Gozo and Victoria

The island of Gozo and its capital Victoria will always have a special place in our hearts. This wonderful island situated right next to Malta is a great opportunity for a day trip or even overnight stay to truly experience this adventurous place.

Read more below about our experience and why we think you should definitely do at least a day trip to Gozo during your stay in Malta.

Overview

Nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean, the idyllic island of Gozo and its charming capital, Victoria, beckon travelers with their timeless allure and rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty.

A day trip to Gozo promises an unforgettable escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, offering a serene retreat where ancient history meets modern-day tranquility.

Gozo, often referred to as Malta’s quieter sister island, captivates visitors with its rugged coastline, quaint villages, and dramatic landscapes. Whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast, or simply seeking relaxation, Gozo has something to offer every type of traveler.

Victoria, the beating heart of Gozo, exudes a unique charm that is both palpable and irresistible. Steeped in history and tradition, this medieval city boasts a wealth of architectural marvels, from majestic cathedrals to imposing fortifications.

But beyond its historic landmarks and cultural treasures, Gozo is a haven for outdoor adventurers and beach lovers alike. With its crystal-clear waters, secluded coves, and pristine beaches, the island offers ample opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, diving, and sunbathing.

Travel to and Around Gozo

Getting to Gozo is as much a part of the adventure as exploring the island itself. From the main island of Malta, travellers have several options to reach Gozo, each offering its own unique experience.

Ferries to Gozo: One of the most popular and picturesque ways to reach Gozo is by ferry. There are 2 ferry services available:

  • Gozo Ferry: Regular ferry services operate between Ċirkewwa on the northern tip of Malta and Mgarr Harbour in Gozo. This service would be good if you also want to go by car to Gozo. You can learn more about this service here.
  • Fast Ferry: You can also board a direct ferry from Valletta to Gozo (that’s what we did). The service leaves from Valletta Harbor and is the Fast Ferry. Note however, that this service is only for passengers. You can learn more here.

Ferry Time Malta to Gozo: If you’re traveling by car, you can take advantage of the frequent ferry services that operate between Malta and Gozo. Ferries run frequently throughout the day, with departures every 45 minutes during peak times. Be sure to check the ferry timetable for the latest schedule.

Flights to Gozo: Whilst there are no flights to Gozo per se, Gozo once used to have a heliport offering domestic flights however, that is now closed. Your best approach is to land at Malta Airport and then transfer via car or public transport to the island.

Bus Timetable Gozo: Once on Gozo, getting around the island is a breeze thanks to its efficient bus network. The Gozo Public Transport service operates a comprehensive network of routes that connect major towns and villages across the island.

Buses are clean, comfortable, and equipped with air conditioning, making them a convenient option for travellers. Whilst there are Gozo Hop-on-Hop off buses or even private Jeep tours from Mgarr Harbour, the bus network is very well thought out and the most cost effective way to explore Gozo.

Be sure to pick up a copy of the bus timetable, available at most hotels and tourist information centers, to plan your journeys in advance. Alternatively, you can check the timetables here, simply scroll down to the Gozo section.

Tourists can buy a Talinja Card for tourists called Flex Card. The Flex Card comes in different options depending on your stay and appetite for exploring the island, you can learn more about the different options here.

We opted for the Explore Card with the Gozo add-on which offered us a return trip to Gozo with the fast ferry from Valletta’s Harbor. The card also included the public transport on the island which made it very convenient.

Where to Stay in Gozo and Victoria?

We actually stood in Sliema which is close by to Valletta and worked well with our Flex Card pass. If you prefer to stay overnight in Gozo, then there are plenty of accommodations.

There seems to be a trend also around Agritourism which similar to our experience in Florence, you can stay at a local farmhouse. Make no mistake, these are accommodations with pools and all the amenities to make your stay comfortable surrounded by the Gozitan rural landscape.

If you prefer to stay in a hotel, we would recommend booking your accommodation through an aggregator such as Booking.com or Agoda to get the best rates. Use the widget below to find the best accommodation in Gozo for your specific dates.

