Gozo is the second bigger island that belongs to Malta (the third is Comino) and is famous for its rural character, the slow-paced Gozitans, and its marvelous coastal cliffs. It is very easy to reach Gozo: all you have to do is to go to Cirkewwa and take the ferry. The trip is super short, only 25 minutes and it costs less than 5 euros. But why visit this island and what are the top things to do in Gozo?
GOZO AT A GLANCE
Why visit Gozo? Let’s point out some interesting facts about this lovely island.
- Gozo is an island where you can kick back and relax. Locals, expats, and tourists choose to go there because they know that here they can escape the crowds, breathe out, and reset.
- Renting a farmhouse with a pool in Gozo and spending some quality time with friends is a very popular thing to do. There are on average, 300 sunny days in Malta, so why not rent an affordable villa with your friends or family for the weekend and de-stress?
- Nightlife should not be the reason to visit Gozo. Of course, there are some bars, but keep your expectations low!
- They are many summer festas where you can fun + do not forget the unique Carnival of Gozo!
10 POPULAR THINGS TO SEE IN GOZO
#1. EXPLORE CITADELLA
I had read about Citadella, but to be honest, I wasn’t very excited to visit this attraction. I thought it was something average but what I saw really left me breathless!
Citadel or Citadella is a tiny old walled city inside Victoria that offers stunning views. It is well preserved and if you let yourself wander around, you will feel that you are actually traveling back in time! It is free to enter: you can walk in, explore Citadella, and take some amazing photos without paying a cent but I highly recommend not skipping the Cittadella Visitors’ Centre. You will find very easily all the signs that point to the visitor’s entrance.
I wasn’t sure if it was worth paying these 5€ and purchase the combined ticket, but now I am very glad that I did!
The Cittadella Visitors’ Centre has interactive screens, hi-tech multimedia, and a short high-quality video that guides you briefly through the history of the island. This audio and visual presentation explains the history of the Maltese islands and highlights the most important moments for the Citadell. This 5€ ticket also gives you access to 4 museums!
- The Gozo Museum of Archaeology
- The Gran Castello Historic House
- The Gozo Nature Museum
- The Old Prison – that was the best!
It will take you a couple of hours to see the Citadel, the museums and admire the Cathedral of the Assumption.
#2. HEAD TO DWEJRA BAY AND WHERE THE AZURE WINDOW WAS
The second best thing to do in Gozo is to take your car or hop on a bus and head to Dwerja Bay. This location is famous for two reasons.
1. Here it was located the Azure Window, a natural wonder that unfortunately collapsed in 2017. Game of Thrones was also filmed here, in the Dwerja Bay in Gozo!
2. It is still an absolutely unique place to visit. The inland sea in Dwerja is a beautiful lagoon with an amazing 80m tunnel that goes out to the sea. You can swim in the inland sea (i did it!) or you can take even take a boat trip.
The boat ride in Dwerja costs 4€, lasts around 15 minutes, and takes you through the tunnel and around some other beautiful caves. This hidden lagoon is perfect for diving too! It is a very nice area to explore, I have been there in wintertime and summertime, and is one of my favorite places in Gozo.
If you are looking for a restaurant with nice views try the Azure Window restaurant.
#3. ENJOY THE SANDY RAMLA BEACH
Ramla Bay and San Blas are the only sandy beaches in Gozo. Ramla Bay is super popular during the summer so expect it to be quite packed. It is a quite nice beach, with sunbeds, toilets, and a place to buy snacks and ice-creams but be ready for the pebbles once you step your foot into the water! Ramla Bay is famous also for its red, unique sand and turtles love it too: in 2020 for the first time after 70 years, a couple of turtles laid their eggs in Ramla Bay.
If you have some time and you love exploring you can go to the Calypso Cave or the Tal-Mixta cave. The legend says that the Calypso cave in Gozo is the place where actually Odysseus was kept by Calypso, a beautiful nymph, that fall in love with him and kept him with her for several years. Homer names the island of Calypso “Ogygia”, could it be Gozo? Who knows! Calypso cave is closed at the moment and not accessible to the public due to the instability of the cave.
#4. SPEND AN EASY-GOING AFTERNOON IN MARSALFORN
Are you looking for a place to enjoy the sunset, maybe with an ice-cream while walking the long-promenade? Then Marsalforn is the place for you! The fishing village of Marsalforn next to the salt pans is a pretty representative tourist Gozitan village. There are many bars and restaurants, you can have an aperitivo, have dinner or just relax and enjoy the place. You can even swim here, but there are definitely better places to swim in Gozo.
