Are you planning on visiting Gozo Island but have no idea where to start? This one day in Gozo itinerary should help you organize your visit.
Malta is actually an archipelago of five islands: Malta, Gozo, Comino, Comminotto, and Filfla, but only three are inhabited: Malta, Gozo, and Comino. Less than 40,000 people live on Gozo Island and call themselves Gozitans.
While many choose to visit Gozo only for a few hours on a guided day tour, I 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. Gozo is much more rural and quieter than Malta; therefore, the distances are shorter, and the traffic is looser, so you can cover the entire Island in only one day.
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Table of Contents
Helpful Info for Visiting Gozo Island
Getting to Gozo Island by CAR
The only way you can reach Gozo is via ferry from Malta, but the beauty is that you can actually take your rented car on the ferry. Although the island is tiny, you can’t really get around on foot, and the best way to discover Gozo is by car. You get the freedom to make your plan, drive where you want, and spend as much time as you want, with no stress or other limitations.
The best option is to rent a car in Malta, hop on the ferry, and explore Gozo on your own terms. You’ll be amazed how loose the traffic is here, compared to Malta.
First, you’ll have to take the ferry from Ċirkewwa Passenger Terminal, not far from Mellieha. Ferries depart every half an hour, so you won’t have to wait too long.
The journey to Gozo takes no more than 25 minutes, and you don’t have to stress about the tickets; you will pay for them on your return to Malta. Just make sure to check the ferry’s timetable here so you won’t miss the last ferry to Malta.
I highly recommend you go up on the deck to see the beautiful Island of Gozo from the water perspective.
Note. We paid for the ferry 20€/ 22USD (2 persons and the rented car)
Getting to Gozo Island without a car
If you don’t plan on doing much driving while in Malta but still want to spend one day in Gozo, you can accomplish it easily. To reach Cirkewwa Terminal, you can take Buses 41 or 42 from Valetta, Buss 221 from Buggiba or Buss 222 from Sliema.
Taxis are another option to reach the Terminal, but they are expensive for obvious reasons. Or simply leave your rental at the Terminal and get on the ferry as a passenger.
On your arrival, 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.
Getting to Gozo Island on an organized tour
I think the easiest way to spend one day in Gozo and get a glimpse of the island with zero stress is to book a tour. You will be picked up from your hotel in Malta, and you don’t have to worry about the itinerary.
Go on a tour with a knowledgeable guide. Visit Ta’ Pinu Basilica, Ggantija Temples, Qala Belveder, and Rabat, and take a train ride to Cittadella. BOOK YOUR GOZO TOUR HERE
Another great option would be to see the sights of Gozo on a full-day Jeep tour and get amazing views of the landscapes and hidden corners. You’ll visit the ancient Citadel in Victoria, discover the ancient limestone quarries and historic salt pans and enjoy a powerboat ride back to Malta via the Blue Lagoon and Comino Caves! No need to worry about the car or itinerary. BOOK YOUR GOZO FULL-DAY JEEP TOUR HERE
If you want to spice up your day, explore the beautiful island of Gozo by quad bike. See all the highlights of the island from a different perspective, and you won’t regret it. BOOK YOUR GOZO FULL-DAY QUAD TOUR HERE
Book your Travel Insurance for your trip to Malta
We never leave home without travel insurance designed to cover our expenses if something goes wrong. If you’re still on the lookout for travel insurance for your trip to Malta, I highly recommend HEYMONDO, a trusted insurance provider for leisure and business trips, backpackers, long-term travelers, and digital nomads. Their travel insurance protects against theft, flight delays, injury, illness, cancellations, and much more.
Interactive Map of Your One Day in Gozo Itinerary
Underneath, you’ll find a customized map that includes all the locations you will visit during one day in Gozo. Just open up this article on your phone and click on the frame in the upper right corner of this map. The Google Maps app will open, and you can check all the details. I hope it helps!
How to See the Best of Gozo in One Day
Start your day with a delicious breakfast in Victoria
Victoria, the capital of Gozo, was named in honor of Queen Victoria of England in 1887. Rabat, as the locals call it, is a vibrant small town with narrow streets housing many restaurants and Gozitan handicraft 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.
If you are in the mood, stroll for a while around this area, and you will find many interesting shops and boutiques with Gozitan handicrafts.
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 now accommodate an old prison, a church, museums, small shops, and a coffee house.
The ancient fortified town is Gozo’s main attraction and a must for everyone spending one day in Gozo. A walk along its walls offers beautiful panoramic views over Rabat and its surroundings. So take your time, stroll around, and embrace the silence of the place.
