Short on time? You can still experience the best of the sister isle in a single day.
There are so many things to do in Gozo, so how do you make the most of one day on the island? Here are a few tips for a great Gozo experience, regardless of the time crunch.
Malcolm Debono - viewingmalta.com
Tip 1: Hire a car
If you really want to make the most of your day, I recommend you hire a car or scooter to get around. Gozo is only 67 km squared so distances are very short, however, the bus service operates mainly from Victoria, the capital, so opting for the bus may mean you’d have to miss places not directly on bus routes. Hire your car from Malta and take the ferry across.
Tip 2: Check the ferry schedule
It’s so annoying when you arrive at the ferry crossing only to watch the ferry slowly leave port. There is a 45-minute wait between ferries, and the crossing duration is 25 minutes. Check the Gozo ferry schedule and allow yourself time to get into the car queue, especially during peak hours; that way you don’t lose unnecessary time getting there.
Tip 3: Take your camera
Gozo is postcard perfect almost anywhere you look, and you’ll want to capture some of that beauty. You can already start shooting from the top deck of the ferry - take some beautiful shots of Comino’s dominating tower, mysterious caves and a glimpse of the Blue Lagoon’s sparkling turquoise waters as well as gorgeous Mgarr Harbour. The fun's already begun and you’re not even there yet!
Tip 4: Get a Gozo ftira for breakfast
You can’t visit Gozo without trying the traditional Gozo ftira, available from Mekren and Maxokk bakeries in Nadur. You’ll be amazed by how delicious a bread base garnished with potatoes, onions, capers, olives and tuna can be! There are other variations too, and it’s perfect for any meal. Instead of heading directly to Victoria, take the first right turn as you head away from the Harbour and follow the signs.
Tip 5: Hit the beach
There will be plenty of time for sightseeing. Now that you’re so close to San Blas and Ramla Bay, with their burnt orange sand and sparkling green waters, treat yourself to a swim or simply to the gorgeous sight. From Ramla, hike up to Ghar il-Mixla on the right for stunning views from an awesome cave. On a hot day, make the time for a dip several times throughout the day - the entire coast of Gozo is gorgeous for swimming, and there’s no better way to cool down!
Tip 6: Take in a dose of history and culture
Whether it’s the standing stones at Ggantija Temples in Xaghra, the magnificent Citadel in Victoria or any of the museums that tickle your fancy, do dedicate some time to discover some of the amazing stories of Gozo; a story 7,000 years in the making. Granted you do not spend hours on end at each stop, there will be a lot you can do around Xaghra and then Victoria, within easy reach from Nadur, even by bus.
Tip 7: Take time to relax and do nothing
At this point, I suggest heading north to Marsalforn and Wied il-Ghasri. While you’re digesting all you have seen and heard at the historic attractions, you can chill comfortably at a Marsalforn cafe with a snack or ice cream! If you’re still feeling energetic, explore Wied il-Ghasri (you need a car to get here) and the gorgeous coast around - see if you can find the extraordinary cave near the saltpans!
Tip 8: Watch the sunset
No better way to bid a great day goodbye then by watching a sunset on the horizon. For this, you can go anywhere on the western coast. I recommend the limestone arch at Wied il-Mielah (the “new” Azure Window), Dwejra (where the Azure Window once was) with its Inland Sea, Blue Hole and Fungus Rock, or simply Xlendi Tower, with its easy access to restaurants afterward.
Tip 9: Enjoy an Al Fresco dinner
Enjoy one of a handful of restaurants in Xlendi, which offer a sumptuous choice of fish, meat, pasta and Mediterranean dishes and outdoor seating overlooking a pretty little bay. Relish your food, the stars over your head, the sound of the waves a few metres from your table and simply being alive to experience it.
Tip 10: Make a mental note to do it all again
Gozo is the perfect day trip, time and time again. The little island will always have something new to surprise you with, and the known never gets tiring. Gozo’s laid-back vibe and authentic character lend it something that its more cosmopolitan sister has lost. Any visit to Malta is not complete without a visit to Gozo. Tell her you’ll be back!