The bustling streets, beautiful beaches, and ancient castle of Malta may get all the attention, but don’t miss out on Gozo Island! Gozo is just a quick ferry ride away and has so much to explore. So whether you’re taking a day trip to Gozo or spending a whole week, here are some of the best things to do and see!
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Malta Travel Inspiration
- Blue Lagoon Malta: 10 Things to Know Before Your Boat Tour
- Visiting the Ancient Silent City in Malta: Fun Mdina Travel Guide
- 25 Wild & Fun Facts About Malta to Know Before You Go
- Where to Stay in Malta: 8 Best Areas & Hotel Recommendations
- Planning a Trip to Malta: 10 Step Easy to Follow Travel Guide
Fast Ferry to Gozo Island
Great News! Just one month prior to us arriving in Malta the new fast ferry to Gozo opened. The service runs from the Valletta Terminal to Gozo Island and takes just 45 minutes.
If you’re planning a day trip to Gozo you’ll want to get on a morning ferry. At the time of writing this, the ferry to Gozo runs every half hour. By getting there early you’ll have plenty of time to experience this part of Malta!
Getting Around Gozo Malta
There are many ways to get around the island of Gozo. Obviously, if you’re only taking a day trip you’ll want to see as much as possible. Let us break down the best options!
Rental Car: Renting a car is a great way to see as much as possible with limited time. Although Gozo island is small, most attractions are spread out and nothing is within walking distance. The roads are also way less congested than on the bigger island of Malta so you will feel more comfortable driving. There are rental car shops right in port when getting off the ferry to Gozo.
Tour Guide: On our day trip to Gozo we had a professional tour guide show us around the island. Having only one day to explore, this was the perfect way to see all the best sites and things to do in Gozo. Honestly, one day isn’t nearly enough to see the island. So having a guide bring us directly to all the most important landmarks was everything!
→ Prefer a private tour of Gozo Island? Get in touch with Gozo expert Joseph Micallef at [email protected]
Hop on Hop Off Bus: When you arrive on Gozo in Malta you will notice several hop-on-hop-off bus companies waiting to depart. These pre-set routes circle the island with scheduled stops at popular locations. This is the most budget-friendly option if you don’t want to rent a car!
Quick Facts For Your Day Trip to Gozo Island
- Gozo means “joy” in Castilian, a dialect of Spanish.
- Gozo has a population of just over 30,000.
- It is one of the three islands in the Malta archipelago and the second largest in size.
- Victoria is the capital of Gozo Island. It was named in honor of the English Queen in 1877 when Malta was a British Colony.
- Life moves at a slow pace in Gozo. It will be a much different experience than the big island in Malta, and the locals are known to be friendly and welcoming.
10 Best Things to do on Gozo Island Malta
1. Eat at the Local Bakeries
The only way to start off your day trip to Gozo is to hit a local bakery! The Gozo Island bakeries are known for their traditional oven baking techniques and savory treats. We’ve been to bakeries all over Europe, and Gozo has some of the most unique baked goods we’ve ever eaten!
We recommend trying the ftira, a sandwich filled with anchovies, tuna, potatoes, onions, and capers. You’ll also find qassatat, pastizzi, pizzas, and plenty of tasty breads. We stopped in at Mekren’s, but Maxokk, and Tal-Mulejja are all highly regarded.
2. See the Ta’Pinu Basilica in Gozo Malta
Like mainland Malta, Gozo is a very spiritual island and is dedicated to the Catholic religion. The Ta’Pinu Basilica is located in the village of Gharb and is known as a pilgrimage site for its many miracles.
Legend has it, in 1883 a woman walking by the chapel heard the voice of the Virgin Mary. From then on many followers came for Our Lady of the Assumption who the basilica was built for in the 1920’s.
3. Explore the Cittadella in Victoria
At the center of Gozo’s bustling capital sits a castle towering high over the town. In fact, the Cittadella is so big you can see it from almost everywhere on the island!
Most of its current fortifications were constructed in the mid-16th century by the Knights of St. John. However, people have been living and congregating on this very hill since the Neolithic Era. Take a stroll through the Cittadella, see the Cathedral of the Assumption, and get a view of Gozo Island from above.
Also, inside the castle walls is a small restaurant called Ta’ Rikardu. While we didn’t eat there it came recommended by our guide for their traditional Maltese dishes.
4. Walk the Streets of Victoria
After you’ve seen the castle take a walk through the colorful streets of Victoria. Also known as Rabat, this area is filled with many restaurants and shops. There are often local markets surrounding the castle and it is a nice place to hang out on the weekends in Gozo.
5. Experience the Inland Sea
On the rugged West Coast of Gozo, you’ll find this gem along the massive rock cliffs. Dwejra is a small fishing bay with some of the clearest water in Malta. The bay leads into an unbelievable 80+ meter long tunnel that comes out to the open ocean.
Unfortunately, this used to be the site of one of Malta’s great gems before its 2017 collapse, the Azure Window. Yet, the caves, colorful coral, and abundance of fish make it a popular dive spot and one of the best things to do on Gozo!
