Gozo, one of the three main islands that make up Malta – a small Mediterranean country of Europe – may be small (67 sq. km), but don’t be fooled by its size.
Foodies will be satisfied with the endless options to eat, beach lovers will be spoilt for choice in places to cool off, hikers can satisfy their adventurous needs, cultural enthusiasts can be intrigued with the fascinating history and last but not least, calling all photographers, you will be in paradise.
Here are the top 10 places and things to do in Gozo, Malta!
Also see our Gozo & Comino Travel Guide for more valuable information.
Top Things to Do in Gozo, Malta
Below is a summary of the 14 must-visit locations & things to do in Malta, in no particular order:
- Relax at Xlendi Bay
- Explore Victoria & The Citadel
- Dive at Dwejra Bay
- Soak Up The Sun At Ramla Bay
- Enjoy The Views From Tal – Mixta Cave
- Cool Off At Mgarr Ix-Xini
- Learn About The Salt Pans
- Swim at Wied II – Ghasri
- Admire The Ggantija Temples
- Put Your Hiking Boots On
1. Relax & Dine at Xlendi Bay
Xlendi Bay is one of Gozo’s biggest hot spots and is a well-known bay for its diving & snorkelling. Unfortunately, there is no sandy beach but the swimming opportunities are still excellent. Take a walk around the headland to a small cave, dine at one of the many delicious restaurants (The Boat House), swim in the turquoise waters, jump off the rocks or rent a boat, jet ski or kayak with Xlendi Watersports. The rest of the island is very accessible via bus from Xlendi.
2. Explore Victoria & The Citadel
Victoria lays geographically in the centre of the island with all roads leading to or from the city. It is the cultural and commercial hub for Gozo and although once known by the name of “Rabat”, the city was renamed in honour of Queen Victorias Golden Jubilee. The tiny streets are fun to walk through and you can find ample restaurants, boutique stores, an opera theatre and art galleries in Victoria as well as unique accommodation. However, the main draw for people to Victoria would be the magnificent citadel that rises well above the city.
The Citadel of Victoria was created out of the need for protection against invaders and in recent years has undergone a large restoration leaving this historic landmark looking much better. Inside there are plenty of places to explore such as the Battery and Gun Powder Depo, The Old Prison, The Cathedral Museum, The Gozo Museum of Archaeology and The World War II Shelter. Be sure to take a walk around the old city walls for amazing views of the countryside below.
Fun Fact: Up until 1637, by law, the residents of Gozo were required to spend their nights within the Citadel for their own safety!
Tip: If you’re in Gozo mid-autumn, check out one of Gozo’s most well-known festivals, Festival Mediterranea which takes place in Victoria. There are indoor and outdoor events including music, arts, food, drink and cultural walks through some of Gozo’s most historic landmarks.
3. Dive at Dwejra Bay
Dwerja Bay, located on the western side of Gozo is one of the most picturesque locations you can find in Gozo. The limestone cliffs that surround this bay provide a scenic backdrop to any photograph. Up until 12 months ago, this is where you could find the world famous Azure Window but due to heavy storms and unavoidable natural corrosion, this once famous landmark collapsed and is now at the bottom of the Mediterranean sea. You can see a before and after shot below.
Photo Credit: News.com.au
It may have caused some upset when it collapsed but now it’s gaining attention for being one of the newest and hottest dive sites on the island of Gozo alongside the Blue Hole which can be found directly next to the once standing window. The Blue Hole is not only a very popular dive site but also a popular swimming hole for many people visiting the bay.
Tip: If you wish to see visit where the Azure Window once stood, as well as a visit to various other caves, we’d suggest taking a boat tour in a small fishing boat from the beach at the Inland sea. They leave every 5 minutes (or when full). The trip is €4 per adult (paid directly to the driver) and takes about 15 minutes.
4. Soak Up The Sun At Ramla Bay
Ramla Bay, which can be found in Xaghra at the base of a valley is the only sandy beach you will find on Gozo. Ramla Bay is well known for its distinctive coloured red sand which you can really notice when there are fewer people on the beach (ie. not in the summer!). The area around Ramla Bay has been left undeveloped which makes for a pleasant visit without too much disruption. There are public bathrooms, an ice cream truck and a small snack bar/cafe.
