Looking for the best things to do in Gozo Island Malta? This is our curated, insider guide to what to do in Gozo so keep reading to plan the perfect trip.
Gozo is Malta’s second largest island, a rustic, slow-paced, ochre island packed with history, crystal clear inlets and a unique cultural heritage.
Gozo boasts a much more laid-back and rural atmosphere compared to its bustling sister island, Malta, making it an ideal destination for those looking to get off the beaten path and get away from the crowds. Gozo Island provides a fabulous alternative or addition to any Malta itinerary.
We spent a whole two weeks exploring Gozo in winter, uncovering hidden gems and awe-inspiring places for you to visit. You don’t need two weeks to visit – 2 or 3 days is enough to see Gozo well.
There are so many spectacular things to do in Gozo, from uncovering the history of Victoria’s Citadel to watching the sunset at Dwejra Bay.
On Gozo Island, we were able to fill our days with some of the island’s best activities, our favourite things to do in Gozo turned out to be hiking the various cliff trails, exploring Gozo’s best beaches and visiting some local wineries.
Keep reading to discover all the best things to do in Gozo Malta as well as more on our favourite Gozo tourist attractions.
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Is Gozo Worth Visiting?
If you’re visiting Malta for a short amount of time, you might be wondering whether Gozo is worth visiting. The short answer is yes it is.
Malta is very densely populated and built-up and at times it can feel a little claustrophobic. Gozo feels much less so. It’s more rustic, laid-back and less crowded than its big sister making it a very appealing place to visit during your Malta itinerary.
Much like Malta, Gozo also has thousand-year-old ruins, beautiful beaches and coves for swimming, award-winning wineries, and quaint villages. Visiting Gozo for 2-3 days on your trip to Malta makes a very nice addition to your itinerary.
As someone who spent a great deal of time on both Gozo and Malta, I have to say, I preferred Gozo Island to Malta.
How to Get to Gozo Island
There are a few different ways to get to Gozo from Malta. These are the fast ferry from Valletta to Gozo, a public car ferry and visiting on a day trip via private speedboat.
Fast Ferry – Valetta to Gozo
One of the most popular ways to get to Gozo today is the Valletta-Gozo fast ferry. This new ferry service allows foot passengers to get from Valletta Harbour (exact location here) to Mgarr Harbor in Gozo in just 45 minutes.
Tickets cost just under €15 per person (you’ll get an open return ticket so make sure NOT to lose your ticket) and you’ll see a good part of the coast of Malta island during your trip.
The Gozo Fast Ferry is for passengers only, so only take this service if you’re planning to get around Gozo by taxi and public transport or if you’re planning to rent a car locally on Gozo. (It is possible in Victoria).
Outside of the summer months, the Gozo fast ferry is subject to cancellations and disruptions due to weather. If the sea is too rough the service will be cancelled, so make sure to check the Gozo Fast Ferry website before you travel.
If the sea is rough on the day of travel, I’d advise not to take the fast ferry as it can be extremely bumpy.
Malta to Gozo Public Car Ferry
If you’re planning to visit Gozo with a rental car (which I highly recommend) you’re only option is to take the car ferry.
The Gozo Channel Line car ferry leaves Cirkewwa Passenger Terminal on the northern tip of Malta island and arrives at Mgarr Harbour. This ferry service is much more frequent than the fast ferry and of course will allow you to take your rental car across to Gozo.
Tickets aren’t yet available to buy online so you’ll need to buy your ticket in the Gozo terminal. Crossing time takes around 25 minutes.
It’s useful to note that you only pay for the ferry on your return trip back to Malta, so don’t be alarmed if they just usher you onto the ferry in Malta. The trip costs around €20 per car.
Taking a Day Tour to Gozo
If you have just a day to experience the best Gozo things to do, it might make more sense to opt for a day tour. A day tour will allow you to see Gozo’s highlights while also organising all boat transportation to and from Malta Island.
Two stand-out day tours to Gozo from Malta are the Full Day Gozo Jeep Tour with Lunch and Boat Trip and the Gozo Full Day Quad Tour with Lunch and Boat. Both these tours are very similar in what they offer. You’ll stop at Ramla Bay, the historic Salt Pans, Victoria, Marsalforn and Xlendi Bay as well as see the Blue Lagoon on the way to Gozo from Malta.
