Just off the north coast of Malta is the enchanting island of Gozo. Easily reachable by water taxi, this small island boasts historic towns, beautiful countryside, rocky cliffs and striking bays. Gozo holidays transport visitors to the charming little sister of Malta, but don’t let that tag misguide you –there are an array of interesting and exciting things to do at this end of the archipelago. Historic complexes and temples adorn the island’s picturesque landscape luring culture vultures seeking the heritage and legacy of these islands, while beach bums will revel in the seaside resorts, sandy beaches and dramatic coastal scenery.
The hub of the action during your holidays to Gozo may be drawn towards the sand and clear water, but the island’s capital Victoria boasts countless beautiful churches and a grand cathedral. All the while you’ll always find yourself just a short hop from the main island of Malta, allowing you to indulge in numerous day trip options, like descending on the breath-taking sands of Golden Bay.
Get the most out of your holiday in Malta with our guide to the best attractions. With a laid-back nightlife, this island is perfect for a relaxing escape to the Mediterranean that will have you kicking and screaming on your way back to the airport. For the best place to top up your tan, visit Malta's longest beach on the north coast of the island at Mellieha Bay. Aside from the constant sunshine, the warm sea waters provide an inviting retreat for the day, and snorkelling and diving are some of the top attractions of the islands. To truly make the most out of your holiday, read on to find out some of the top Gozo attractions.
Malta is home to a unique set of islands with an incredible history dating back to the Neolithic era and the landing of the Phoenicians and Romans to World War II; you can turn a corner in Gozo and discover yet another part of the island’s extensive history. One of the top Gozo attractions is to visit the megalithic Ggantija Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a phenomenal site with breathtaking views of the southern part of the island. These ancient monuments are prehistoric and for many years people used to believe they were made by giants. Victoria is an historic city with plenty of culture, but be sure to visit the famous Citadel for stunning views of the whole island. There are several other sites in in the city, like St. George’s Basilica and the Church of St. John The Baptist, which are impressive both to the naked eye and when captured beautifully on camera. You can also explore the countryside by foot to find ancient chapels and incredible seascapes of the Mediterranean.
Wine and Dine
As the main town on the island, Victoria has a variety of restaurants serving authentic food that are perfect for both a romantic evening and intimate dinner with friends; the other towns across the island also offer international fare, so don’t despair picky eaters. One of the favoured things to do in Gozo is to try one of steakhouses, while you can also visit the trendy shops and swanky restaurants in the sophisticated resort of Sliema for some upscale dining. Either way, make sure to try some delicious Maltese dishes including rabbit and honey, two of the island’s local ingredients.
Gozo is a perfect Mediterranean island getaway for families too, mainly for the slow, tranquil lifestyle that permeates the atmosphere. While the island is considered one of the best places in the world for diving, its beaches are also sublime. Parents with small children don’t have to worry, as the island has a number of peaceful beaches with shallow waters that are perfect for swimming and splashing about.
Grab the whole family for a fantastic day by the sea trying a myriad of water sports. The bigger kids will love diving and canoeing, while kayaking tours and fishing are also amongst the most popular things to do in Gozo for all ages. Marsalforn is a popular area for families with small children as the long promenade has plenty of child-friendly shops and restaurants to complete the perfect day at the beach. For a day out, take the ferry to the historic capital city of Valletta in the south of Malta.
Action and Adventure
The aquatic things to do in Gozo certainly outweigh the number of land based activities, and for good reason; the stunning beaches here are made for relaxing and a variety of water sports. On the north coast is Ramla Bay, a beach that is popular for its golden sands and clear waters, and perfect for snorkelling. Qala is home to several fun water sports, like kayaking and canoeing, as well as paddle boats and banana boating for the kids. The island’s coastline has incredible rock formations and sites like Fungus Rock at the Azure Window are extremely popular with divers. Blue Lagoon on the island of Comino, located just halfway between Gozo and Malta, is famous for its white shores and turquoise seas that make it irresistible to travellers.
Life's a Beach
It’s important to strike a balance during your Gozo holidays, exploring the island’s captivating heritage on one hand, and indulging in its wonderful stretches of beach on the other. The island’s most attractive beach has to be Ramla il-Hamra, with its red sands, small crowds and undeveloped backdrop. Though you don’t have to take to the sand to enjoy the island’s coastal treasures – Gozo has a bustling diving scene as well as boasting some very impressive coastal landscapes. The Azure Window is the most impressive setting by the sea, consisting of a cliff outcropping and door-like hole – like something from a mythical tale.
Around the island you’ll encounter a number of sleepy coastal villages, providing a more tranquil and laid-back beach break vibe, directly contrasting the more vibrant beach resorts on the main island of Malta such as Bugibba.
Gozo’s nightlife is of the quiet, sophisticated kind, with plenty going on in bars and restaurants but for clubbing you need to head out of town. La Grotta, only a 10 minute drive away from Gozo is cliff top nightclub and is very popular with locals and tourists alike. Head here for a unique experience of music and dancing while looking over spectacular views.
For classical music fans, regular concerts are held in the churches throughout the town, you will have excellent opportunities to hear choral singing or orchestral pieces in a baroque church - an experience like no other.
Gozo is a highly romantic place, bursting with culture and spectacular sights. Have a meal of gorgeous local food while sipping wine and watching the sun set over the sea. Try scuba diving together and make memories of seeing amazing underwater vistas. Take a trip to the island of Comino, a tiny island with a chapel in the middle, a perfect place to be quiet and secluded, strolling around the ancient old town and swimming in the clear sea.
You’ll encounter a number of important and intriguing historical sites during your holidays in Gozo, whether situated in the lively capital or dotted around the beautiful countryside. Exploring Victoria’s mesmerising citadella will expose you to an array of architectural delights and religious structures, and while the city may not resemble the grandeur or significance of Valletta or the retail accessibility of Sliema, there is an infectious charm that shrouds this destination. Away from Victoria and out in the sticks you’ll find even more signs of Gozo’s history - none more enthralling than the Ggantija Temples near Xaghra and the towering Ta’ Pinu Basilica.