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Located in the Maltese archipelago right above Malta, Gozo is a stunning and historic island filled with an array of things to do and see. It not only is filled with archeological sites, but ancient fortresses, colorful beaches, and plenty of stunning views for you to gaze at. If you’re interested in traveling to this remarkable place in the world, you’ll find some helpful information below you can use to help guide your stay.
How to Get to Gozo
You can get to Gozo by taking a ferry from Malta. This is the only main method of transportation to get to the island, but it’s relatively easy to do. You’ll need to travel to Cirkewwa Harbour to catch a ferry which will take you on a leisurely 30 minute ride to Gozo. A ferry leaves the harbor every hour so you’ll be able to catch one easily. A fee is required and the amount is determined on your needs and what you plan to bring with you on your trip to Gozo.
You might want to check out: How to spend 3 days in Malta.
Things to Do in Gozo, Malta
Explore the Ġgantija Temples
The Ġgantija Temples are a massive archaeological site created during the Neolithic period. These structures are considered to be some of the earliest examples of Megalithic temples on the island. This UNESCO site is constructed out of towering limestone boulders which are placed delicately on top of each other to create entryways and altars. You can view each of these temples and see the intricate craftsmanship that went into building these phenomenal sites. You might even see animal bones scattered in the ground which is evidence of possible sacrifices. If you’re interested in seeing artifacts found during excavations here, you can head over to the Gozo Museum of Archeology which houses many prehistoric objects.
See Calypso’s Cave
Calypso’s Cave is not only historic, but an incredible natural wonder as well. Believed to be the cave Homer mentions in The Odyssey, it’s filled with winding pathways and rocky steps that lead up to a deck where you’ll get panoramic views of Ramla Beach. You’ll also be able to see the ruins of a former fortress built in the 18th century by the Knights of Malta. Keep in mind though that Calypso’s Cave is currently closed to the public, but you can access directly the deck with the panoramic views.
You might be interested in: A local’s guide on where to stay in Malta.
Relax at Ramla Beach
This beach is known worldwide for its stunning red sand that’s bordered by colorful hills and valleys. Considered to be one of the best beaches on the island, it features soft sand you can relax on and warm water you can go swimming or snorkeling in. You’ll find that most of this tranquil beach is surrounded by sand dunes as well as terraced walls built by local farmers which gives the beach a unique look.
Tour the Citadel
Known locally as Cittadella, the Citadel is a former ancient city that boasts not only amazing architecture, but phenomenal views of the island as well. This stunning structure towers over the island and is composed of various buildings, like military quarters and even churches. You can walk around inside the ancient city and see the many structures hidden away in it, like the Cathedral of Gozo, Chapel of St. Joseph, numerous shrines, and even some homes that are still inhabited today.
You might also catch a glimpse of some damage to the walls which was done by Napoleon’s troops when they tried to invade the island. In addition to its architecture and history, the Citadel is also known for being home to many different types of plants and wildlife which you can see when walking around its grounds. When you’re done touring the citadel, you can climb up to the top where you’ll find an amazing view of the city below. It’s the perfect place to capture photos or to just marvel at the beauty of the island.
Wander the Streets of the Capital Victoria (or Rabat)
Another great thing to do while in Gozo is to wander around the streets of its capital Victoria, also known as Rabat. The city is home to many cultural highlights, like the Citadel. You can wander around its winding and narrow streets where you’ll come across numerous shops, cafes, and museums you can explore, like The Folklore Museum, which features traditional architecture. In addition to this, the capital also is home to a fragrant public garden called Villa Rundle which is a peaceful getaway from the bustling center of the city.
Dive in the Blue Hole
One of the greatest natural wonders that Gozo has to offer is the Blue Hole. This unique natural rock formation is filled with a crisp blue water that is home to many different types of sea life, like sea turtles, octopuses, lobsters, and golden coral. You can tour the rock formations or take a dive into the cool waters where you can see its sea life up close. Scuba diving tours can take you through a small rock crevice in the hole where you’ll then be taken out to the sea. You’ll even be able to see a stunning coral garden which is a vast area filled with various types of coral and colorful fish.
