of life
- The Gozo Natural History Museum will teach you more about the island’s fauna and flora
- The old prison where you can see the cells
After visiting the citadel, passing through the Independence Square where the daily market is located,you can go to St. George’s Basilica. Nicknamed the Marble Basilica as it is fully covered, its interior is also worth the detour for the beautiful paintings on the ceiling.
On leaving, you can walk in all the small pedestrian streets of the city center. This is also where you will find souvenir shops and numerous restaurants and cafes to eat.
Then I recommend going down Victoria’s main street, Rue de la Republique. You will find the only 2 shopping centers on the island and many small shops. Perfect for a little shopping!
Finally, for the cool break, nothing beats a ride in the public garden of Villa Rundle. You can sit and enjoy a moment of relaxation. This is one of the few places in Gozo where there is shade!
2. Dwejra and the Azure Window
It is northwest of Gozo, to Dwejra that was the Azure Window or Azure Window in French. So yes I know the Azure Window has unfortunately collapsed in 2017 but that does not mean that we must miss the place in itself.
Other natural sights to see are in the same place:
- Fungus rock or rock mushrooms. It is located at the entrance to Dwejra Bay. The story tells that it is on this rock that the knights of the order discovered a mushroom with incomparable medicinal virtues. Only the nobles could benefit from this medicine which was supposed to cure infections, dysentery and ulcers (among others). To preserve the plant, access to the rock was forbidden and guarded by a guardian! Since the researchers proved that the plant was not so effective as that …
- The Inland Sea or Inland Sea , a “pool” of seawater fed by an 80-meter tunnel that passes under the cliffs. The basin is surrounded by high cliffs. It is the ideal place to swim with children because the water is calm and warmer than elsewhere.
- The Blue Hole is one of Gozo’s most famous dive sites. This hole allows to reach the open sea by an underwater arch located 7 meters deep. I’ll talk about it later in the section on diving.
3. The Basilica of Ta’Pinu
Not far from Dwejra Bay is another must-go in Gozo, the Ta’Pinu basilica.
Lost in the middle of nowhere, between hills and sea, you will be impressed by its imposing exterior when you will see it at the bend of the road. With its esplanade laid out with mosaics and statues and the surrounding landscape, the basilica is well worth a souvenir!
The basilica is a Mecca of Maltese pilgrimage. In 1883, everything starts with a woman from the village who hears the voice of the Virgin from a chapel that was at that time the only building on the site. Following this demonstration, many miracles were accomplished and the inhabitants decided to honor the Virgin by building a larger church.
The Ta’Pinu basilica was completed in 1931. The two popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI even came to pray there. Note that the original chapel is still intact and is behind the basilica.
The interior of the Ta’Pinu basilica is a real architectural masterpiece even if very sober compared to other Maltese churches. With its marble canopy, mosaics, stained glass windows and superb Maltese stone carvings, the visit is very interesting.
You will also be able to contemplate the gallery of ex voto where are exposed the letters, the portraits and many objects left by the people in memory of the miracles of the Virgin.
When leaving the basilica, I advise you to make the mini walk directly in front. A path marked by many statues and representing the Stations of the Cross leads up a hill. The opportunity to admire a magnificent panorama of the surroundings of Gozo.
4. The marshes of Marsalforn
The marshes of Marsalforn is my favorite place in Gozo, so I strongly recommend that you include it in your visit program.
To get to the salt marshes, you will have to go through the city of Marsalforn. In summer, it is the most popular seaside resort of the island either by Maltese or tourists. Personally, I do not find much interesting, there are much more beautiful places in Gozo whether to swim or to lodge.
On the other hand, if you continue to the west of Marsalforn, you will find the salt marshes which constitute a splendid place of walk. 350 years old and extending for nearly 3 km, the salt marshes are an integral part of the landscape. They continue to be exploited by a generation of families between May and September, the period of the salt harvest. You will usually find vendors on the side of the road.