Both the jeep and the quad tours are comprehensive, similar and extremely popular. We pretty much saw the open-back jeeps and quads every single day we were in Gozo.
How to Get Around Gozo
Once you get to Gozo there are a few different ways to get around.
Renting a Car
The most popular and the best way to get around Gozo is by rental car. Renting a car will allow you to get around the island quickly and will mean you see a lot in one day.
When renting a car, try to rent the smallest car available. Gozo roads are tiny and you’ll need to be confident driving down small roads. While the main thoroughfare on the island is comfortable enough, there are very small and steep roads that descend to some of Gozo’s most popular tourist attractions.
We used public transportation quite a bit when in Gozo. Our two weeks there however meant we had the luxury of time to be able to use the buses.
While bus routes on Gozo are comprehensive, most services run only once an hour. With most routes also starting and ending in Victoria you’ll most likely have to change buses and the time this takes can eat into much of your day.
Uber/Bolt is also available and services are quick and easy even though the rides add up. It costs on average €15 to cross the island east to west in a standard Uber service.
Between public buses and Uber, it’s completely possible to see much of Gozo in 2 days if you don’t want to rent a car.
Taking a Gozo tour means that all island transportation is already taken care of.
Top Things to Do in Gozo
Explore Victoria (Rabat)
Victoria or Rabat as it’s also known is the capital of Gozo. Its old citadel is strategically located on a hill in the center of the island and you’ll find yourself in Victoria at some point during your stay.
Victoria is a very small city but it has a few noteworthy places to see. You’ll want to start at the Victoria Citadel or Citadella, the origins of which date back to the late medieval period with significant enhancements made during the rule of the Knights of St. John.
Entrance to the Citadel is free, where you can walk through the narrow, winding streets, pop into the Cathedral of the Assumption and enjoy the views of Gozo from the Citadel Walls.
The citadel also houses several museums and historical sites, including the Gozo Museum of Archaeology and the Old Prison, each telling a part of Gozo’s fascinating story. For these, you will however need to purchase a ticket from the Visitor’s Center.
The Victoria Citadel isn’t the only thing to see in town. Make sure to head to St. George’s Square and visit St George’s Basilica as well as grabbing a coffee and a traditional pastizzi in one of the many local cafes.
Visit a Winery
Gozo’s wine heritage goes back thousands of years and if you’re a fan of wine make sure to take the time to visit some of Gozo’s local wineries. While many of Malta’s largest wineries grow grapes on Gozo, you’ll also find some small, local wineries that are open to the public for tours and tastings.
One of the best to visit is Ta Mena Estate. They also have a shop in Xewkija where you can buy bottles of wine and other local farm goods they make (their fig jam is heavenly).
Another winery open to the public is Tal-Massar Winery, just outside Gharb. Here you’ll meet the winery owner, get shown around the winery and then finish with a tasting to sample their best reserves.
Before visiting the Gozo wineries you’ll need to head to their websites and book a tour and tasting in advance.
Visit Dwejra Bay
Dwejra Bay, in Western Gozo, is one of the most dramatic spots in all of Gozo Island.
The best time to visit is during sunset when you get beautiful golden light cast onto the cliffs and the entire bay. The views of the sunset, setting over the open sea are also stunning.
There are several different landmarks and things to do in Dwejra Bay alone so you can easily spend a good few hours here. Here are some key spots in Dwejra Bay not to miss:
Tilt Rock and Fungus Rock – Walk out to Tilt Rock and get an incredible view of Dwejra Bay. Fungus Rock is the large free-standing rock in the middle of the Bay.
Dwejra Tower – A small watchtower dating back to the 17th Century.
Blue Hole – A deep blue hole right by the cliffs that’s great for swimming and diving if the sea is calm.
Inland Sea – An incredible inland lagoon with crystal clear water and boathouses around.
Dwejra Bay to Wardija Punic Temple Trail – One of the best hikes we did, follow the ‘red dot’ trail that leads from Dwejra Bay, south across the cliff tops to Wardija Punic temple. While there isn’t much left of the temple, the hike itself over the tall cliff is sensational.
This is one of the best things to do in Gozo in winter when it’s not too hot to hike.
