GOZO By Car – One Day Trip Itinerary

While many choose to visit Gozo only for a few hours on a guided day tour, I would highly recommend renting a car and exploring this beautiful island on your own. Thus you will have the chance to see almost everything Gozo has to offer at your own pace. The distances are shorter, and the traffic is looser than in Malta, and you’ll cover the entire island in only one day. This one day trip itinerary should help you organize your visit to Malta’s sister island.

Start your day with a delicious breakfast in Victoria

Victoria, the capital of Gozo, was named in honour of the Queen Victoria of England back in 1887. Rabat, as the locals call it, is a vibrant small town with narrow streets housing many restaurants and Gozitan handicrafts shops.

Start your day with a generous breakfast and a delicious coffee at one of the terraces in Independence Square, just near the Citadel entrance. You will spot many locals chatting and drinking their morning coffee.

GOZO By Car - One Day Trip Itinerary
Independence Square, near the Citadel
Citadel, Gozo, GOZO By Car - One Day Trip Itinerary
You can find a nice breakfast nook at the foot of the Citadel.

If you are in the mood, stroll for a while around this area as you will find many interesting shops and boutiques. 

GOZO By Car - One Day Trip Itinerary
You can find some Gozitan handcrafts while wandering the streets of Rabat.

Cittadella’s Walls 

The ancient fortified town is Gozo’s main attraction and a must on everyone’s day trip itinerary. A walk along its walls offers beautiful panoramic views over Rabat and surroundings.

GOZO By Car - One Day Trip Itinerary
The panoramic views over Rabat.

Victoria’s Citadel is a restored fortress dating back to the Bronze Age, with a few families living within the Citadel today. The area is peaceful as the charming narrow streets accommodate now an old prison, a church, museums, small shops, and a coffee house.

Take your time, stroll around and embrace the silence of the place.

The access to the Citadel is done through a modern glass elevator. The entrance is free of charge, but you will have to pay a small fee if you fancy visiting museums. 

Note. Parking is easy, just outside the Citadel but you will pay a small amount to the parking attendee. 

Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary 

Ta’ Pinu is a tranquil place; therefore, a visit to this place should be on a day trip itinerary when visiting Gozo. Located just outside the Gharb Village, in spectacular countryside with nothing else around, the church is stunning. 

Ta Pinu, GOZO By Car - One Day Trip Itinerary
Ta’Pinu Sanctuary.

Back in 1883, a woman from the nearby village heard the voice of Mary Our Lady in the little church, so the place became a pilgrimage center soon. Therefore, a sanctuary was built between 1920 and 1931 just in front of the original church. 

As soon as you approach the church, you will also be amazed by the 14 huge hand-crafted mosaics portraying the Cross’s Stations. After taking some lovely photos of the exterior, walk inside and admire the interior as well.

Ta Pinu, Gozo, GOZO By Car - One Day Trip Itinerary
Beautiful Mosaics in front of the Ta Pinu sanctuary.

Note. Parking is easy, just opposite the Ta Pinu Sanctuary and the entrance is free of charge.

Ta’ Dbiegi Artisan Village 

If you want to learn more about the Gozitans handicrafts, you should definitely stop at Ta’Dbiegi. Free to visit, the craft village is just off the road from Gharb to Dwejra Bay. You will find everything from local metal artwork to glass blowing, from pottery items to leather and stone souvenirs, from lace and cotton to jewelry pieces.

You will need no more than an hour here, rambling from shop to shop, talking to local artists and admiring their works. There are often artists at work, so you can watch them performing. 

Note. Parking is easy, just outside the artisan village. If you’re hungry, you can grab a snack at the on-site eatery. 

Azure Window

If you’ve heard about Gozo, you’ve heard about the famous arch structure called Azure Window. It was a must on everyone’s list traveling to Gozo. Unfortunately, the arch crashed during a harsh storm on March 8th, 2017. Now the location became popular among divers from all over the world.