5. Ramla Bay and the other beaches of Gozo
Ramla Bay is Gozo’s largest sandy beach. With its pretty red sand, it is also the most beautiful! For some, the best beach to land on a circuit in Malta. So much to tell you that it is so busy in the summer.
The access to the beach is very easy, the water is calm and one gradually sinks into the sea, which makes it an ideal place if you have children. And in addition she is being watched.
On site you will find a restaurant, café, ice cream vendors and public toilets. You can also rent deckchairs and parasols.
If you prefer beaches a little less tourist, I recommend 3 other places to swim in Gozo:
- San Blas Bay : a small bay accessible from the village of Nadur. With its ocher sand and big rocks, the place is really nice. The water is shallow and very clear. You will be able to join it only on foot and the ascent is hard on the return!
- Dahlet Qorrot : Also from Nadur, you can swim in Dahlet Qorrot, a tiny gravel beach very popular with locals.
- Hondoq Ir Rummien : Small beach located in front of Comino. It is accessible from the village of Qala.
6. Gozo hike
Gozo is the ideal place for hiking. Several paths allow you to walk along the coast and go around the island.No need to be an experienced hiker, the trails are generally quite easy and do not present any particular difficulties.
However, on some parts a bit steep, I recommend you to be vigilant. Also plan a good pair of sneakers or hiking shoes because you will certainly go through the rocks.
For hiking, the best season is from autumn to late spring, when the hills turn green and the flowers start to come out. Avoid the months of July and August, it is too hot, there is no shade and the vegetation is burned.
The trails are not indicated by signs, I suggest you get the small collection of 10 free books in PDF format (in English only) with all the detailed routes and sights to see for each walk. The books are really well done. You can download them from this site .
You will also find the Gozo Coastal Walk which offers a route to Gozo tour by the coastal paths with an indication of distance, duration and difficulty.
7. The temples of Ggantija
The megalithic complex of the Ggantija Temples is located in the city of Xaghra, east of Victoria. Older than the Egyptian pyramids and the famous stones of Stonehenge, they are listed as World Heritage by UNESCO.
“Ggantija” means “giant” in Maltese. The Gozitans thought that only giants could have transported and assembled these huge stones between them. Some of the blocks weigh more than 5 tons and are 5 meters long. The question still arises how these stones could be arranged so I want to believe in the giant conveyor stones, it’s still the coolest hypothesis!
The site is composed of 2 temples: that of the South and the North. The two form a vast ensemble of more than 40 meters long and 6 meters high. It is the largest megalithic complex you can admire on Malta.
At the beginning of the visit, you will find a small museum that brings some information about what you will see and presents the remains exhumed on the site.
8. The cliffs of Ta’Cenc
The cliffs of Ta’Cenc are located south of Victoria, in the village of Sannat.
The access is not very well indicated so I advise you first to go to the village square and then follow the signs to Ta’Cenc hotel. Then take the track to the left of the entrance to reach the heights of Ta’Cenc.
A nice walk is just to the right and allows you to walk along the edge of the cliffs. High 130 meters above sea level, the place is rather impressive. To see during your stay in Gozo!
9. Gozo diving
The island of Gozo with its underwater reefs and caves is famous for its diving spots. The conditions are ideal with a calm sea, an extreme clarity of the water and a temperature of the water hot enough to dive all the year. Whether you are a beginner or a confirmed diver, you will find your happiness in Gozo.
Overview of the most beautiful places to dive in Gozo:
- Blue Hole : a large vertical chimney makes it possible to descend deeply while passing under an arch. There is also a large cave. For all levels.
- Crocodile Rock (crocodile rock): inhabited by many fish like groupers, tuna and barracudas. For all levels.
- Fungus Rock (rock mushrooms): not really marine life but a great landscape with cave, gully and vertical walls. For all levels.
- Inland Sea : an 80 meter tunnel under water.