See What’s Left of the Azure Window
While in Dwejra Bay you’ll come across the site where the Azure Window used to be. The Azure Window, once a majestic natural limestone arch, stood as one of the most iconic landmarks in the Maltese archipelago.
Made famous by Game of Thrones, the Azure Window was a GoT filming location, that featured prominently in the first season.
Unfortunately, in 2017, the Azure Window collapsed due to natural weathering. Today you can see what remains, some rock islands and beautiful cliff scenery. While the Azure Window no longer exists it still remains one of the most prominent places in Dwejra Bay, which continues to be one of the best things to do in Gozo.
Take a Stroll through San Lawrenz and Gharb
While visiting Dwejra Bay and the previous site of the stunning Azure Window, make the most of your time on the west side of Gozo to also stroll around some of its most picturesque villages.
San Lawrenz, and Gharb, are some of Gozo’s most beautiful villages, located just above Dwejra Bay. The entire villages are made from the characteristic Gozotian stone, an ochre-colored limestone and feature, historic churches, narrow alleyways and prominent squares.
In San Lawrenz, you’ll find a lovely local church and a library in an old British telephone box. In Gharb, the church is also lovely and so is the square just outside it. Don’t miss the Gharb fountain either- located on a very scenic square to the north of town.
It’s certainly worth just strolling around both San Lawrenz and Gharb for a short time.
See the Inland Sea
As mentioned previously, the Inland Sea is one of the best things to do on Gozo and Dwejra Bay. It’s a unique and picturesque lagoon of seawater linked to the Mediterranean Sea through a narrow, natural archway in the cliffs.
Surrounded by towering limestone walls and small boat houses, the Inland Sea is a beyond-picturesque, tranquil oasis that beckons to be explored. It’s a great spot for swimming and diving. You can also embark on boat tours of the area from here.
Boat trips from the Inland Sea cost just a few euros. The boat trip will take you in and around Dwejra Bay where you’ll be able to see some of the caves and cliff details in the area. Note that boat tours only take place if the sea is calm.
Take a Day Trip to Comino
Visiting Comino Island on a day trip from Gozo is an enchanting and magical experience. Due to Comino’s proximity to Gozo, it makes sense, to assign some time out of your Gozo itinerary to visit.
Comino is famous for its raw beauty, pristine beaches and crystal-clear water. The Blue Lagoon, Comino, the island’s main draw offers an ideal spot for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.
Comino is largely uninhabited and you can’t bring your car here so it makes a fantastic, peaceful alternative.
Some of the best things to do in Comino Island are to swim and enjoy the waters of the Blue Lagoon, take a hike around the entire island (doable in a few hours) and visit the magical Santa Maria Bay.
To get to Comino from Gozo, just arrive in Mgarr Harbor where you’ll find all the Gozo-Comino boat companies. You’ll be able to buy a ticket for the next departure. It’s worth paying a little more for a return ticket that includes a ride to the Comino caves where you’ll be able to glimpse inside the towering sea caves.
Visit Ta’ Pinu
Ta’ Pinu is an iconic basilica in Gozo, towering high over the terraced, green fields and the azure sea. It’s renowned for its architectural grandeur and profound religious significance.
Ta’Pinu started as a small chapel, which can be traced back to 1534 with the current structure having been completed in 1932.
It’s one of the most popular attractions in Gozo, revered for its miraculous associations, particularly the Virgin Mary’s reported communication with a local woman, which led to its fame as a pilgrimage site.
Inside, the basilica is adorned with exquisite art, and the walls are lined with votive offerings from devotees, reflecting countless stories of faith and hope. Make sure not to give it a miss.
Marvel over the Xwejni Salt Pans
Located on Gozo’s northern coast, just outside the town of Marsalforn, the Xwejni Salt Pans are an ancient example of sea salt production, a tradition that dates back to Roman times.
The geometric, shallow pools, carved out of the coastal rock, allow seawater to enter and collect in the pools. Through the natural process of evaporation under the harsh Maltese sun, the salt is gradually crystallized.
It’s then harvested traditionally by locals. The Xwejni Salt Pans are a remarkable sight to visit and one of the best things to do in Gozo. Make sure to also pop into the small shop to buy some of the ready-harvested sea salt.