#5. ADMIRE THE STUNNING WIED IL-GHARSI GORGE
The narrow,cliff-bound inlet of Wied il-Ghasri gorge is the best off-the-beaten-track thing that you can do in Gozo. The steep steps lead you to a tiny, picturesque pebbled beach. It is a gorgeous place with small caves and lovely views. This Gozitan “fjord” looks like a great place to swim but watch out: jellyfish are usually getting trapped in this narrow bay and a lot of people had a not so lovely experience!
#6. TRY THE GOZITAN CUISINE…AND NOT ONLY
What a better way to experience Gozo rather than traditional Gozitan food? There are so many wonderful restaurants to visit that they offer really tasty meals. This is a list of some of the best restaurants in Gozo:
- Casa Vostra in Victoria: excellent for pizza, beer, and a chilled night out.
- Maldonado Bistro in Victoria: the chef is amazing and the place is so romantic. They offer great cocktails too.
- Patrick’s Lounge in Victoria: a great steakhouse that offers great wines too. Just the right choice if you are looking for a restaurant in Gozo to celebrate your birthday or your anniversary. Very romantic too!
- Black Cat Caffè: my favorite restaurant for lunch in Gozo! Great sandwiches and burgers.
Do not leave the island without trying Ġbejna the local cheese (you can spot it in the picture above) and fresh fish.
#7. VISIT THE TA PINU BASILICA
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Even if you are not catholic, try to pay a visit to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of Ta’ Pinu. This Roman Catholic basilica is dedicated to the Virgin of Ta’Pinu and is very popular among locals. It an architectural masterpiece in a very quiet, unique location – super close to Gharb village – and is free to enter.
#8. SOAK UP SOME SUN IN THE DAHLET QORROT BAY
Ramla Bay is very pretty but my favorite beach in Gozo is Dahlet Qorrot Bay. This hidden gem is perfect if you are looking to relax and have a nice jellyfish-free swim. It is a very picturesque and peaceful place with crystal blue waters. Even during the peak season, you can find a secluded place to lay down your beach towel. Locals enjoy going there too: they have turned some old boathouses into “beach cabins” where they usually rest, have lunch and relax. In Dahlet Qorrot there is a small track where you find ice-cream and various snacks.
💎 My Pretty Travels Tip: when I visiting the Dahlet Qorrot bay the track that sells food and water surprisingly had run out of water bottles! So be prepared and just in case, bring your own water 🙂
9. GO HIKING IN GOZO AND EXPLORE THE TA ‘CENC CLIFFS
Gozo some amazing hiking coastal paths that offer breathtaking views. So if you are thinking about what else you can do in Gozo, why not try hiking? The walk from Xlendi Tower to the Ta’ Ċenċ cliffs, on the south coast, is the most popular one. If you enjoy spending time in nature you should definitely try some of Gozo’s hiking trails. Best times to visit: autumn or spring.
# 10. PAY A VISIT AT ROTUNDA ST. JOHN BAPTIST IN XEWKIJ
The church is known as Rotunda of Xewkija, Xewkija Rotunda, or Rotunda of St. John the Baptist. Why should you pay a quick visit at this Gozitan church? It is definitely an off-the-beaten-track activity but you should consider passing by, because:
- It is the biggest church in Gozo
- It has the 3rd largest unsupported dome…in the world!
It is hard to believe that Gozo, this tiny island in the middle of the Mediterranean has a dome of 75 meters high, with a diameter of 27 meters, and a circumference of 85 meters. This dome is one of the largest in Europe and weighs 45,000 tonnes! It’s not only an architectural miracle but has also a very fascinated history. They told me that you can even get the lift up to the bell tower and enjoy some great views but unfortunately I didn’t do it yet.
WHERE TO STAY IN GOZO
All the times that I have been to the island, I chose to sleep in Victoria. I believe that Victoria is the best place to stay in Gozo and I can explain why: it is the capital and where all my favorite restaurants and bars are. I don’t mind moving around during the day, driving and visiting different towns but when the sun sets I really want to have a couple of drinks, a nice dinner and relax. I don’t support drink driving and taxis in Gozo are quite rare…so Victoria is the best option!
Also, Victoria has a super authentic character: some other villages like Xlendi and Massalforn may offer cheaper accommodation options but in July/August can be loud and crowded.
With this coupon, if you haven’t used Airbnb before, you can get a discount. Otherwise, take a look at these Booking.com last-moment deals!