Blue Grotto Gozo

Next to the fallen Azure Window, you will bump into a small bay, offering access to the sea through a tiny cave opening. You’ll see many divers coming and leaving and few people swimming here. There are some souvenir shops and some eateries if you want to buy some handicrafts or have a cold drink.

Ta Pinu, Gozo, GOZO By Car - One Day Trip Itinerary
Beautiful boathouses facing the Blue Grotto of Gozo.

A boat tour that takes you through the tiny cave to the sea is a must on your day trip itinerary in Gozo. For 4€, the boatman will take you on a 15 minutes boat ride to see the lagoon’s crystal clear water, the corals and the jellyfishes, the limestone cliffs, the fallen Azure Window, and interesting rock formations. 

Wied il-Ghasri

The narrow and hidden bay of Wied il-Ghasri is a popular place for divers and the ones seeking a secluded bathing area. The landscape at Wied il-Ghasri is unique and worths a quick stop.

GOZO By Car - One Day Trip Itinerary

Park the car at the end of the road and walk downhill until you reach the bay. As you go down the 125 steps, you’ll have some spectacular views. The water is ideal for snorkeling, so if you choose to go for a swim, bring your goggles and wear sea shoes. 

Marsalforn Salt Pans 

Nearing Marsalforn, you will bump into a 3km long stretch of saltpans carved into the rock. During the summer months, you can see locals working manually and scratching for crystals. The 350-year-old salt pans are gorgeous and attract many visitors year-round. Stop along the coast as often as you want and take plenty of photos. 

GOZO By Car - One Day Trip Itinerary
My favourite place in Gozo – the salt pans of Marsalforn!

Passing the salt pans, stop to the quiet little bay of Marsalforn. Worth to stop if you want to see an authentic small fishing village. It is not a great place to swim, but there are plenty of restaurants and bars along the seafront if you need a rest.

Marsalforn bay, Gozo, GOZO By Car - One Day Trip Itinerary
The quiet little bay of Marsalforn.

Ggantija Temple Complex

The megalithic temple complex of Ggantija is another must on a day trip itinerary if you love history. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is almost 6,000 years old, older than the Great Pyramids and Stonehenge. Some of the megaliths weigh over fifty tons and exceed five meters in length. The site was a pilgrimage place for Malta’s ancient inhabitants.

Ggantija means giant’s grotto in Maltese. According to archaeologists, the temple walls were built in one day and one night by a giant female named Sunsuna while nursing a baby.

Ramla Bay 

Some spare time at the beach or a good swim is all you need to unwind after all that sightseeing. Advertised as one of the best beaches in the Mediterranean, well, that’s arguable. But Ramla Bay is one of the best beaches in Malta overall.

The red sand strike has some charm, mostly when it’s not packed with locals or tourists. There are some big rocks, so it’s unpredictable how to get to the water. But if you head to the right of the beach, a nice swim is guaranteed. 

There is a nice restaurant serving delicious food. If you love eating fish, try the fish of the day; usually lampuki (the Maltese name for bream). 

Note. Parking is easy, but I suspect during the summer months finding a proper parking place might be a struggle.  

Ramla Bay, GOZO By Car - One Day Trip Itinerary
Walk along the hill ridge to get a good capture of the beach.

Mġarr Harbour

If time allows you, stop for a while at Mgarr, the small harbor where the ferry from/to Malta banks/leaves. 

Stroll along the nice promenade, discover few monuments, or enjoy some ice cream on one of the wooden benches with a harbor view. At the end of the promenade, you will reach the Iz-Zewwiega bay, a popular swimming place among locals. 

The most prominent landmark of Mgarr is the Church of the Madonna of Lourdes. Built in a Gothic style, this beautiful church is easy to reach by car or by foot from the village. 

GOZO By Car - One Day Trip Itinerary
Mgarr Harbour in Gozo, seen from the water perspective.

Getting to Gozo

Getting to Malta’s sister island is quite easy. You’ll have to take the ferry from Ċirkewwa, where the ferry terminal serves routes to Mġarr on Gozo island and Blue Lagoon on Comino island.

