While the main island of Malta has amazing nightlife and ultra popular tourist spots, Gozo Island is the perfect place to just unwind. Dotted with sandy beaches and rocky coves, the pace of life is slower here.
One of the three main islands that make the Mediterranean nation of Malta, Gozo Island is full of stunning panoramas and historic sites, including one of Malta’s best-preserved prehistoric temples, the UNESCO World Heritage Site site of Ġgantija.
If you are headed to Malta, this is one place you can’t miss. Here’s my experience taking a day trip to Gozo Island in Malta.
Getting to Gozo Island
From Cirkewwa on the island of Malta, there’s a boat that goes every 45 minutes. It’s year-round but you’ll find that the hours are a bit reduced during the winter.
You can grab a round-trip ticket for €4.65. The process is super straightforward and you’ll have no trouble finding anything, including English speaking agents and signage.
It takes 30 minutes to get from Malta to Gozo. Once you get across the water, you’ll arrive at Mgarr, a harbor town on the east coast of Gozo Island.
Where to Eat & Drink on Gozo Island
Maltese cuisine is an eclectic blend of different Mediterranean influences and there are a lot of tasty treats here. Be sure to hit up at least one bakery or street food stall that’s got pastizzi, a fluffy pastry, or Ħobż tal-Malti, a traditional Maltese bread.
Also, keep yours peeled for the famous lampuka fish and Pixxispad, a grilled swordfish, then wash it all down with Ċisk, an ultra popular local beer.
Here are a few of the best spots to find all kinds of good food on Gozo Island:
Ta’ Philip: This place is famous for its “Made in Gozo” dishes. Their ultra local ingredients and wood burning oven come together to create incredible food. If you’re a wine lover, be sure to go to their Candle Lounge, which is underneath the restaurant and has a great selection of wines.
Zeppi’s Pub: For a good atmosphere, drinks, and live music get to Zeppi’s Pub. On top of being a popular hangout for locals, this is a definite upgrade from your standard pub grub.
The Flower of Scotland: Another bar with tasty food, this is the place to come for local meat and veggie pies. They’ve even serve fresh vegetable sides, which is definitely a nice surprise from a little pub.
The Diamond: They’ve got the best fish and chips on Gozo Island- and that’s saying a lot for a former British colony with UK influences around every corner. Come here to get a meal fit for the Queen.
What to Do
Sightsee in Victoria: The capital city of Gozo Island, this tiny town has a popular of just under 7,000 but it packs a lot into a little space. Known as Rabat or ir-Rabat in Maltese, Victoria is a glimpse into what Malta looked like before it was a tourist hotspot. It’s easy to just wander around and take in the beauty of the town.
Be sure to snap some shots of George’s Basilica!
The Citadel: A must-see for every visitor to Gozo Island, the citadel has been the center of the island since way back to Neolithic times. It’s a short and sweet tour with good photo ops.
Shop: It’s easy to just wander around and do some shop hopping. Pjazza Indipendenza, aka Independence Square aka it-Tokk, is the heart of the shopping area and a place you can’t miss. Mornings are the perfect time to get down to the square for their open air market.
Helpful Tip: You’ll find many a few places have a couple of names or more. Sometimes the English name is pretty different from the Maltese name (see: Victoria and Rabat!). It’s not really confusing when you’re there but it can throw you off when you’re planning online.
Walk the Main Street: Triq ir-Repubblika, aka Republic Street, is the place to be. It’s got shopping and some pretty spots like the opera house and public gardens.
Go Scuba Diving or Snorkeling: There are an endless line of spots to snorkel and, if you like to dive, the MV Karwela Wreck, Double Arch Cave, Blue Hole, and Reqqa Reef are amazing.
Visit the Megalithic Temples: Heaven for any history buff, the Ġgantija temples fascinating. They are the oldest Megalithic Temples of Malta and are actually older than the pyramids of Egypt.