Maltese Archipelago, Malta
The island of Gozo is located 4km northwest of Malta and is the second largest in the Archipelago. Charming and relatively untouched by mass tourism, Gozo enchants its visitors with its rural landscapes and laid-back local atmosphere.
On Ferryhopper you will find lots of useful information about Gozo, its beaches, must-see sights, gastronomic delights, and ferries to the Maltese Island. Check out all available routes and find out how to get to the island of Gozo from Malta.
The magnificent citadel of Victoria on the island of Gozo, Malta
Vacation in Gozo
Along with Malta and Comino, the island of Gozo is part of the Maltese archipelago and is among the most popular destinations in the Mediterranean. Its attractions, capital city Victoria, archaeological sites, and clear blue waters enchant many visitors every year.
Even in Homer’s Odyssey there is a reference to Gozo, telling of a paradisiacal island where the nymph Calypso imprisoned Odysseus for years.
Indeed, a vacation to Gozo will allow you to discover various historical and natural wonders, dreamy beaches, and a unique seabed. The island is also perfect all year round (especially in spring) and is ideal for both a family trip and a trip with friends.
How to get to Gozo
The only way to reach Gozo is by ferry. Ferries operate from the nearby islands of Malta and Comino and arrive at the port of Mgarr in Gozo.
There are many connections and they are active all year round. You can choose to travel with conventional ferries, or take day trips with various local companies.
Useful info: if you want to get to Gozo with your own vehicle, keep in mind that it is possible to embark your motor vehicle only on ferries departing from the port of Cirkewwa, Malta.
The port at Mgarr in Gozo with its impressive hilltop church
What to do in Gozo
Despite its size, there are so many things to see and do in Gozo. All it takes is 3-4 days to fall hard for this island; but if you plan to visit in a day, a few hours will be enough to get a feel of Gozo.
Start your tour from the capital Victoria (or Rabat, as the locals call it), with its fortified Citadel; admire the city's Baroque churches and shrines, stop at the pretty squares, and don't miss the UNESCO World Heritage archaeological sites.
Relax on Gozo's heavenly beaches and bays, or take a boat trip to discover hidden caves and coves. If you love hiking and walking, you can take advantage of numerous trails along the cliffs and explore the island’s serene countryside.
And what about the island's seabed? Gozo is indeed famous for scuba diving, thanks to its underwater visibility and stunning scenery. Finally, you can’t leave Gozo without visiting its small villages, where you can enjoy fresh seafood or meat delicacies.
Beaches in Gozo
Gozo has some of the most beautiful beaches in the Maltese archipelago.
Here are 6 magnificent beaches in Gozo:
- Xlendi Bay: this rocky beach is among the most famous in Gozo and is perfect for those who enjoy diving. The entire bay is known for its seaside restaurants and scenic paths along the coast. You can also reach Xlendi Bay by bus.
- Dwejra Bay: among the most spectacular natural landmarks on the island, it owes its fame to the Azure Window (collapsed in 2017). Since it is not a sandy beach, it is advisable to have rock shoes to enter the water. Here you will find the beautiful natural Blue Hole pool, a great place for diving enthusiasts.
- Wied il-Ghasri: this is a little fjord with a pebble beach at the far end. Its waters are always cool and crystal clear, and you can also relax on the flat rocks along the ridges. The beach is reached by descending 90 steps and from up there you can admire one of the most beautiful landscapes on the island.
- Hondoq Ir-Rummien: this cove is located in the southern part of Gozo, in the Qala area. Beautiful and uncrowded, it has a white sandy shore and is surrounded by a rocky promontory. Its waters are turquoise and the coast is full of caves, ideal for snorkeling. There is a small restaurant and parking area nearby.
- Mgarr Ix-Xini: this small beach is set in a steep-sided rocky valley. It is not very crowded, perfect for those seeking tranquility. It’s perfect for both rock climbers and divers, as there is a huge array of marine life beneath the waves. Fun Fact: it was the backdrop for a movie by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, By the Sea.
- Ramla Bay: located in the eastern part of Gozo, it is the largest beach on the island and is famous for its red sand. The bay is surrounded by mostly undeveloped countryside and a little further west, the famous Calypso Cave also stands. There is a restaurant and several kiosks on the beach.
The famous Ramla Bay with its red sand in Gozo
Sightseeing in Gozo
In addition to its wonderful coastline and beaches, here are other must-visit attractions during your stay in Gozo:
- Victoria, the capital of the island
- The Citadella
- St. George's Basilica
- The 'It-Tokk' open-air daily market
- The remains of the Azure Window, the famous natural archway that collapsed in 2017
- The Basilica of Ta' Pinu
- Xlendi, a small tourist resort known for its fish restaurants
- The Saltpans of Xwejni
- Qala Village, with its 18th-century windmills
- The Wied il-Mielaħ Window, a limestone natural arch
- Ġgantija, a megalithic temple complex
The Ġgantija Temple complex, dating back to the Neolithic era
Nightlife in Gozo
Although Gozo is a quiet island, there is no shortage of entertainment here.