You don’t have to worry about the tickets; you will pay them on your return to Malta. Just make sure to check the ferry’s timetable here.

The journey to Gozo takes no more than 25 minutes but make sure to go up on the deck to witness the beautiful island of Gozo from the water.

GOZO By Car - One Day Trip Itinerary
Gozo Channel Line
Ferry Malta - Gozo
That’s the only thing you’ll see during your journey if you don’t go up on the deck.

Gozo by Hop On Hop Off Bus – Optional 

If renting a car is not your thing, you can travel to Gozo by ferry, as a foot passenger and hop on the city sightseeing Gozo bus. You will see the bus as soon as you get off the ferry. The City Sightseeing buses stop at all the major attractions, such as the Citadel, Ta Pinu Sanctuary, or Blue Grotto Gozo. Read more about the schedule and routes on their website.

CitySighseeing Gozo
Hop on the bus and discover the island!

Gozo by Car. Our One Day Trip Itinerary

Ferry to Gozo – Breakfast near the Citadel – Walking through the Citadel

We chose to get on an early ferry to Gozo on a weekday in October as we wanted to get the most out of our day. As soon as we arrived at the ferry, we embarked, and soon after, we left. There wasn’t much going on, and we ended up going up on the deck to take some photos.

In no more than 25 minutes, we reached the small island of Gozo, and we drove to Victoria. We found a parking space near Independence Square and decided to have breakfast, as we left Malta without having some. Our first stop was at Cafe Jubille, near the Citadel, where we had a delicious breakfast. We actually split one Maltese sandwich as it was huge!

Cafe Jubilee, Gozo
The Maltese breakfast we ordered was for one person! Can you believe that?

We strolled for a while around the area, and soon after, we went to the Citadel. The place was deserted, mostly due to the restrictions going on around the world. We wandered through the Citadel without seeing a single person, and it felt like we were rambling through a deserted old city. Crazy, right? But the views from the walls are beautiful, and the visit was well worth it.

Ta’Pinu Sanctuary -Craft Village – Inland Sea(Azzure Window – Blue Grotto of Gozzo)

The next stop on our day trip itinerary was the Ta Pinu Sanctuary, which we loved! The interior of the church and the exterior is beautiful. And the mosaics are stunning! With no one around, we really enjoyed the serenity of this sanctuary.

Ta Pinu, Gozo
I couldn’t help myself taking lots of photos of the mosaics!

The weather wasn’t so appealing by now, although we had plenty of sunshine later, so we stopped at the Craft Village. We wanted to buy some Maltese souvenirs; therefore, we strolled around the village. We didn’t rush, and we had time to observe the workers and buy some handicrafts.
Now it was time to drive to Inland see, to witness the fallen Azure window and discover the Blue Grotto of Gozo. The temperature was over 30 degrees, so we cooled down at one of the terraces near the grotto. We couldn’t leave this place without touring the grotto on a boat. And we are so glad we did it, as the views were beautiful.

Salt Pans of Marsalforn – Malsarforn Bay – Ramla Bay

On our way to Ramla Bay, we stopped at Marsalforn Salt Pans, and I must confess, that is my favorite place in Gozo. We’ve seen the salt pans from Malta, but those are much more appealing. A quick stop at Marsalforn Bay and back in the car.

Although written down on our one-day trip itinerary, we skipped the Ggantija Temple Complex as we wanted to relax for a while at the beach. After so much sightseeing, we decided to chill at Ramla Bay, where we discovered an almost empty beach, and we cherished it.

Mgarr Harbour – Ferry to Malta

We left Ramla Bay and drove to Mgarr, where we walked slightly on the promenade while waiting for the next ferry and having an ice-cream. The area is quite nice and the promenade quite long. Definitely stop here if time allows you.

We drove 40km on our day trip itinerary, and we’ve seen so many beautiful places! The ferry cost us 20€ (2 persons and the rented car). I highly encourage you to rent a car and explore the island of Gozo on your own.

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