Visit Tal-Mixta Cave
Right above the popular red-sand beach of Rambla Bay Beach, you’ll find the beautiful Tal-Mixta Cave. The cave offers one of the island’s most breathtaking views, right onto Ramla beach and the surrounding crystal-clear water of the bay.
Visiting this cave is one of the most popular things to do in Gozo, Malta so I highly suggest coming early in the day as it can get quite crowded quickly in its small interior.
Top Tip: There are two ways to get up to Tal-Mixta Cave. You can hike up the short but pretty steep path that begins at the top of Ramla Beach- just walk to the end of the beach and you’ll see it.
The other way, if you prefer to drive closer to the cave and avoid the hike, is via Tria I-Ghassa tal-Mahrag, a very narrow but paved street leading to the cave. The street has a few lay-by’s to park in but parking is difficult when it’s busy.
If you’re visiting in the high season you’re better off parking at Ramla Beach and hiking up.
Spend an Afternoon at Ramla Bay
Once you’ve visited Tal-Mixta Cave, you’ll not want to miss taking the time to enjoy Ramla Bay. Ramla Bay is Gozo’s largest sandy beach and most popular beach and swimming spot.
Famed for its red-colored sand and crystal-clear, shallow water it’s the perfect spot to relax for a few hours in the afternoon, taking long swims in the setting summer sun and sipping on some ice-cold local Cisks.
The Ggantija Temples
When considering what to do in Gozo, it’s hard to leave the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ggantija Temples off your Gozo itinerary. The Ġgantija Temples in Gozo, Malta, are among the world’s oldest free-standing structures, predating Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids.
These megalithic temples, dating back to approximately 3600-3200 BC, show just how rich the island’s prehistoric past is.
The complex includes two temple structures, remarkable for their colossal limestone blocks and intricate construction. Visiting will allow you a glimpse into the Neolithic Era and have you wondering how people managed to construct something like this all those thousands of years ago.
Insider Tip: As you leave the Ggantija Temples don’t miss a quick visit to Ta’ Kola Windmill (located just opposite). This traditional Gozotian windmill dates back to the 1700s and is one of the last left on Gozo Island.
Relax in Xlendi
On the southern coast of Gozo Island, you’ll find the picturesque Xlendi Bay and inside a scenic cove, the small town of Xlendi. Xlendi is a smart resort town that’s still managed to hold onto its traditional fishing village vibe.
The bay is lined with a lively promenade, brimming with quaint cafes and seafood restaurants, offering a taste of Gozo’s exquisite culinary delights. There’s also a small, rocky beach perfect for dips in the sea between mouthfuls of seafood or ice cream.
When visiting Xlendi make sure to also walk the promenade around the bay where you’ll find many other swimming spots and diving boards as well as picnic tables where you can feast and relax in the sunshine.
Watch a Sunset from the Ta’ Cenc Cliffs
Apart from Dwejra Bay, one of my other favourite spots to watch the sunset is Ta’ Cenc Cliffs. The cliffs are one of the top attractions in Gozo, known for their dramatic beauty and nail-biting drops – some of the cliffs here reach heights of some 140 meters.
The area is perfect for those wanting to spend some time in nature, go on a short hike along the cliff-top hiking paths, do some bird-watching or just come and watch the sunset.
The untouched, rugged beauty of Ta’ Cenc, Gozo Island, Malta makes it an unforgettable spot for both tranquillity and adventure.
One of the best things to do in Gozo is to visit Marsalforn, a popular seaside resort on Gozo’s north coast. The town occupies a large bay on which you’ll find a bustling promenade lined with a variety of restaurants and cafes, offering delightful dining experiences with fresh seafood and local cuisine.
When in Marsalforn, I highly recommend having lunch at Il Kartell Restaurant before going for a walk along the town promenade and a swim in the bay.
For divers, Marsalforn also serves as a gateway to some of Gozo’s best diving spots, boasting clear waters and rich marine life.
Swim at Wied il-Ghasri Gorge
Wied il-Ghasri is probably Gozo’s most unique geological feature. A snaking gorge carved by centuries of flowing water is renowned for its dramatic and steep cliffs that descend into the azure Mediterranean Sea.
At the end of the gorge, you’ll find a secluded pebble beach perfect for swimming and snorkelling the clear waters.
