What to visit in Gozo?
Updated: Jul 25, 2022
The island of Gozo is a hidden Mediterranean gem. It is located just a few kilometres northwest of Malta. Gozo is a beautiful green island full of natural and historical attractions that are not overrun with tourists even during peak season. Enjoy panoramic views, swim on the red sand beach, explore ancient temple complexes, and take leisurely hikes along the massive cliffs. Discover Gozo for yourself and fall in love with it as we did on our first visit.
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What not to miss?
The most popular and well-known beach on the entire island. The beach is covered in distinctive orange-red fine sand that gradually transforms into dunes at the beach's back end. The beach is also ideal for families with children because the entrance to the sea is gradual, and there are few pebbles. There are several restaurants with snacks right on the beach and umbrellas and sunbeds for rent. The beach is easily accessible by car or bus, and a free parking lot is nearby. Buses 302 and 322 take you to the beach.
Basilica of the Blessed Virgin of Ta' Pinu
Ta' Pinu Basilica is located in northeast Victoria, about 20 minutes from the central station. The basilica, which is now an important pilgrimage site, was only built in the 1930s on the site of a smaller chapel. At the end of the nineteenth century, Karmni Grima, a resident of the nearby village of Gharb, had a conversation with the Virgin Mary, to whom this magnificent structure is dedicated. The basilica is free to enter, and there is a Way of the Cross opposite it that provides beautiful views of the monumental Romanesque basilica surrounded by nature.
Ġgantija, also known as the "Tower of the Giants," is an essential prehistoric temple that is one of the world's oldest structures! It is near the center of the town of Xaghra, which is only a few minutes drives from Victoria. The temple was built approximately 3,500 years before Christ. The sanctuary is made up of massive unmissable boulders, but it was discovered relatively recently - it was found 200 years ago by a farmer cultivating a field in this area. No one knows why or what the position means, but there is a legend about Sunsuna, a female giantess who brought huge boulders here on her head from the Ta' Cenc quarry on the island's south coast. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is 10€ for adults, 8€ for students and seniors, and 6€ for children under 11. This tour is unquestionably worthwhile!
The Azure Window (it-Tieqa Żerqa)
The Azure Window was undoubtedly one of the most appealing and sought-after stops on Gozo. The unique location has become a popular film location; you may recall the Azure Window from the first series of the popular series Game of Thrones because the Dothraki wedding was held here. Unfortunately, the Azure Window collapsed in 2017 due to a strong storm and intense waves, causing this more than 500-year-old limestone rock gate to fall irreparably into the sea. The azure window stood approximately 28 meters tall and was made up of two limestone pieces, one of which was a pillar and the other the arch itself. The smaller rock formation Wied il-Mielah is the current "alternative" to the ruined Azure Window.
St. George's Basilica
On Piazza San Gorg, in the heart of the city's picturesque narrow streets, stands the Baroque Basilica San Gorg, dedicated to Saint George and built between 1672 and 1678. It was given a new facade in 1818, and Pope Pius XII elevated it to the status of basilica in 1958. It is also known as the "Golden Church." The entire basilica is covered in marble and decorated with various symbols that trace Gozo's history back to the first cultures who settled here. Giovanni Battista Conti, a Roman painter, created the paintings in the dome.
What else to visit?
Ta' Kola windmill
The Ta' Kola Windmill, built in 1725, can be found in the Gozo village of Xaghra. Inside is a small museum depicting the lives of locals in the previous century. Among the exhibits are agricultural tools, a millstone, and a relatively large living room furnished with the original equipment.
Famous beaches: San blas, Hondoq ir-Rummien, Daħlet Qorrot, Dwejra Bay, Marsalforn Beach, Għar Qawqla
San Blas is the smaller and less well-known sister of nearby famous Ramla Beach. This beach also has orange-red sand, and the surroundings are very picturesque, with rocks and scenic greenery nearby. Even during peak season, the beach is calm and devoid of day tourists.
Hondoq ir-Rummien is another smaller beach with sand and crystal clear water. If you enjoy swimming and diving, this is one of the best diving beaches in Malta. In the evening, locals enjoy grilling or having a barbecue here.
Dahlet Qorrot beach is a bay on the island's eastern coast. The surroundings are serene, and you can even go for a walk along the cliffs. It is more of a small concrete promenade with a bit of background, which is ideal for those who enjoy swimming in the sea in a calm setting. But be aware that there is no bus service here.
The picturesque Dwejra Bay, cliffs, and breathtaking sunset views are far from the former Azure Window. You can only get to the sea by boat here, but people come to Dwejra Bay for the pictures, which can also be seen from land.
Marsalforn is a famous fishing village on Gozo's northeast coast. The bay is surrounded by smaller cliffs, some of which are easily accessible. The clear sea in Marsalforn Bay is ideal for refreshing swims or snorkeling. The town has a good selection of restaurants, shops, and diving centers.
Gar Qawqla is a limestone formation on Gozo, Malta, near Marsalforn. It was once a natural arch connecting to the mainland but collapsed during the twentieth century. This lovely area is very popular with swimmers, snorkelers, and sunbathers during summer. However, extreme caution is advised because it can be pretty dangerous when the sea is rough. It's also a wonderful place to go for a walk.
