Gozo is the quieter, calmer little sister of Malta. Just eight miles by four, this tiny island packs in some dramatic landscapes: sheer cliffs plunge to azure seas, stalactite-framed caves cut into the coastline, and a checkerboard of natural salt pans pits the shore. Inland, a medieval citadel rubs shoulders with Megalithic temples, and fertile valleys give way to scrubby fields edged by dry-stone walls. Here’s our comprehensive guide to your next Gozo holiday.
When to go
The Maltese Islands average 300 days of sunshine a year, and even winter temperatures reach up to 20C. Visit in spring or autumn when it’s warm but not as crowded as summer.
How to get to Gozo
Several airlines fly from the UK to Malta (3 hrs), including British Airways, Air Malta and easyJet. There are a couple of options for how to get to Gozo from Malta, but the best is taking the bus from Valletta Airport to Ċirkewwa, followed by a 20-minute ferry journey.
- Beaches: Gozo beaches are some of the most beautiful in the Maltese archipelago. Ramla Bay is a showstopper, with a sweep of ochre-hued sand and crystal-clear waters, while Dwejra Bay has a network of tunnels and caves for diving. The calm waters of Hondoq ir-Rummien make it one of the best beaches in Gozo for snorkelling, and Mġarr ix-Xini is impossibly scenic, but often busy since Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie filmed romantic drama By the Sea here in 2015. Read our blog on the best beaches in Gozo for a full list of hotspots to mark on your map!
- Extraordinary landscapes: Gozo’s coastline is dramatic and diverse, with twisting limestone arches curving over the sea; you can even walk over or climb the rock face of Wied il-Mielaħ. To the south, Ta’ Ċenċ Cliffs plunge 475ft to the sea below, while the north coast is pitted with natural salt pans, some still in use today. A popular Gozo sightseeing expedition is exploring the island’s caves, such as Calypso’s Cave, where legend says the hypnotic sea nymph seduced Odysseus in Homer’s epic Odyssey.
- History: The jigsaw of Gozo’s history can be pieced together through the archaeological sites peppered across the island. One of the most interesting places to visit in Gozo is the Megalithic temple complex at Ġgantija, which dates back to around 3600 BC – a thousand years older than Stonehenge. More recent history can be seen at the Dwejra Tower, a watchtower built by the Knights of Malta who ruled the island from 1530 to 1798. Elsewhere, the imposing ramparts wrapping around the Ċittadella in Victoria date back to the Bronze Age, as do the mysterious cart tracks etched into the hillside above Dwejra’s chapel.
Gozo’s hidden gems
- While word is now out about Hondoq ir-Rummien, few know of Daħlet Qorrot, a small sapphire-coloured bay to the north – the most pristine of Gozo beaches.
- For the best views around, head to Il-Qala belvedere (viewpoint) at Gozo’s easternmost village and the courtyard of the church of l-Madonna tal-Blat (Saint Mary of the Rocks). From here, the sea unfurls before you all the way to Comino and Malta.
- For one of the most enjoyable places to eat in Gozo, visit the family-run Ta’ Mena Estate. This field-to-fork food producer and winery offers tours and tasting sessions, pairing local wines with Gozitan specialities – olive oil, honey, fig jam, candied peel.
Places to visit in Gozo
Go back in the time at the historic fortress
The medieval Ċittadella (“Il-Kastell”) looms above the capital Victoria (known locally as Rabat), its honey-coloured walls draped in light at golden hour. Set in the middle of the island, the first fortifications were built in the Bronze Age, but most of the impressive structures seen today are the work of the Knights. Clamber onto the ramparts to gaze out across Gozo, or duck into the dark tunnels burrowed beneath the ground. The restored Knights’ battery and grain silo are worth a visit, but be sure to save time for the Gozo cathedral, which is crowned by a stunning trompe l’oil dome.
Spend a morning in Dwejra
For a dose of Gozo sightseeing, head to Dwejra on the western coast. It was formerly home to the Azure Window, which sadly collapsed in stormy weather in 2017, but there’s a lot more to this town. First, take a boat trip to glide through an 80m-long tunnel into the Mediterranean, weaving past sheer sea cliffs and through luminescent grottoes. Next, head to the chapel to trace the mysterious cart tracks etched into the rocky hillside above, believed to date back to the Bronze Age. Here, you can also see one of the more peculiar places to visit in Gozo: Fungus Rock. This 60m-high limestone stack was so highly prized by the Knights for its purportedly medicinal fungus that they smoothed its sides to prevent unauthorised harvesting.
Dive among Gozo’s underwater playground
Diving is one of the most exciting things to do in Gozo, for the underwater landscape is contoured by caves, grottoes and tunnels. Strap on a tank and swim through wrecks and coves, among moray eels, stingrays, seahorses, parrotfish and, if you’re lucky, dolphins. There are 50-plus diving sites, and some of the best include Dwejra, Wied il-Għasri, Daħlet Qorrot, Mġarr ix-Xini and Crocodile Rock.
If these three places to visit have piqued your curiosity, then you’re going to want to read our blog on the top things to do when you visit Gozo!
Ready for your Malta adventure? Head over to our website to check out our collection of villas in Gozo, or chat to our concierge team to get help picking the perfect place!