Things to do in Gozo, Malta
Malta is a little island and Gozo is an even littler island located just to the north. The island is full of little villages with huge churches. Even the smallest, back of a field village has a church as big as a cathedral. I visited on a perfectly sunny day and it was ideal. The boat from the mainland, the sightseeing, the coastline, it really is a perfect day out to relax and get away from the ‘big lights’ of Malta. The Gozitans (maybe they should be called Gozos or Gozistas?) are also very friendly.
Time to Do: Gozo is small can be done in 1 full day, 2 days would be better to see everything on the island.
From my time there I will let you know what things to do in Gozo and the best way to do it.
Things to do in Gozo
If you are like most people and are visiting Gozo for the day then probably the most efficient way to see them is with one of the hop on/hop off tour buses. There are also local buses but although cheaper will take longer to go everywhere. A big tip is to only pay €10 for the trip. They quote €15 and it is written on the leaflet but if you say you were told €10 then without blinking an eyelid they say no problem. The sellers are obviously on commission and are like flies around sh!t both before and after the ferry crossing so there is no fear you cannot find them.
The hop on/hop off do have problems though as the buses don’t pass that often for some attractions. So if you get off you may be waiting 1.5hrs for the next bus for something you can see in 20min so you have to be careful which attractions you get off the bus for. For the main attractions though this is no problem.
Gozo can be got to by either the ferry from Cirkewwa at the north of Malta or from Sliema on a tour boat. See ‘Practicalities’ below for more details.
What to do in Gozo (see map at bottom for locations)
Things to do in Gozo – The Citadel: The best view in Gozo from this fortress sitting on top of a hill in the main town of Victoria (Rabat as the locals call it). You can see almost the whole island from here (and of course churches) and it provides great views. The Citadel was built in the 16th century and although some of the buildings are in ruins there is still enough to imagine how it was hundreds of years ago with narrow streets, archways, a cathedral and a modern café so you can have coffee high on the citadel walls. Admission is free.
Things to do in Gozo – Independence Square: Just down the hill from the citadel in Victoria (Rabat) is Independence Square which is perfect to relax and have a coffee or to get lunch in. Also a good base to explore the narrow streets of Victoria.
Things to do in Gozo – Xewkija Rotunda Church: Located halfway between Mgarr and Victoria this tiny village boasts a church with the 3rd largest unsupported dome in the world! Can you believe that? The church is 75mtrs high and the dome has a diameter of 85mtrs (279ft). Well worth stopping off for a look as well as the local crafts with stonemasons prominent.
Things to do in Gozo – Dwejra: The Azure window is the finest sight in all of Malta which is more practically known as the sea arch of Dwejra. On the very west of the island past some tiny villages you find the amazing Dwejra. Great place for photos and despite the signs to tell people not to go any further, plenty of people walk on top of the arch and take spectacular but awful stupid photos on the edge. One small rock move and they would end up 40mtrs down in the sea. This area is also great for scuba diving although I didn’t have a chance to check it out for myself. Just a few minutes walk inland is the Inland Sea where you have your own natural pool to splash around in. If you want the open sea then there is a perfectly moon shaped beach that looks out onto the Mediterranean’s expanse.
Things to do in Gozo – Ta’ Pinu Basillica: This really is another huge church in the middle of nowhere. This one hardly even has a village! Very impressive though against the surrounding green of the fields.
Things to do in Gozo – Ggantija Temples: Two temples dating from an amazing 3000BC and some of the most important in Malta. They are there to walk around in today thanks to painstaking excavation work in the 19th century. Some of the stones in place weight up to 50tonnes which was some achievement to get them into place.
Things to do in Gozo – Xlendi Tower: A look-out tower for pirates back during the days of the Knights of Malta in the 17th century. Today it provides great views of the surrounding cliffs in the small town of Xlendi.
Practicalities – About Gozo
€1 = 1 euro, US$1 = €0.73
- Language – Maltese. English is widely spoken by everybody and they even mix the two when you listen to locals talk.
- Getting to Gozo: You can get the Gozo Channel ferry from Cirkewwa at the very north of Malta by getting the 41 or 42 bus from Valletta bus station or the 221 or 222 buses. The bus journey takes 1hr. The ferry crossing takes about 25min and costs €4.65 for a foot passenger return ticket and €16 for a car and driver. You cannot buy a single. The ferries leave from Cirkewwa and Mgarr (on Gozo) every 45min during the winter and more often during the summer.
- You can also get to Gozo on a day trip from Sliema in Malta with Luzzu Cruises. This leaves the pier in Sliema a few days a week and takes approx. 8hrs return. Cost €35
- Hop-on/Hop-off Bus: These buses are available as soon as you exit the Gozo Channel ferry. The leaflet says €15 but you should only pay €10. The red bus company has two routes. The south and the north route with the south being a little better in my opinion. As said above make sure to check the timetable before you get off at a stop as sometimes the bus may not be back for 1.5hrs.
- Public Bus – (map in photo gallery) Gozo and Malta has a good service with the main bus station just outside Valletta city walls at the western end of Republic Street. Bus tickets are very good value with a 1 day ticket costing only €1.50 and 7 day tickets costing only €6.50. You may also buy tickets when you board the bus. The buses may take longer than a taxi or hop-on/hop-off but you can’t argue with them for value. Your tickets bought in Malta are also valid in Gozo.
- Train- No train in Malta (except the fun train, on wheels, around Valletta)
- Flights- Malta International Airport (MLA) is located approximately 6km south west of Valletta on the main island. Gozo has no airport. There are shuttle companies such as Maltatransfer that will drop you and pick you up from your hotel for approx. €5 per person each way. Buses to the airport are the X1, X2, X3 and X4 and are good value.
- Accommodation – €60 per night for an average double room.
- Beer – A pint of beer cost approximately €3.00 but prices can vary a lot
- Visa: Malta is part of the EU and any EU citizen does not require a visa. If you are from a country that does require a visa from any EU country then one will be required for Malta. Check on the link if you are one of these citizens http://www.foreign.gov.mt/Default.aspx?MDIS=534
- Population of Gozo: 31,000 people!
Map of my things to do in Gozo
|The Citadel, Victoria|
Citadel Cinema, Victoria, Malta
|Independence Square, Victoria|
Independence Square, Triq Il-Papa Ġwanni Pawlu II, Victoria, Malta
|Xewkija Rotunda Church|
Xewkija Rotunda Church, Xewkija, Malta
|Dwejra Sea Arch|
Dwejra, San Lawrenz, Malta
|Ta’ Pinu Basillica|
Ta' Pinu, Għarb, Malta
Ġgantija Temples, Triq It Tafla, Xagħra, Malta
|Mgarr Ferry Port|
Xlendi Tower, Munxar, Malta
My Photo Gallery of Things to do in Gozo, Malta