- Reqqa Point : The tip of the reef is home to groupers, scorpion fish and the Shrimp Grotto. For all levels.
- Fessej Rock : ideal for deep-sea diving
- Wreck of Mv Karwela ferry : boat scuttled voluntarily for diving
- San Dimitri Point : possibility of seeing huge schools of fish
- Wied Il Gashri to try to see the seahorses
- Double Arch Reef : a rock cut into 2 arches that allows to see cuttlefish, octopus and sea urchins
10. Getting to Comino
From Gozo, I advise you to visit the small inhabited island (4 inhabitants year-round) of Malta, Comino.
For this you have to take a boat to Mgarr. The journey costs 10 € and lasts about twenty minutes. You can also leave Hondoq Ir Rummien but only in high season.
In Comino, the main attraction is the Blue Lagoon, a beautiful lagoon with turquoise water. The perfect place for swimming with its warm and translucent water. Provided of course to find a little place because the place is crowded especially in summer.
On Comino you will also find something to eat in a few food trucks, public toilets and a hotel. The hotel is located a little further than the Blue Lagoon and also has a beach: Santa Maria Bay. Much less crowdedand yet very nice too!
The island is very small so take the opportunity to walk around and walk. You can climb the top of the Sainte-Marie tower to admire the view. Tip: you can only go up if the flag is raised.
How to get around in Gozo?
Gozo is a very small island, so it is very nice and very easy to discover in different ways.
Many agencies offer rentals of different motorized or not, which will allow you to go around Gozo and access every nook and cranny.
Summary of the means of transport available on Gozo:
- The car of course. This is clearly the fastest way to get from one point of the island to another. In addition to Gozo, there are no traffic jams! Be careful as the roads (like everywhere on Malta) are not in great condition.
- By bus : The villages and the main places of interest are connected to a bus line. However, you will often have to go back through Victoria to change lines each time, which can waste time. In addition, I prefer to warn you, schedules are quite random.
- The City Sightseeing Bus : If you have little time and do not want to bother driving, this is the best option. Buses take a circuit through the most popular sites in Gozo.
- In quad: the rent of quad is very widespread in Gozo because more practical on some narrow roads. In addition it is the opportunity to make a activity a little fun! The price is much lower than the prices charged in France.
- By bike: for the more athletic, you can opt for bike rental. Good by cons it’s always the same, given the state of the roads, you will be a little shaken in all directions.
- In Segway : small walks are organized around certain sites such as the salt marshes and cliffs of Ta’Cenc. A fun activity to practice with your family!
If you want to visit Gozo through a tour organized for a day, I recommend the one offered by GetYourGuide. You will visit most of the places of interest mentioned in this article, including the city of Victoria and the temples of Ggantija. You will even have a guide in French!
The advantage is that you will not have to worry about anything, a shuttle even picks you up directly in front of your hotel. Count 60 € for the day, with return ferry, lunch and entrance ticket sites included in the price.
How many days to visit Gozo?
To go around Gozo, 2 days minimum are essential. If you want to enjoy it, I recommend you spend 3 full days there.
With the routes I propose below, I guarantee you that you will not have time to get bored.
Visit Gozo in one day
Follow the guide to visit Gozo in one day:
- Discovery of the capital of Gozo, Victoria and its citadel
- Lunch break
- Head to the Dwejra site which includes Azure Window, Fungus Rock, Inland Sea and Blue Hole
- Visit of the impressive Ta’Pinu Basilica
- Go up the Stations of the Cross in front of the basilica to admire the 360 ° view of Gozo
Visit Gozo in 2 days
In 2 days in Gozo, I advise you to resume the program of the first day and add:
- A nice walk along the marshes of Marsalforn
- Discovery of the mini canyon of Wied Il Gashri
- Lunch break
- Swimming in Ramla Bay, the most beautiful sandy beach in Malta or San Blas Bay, smaller but also very pretty
- Sunset at Ta’Cenc cliffs
Visit Gozo in 3 days
For 3 days in Gozo, in addition to the first 2 days, I recommend:
- To spend a morning on Comino to enjoy the Blue Lagoon
- Lunch break
- For the afternoon, you can continue in beach mode and relax or enjoy one of the many hikes on the island.