NOTE. The entrance is free of charge, but you will have to pay a small fee if you fancy visiting the inside museums. The access to the Citadel is done through a modern glass elevator.
Parking is easy, just outside the Citadel, but you will pay a small amount to the parking attendant.
Ta’ Dbiegi Artisan Village
If you want to learn more about the Gozitans’ handicrafts, you should stop at the Ta’Dbiegi craft village just off the road from Gharb to Dwejra Bay. There are often artists at work, so you can watch them performing. You can 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.
Note. Ta’Dbiegi Artisan Village is free to visit.
Parking is easy, just outside the artisan village, free of charge. If you’re hungry, you can grab a snack at the on-site eatery.
Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary
Ta’ Pinu is a tranquil place; therefore, a visit to this place should be on your Gozo day trip itinerary. Located just outside the Gharb Village, the church is stunning in spectacular countryside with nothing else around.
Back in 1883, a woman from the nearby village heard the voice of Mary Our Lady in the little church, so the place soon became a pilgrimage center. 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 be amazed by the 14 huge handcrafted mosaics portraying the Cross’s Stations. After taking some lovely exterior photos, walk inside and admire the interior.
NOTE. The entrance is free.
Parking is easy, just opposite the Ta Pinu Sanctuary, and free of charge.
If you’ve heard about Gozo, you’ve heard about the famous arch structure Azure Window. It was a must on everyone’s list when visiting Gozo. Unfortunately, the arch crashed during a harsh storm on March 8th, 2017. Now, the location has become 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 souvenir shops and eateries if you want to buy handicrafts or have a cold drink.
Going on a boat tour that takes you through the tiny cave to the sea is a must for anyone spending one day in Gozo. The boatman will take you on a 15-minute boat ride to see the lagoon’s crystal clear water, the corals and the jellyfish, the limestone cliffs, the fallen Azure Window, and other interesting rock formations.
Note. The cost for a 15-minute ride to see the Blue Grotto – 4€ / 4,5USD
The narrow and hidden bay of Wied il-Ghasri is a popular place for divers and those seeking a secluded bathing area. The landscape at Wied il-Ghasri is unique and worth a quick stop.
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.
Note. Parking and access are free of charge.
Marsalforn Salt Pans
As you drive to the idyllic town Marsalforn, you will bump into a 3km long stretch of saltpans carved into the rock. You can see locals working manually and scratching for crystals during summer. 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.
Note. Parking and access are free of charge.
Passing the salt pans, stop to the quiet little bay of Marsalforn. It’s worth stopping 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.
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.
If you didn’t drive to Gozo, booking a tour with hotel pick-up from Malta is most suitable. I chose a tour that offers entry to the Ggantija megalithic temples, the medieval Citadel fortress, and a tourist lunch with a glass of wine. BOOK YOUR TOUR HERE
Walk along the hill ridge to get a good capture of the beach.
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 charm, mainly when not packed with locals or tourists. There are some big rocks, so how to get to the water is unpredictable. 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 and free of charge, but I suspect that finding a proper parking place might be a struggle during the summer months.
If time allows you, stop for a while at Mgarr, the small harbor where the ferry to Malta leaves.
Stroll along the lovely promenade, discover a few monuments or enjoy some ice cream on one of the wooden benches with a harbor view. At the end of the path, you will reach 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 from the village by car or foot.
Gozo by Car. How to Spend One Day in Gozo Itinerary
First part of our day in Gozo: ferry to Gozo – breakfast near the Citadel – visit the Citadel – stop at the Craft Village
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.
We reached Gozo’s small Island in no more than 25 minutes and drove to Victoria. We found a parking space near Independence Square and decided to have breakfast, as we left Malta without having any. So our first stop was at Cafe Jubilee, near the Citadel, where we had a delicious breakfast. We actually split one Maltese sandwich as it was huge! Don’t you agree?
We strolled for a while around the area, and soon after, we proceeded to the Citadel. The place was deserted since it was already low season. 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.
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 had time to observe the workers and buy handicrafts.
The second part of our day in Gozo: Ta’Pinu Sanctuary – 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 are beautiful. And the mosaics are stunning! With no one around, we really enjoyed the serenity of this sanctuary.
Next, it was time to drive to the Inland Sea, 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 cave. 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.
The third part of our day in Gozo: 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 mentioned on our one day in Gozo itinerary, we skipped the Ggantija Temple Complex to relax at the beach for a while. After so much sightseeing, we decided to chill at Ramla Bay, where we discovered an almost empty beach and cherished it.
Last part of our day in Gozo: 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 lovely, and the boardwalk is quite long. Definitely stop here if time allows you.