6. Jump in the Famous Blue Hole on Gozo Island
On the other side of Dwejra Bay sits one of the most iconic swimming spots in Malta! The Blue Hole attracts travelers from all over for its deep natural pool. This is a fun place to snorkel, and if you’re brave enough you can even swim underneath the rock wall to the open ocean.
7. Learn About the Ta’ Kola Windmill
The Ta’ Kola Windmill is a must-visit on Gozo Island for history lovers. Dating back to the 1700’s, this architectural wonder exemplifies what life was like here before the modern era. Our tour guide was from this very village and explained how the windmill was essential in providing food for the town.
Not only can you see the process of grinding grain into flour here, but also how its operator lived inside the windmill. Explore the different rooms, learn about its owners, and see the interesting tools that were used in this piece of Gozo heritage.
8. Taste Salt at the Marsalforn Pans
One of the most unique things to do in Gozo Malta is to see how their delicious salt is made! The same family has been panning salt here for five generations, and you can tell their techniques have largely gone unchanged over time.
It wasn’t until this moment that we truly understood how salty the ocean water around Gozo Island was. Have a taste of the salt and definitely buy some to take home!
Great Gift: They have small bags for just a few Euros that make perfect presents for friends and family. Make sure to also grab some for yourself! We’ve been using our Gozo salt every day since leaving Malta and we are already stressing about running out.
9. Swim at Ramla Bay and More Gozo Beaches
Ramla Bay is a well-known beach in Malta, Gozo, and beyond! Its red sand sits in a valley surrounded by mountains in the northern part of the island. Calypso Cave was closed at the time of our visit, but be sure to go when it’s back open! It looks directly over Ramla Bay and is even mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey.
Aside from Ramla Bay, there are many other beautiful beaches and swimming holes in Gozo to enjoy. Honestly swimming at all the epic spots is reason enough to spend multiple days on Gozo! They range from small sandy beaches to rocky coves where the water is only accessible by ladder. Check out more of the best beaches on Gozo not to miss below.
- Hondoq ir-Rummien: Nearby to the salt pans and a great place for snorkeling.
- Xlendi Bay: Gorgeous sandy beach with shallow water. Cool spot for beginner divers.
- Mġarr Ix-Xini: Small pebbly beach surrounded by steep rock faces that are popular for climbing.
- San Blas Bay: A quiet beach only accessible by natural path. Perfect for swimming on a hot summer day.
- Wied il-Għasri: Hidden beach with a thin stretch of water that flows out to the sea.
- Marsalforn Bay: Beautiful beach surrounded by a few nice restaurants and hotels.
- Dwejra Bay: Known as the best diving spot on the island for its caves and located next to the Blue Hole.
10. Be Amazed by the Gozo Ggantija Temples
There’s so much incredible history on Gozo in Malta, but maybe nothing as extraordinary as the Ggantija Temples. If you can believe it, the temple complex here is 5,600 years old! They get their name from the humongous rocks as the locals who found it only believed giants could have built it.
Before walking through the ancient ruins, enter the museum to get an in-depth look at this unbelievable place in Gozo. The date of these megalithic temples makes them some of the oldest buildings in the world. They’re thought to be older than Stonehenge, and even the great pyramids of Egypt!
Have any questions on the ferry to Gozo Malta or want to share your own favorite things to do on Gozo Island? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
This experience in Malta was made possible in collaboration with the Malta Tourism Board. As always, any opinions and recommendations remain our own.
Where to Stay on Gozo Island
While we visited as a day trip if you have the time we definitely recommend spending a few nights on Gozo. Here are some hotels to check out for your visit.
Ultra Luxury – Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz – Kempinski has private balconies overlooking the countryside plus endless gardens and swimming pools. Known for having the largest Ayurveda health center in the Mediterranean, there are great activities on the property to enjoy.
Boutique Hotel – Viewpoint Boutique Living – As one of the highest-rated properties on the island it’s always in high demand. Viewpoint Boutique living has extravagant rooms, a nice location, and helpful staff. Spend your days exploring the island or simply enjoying the outdoor pool.
Bed & Breakfast – Maxija B&B – Located in the village of Gharb, Maxija B&B is the perfect place for travelers discovering Malta’s west coast. Take in the pool, garden, and outdoor terraces at this beautiful bed and breakfast.
Budget-Friendly – All Nations Holiday Home – Spacious rooms with lovely balconies in the town of Ghajnsielem. Hang out in the shared and kitchen while being close to all the best things to do in Gozo.
For more places to stay on Gozo Island you can explore the latest prices here!
Malta Travel Planning
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars to rent vehicles on our travels. Even though Malta is small, you will want a car to get to all the best towns and beaches.
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for hundreds of activities around the country. Book a trip to the Blue Lagoon on a Catamaran, go on a full-day quad bike tour of Gozo, or join a 3-Hour Walking Tour of Valletta.
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered! We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
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