Ghasri Valley is a sea canyon on the island of Gozo. This is one of Malta's most treasured seaside spots. The scenery is breathtaking, with dramatic rock formations and calm azure waters. The sea is only accessible through a narrow bay surrounded by high cliffs on both sides. There is also a quiet beach, 300 meters inland from the sea. Divers and snorkelers flock to the bay, home to a fascinating network of underwater caves and abundant marine life.
How to travel there?
Gozo does not have an airport. To visit here, you must first travel to neighboring Malta, connected to Gozo by regular ferry service. Ferries to Gozo depart from the port of Cirkewwa, which is located on Malta's northern tip. Numerous bus routes from all over Malta will take you here. There is a direct line from the airport (X1 and X1A), a line from Valletta (41, 42), a line from Golden Bay (101), and other corners. The ferry to Gozo runs every day of the year. It runs all day at 45-minute intervals and even has several night connections. The cruise to Mgarr port lasts approximately 25 minutes. You can travel to the ship by car, motorcycle, bicycle, or foot. The cruise is quick and comfortable, with seats, refreshments, and toilets on board. An adult ticket costs 4.65€, a child ticket costs 1.15€, and a private car with a driver costs 15.70€.
Malta is most easily accessible from Europe. Many airlines offer extremely low-cost tickets, including Air Malta, Ryanair, and Wizzair. The international airport is located about 15 kilometers southwest of Valletta. The airport is only 20 minutes away from St. Julian.
When to travel there?
Gozo is a popular year-round destination, with different activities available each season. Gozo's weather is very similar to that of neighboring Malta. Gozo has hot summers and mild winters. January is the coldest month, while July and August are the warmest. The month with the highest chance of precipitation in December. Due to the temperature of the sea, it is best to visit Malta in the summer if you want to swim, sunbathe on the beaches, or snorkel. June and September are ideal because they are already warm enough but have lower prices and fewer tourists than the summer months. Are you not particularly fond of swimming, but do you enjoy beautiful scenery, which you occasionally combine with a visit to a monument? Then go to Gozo in the spring or autumn, or if you don't mind showers, go in the winter. You will undoubtedly enjoy the pleasant and consistently warmer weather than here.
The first thing you'll want to look into is accommodation. If you choose to stay in a hostel, the average night will cost you between 13 - 20€. A standard hotel night in a double room will average cost you around 80-90€. If you want to spoil yourself, plan on spending at least 150€ more. If you want to drive around the entire island, a rental car will set you back around 40€. You can, however, use local transportation, which we recommend, where a single ticket costs 1.50€, and if you find yourself in a situation where you need a taxi, prices start at 5€.
We'll look at food, which always depends on which restaurant you choose. A good meal in Gozo can be had for around 12€ at a less expensive restaurant. If you choose a better restaurant, a meal for two people will cost approximately 50€ for a good lunch or dinner. An evening beer will cost around 3€, and morning coffee will cost between 1.50 - 3.00€. If you can cook for yourself, you will save a lot of money because supermarket prices are lower than restaurant prices.
Where to eat?
The first place you should go is Beppe's, which serves Mediterranean fusion cuisine in the stunning setting of Marsalforn. Right here, the chef and owner of Spiteri use local ingredients to create Mediterranean cuisine. We strongly recommend Café Jubilee in Victoria town if you want to treat yourself to a good and quality breakfast. This cafe has a very positive and friendly atmosphere. It serves local and inexpensive food in an unforgettable setting. Try the pies, which are a local specialty.
Indulge at The Boathouse, a well-known restaurant. It is owned by the well-known Joseph Attard, who draws tourists all year round for his excellent cuisine. If you visit, you must try the Gozitan fish soup, which is an absolute delicacy. You won't mind the higher prices because of the great location, atmosphere, and fantastic food. And the Ta' Karolina restaurant has something traditional and thus some conventional food. It has a calm atmosphere and meager food prices, making it ideal for those traveling on a tight budget.
Gozo Regional Carnival
Carnival in Malta is a religious and cultural event on the Maltese Islands. The festival lasts five days. They include costume parades and parades of colorful floats and marching bands around the island. Every year in March, it takes place.
Qala International Folk Festival
Malta has been a crossroads of exchanges and nations for millennia due to its location in the center of the Mediterranean, which has shaped the island's culture and identity over time. Several groups from Italy, Austria, Spain, Poland, Slovakia, Serbia, and other European cities perform as part of the international folk festival. This festival lasts three days at the end of September, with music playing in the streets and parades and performances taking place throughout the island.
The Mediterranea Festival in Gozo commemorates the city of Gozo's history. The festival celebrates heritage, music, and art and is a must-see for all history buffs. Discover the lives, history, and traditions of the people of Gozo dating back over 7000 years. This festival takes place in mid-autumn, so if you're planning a trip to Gozo in the fall, don't miss out on this historic event!
We've reached the end of the article and the end of the island of Goza. We believe you will also visit this beautiful island if you visit Malta. In the meantime, you can read an article about the capital of Malta - Valletta. We also have other places for you to visit, such as Split, Mykonos, and Cagliari. Do not forget to follow us @thewalkingparrot to be always updated on the new releases.