See Fungus Rock
Fungus Rock is a large limestone piece resting at the edge of the sea. Known on the island as “General’s Rock,” Fungus Rock was originally discovered by the Knights of Malta who named it for its supposedly strange fungus, which turned out to be a native plant found only on the island. This plant was used for medicinal purposes which caused it to be a protected site in Gozo. Today, this rock is still protected and its “fungus” still used. You can view this rock up close, but keep in mind that climbing the rock is illegal.
Walk Through the Dwejra Tower
The Dwejra Tower is a small watchtower overlooking the Dwejra Bay. Built in 1652, it was designed to help protect the coastline from possible invasions as well as to protect the nearby Fungus Rock and its rare plants. You can walk through the tower and see old cannons, swivel guns, trenches, and defense mounds that have been recreated. You do need to climb up a hill to get to it though, so you’ll need to be prepared for a somewhat strenuous hike.
See the Former Home of the Azure Window
The Azure Window was one of the most renowned natural wonders in the world until it collapsed during a violent storm in 2017. The natural limestone archway stood over 92 feet tall in the Dwejra Bay. While it no longer stands, you can still see its former home which is located next to the Blue Hole. It’s also a top destination in Gozo for diving where you can see native ocean life as well as large boulders that once made up the window. You can take a scuba diving tour through these massive rocks which provides an experience like no other in the world.
Explore the Xwejni Salt Pans
The Xwejni Salt Pans are a special cultural experience you can check out on the island. Situated near Qbajjar Bay, the salt pans line the coast and are what help provide the island with fresh salt which is then sent to local caves to be processed and stored. During the summer (when production is at its highest), you can see locals out working in the salt pans with special brooms and buckets to help collect the salt. The Xwejni Salt Pans are family-operated and family members will take you around the salt pans to show you how they collect salt and how it forms in the separate sections. You can even buy some fresh salt to take with you after your tour.
Tour the Ta’Dbiegi Craft Village
As the oldest craft village on the island, the Ta’Dbiegi Craft Village is definitely a place you’ll want to stop by at when in Gozo. Situated on Gozo’s highest point, the village offers numerous types of handcrafted items you can buy as well as give you the opportunity to watch artists at work. You’ll find everything from handmade lace, glass blowing, leather, and silver here you can purchase. While walking around to view the various artists and their shops, you’ll also be able to wander through the beautiful gardens that surround the village. When you’re done shopping, you can stop by a nearby restaurant to try some local cuisine.
Go Scuba Diving
Gozo is one of the best places in the world to go scuba diving thanks to its serene waters and astonishing sea life. You’ll find many places you can dive at, like the Blue Hole or where the Azure Window once stood. There’s also Reqqa Reef which has a diverse blend of marine life and caves. There’s also the iconic The Inland Sea and Tunnel. The section is a popular diving sight in Gozo thanks to its amazing underwater landscapes and lighting which is caused by the sunlight peeking in through the end of the underwater tunnel. This diving spot has many tunnels you can explore so you can bring a flashlight with you if you want to search through them.
Unlike many diving spots in the world, the water in Gozo is warm and has a remarkably clear visibility making it comfortable and easy to move around in. You can sign up to take a guided tour through the waters with a professional who can point things out to you along the way. However, if you’re a more experienced diver, you can also take an unguided tour and do your own thing.
Check out the Beautiful Churches of the Island
Another interesting aspect about Gozo is that it is home to some of the most exquisite churches in the world. The numerous churches located on the island vary in their architecture which means you’ll have something new to view at every location. One of the most popular to venture to is the Rotunda of St. John which is one of the largest churches on the island and boasts the third largest dome in the world. Another church to check out is the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus which is intricately decorated with red and gold items. You’ll also find the Gozo Cathedral which is located inside the mysterious Citadel and is known for its baroque architecture and massive belfry.
Gozo is a magical place filled with an incredible mix of history, culture, and natural wonders. It’s an easy place to get around in which means you’ll be able to explore plenty of things while here. The island is also very peaceful making it the perfect place to unwind and relax. A trip to Gozo will leave you speechless and in awe of how the world can be home to such a beautiful treasure.
My trip to Gozo was organized by Visit Malta, but as always opinions are my own.