Tip: There is little to no shade on Ramla Bay so pack an umbrella if you plan to stay all day!
5. Enjoy The Views From Tal-Mixta Cave
Who doesn’t love a good viewpoint, especially one from the inside of a cave with such breathtaking views! Tal-Mixta Cave can be accessed via road with a very short walk into the cave or if you’re feeling inclined, a hike from the base of Ramla Bay. On a clear day, why not pack a picnic and chill out here for the afternoon. Entering the cave, we were almost blown off the cliff by the intense winds!
Tip: There are no signs so once Google Maps tells you “you have arrived”, jump out of your car and walk 50m, look to your left and there will be a small tunnel you can enter down some stairs.
6. Cool Off at Mgarr Ix-Xini
Mgarr Ix-Xini was our favourite place in Gozo! This beautiful, secluded inlet was simply stunning. The colour and clarity of the water surrounded by the rocks gave us a sight we won’t forget anytime soon. There is a tiny pebble beach so prepare to spend most of your day in the water or on the edge of the rocks. This particular swimming spot is also popular amongst divers and snorkellers. During the peak of the summer (like everywhere else in Malta!), it can get overrun with super yachts/boats due to the lack of access via land. Hungry? There is one seafood restaurant you can find to enjoy lunch at.
Tip: This bay is not served by public transport and unfortunately, there is minimal parking. Plan to arrive super early to gain a spot or arrange to be dropped off/picked up by a taxi service. It’s a long walk from the nearest town.
7. Learn About The Salt Pans
Just 2km from Marslaforn will bring you to a very unique site. The Salt Pans. A never-ending checkered board of rock-cut salt pans. They cover 3km of land along the coast and even after 1000’s of years, they are still used today as an ingredient in the everyday cooking of Maltese cuisine. During the summer months, you can witness the locals as they scrape the salt away into piles before transporting them to the nearby facilities and onto our plates! There is an elderly man selling small souvenir bags if you wish to take some back home to your country.
Did you know? 24 litres of seawater is needed to produce about 1 kg of salt?! Wow. Me neither.
Tip: Don’t walk on the Salt Pans or you’ll have yourself some angry locals!
8. Swim at Wied II – Ghasri
This secluded narrow cliff-bound inlet is another popular swimming hole on the Island of Gozo but this time you have to work for your swim by walking down some 100+ stairs to the water’s edge. There is a tiny pebble beach wedged between the narrow cliffs to lay your towel down. This little gem had a feel of unspoilt tranquillity.
Tip: It’s not the easiest place to reach without a means of transport but if you have a car/scooter, there is plenty of parking at the top of this gorge. The roads aren’t paved so be careful, especially if you’re on a bike. You can also walk from the nearby towns, Ghasri which will take 45 minutes to an hour (3km) or from Xwejni Bay (2km) past the Salt Pans. Both pleasant walks on a nice day.
9. Admire The Ggantija Temples
Did you know that Ggantija Temples are the oldest free-standing monumental structures in the world?! Older than both the pyramids of Giza and Stonehenge. Today, they are one of Gozo’s most remarkable landmarks. These temples were excavated between 1816-1820 and the complex comprises of 2 Neolithic Temples dating from 3600BC. The name Ġgantija derives from the word ‘ġgant’, Maltese for giant, as Gozitans used to believe the temples were built by a race of giants. Allow enough time to walk through the small museum and through what’s left of the temples outside. Entry is €9.
10. Put Your Hiking Boots On
There are many different countryside, coastal and rural hikes on the island of Gozo. During the summer, set out early to avoid the heat of the day. You can find the routes here with detailed descriptions of what you will encounter along the way.
These may be the top sights but they’re definitely not all Gozo has to offer! Do you have other top things to do in Gozo, Malta?
- Read: Malta Travel Guide: EVERYTHING you need to know!
- Read: 14 Top Things You MUST Do in Malta: The Ultimate Bucket List
- Read: Gozo & Comino, Malta – EVERYTHING You Need to Know
- Read: 12 Foods You Must Try in Malta.