How To Plan A Gozo Day Trip from Malta

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by Michael Rozenblit


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For travellers spending only a few days in Malta, it can be easy to fill your days exploring the mainland. Whether it be wandering through historic Valletta, exploring the walled city of Mdina or heading to the fish market of Marsaxlokk, there’s no doubt that there’s plenty to occupy any Malta itinerary. For visitors that have a bit more time on their trip though, it’s certainly worth taking a Gozo day trip from Malta.

While you can certainly spend more than just one day in Gozo, this allows you to see some of the highlights of Malta’s less-visited island and give you a great introduction for a return trip.

How to Get to Gozo from Malta

There are three main transport options for your day trip to Gozo from Malta: bus & ferry, car or organised tour.

By Bus & Ferry

Malta’s bus network is fantastic and a great way to get around the island if you don’t have your own transport.

To get to Gozo, you’ll first need to take a bus to the ferry terminal which is located in Cirkewwa. You can see the latest timetables and routes on Malta’s public transport website as well as through the integration on Google maps.

A single-use bus ticket costs €2.50 and is valid for two hours (including on the buses in Gozo). If you intend to use the buses a lot during your time in Malta, it’s worth considering to purchase a travel card.

Ferries to Gozo depart every 30-45 minutes and you actually don’t need to purchase a ticket when departing Malta. Instead, you’ll need to buy a return ticket when you depart from Gozo. The standard passenger fare is €4.65 and you’ll arrive at the south of Gozo in the port town of Mgarr.

Malta to Gozo Ferry
Malta to Gozo Ferry

By Car

If you don’t want to be reliant on the buses in Malta, then having your own transport is a great option. Not only will you be able to get to the ferry terminal quicker, but it will also be easier to get around the island of Gozo.

The cost for taking a car onto the Gozo ferry is €15.70 which also includes a ticket for one person. Similarly to if you are buying just a passenger ticket, you’ll only need to buy your ticket on the return leg from Gozo. All other passengers in the car apart from the driver will need to purchase a passenger ticket.

There are plenty of car rental options in Malta and you can typically find the deals on Rentalcars.com. This platform aggregates prices for many major car hire options to help you get a great deal.

It’s also worth it to consider taking out excess insurance on your vehicle from iCarHireInsurance if you rent a car to avoid having to pay the sometimes hefty insurance charges from the car rental company.

By Tour

If you prefer to have your day organised for you, then there are plenty of tour options to choose that offer different aspects of the highlights on Gozo.

A tour to Gozo can be a particularly good idea if you don’t have your own car and are taking a day trip to Gozo not from Valletta or Sliema where the majority of bus routes depart from.

One of the top reasons travellers want to visit Gozo is to combine Gozo and Comino in one day. This guided tour or this guided tour both involves spending an hour each at the Blue Lagoon & Crystal Lagoon on Comino before giving travellers 3 hours of free time on Gozo to explore.

These tours depart from Bugibba but will organise ground transport from other parts of Malta for a small additional fee. They also offer some transport options on the island of Gozo if you don’t want to take the local bus.

Crysyal Lagoon on Comino in Malta
The beautiful Crystal Lagoon on the island of Comino

If you’d prefer to explore more of Gozo rather than spending half your day swimming then there are also some great tour options for you.

This full-day jeep tour takes you to many of the highlights on the island, includes lunch and a short powerboat ride to the Blue & Crystal lagoons. This tour picks you up from your hotel where you will board the Gozo ferry and then be met by your tour guide.

This similar guided jeep tour is also a good option as it gives you even more time on the island of Gozo as it doesn’t include a visit to Comino. A hearty lunch and wine are all included.

And if you don’t want to bother with the ferry to Gozo, this full-day jeep tour includes transport from Malta on a private boat before taking you to all of the highlights of the island.

If you prefer to spend your one day in Gozo with a bit of adrenaline running through your veins then this guided quad-bike tour might be for you! You’ll get to see many of the highlights of Gozo and it includes comprehensive insurance, lunch and a powerboat ride to the Blue & Crystal lagoons.

Finally, if you’re not worried about your budget in Malta, this private guided tour is a great way to see the island in your own vehicle with a licensed guide.

Mgarr Port on the island of Gozo
Mgarr Port on the island of Gozo

Gozo Day Trip Itinerary

This Gozo itinerary includes a visit to the capital of Victoria (Rabat) and then gives travellers a few different options on how to spend their afternoon before going back to Malta.

If you have your own vehicle, you might be able to fit in two of the three options listed, however, if you’re relying on the bus network, you should just focus on one part of the island if you’re only spending a day exploring Gozo.

Victoria (Rabat)

One of the highlights of visiting the island of Gozo is exploring its beautiful capital Victoria (Rabat) — Rabat is the original Maltese name.

You can get a bus directly from the ferry terminal in Mgarr to the capital – don’t forget you can use your bus ticket from Malta if it was validated fewer than two hours ago.

In Victoria, the highlight is undoubtedly exploring the impressive Citadella complex that offers great views of the island as well as housing a number of museums such as the Gozo Museum of Archaeology and an Old Prison.

Opposite the Citadella, pay a visit to the St George’s Basilica — an impressive baroque-style church.

Victoria is also a good place to grab a bite to eat before embarking on your afternoon adventure as it has the most cafe options on the island. One great choice for lunch near the main attractions is Cafe Jubilee which serves local and international dishes in an English-style pub.