Wied il-Ghasri is a bit of an off-the-beaten-path spot, especially in the off-season but it’s becoming more and more popular. To get to the beach, you’ll need to descend a steep stone staircase and there is very little parking here so get here early!
Visit Rotunda St John the Baptist Church
What to do on Gozo when it comes to churches doesn’t stop at Ta’Pintu.
For an architectural gem, a little off the usual tourist path, make sure to stop by Rotunda St John the Baptist or Rotunda of Xewkija as it’s also known. This is the largest church in Gozo, one that can be seen from any high point on the island.
It’s a relatively new church (dating back to 1952), the design of which was based on that of Santa Maria dell Salute in Venice. While it doesn’t have many historical frescos inside, you will be able to admire the intricate stonework and carvings.
There’s also a small museum in the back devoted to Xewkija and the church which is well worth having a look at for a few minutes.
Marvel at Wied Il-Mielah Sea Arch
For those looking for an alternative to the Azure Window, you can stop at Wied Il-Mielah Sea Arch.
While it’s not as dramatic as the Azure Window once was, the Wied Il-Mielah Sea Arch is perfectly angular, literally resembling a rocky window to the sea.
You’ll be able to see the formation from the adjacent cliff but to get closer you can park your car and descend down and around the cliff for a closer view of the arch and the window to the sea.
Go Scuba Diving
The island of Gozo, and Malta alike have long been a popular diving destination in Europe. Gozo sure has its fair share of wrecks, caves and dive sights where you’ll be able to get a closer look at the country’s diverse marine life and underwater landscapes.
There are countless dive sites in Gozo but some of the most popular include the Inland Sea, the Blue Hole, MV Karwela, Reqqa Reef and Gudja Cave.
There are also some fabulous dive schools in Gozo with which to organise your dives. We were recommended Scuba Kings Gozo on quite a few occasions.
Looking for some more fun activities in Gozo? Check out the below:
Where to Stay in Gozo
Gozo has a few luxury and boutique hotels as well as vacation apartment rentals up and down the island. Here are our suggestions for where to stay in Gozo.
Kempinski San Lawrenz – I had the pleasure to checking into the Kempinski Gozo for a night and would highly recommend it for anyone looking for a luxury resort stay on Gozo.
The hotel boasts large grounds, multiple pools, great dining options and even an indoor heated pool, hammam and spa. Located in San Lawrenz, very close to Dwejra Bay. Find out more and book your stay here.
The Carob Tree – A fantastic boutique hotel option with a superb price point. The design is the perfect combination of traditional Gozotian architecture and modern amenities and interiors. Find out more here.
Santa Lucia Boutique Hotel – Another brilliant, design-focused stay near Xlendi Bay. Make sure to opt for the lavish purple suite with a sauna. Find out more and book here.
Best Restaurants in Gozo
Over our two weeks on Gozo, we sure spent a lot of time trying out the best of Gozo’s cuisine, and gastronomical heritage. We tried out some of the island’s best restaurants and here are the top picks for where to eat in Gozo.
Top tip: All the below are in high demand so I highly recommend booking a table in advance.
Tmun restaurant – Located right in Mgarr Harbour, Tmun celebrates the best of creative Mediterranean cuisine with a touch of Asian flare. The local seafood and pasta dishes are the stars here. Opt for a few plates from their sharing menu and you won’t be disappointed.
Peppina – The best casual lunch spot in Gozo was Peppina. Their menu is based around a sharing concept so choose a few of their exceptional plates and dig in. They celebrate local ingredients and have a farm-to-table concept. Great wine list.
Ta’ Karolina – For an epic ocean-side meal, book an outdoor table at Ta’ Karolina in Xlendi. They have a large menu featuring lots of local seafood, pizzas, pasta, grilled fish and meat. The wine list here is also great.
Ta’ Frenc – Michellin-worthy cuisine is a quaint, traditional, farmhouse setting. An absolute must when in Gozo.
Tatitas – A superb, local gem in the main square of San Lawrenz.
Il Kartell – Superb seafood and pasta right in the heart of Marsalforn. Make sure to book a table right by the water.
Qbajjar Restaurant Gozo– Italian/Mediterranean cuisine just outside Marsalforn. Brilliant pasta and seafood dishes.
So what are the best things to do in Gozo you’ll be adding to your itinerary? Let me know in the comments below, I always love hearing from you.
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