In Gozo, you find everything on a small island 16 kilometres long. You’ll find history, a beautiful coastline and views that will leave you open-mouthed. Bring everything you need for a dip in the turquoise sea, swimming and hiking. Sunscreen is a must, as the Maltese Islands offer the highest number of sun hours of any country around the Mediterranean. What you absolutely cannot miss in Gozo is the beautiful sunset from the high cliffs.
Transport by sea
To get to Gozo, you have to go by boat. That is the Gozo Channel company that makes a crossing every 20 minutes that takes 17 minutes. With a tailwind, it takes only 11 minutes. The company has four boats and there can even be three docked at the same time if it is busy. When it is busy, there is no timetable, but the boats commute. You seldom have to wait long. On the weekends, there can be plenty of cars because the locals also like to go to Gozo for the weekend.
The boat to Gozo is about a 45-minute drive from Valletta. The ferry is located at Ċirkewwa, the northernmost tip of Malta. We recommend going to Gozo early. The island is so special that it is fun to spend the whole day there.
There are buses on Gozo, but this is not the ideal way to visit the island. The irregular hours, especially in the summer, make this a tiring mode of transportation. However, you can ride a bicycle and a scooter around the island. You can also come to Gozo by car, although Gozitans already find that there are enough cars on Gozo. Keep in mind that in Malta, they drive on the left.
What to do in Gozo
There are many things to do in Gozo. Gozo has been the setting for many Hollywood movies, think Gladiator, Game of Thrones and Troy. This year, Tom Cruise will make his appearance in the filming of Mission Impossible 8, his last mission. On the coast, you will recognize many film sets.
Here is a brief overview of what not to miss.
All of Gozo’s towns are on hills, except for Victoria. Here, only the downtown area is on the hill. This town is called the Cittadella and you can visit it. Take the glass elevator that takes you over the ditch and visit this small medieval town with views (on a clear day) as far as Etna in Sicily. Just keep in mind that it can be blustery! So hold on to your hat.
Cathedral of the Cittadella and viewpoint
Unique is the church you encounter when you enter the centre of town. Endless stairs lead you up and although the church has a flat roof, it looks like a dome inside. The alleys next to the cathedral lead you to the viewpoint and from here you can look over the islands, a spectacular view! The Cittadella is free, you don’t have to pay an entrance fee.
St. George’s Basilica and the Square
Once down again, near St George’s Basilica, you will find a beautiful square where you can have a great meal. You will find many nice restaurants and bars here.
Gozo has rugged coastlines. Dwejra Bay is one of them. Here you will recognize the film set of “Game of Thrones”. The sunset at Dwejra is unparalleled and absolutely not to be missed. You can also snorkel and dive at Dwejra.
An incredibly beautiful cave can be found near Ramla Bay. The cave is located just above the bay and gives a breathtaking view. The entrance is quite narrow, so if you have claustrophobia this can be a bit scary.
You can already see this bay from the cave, Ramla Bay is also not to be missed. A red sandy beach (bring water shoes) where it is great for swimming. There are popular restaurants nearby, so you can stay there all day. There is even a small market with beach gear and beachwear
This is a small estuary that flows deep into Gozo. You can swim there provided you have water shoes with you. There are sunbathing spots on the pebble beach or on the plateaus next to the sea river. The place is small and well hidden. It is no more than a gorge with crystal clear water. A staircase leads up to it, which can be tiring on the way back!
Gozo lost its blue window a few years ago, but Mielah is a close second. This impressive rock formation is not to be missed and is ideal for hiking. There is no bus to Mielah, but there is a regular road.
Marsalforn Salt Pans
The beautiful salt pans can be found at Marsalforn. Here you can see the salt miners who also sell the coarse salt to you. Enjoy the view and the yellow rock formations. Walk around the salt pans (you are not allowed in) and take pictures they will not believe at home. There are several salt pans on Gozo, but at Marsalforn they are all next to each other. In the summer, the salt pans also host major festivals. A unique location and not to be missed!
Ta’ Pinu Basilica
The Lourdes of Gozo is this beautiful basilica. Surrounded by beautiful fields, the basilica stands majestically upright and at sunset this church is a unique piece of architecture. It is a place of pilgrimage and many miracles have taken place in the basilica.