For many people coming to Malta, the northern island of Gozo is often only visited as a day trip by travellers. Part of the reason is that many people coming to Malta are either staying in all-inclusive resorts or are predominately interested in visiting the historical cities on the main island. Tourists often question “is Gozo worth visiting?” and therefore hedge their bets and only devote a small amount of time to Malta’s more remote island.
This is undoubtedly a great shame as not only are there are a plethora of things to do in Gozo but there are also many hidden gems that are simply not possible to discover in a day. Combined with the fact that there are some amazing restaurants in Gozo, here are ten reasons why Gozo is worth visiting on your next trip to Malta.
10 Reasons to Visit Gozo
1. Beautiful clear water
Being a small island, it might not come as a huge surprise that one of the best reasons to visit Gozo is to simply get out on the water and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Luckily, there is no shortage of options for travellers to Gozo and you can simply rent a boat, go on a guided kayak tour or go on a cruise!
The first time we visited Malta in 2017, we opted to take a full day sailing trip with Barbarossa Excursions which proved to be a great way to see some of the highlights of Gozo and surrounding area. Their full-day sailing trip includes an early stop to the popular Blue & Crystal lagoons meaning that you beat the crowds, as well as a number of other swimming, stops at less crowded areas. The trip also includes a delicious lunch spread which provides much-needed nourishment after a full morning of swimming and snorkelling!
Another great way to get out on the water in Gozo is to rent a boat. There are a huge range of options to choose from small speed boats that you can rent for a couple of hours or larger sailing boats or catamarans if your budget allows it. Whichever option you choose, make sure to take advantage of the crystal clear water surrounding Gozo!
2. Less Visited Beaches
Unlike the main island in Malta where a lot of the nicer beaches have been taken over by resorts, Gozo has a number of beautiful and relatively untouched beaches that make for a great leisurely day.
One of the best and most popular beaches is Ramla Beach which is considered one of the best sandy beaches in all of Malta. The beach is stunningly beautiful and is fairly easy to get to, even if you don’t hire a car as there a couple of public buses that go directly there. There is also a beach restaurant and ice cream parlour nearby if hunger strikes!
It is, however, worth noting that parts of the beach are rocky, particularly when you enter the water so I would recommend bringing water shoes if you intend to do a lot of swimming while at Ramla!
Other popular beaches to visit in Gozo include San Blas Beach and Xlendi Beach.
3. Small wineries
Malta’s wine scene is growing in popularity at a rapid rate and one of the best things to do in Gozo is to learn more about the wine and try some varieties by spending an afternoon at a winery.
We organised a tour with Tal-Massar, a local boutique winery and couldn’t have been happier with the couple of hours we spent there! The owner, Anthony, gave us a tour of the vineyards and explained some of the history of Maltese wine before we sat down and were able to enjoy four delicious wines accompanied with some local food. After the tastings, the wine was free-flowing as we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon in the beautiful scenery.
4. Malta’s Original Craft Beer
While Malta might be more famous for its wine, it’s important also not to overlook the growing craft beer scene on the island of Gozo!
Gozo’s original craft brewery, Lord Chambray makes fantastic beers that have spread in popularity and are now also available all over the main island. You can visit their taproom for tastings or alternatively, you’ll find their beers on many menus in Gozo and some on the main island.
5. Go for a hike
The natural beauty of the area undoubtedly means that one of the best reasons to visit Gozo to enjoy any of the numerous hiking routes on offer.
One of the most popular hiking options is along Dwejra Bay, once the home of the famous Azure Window. And while the Azure Window is, unfortunately, no longer standing, the surrounding area is still magnificently beautiful and worth exploring.
The Gozo tourism board has outlined a number of hiking routes on their website so you’re definitely not short on options if you feel like getting active during your stay in Gozo.
6. Explore Victoria (Rabat)
While it’s easy to get caught up in all the natural beauty of Gozo, it’s worth also spending some time exploring the capital of Victoria, also known by its original Maltese name of Rabat.
Located in the centre of Gozo, the highlight of any visit to Victoria is undoubtedly exploring the impressive Citadel which was historically the fortress of the city. Walking along the Citadel gives travellers magnificent views of the island allowing you to see several of the main sites as well as the beautiful coastline.
There are also a number of churches and museums located within the Citadel’s walls and just outside of them, so it’s worth spending a few hours exploring this area of Gozo. The Citadel is also a great place to watch the sunset!