Where to sleep in Gozo
- Guesthouse Bambina : Guesthouse located in Xaghra, 10 minutes walk from the beach. Double room with modern decoration and Zen from 40 €. Most: superb house with pool and beautiful views of Gozo, warm welcome, access to the beach on foot, and the price completely unbeatable. Our favorite in Gozo! To book very early!
- Casa Gemelli Bboutique Guesthouse : Charming hotel located in Victoria, the main city of Gozo. Double room entirely renovated with decoration combining traditional and modern from 70 €, breakfast included. Plus: Location in Victoria to catch all the buses, the homemade breakfast, the friendliness and the valuable advice of the staff.
- The Duke Boutique Hostel : Establishment located in the center of Victoria. Huge and comfortable double room from 86 € per night, breakfast included. The most: the location, great bedding, the view from the roof terrace, the varied and hearty breakfast, the availability of staff, some rooms with Jacuzzi on the terrace.
- Kempiski Hotel San Lawrenz : Luxury hotel located in San Lawrenz, close to the Inland Sea and the Ta’Pinu Basilica. Spacious and modern double room with balcony from 116 € per night, breakfast surcharge 25 €. Pros: great views, huge pools, indoor pool, free parking, exceptional breakfast, spa. It’s simply the best hotel in Gozo.
Where to eat in Gozo
- Mekren Bakery : Located in Nadur, the bakery is famous for its pizzas and ftiras (a Maltese pizza). We tested the ftira with Maltese sausage and Gozo goat cheese, a delight! And in addition the prices are between 5 € and 8 € for a ftira that can feed up to 4 people. Only to take away. Do not look for a shop, you will enter directly into the bakehouse to order.
- Country Terrace : Located in Mgarr, above the harbor. The terrace offers breathtaking views of Comino and Malta. I recommend dishes made from fresh fish and try one of their very good wine. Hearty dishes and quality for a reasonable price.
- Oleander : Located in Xaghra, just in front of the church. The restaurant offers local and tasty cuisine based on fresh produce. The dishes are hearty and well presented. I recommend it for its excellent value for money.
How to get to Gozo
To reach Gozo, it is not complicated, there is only one way, take the ferry.
From Malta, you have to go to Cirkewwa, just north of the island where the ferry terminal for Gozo is located. You can very well take it with your rental car, there is no problem because you do not change country. And if you do not have a car, buses also serve Cirkewwa, including the X1 bus that leaves from the airport.
Then you will only have to embark following the flow. Embarkation is very well organized and super fast (as the landing in Gozo elsewhere). There is nothing to pay on the go which also makes things easier. You will have to pay the amount of the crossing only on return. Count 20 € for a car and 2 people. For a single person the price is around € 5.
There are trips about every half hour. To reach Gozo, you will have about 20 minutes of crossing. Do not hesitate to climb on the bridge to admire the view.
Inside the ferry you will find food and drink as well as a shop selling newspapers and souvenirs. There is also a toilet and free wifi.
Finally on arrival in Gozo, do not wait until the last moment to reach your car at the risk of blocking other cars!
My impressions of Gozo
I loved the island of Gozo for its peaceful, rural and authentic atmosphere. People are friendly and friendly, there is no stress.
And the natural and wild landscapes are just beautiful. With a small personal preference for Marsalforn salt marshes and Dwerja Bay where the Fungus Rock and the Azure Window are located.
It’s great too, if like me, you like to walk in nature at the seaside.
Have you thought of integrating Gozo during your tour in Malta?
Gozo Tourist Map
To help you visualize the places of interest of the island, I have prepared a tourist map of Gozo. You can display the legend of the map by clicking on the button at the top left with a small arrow.
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