These are Some of the Best Things to Do in Gozo!
You might be asking yourself “is Gozo worth visiting?” – right? We’d say the answer is YES. Eric spent a full day exploring Gozo back on his Malta trip and loved every moment on the island. He’s since realized that while he saw loads, there are still many more things to do in Victoria, the capital, and on Gozo in general!
Whether you visit Gozo in July or in the winter, you can find things to do on your own or as part of a guided tour. And since the island is so small, you barely need a Gozo attractions map – just get on the bus and go! Just so we are clear, this post is JUST about Gozo and NOT the main island of Malta or Comino. If you want to check out other things to do in Malta or Valletta or plan your Malta trip, you can find those resources here:
- Plan your Malta Itinerary – Your 3 to 10-Day Sample Itineraries
- Explore Malta’s Main Island – Top Places for Malta Sightseeing
- Here are Things to Do in Valletta – the Tiny Capital of Malta
Eric visited Gozo on a day trip and so we don’t cover what to do in Gozo at night, but we can tell you all about the ferry crossing to Gozo. Here is the website for the Gozo ferry that leaves from Cirkewwa to Mgarr on Gozo. Once there, grab a taxi, your rental car, the sightseeing bus, or rely on the regular bus system to get around Gozo. If you did want to take a day tour to Gozo from Malta, check out this sightseeing jeep/powerboat day experience – it might be the Malta memory you are looking for. Let’s get to exploring Gozo!
See Gozo in Style on The Sightseeing Bus
Admittedly, a trip around Gozo can be a little confusing given that you just took the ferry from the main island and now you are expected to navigate a whole new island. While the buses run on Gozo the same as Malta, the stops are a little more spread out and not as well-defined as on the main island. That’s why it’s honestly not a bad idea to hop on the Gozo sightseeing bus. Yeah, that big red bus with the audio tour – seriously!
Think about it- you get taken to all the best spots (because there are only so many) and have a bus service you’ve paid for and can rely on. 14 stops in 2.5 hours with the next bus coming 45 minutes later. If you’ve got one day to see the whole island, this is a cost-effective way to do it. Usually we explore on our own but this one-day Gozo sightseeing bus ticket actually makes logistical and financial sense!
Learn About Salt at the Xwejni Salt Pans
Have you ever wondered how they harvest sea salt from the sea? Well, head to Gozo to find out! The Xwejni Salt Pans are located close to Xwejni Bay on the north coast in the Żebbuġ region. Here, the shoreline is full of salt pans used to create salt using the traditional Roman methods.
The pans themselves create a beautiful pattern against the blue sea, so the area in general is great for photos and is tranquil for a relax by the sea. You can do a small tour of the business of salt-making and chat with the locals who harvest and sell salt. Be sure to buy a bag and take it home with you!
Address: Żebbuġ, Island of Gozo
Explore The Capital, Victoria
The capital of Gozo is a hub of activity that you will basically have to pass through to get anywhere. Here, you’ll find many of the top attractions and a large bus station to take you around the island (including back to the ferry in Mgarr). Eric and his friends wandered around just exploring the city before going to the Citadella (featured below).
The capital is full of things like the market square and many churches like the famous St. George’s Basilica with its signature red dome. Republic Street is full of shops, cafes, restaurants, and other cool sights that you can wander in and out of. The city isn’t huge so you can easily wander the alleyways in a few hours to take photos before heading to the next area on the island. You might also consider staying in Victoria for easy bus access. If this is the case, you can explore top accommodations in Victoria.
Remember The Fallen Azure Window
If you’re heading to Malta, you might have already heard about the famous Azure Window. This limestone arch formation had a blue “window” through the rock that had been formed by the waves over approximately 500 years. Unfortunately, on the morning of March 8th, 2017, the rock pillar and bridge were brought down by the crashing wind and waves in a severe storm.
It was a top sight in the country for many reasons. For Maltese people, it was a special place to come – almost a place of worship and connection to the land. TV lovers might know the location since it was featured in “Game of Thrones” for a wedding scene. You might find tours that take you out there – just remember that it has fallen into the ocean. If you are into diving, the location under water has since become a top dive site.
Address: San Lawrenz, Island of Gozo
Dive at the Inland Sea Dive Site
If you are into diving, Gozo is the place to do it. The island has a few places which you can head out for a dive but the most famous/well-developed is the Inland Sea. Located on the west coast very close by to the ruins of the Azure Window, the Inland Sea offers amateur and expert divers access to the sea through a small cave opening.
If you want a tour, you can hop in a boat for a cheap price that will take you through the cave and out into the sea to explore the shoreline and where the Azure Window used to be. Since the limestone cliffs around the area can be rough, hoping on a little boat tour is a great way to explore the water ways safely and efficiently. There are also a few shops and stalls near the Inland Sea for snacks and beverages. Oh, and you can just swim there but the water isn’t great and the place can get busy in the summer.
Address: San Lawrenz, Island of Gozo
Time Travel in the Temples at Ġgantija
This is without a doubt one of the most famous of the attractions on Gozo – if not the country of Malta. Visiting the Ġgantija Temple complex is an awesome blast into the past. Why? Because this megalithic temple complex from the Neolithic era is almost 6000 years old. This means that they are older than the pyramids of Giza! For this reason, the temple complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Eric visited the site on his trip to Malta. He and his friends took the public bus to the site/visitor centre entrance from Victoria and paid for tickets onsite. Walking around the grounds was a neat experience – and walking into the temples was very cool.
