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, a day trip to Gozo allows you to see some of the highlights of Malta’s less-visited island and give you a great introduction for a return trip. If you’re wondering how to make the most of your Gozo day trip and the best way to get to the island then read on for our top tips!
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.
Malta to Gozo 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. This means a Gozo day trip from Valletta or Sliema is very easy to do!
To get to Gozo, you’ll first need to take a bus to the ferry terminal which is located in Cirkewwa. There are a number of different bus routes that go here from various parts of Malta including the 41 & 42 routes from Valletta, route 222 from Sliema and even directly from the airport on route X1.
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 €1.50 in winter or €2.00 in summer 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 fare is €4.65 and you’ll arrive at the south of Gozo in the port town of Mgarr.
Malta to Gozo by Car
If you don’t want to be reliant on the buses in Malta, then having your own transport is a great option for a Gozo day trip. 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.
There are plenty of car rental options in Malta and you can typically find the best deals on Rentalcars.com. This platform aggregates all the major hire options to ensure you get the best deal possible.
Malta to Gozo by Tour
If you prefer to have your Gozo day trip organised for you, then there are plenty of tour options to choose that offer different aspects of the highlights on Gozo. A tour 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 organised by Sea Trips or this guided tour organised by Hornblower Cruises 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.
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. Click here to check availability.
This similar guided bus 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. Transport from your hotel in Malta, a ferry ticket to Gozo and lunch and are all included. Click here to check availability.
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. Click here to check availability
Gozo Day Trip Itinerary
If you’re planning your Gozo day trip from Valletta — or elsewhere in Malta — independently or want some ideas on how to spend your free time on Gozo, then there are a number of options to fill your time. This Gozo itinerary includes a visit to the capital of Victoria (Rabat) and then gives travellers a few different options on how to spend your 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 here.
One of the highlights of visiting the island of Gozo is to explore 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. Another option, located just a short walk from the centre is Mo’s Diner which has a changing menu of breakfast and lunch dishes.
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, there is an hourly bus that goes back to the capital of Victoria.
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 of where the famous Azure Window used to stand. From Dwerja Bay, it’s possible to go hiking north along the coast 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 of 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 bus 312 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. Many of the organised Gozo day trips offer this option such as this guided tour organised by Hornblower Cruises.
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.
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 a number of 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.
Have more than one day in Gozo?
Given that I’ve had to list three different options for a Gozo day trip itinerary, it should come as no surprise that there is in fact plenty of things to do on the island if you have more than one day.
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.
Where to stay in Gozo
If you decide that one day in Gozo is simply not enough then there are a number of great accommodation choices on the island to extend your stay. If you don’t have your own car, 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 include some with great views of the Citadel and include breakfast in the nightly rate. Click here to see their latest prices
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. Click here to see their latest prices
Private Rental – Gozo has a range of great private rentals such as this historic farmhouse and this beautiful sea view apartment. Click here to see the best private rentals in Gozo.
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other hotels 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.
When travelling in Malta, it’s always a good idea to make sure you have a travel insurance policy so you’re covered for any unfortunate events! We like WorldNomads and always use them for our trips – click here to get a quote from WorldNomads
Are you planning a day trip to Gozo? Have you been recently? Let us know in the comments below!