How to Spend a Day on Gozo

jana meerman azure window gozo malta (2)

A trip to Malta, made up of seven islands, is not complete without a day trip to Gozo, the second largest island of the group. Gozo is jam packed with beautiful coastlines, scores of artisans and fine foods, religious shrines and quaint villages to explore.

Gozo is only accessible by boat, so is often a much less touristy spot than its neighbour Malta, but is well worth spending the day on. Ferries run all day and all night regularly - check out the current schedule and ticket prices here. It was less than 5 euros for a round trip when I visited.

Once you're on Gozo, you have a few options to get around: either with your own wheels (whether by car, scooter or ATV), or by bus. The Malta buses that run on the main island are the same here and you can use your tallinja card on Gozo for no extra fee. The only downside is the regular public buses may not get you everywhere you wish to go in a day.

Instead, I recommend using the City Sightseeing hop-on hop-off bus which gives you 24 hours to get around the island with unlimited stops, a great choice for day trippers wanting to pack as much in to one day as they can. A guided tour is provided through headphones so you can learn all about the history of the island as you drive past the various spots. The bus goes to most places you might wish to visit and runs every 45 minutes to and from each stop.

Here's how I spent my day on Gozo:

Ferry from Ċirkewwa in Malta

The ferry crossing takes about 25 minutes; I caught the 9am ferry after taking the bus directly from Sliema (or Valletta, depending on where you're staying). It's easy and straight forward. You can buy walk on tickets just inside the ferry terminal which will be a round trip; you won't need to pay on the way back.

Stand outside on the sun deck while you make the crossing for the bets views of Mġarr as you approach Gozo.

jana meerman ferry malta to gozo
jana meerman ferry malta to gozo

The (Collapsed) Azure Window

At 9:45am the first City Sightseeing bus departs the ferry terminal and then every 45 minutes after. I caught the bus from here all the way to Dwejra where the famous Azure Window once stood. In 2017 it collapsed in a massive storm to much dismay - it was a striking visual icon of the island. Now the stunning natural Blue Hole swimming spot remains where it once stood.

Along the way, you'll learn about the importance of Mġarr Harbour, the villages along the way, and the central town of Victoria (or Rabat).

Read more about the Azure Window here!

jana meerman azure window gozo malta (2)
jana meerman azure window gozo malta (6)
jana meerman azure window gozo malta (6)

Ta' Pinu

The bus then departs the Azure Window on the way back towards Victoria, but luckily also makes a 5 minute photo stop at the most well known building on the island, Ta' Pinu. Its full name is The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of Ta' Pinu and is a national shrine dedicated to the Blessed Virgin of Ta' Pinu. The inside wasn't as jaw-dropping as other churches and cathedrals I've seen across Europe, but it's certainly stunning from the outside, perched on the hill near the village of Għarb. The audio guide on the bus will tell you all the history as you approach.

jana meerman ta' pinu gozo malta


The bus then travels back through Victoria before continuing to the first coastal town of the tour, Xlendi (the other being Marsalforn - I'd only stop at one, they're very similar). Xlendi offers incredible turquoise waters in a safe bay; it's a perfect spot for lunch and then a refreshing dip in the sea. The azure colours remain with me vividly. If you're up for a walk, the Xlendi Tower just around the bay offers panoramic views back towards the village and bay.

Read more about my time in Xlendi here!

jana meerman xlendi gozo malta (8)

Victoria Cittadella

From Xlendi, hop on the return bus and this time, get off at the stop in Victoria. Also known as Rabat, Victoria is the heart of Gozo, the island's biggest city, and home to the iconic Cittadella that can be seen for miles around.

I preferred the citadel on Malta - Mdina - as it felt more quaint and more alive, but while you're here it's worth stopping in this important place.

jana meerman victoria citadel gozo malta (1)

Climbing the Cittadella

jana meerman victoria citadel gozo malta (1)

View from the top of the Cittadella over Victoria

jana meerman victoria citadel gozo malta (1)

Ramla Bay

Finish your day on Gozo at Ramla Bay, the most popular beach on the island and well-known for it's red sand. The water here is refreshing for a swim after a long hot day of exploring! Be warned, there's no shade here, so you'll be offered an umbrella to rent - or you can hide behind the statue which offers a tiny square of refuge to shelter from the heat.

If you happen to have your own wheels, or are up for a 5km walk, there's a cave up at the end of the beach called Tal-Mixta which, from photos, looks like it provides an incredible view.

jana meerman ramla beach gozo malta

Ferry from Mġarr in Gozo

The bus will then drive you from the beach back through Nadur and to Mġarr to catch the ferry home. There's some lovely restaurants on the water in the harbour here, if you'd like to stop for dinner before returning to Malta.


Pinterest - Gozo
Pinterest - Gozo
Jana Meerman

Hi! I’m Jana, a British-Dutch-Canadian with a dream of seeing every country in the world. I am a storyteller, photographer and adventurer passionate about documenting and sharing my travels.

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