There are several bars in Victoria for a drink or to listen to good music. Among the best known is Café Jubilee, with its vintage atmosphere. The resorts of Marsalforn and Xlendi also offer various opportunities for evening entertainment, thanks to their promenades and their small restaurants and lounge bars by the sea.
For those looking for livelier evenings, La Grotta nightclub (perched on a magnificent cliff) holds events with famous DJs and is one of the most distinctive in Europe.
Food in Gozo
Maltese cuisine has undergone so many influences throughout history, but Gozo has managed to keep tradition alive. Indeed, traditional dishes here contain few ingredients, without using many sauces but only the freshest produce.
Here are some delicacies to try during your stay in Gozo:
- gbejna (little round goat's milk cheeses)
- aljotta (garlicky fish soup)
- bigilla (broad bean paste)
- pastizzi (miniature pastries filled with cheese or peas)
- tal-fenek (rabbit stew)
- tal-lampuki (savory pie stuffed with fish, spinach and olives)
- ftira gozitana (similar to a pizza with potatoes, capers, tomatoes, onions, and anchovies)
- prickly pear liqueur
A very tasty dish of tal-fenek served with a few slices of crisp potatoes
Here are 3 tips that we hope will be helpful to you before your trip to Gozo:
- To fully enjoy the beauty of Gozo, we recommend visiting the island on a midweek day, as most Maltese people spend the weekend here.
- Reach the nearby islet of Comino from Gozo for a half-day tour. Comino's famous Blue Lagoon is a truly magical place!
- In September, to end the summer in the best possible way, the End of Summer Fest is celebrated near Gozo Harbor. This is a 3-day event full of music, dance and all-round fun.
Useful information about Gozo
Gozo has about 30,000 inhabitants and offers many services to its visitors. Most of these are located in Victoria, also home to the island's only hospital.
Different cultural locations can be visited with a single ticket (the Discover Gozo Combo ticket), which offers discounts and favorable rates for children, students and the elderly.
As for accommodation, you can find options for all budgets in Gozo: from luxury hotels to Bed & Breakfasts. You can also set your sights on farmhouses or old country homes that will allow you to have a traditional and relaxing experience.
Important phone numbers for your stay in Gozo
Here are some numbers that could prove useful during your holiday in Gozo:
- Gozo Hospital: +35623446000
- Emergency rescue by helicopter: +35621244371
- Emergency rescue by patrol boat: +35621238797
- Gozo Passport Office: +35622156254
- Tourist information office: +35622915452
- Ambulance: 196
- Fire Department: 199
- Police: 191
- European emergency number: 112
Transportation in Gozo
Gozo is quite small, so it is possible to get around the island by car, motorcycle, bus, as well as on foot or by bicycle. However, the best means of getting around are by car and scooter, which will allow you to reach most places, even the most remote ones.
Almost all bus routes run from Victoria (in the center of the island). This isn’t very efficient because even in order to travel between nearby locations you will always have to return to the capital. Furthermore, local transportation in Gozo is slow and not very frequent.
Gozo also offers many long distance cycle routes ranging from 27 to 42km. Gozo's trails are also walkable, but in the middle of the summer that’s not highly recommended.
Tip: if you decide to rent a car in Malta or Gozo, keep in mind that they drive on the left hand side of the road and you must be at least 21 years old by law. Also, the speed limit on state roads is 80 km/h, while in urban areas it is 50 km/h.
Panoramic view of the city of Victoria, the capital of Gozo
Port of Gozo
The port of Gozo is located in the town of Mgarr, in the southeast of the island. Ferries to/from Malta arrive and depart here daily.
The view of the entire port area when the ship docks in Gozo is incredible: Fort Chambray dominates the scene and above the town of Mgarr you can also admire the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Besides the ferry terminal, there is also a marina with various services, bars and restaurants.
Victoria, the capital of Gozo, is about 6km from the port. You can transfer between the port of Mgarr and Victoria by bus thanks to frequent connections on route 301, which takes about 12 min. to reach the capital.
Gozo: ferry: schedules and tickets
From Malta you can travel to the island of Gozo every day thanks to frequent ferry connections.
Routes to Gozo from Malta are available from the port of Valletta (at the capital) as well as the port of Ċirkewwa (located in the far north of Malta). The companies operating the routes are Virtu Ferries Gozo, Gozo Fast Ferry and Gozo Channel.
In general, crossings from the ports of Malta to Gozo range from 25 to 45 min. depending on the port of departure and the company.
Here you can find more information on the Malta - Gozo itineraries:
- Ferry Valletta - Gozo: the connection to Gozo from the port of Valletta is available up to 18 times per day with crossings of 45 min.
- Ferry Ċirkewwa - Gozo: the connection from the port of Ċirkewwa to Gozo is operated daily with crossings every 45 min. The trips are shorter than those from Valletta, and last only 25 min.
View of the port of Mgarr in Gozo from the ferry
Where to book ferry tickets online to Gozo?
Now that you have all the information you need about the island of Gozo, you can plan your trip from Malta and set off on a new adventure. Choose the route that suits you best and get to beautiful Gozo by ferry!