7. Enjoy the best restaurants in Gozo
Like the rest of Malta, Gozo has a number of fantastic restaurants and cafes that mean you are never short of options for places to eat. These were some of the best restaurants in Gozo that we enjoyed during our trip:
La Stanza – located a few minutes away from the Citadel, La Stanza offers amazing fine-dining-quality food at very affordable prices. We ate delicious seafood mains, however, the highlight was arguably the delicious twist on a Caprese salad with figs and rocket.
Ottavo Senso – casual pizzeria in the heart of Victoria serving huge delicious pizzas and other Italian dishes.
Maldonado – another restaurant that serves fine-dining-quality food without the expensive price tags. Maldonado is located in a cellar and has an impressive wine collection to accompany their delicious range of seafood and meat main dishes.
Cafe Jubilee – the interior of Cafe Jubliee is reminiscent of an English pub however they serve fantastic local food as well as a range of international dishes. It’s open from 8 am so is a good option any time of day!
Mo’s Diner – located about a five to ten-minute walk from the heart of Victoria, Mo’s Diner is open Monday to Saturday for breakfast and lunch. One of the best places for brunch in Gozo!
Bel Gelato – a gelato a day keeps the doctor away…well maybe not but that definitely shouldn’t stop you from visiting Bel Gelato at least daily and treating yourself!
Ta Tona – located in Mgarr, close next to the Gozo Ferry Terminal, Ta Tona serves a fantastic range of local dishes including plenty of freshly caught fish.
8. Stock up on local delicacies
After a few days on Gozo, there were a number of great local products that we wanted to stock up on before leaving the island. There are a few shops in the Victoria that sell local produce, however, some of these can be a bit touristy so I suggest heading to Vini e Capricci for all your Gozo treats!
Located a 25-minute walk away or a short bus ride from the centre of Victoria, this is a great place to buy local wines, sauces, chocolates and other treats to take home with you!
9. Visit the Salt Pans
Located in the north of the island, the Xwejni Salt Pans are one of the top natural sites to visit in Gozo. The salt pans have for hundreds of years been used for the harvesting of salt and still to this day most of the work is done by hand by local workers.
A unique feature of these particular salt pans are the geometric patterns which are formed which makes them a popular place to visit.
10. See Neolithic Sites
While the most impressive Neolithic sites we’ve seen have been on the Orkney Islands in Scotland, you can also find some sites from that era on the island of Gozo!
The Ġgantija Temples located east of Victoria are older than the pyramids in Egypt and have been excellently preserved to allow visitors to still enjoy them to this day. The temples are open year-round and there is a small museum that explains some of the history of the site.
How to Get to Gozo
Getting to Gozo is very straightforward for anyone who is already on the main island of Malta. Simply take any of the buses that go to the northern port of Cirkewwa and hop on the ferry! The ferry crossing takes about 25 minutes and there are ferries every 45 minutes during the day.
You don’t need to buy a ticket when travelling to Gozo but you will need to buy a ticket when you return to the mainland that covers the price of both journeys. That means if you fall in love with Gozo and decide you never want to leave then you can avoid ever paying for your ferry journey!
Where to stay in Gozo
If you want to make the most of your time on the island, then the best place to stay in Gozo is definitely in the capital of Victoria. A lot of buses in Gozo will run through the capital meaning you can easily get to any part of Gozo within an hour. You also have a lot more restaurant options than in other parts of the island and it will be cheaper as the area doesn’t exclusively cater to tourists. Here are some options:
Airbnb – If you’re on a budget then the best value accommodation in Victoria is likely to be through Airbnb. There are numerous properties available such as this private room in a traditional house or this large house for a private stay. Click here to see the best Airbnbs in Gozo!
The Duke Boutique Hotel – If you prefer to stay in a hotel then this is one of the best places to stay in Gozo. They have fantastic private rooms with great comfortable beds and have a delicious breakfast included in the room rate. Click here to see their latest prices
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other hotels in Gozo!
Our time in Gozo was undoubtedly some of the most memorable during our trip to Malta. There were so many great things to do in Gozo and we were incredibly thankful that we took the time to spend a few days here and not rush through Gozo on a day trip!
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 wondering is Gozo worth visiting or have you been before? What are some of your favourite things to do in Gozo? Let us know in the comments below!