Visiting Victoria (Rabat) is a must on a Gozo day trip from Malta
Victoria, the unofficial capital of Gozo

Option 1: East Gozo — Temples & Beaches

If you fancy seeing some historical sites older than the pyramids of Egypt, then head to the Eastern part of the island and visit The Ġgantija Temples.

These Neolithic structures are open year-round and there is a museum that explains the historical significance of the site.

From the temples, continue heading east to Ramla Beach. This beach is one of the best on Gozo and it is easily accessible with beautiful golden sand. It is rocky when getting into the water so consider bringing water shoes if you intend to go for a swim. From Ramla Bay, there is an hourly bus that goes back to the capital of Victoria.

Ramla Beach in Gozo
Ramla Beach

Option 2: West Gozo – Hiking & Wine

If you’re a nature lover and want to explore more of Gozo’s natural beauty then take a bus 311 west to Dwerja Bay.

This bay is one of the most stunning in Malta and is the location where the famous Azure Window used to stand. From Dwejra Bay, it’s possible to go hiking north along the coastline to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

You might get thirsty after all that hiking so it’s worth planning ahead and organising a wine tasting at nearby Tal-Massar Winery.

This small boutique operation is run by Anthony, who gives guests a tour of the vineyard, explains what makes wine from Gozo unique before you get to enjoy a free-flowing tasting with some local snacks. You can contact them via e-mail or through their Facebook page to arrange a visit.

The winery is located in Gharb, not far from the western coast of Gozo and you can take the back to Victoria.

Option 3: Comino

If you want to spend your day enjoying some of the beautiful swimming spots in Malta, you can combine a visit to Gozo with taking a boat to the small island of Comino and enjoy the Blue and/or Crystal Lagoons.

In the port town of Mgarr, you’ll find many small boat operators willing to take you out to the island and there’s even the option of renting your own small boat.

Both the Blue & Crystal Lagoon do get busy, particularly in the summer months so if you do have the option of getting there early then I suggest taking advantage of that.

The Blue Lagoon in Malta
The Blue Lagoon

Dinner in Gozo

The last ferry from Gozo back to Malta departs at 23:15 so there’s no need to rush back the main island and instead you should take advantage of some of the amazing restaurants in Gozo. And while Malta is located in Southern Europe, its British past means eating dinner at 6 or 7 pm isn’t a problem!

One option is to have dinner in Victoria where there are several great restaurants such as Maldonado. This will also allow you to have an evening stroll in the Citadella and see it all lit up.

Another option is to head back to Mgarr where the ferry departs from and instead enjoy dinner there. Ta’ Tona is one of the best restaurants that we ate during our time in Malta and it has a range of local dishes and freshly caught fish.

Mgarr itself is a nice small town and pleasant to wander through in the evening after a delicious meal.

Evening stroll in Mgarr
Evening stroll in Mgarr

Have more time?

Apart from enjoying the other options listed in this Gozo itinerary, you can also head to the north of the island where the Xwejni Salt Pans are located. These salt pans form unique geometric patterns and are still being harvested by local workers.

There is also a craft brewery on the island called Lord Chambray which makes fantastic local beers – you can visit their taproom for tastings and you’ll also find their beer on the menus of many restaurants on Gozo.

All in all, there is plenty to keep you occupied on the island and more than enough reason to choose to stay in Gozo over Malta for a few nights.

Lord Chambray - Gozo's Original Craft Beer
Lord Chambray – Gozo’s Original Craft Beer

Where to stay in Gozo

If you don’t have your own car to get around Gozo, staying in Victoria (Rabat) is ideal as the majority of bus routes pass through here and it has the greatest selection of restaurants and cafes on the island.

Casa Gemelli Boutique Guesthouse – This guesthouse is located in a traditional Maltese house with rooms beautifully furnished. They offer a couple of different double rooms including some with great views of the Citadel and include breakfast in the nightly rate.

The Duke Boutique Hotel – A luxurious and modern hotel also located in Victoria (Rabat), they offer a range of rooms and suites suitable for couples or small families. Breakfast is also included daily.

Private Rental – Gozo has a range of great private rentals such as this historic farmhouse and this beautiful sea-view apartment. 

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other hotels in Gozo!

The winding walls of the Citadella in Gozo
The winding walls of the Citadella in Gozo

A Gozo day trip from Malta is a great way to get an introduction to Malta’s less-visited island and explore some of the unique attractions and historical sites available to travellers.

Are you planning a trip to Gozo? Have any questions about the island? Let us know in the comments below!

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Michael is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Both solo and with his partner, Maggie, he has travelled to over 50 countries across the globe and has a particular affinity for the Balkans and Eastern Europe. He’s lived in numerous countries worldwide but currently resides in his hometown of Melbourne, Australia. Read more about Michael

Comments

  1. Thanks for all the information. We spent 12th-19th Feb in Malta – an escape from the Polish winter – staying in Floriana. Your various mails were very informative and useful and we were able to make a tour of the north and south of the island as well as a sea trip to Gozo and Comino, but February is not the time for swimming in the blue lagoon, although one intrepid young man did spend 30 seconds in the sea. Valetta, Mosta, Mdina, Dingly cliffs – all brilliant. sites, with too much to see The Limestone Heritage is certainly worth adding to one’s itinerary. An excellent week.

    Reply
  2. Hi, I have Saturday, 20th Nov to spend in Gozo. How can I book a guided tour to see the citadel and the two temples of Ggantija
    temples.
    I would also like to see the temples of Hagar Qim, Mnajdra and Tarxien on my return. How can I organize this?
    I did not see many trips on Saturdays. thanks
    Priyanthi

    Reply

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