You really have to see the massive rocks erected into structures and remember that this was built thousands of years ago… then it hits you how fascinating it is to be there. We would recommend a visit because you can learn a lot about the history of the area but can imagine it would get busy in the summer season!
Address: Triq John Otto Bayer, Ix-Xagħra, Island of Gozo
Check Out Xlendi Tower
If you want another classic hike to a seaside fortified tower (because there are too many to count in the entire country), then Xlendi Tower should be on your list as well! Located close to Xlendi Bay, this is actually one of the largest of the Lascaris towers built back in the 1650s. It’s also one of four oldest remaining towers on Gozo!
The tower itself is under restoration but the views from the cliff side are great. There are also a variety of salt pools on the shoreline. The water is also decent for swimming since the ocean isn’t too strong here but you do have to wade in off the rocks. If you’re careful, you can have a nice hike and swim at the tower! The tower is also close to the Sanap Cliffs (mentioned below) if you are keen to walk a little further to the south!
Address: Munxar, Island of Gozo
Get Fortified at the Cittadella
As one of the other very popular attractions in Gozo, visiting the Cittadella is a must-do. Located high on the hill in the middle of Victoria, you get amazing views of the area from the high fortress walls. Once inside, there are plenty of things to keep you occupied.
Aside from walking around the old city, there is a former jail, visitors centre, World War II shelter, the famous Gozo Cathedral (photographed further down in this post), the Gozo Museum of Archaeology, the Gran Castello Historic House (a museum of folklore) and more! While the citadel is free to enter and roam, you do need a single (cheap) ticket to enter many of these extra attractions.
If you want to learn more and plan your visit, you can visit the website for the Cittadella in Gozo. There are also shops and stalls on the pathway up to the entrance in Victoria selling all sorts of local goodies – we even stopped for a sample.
Address: It-Telgħa tal-Belt, Victoria, Island of Gozo
Admire the Views on Tas-Salvatur Hill
If you are up for a bit of a hike and you don’t mind hanging out with a statue of Jesus in the middle of nowhere, then you should hike up Tas-Salvatur Hill! Located a nice walk from Marsalforn Bay, be sure to wear good hiking/climbing shoes to get to the top. Once you are there, you’ll get 360 degree views of the surrounding areas and the coast.
The statue you see at the top is actually the third statue of its kind and was placed there in the 1970s – made of concrete and reinforced steel. The hill itself isn’t free from myth – some local inhabitants think it’s a dormant volcano!
Address: Triq Ir-Rabat, Żebbuġ, Island of Gozo
Discover Mgarr Harbour
If you aren’t in a rush when you get off the ferry, go walk about the harbour. There are lots of restaurants that line the water, and this is also one place where various water sports start since the boats are docked here. You’ll also see the beautiful Lourdes Chapel facing the harbour and Fort Chambray standing guard at the top of the hill.
There are also walking paths that head along the coast in either directions. They lead to old watch towers to the west and to a few bays to the east. Just be sure to have your hiking shoes on and lots of water if you do walk to these places since they can be quite far. The good thing is you can always loop back to the ferry/harbour area if needed!
Address: Mgarr, Island of Gozo
Hit the Beach at Ramla Bay
Gozo has an appeal over the main island of Malta – the beaches don’t get as busy in the summer time! So, if you want a nice beach experience, head to one of the most popular beaches on Gozo – Ramla l-Hamra! This red sand beach is the largest on the island and is Blue Flag certified. This means that there are lifeguards on duty and amenities nearby.
The bay is great for swimming due to the shallow waters and is also great for sunbathing given that the beach itself is softer than some of the rockier beaches in the country. Ramla Bay beach is family-friendly, not too busy, and situated along coastline that hasn’t been developed yet – so it’s perfect!
Address: Xagħra, Island of Gozo
Hike the Sanap Cliffs
Situated on the southern shore of Gozo close to the small village of Munxar, the Sanap Cliffs are a “hidden gem” for photo takers and hikers. The cliffs are part of a longer series of pathways that snake along the high coastline. This set up offers walkers and hikers unobstructed views of the ocean, Comino, and the north end of the main island of Malta. Getting there can be a bit of a walk from the bus stop at Munxar but the views and the exercise are well worth the effort.
Address: Munxar, Island of Gozo
Cave Dive into Xerri’s Grotto
This is one that Eric didn’t do but found out about after. Apparently, there is a limestone cave in someone’s basement that was discovered in the 1920s and you can explore the cave. Not even kidding! The man, Anthony Xerri, was digging a well when he discovered the massive cavern. These days, Xerri’s Grotto is a great attraction which you can visit if you are in Xaghra. The photos look gorgeous so this is one of those odd things that we are definitely checking out when we head back to Gozo!
Address: Xaghra, Island of Gozo
Visit the Many Churches on Gozo
If you hadn’t already noticed, Malta is a religious country with many inhabitants devoted to their faith. As such, you will find MANY churches, cathedrals, chapels, and other places of worship scattered across every town small and large.
On Gozo, there are plenty of gorgeous churches you can check out – some more famous than others but all equally pretty if you are into that appreciation for architecture. To name a few, you can find Ta’ Pinu, Ghajnsielem Parish Church (we walked to it from Mgarr Harbour – it was nice), the famous Rotunda of Xewkija (called The Church of Saint John), and Gharb Church (located in the small town of Gharb).
And there you have it – 14 of the best things to do in Gozo! Malta’s sister island has plenty of attractions and side trips to keep you busy for a few days. Having written this post and found all the things still left to do, we can’t wait to return to Gozo! Which of these have you done? Get in touch and let us know! Have fun in Malta!
As always, Happy Gozo Waddlin’,