If you want to see where we stood in Sliema, read our review article here about 115 The Strand Hotel.

Best Time to Visit Gozo and Victoria

Gozo and Victoria offer something special year-round, but each season brings its own charm.

  • Spring (March – May): Mild weather, blooming flowers, and fewer crowds make it perfect for outdoor activities.
  • Summer (June – August): Peak tourist season with warm temperatures, ideal for beachgoers and water sports enthusiasts.
  • Autumn (September – November): Mild temperatures, golden landscapes, and harvest festivals make for a picturesque visit.
  • Winter (December – February): Festive atmosphere, cultural events, and fewer tourists offer a unique experience.

Check the events calendar for festivals and events happening during your visit, but no matter the season, Gozo and Victoria promise an unforgettable escape.

Things to do in Gozo

Embarking on a day trip to Gozo opens up a treasure trove of experiences and attractions waiting to be discovered. From ancient wonders to natural marvels, Gozo offers something for every traveler’s taste.

You will find the Gozo is perfect for a day where you can cover all the major tourist attractions. Most attractions listed below are free but there are a few that can be bought as part of the Heritage Malta Multisite Pass which could save you quite a bit if you are planning to follow our Malta itinerary.

Below is a list of our recommendations of the top must see places in Gozo and it’s capital, Victoria.

1. Learn about Ġgantija Temple

Nestled amidst the serene landscapes of Gozo lies one of the world’s oldest freestanding structures – the awe-inspiring Ġgantija Temples. Dating back over 5,000 years, these ancient megalithic temples are a testament to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of Gozo’s earliest inhabitants.

Ġgantija Temple holds a special place in history as one of the earliest examples of temple construction in the world. Built during the Neolithic period, these temples predate the Great Pyramids of Egypt and Stonehenge, offering a fascinating glimpse into Gozo’s ancient past.

We found the temple site to be impressive however, we enjoyed visiting more Hagar Qim and Tarxien Temples as they came across more imposing due to the size of the stone slabs.

You will find that the bus stop Imqades is best for the entrance which is located at entrance of the site, whilst for the exit you will find that Tempji is the right stop; all buses stop at both stops.

2. Tal-Mixta Cave

Hidden amidst Gozo’s rugged coastline, Tal-Mixta Cave stands as a testament to the island’s geological wonders and offers an exhilarating adventure for intrepid explorers.

The cave offers a wonderful vista of Ramla Beach which is why we absolutely recommend you check both places out. The closest station to this cave is Qasab. From there, you will have a 30 minute hike in the wonderful Gozitan country side admiring orchards and plenty of lemon trees along the way.

Once you arrive at the cave, we suggest looking at amazing views which will reward you after the long walk. We encourage you to then proceed down from the cave, through the path which leads to Ramla Beach. It can be a bit steep but with good trainers or hiking shoes it shouldn’t be too difficult.

3. Sunbathe at Ramla Beach

Ramla Beach is renowned for its striking beauty, boasting soft, golden sands that stretch as far as the eye can see and crystal-clear waters that gently lap against the shore.

Whether you’re sunbathing on the beach or taking a refreshing dip in the sea, Ramla Beach offers the perfect setting for relaxation and rejuvenation and is one of the best beaches in Gozo.

We also went for a quick dip in the water but needless to say that in the early April water temperatures were a bit gnarly.

From here, you can simply head back to Victoria from Ramla bus stop which is a few hundred meters away from the entrance of the beach itself.

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4. Explore Victoria

Nestled in the heart of Gozo, Victoria is a must see city which stands as the island’s vibrant capital, offering a captivating blend of history, culture, and charm.

With its labyrinthine streets, historic landmarks, and bustling markets, Victoria invites visitors to immerse themselves in its rich tapestry of traditions and treasures.

You will find Victoria to be a mostly pedestrian city and it can be covered well within a few hours. Below we list our top recommendations when visiting Victoria:

4.1. Pay your Respects at St. George’s Basilica

Dominating the skyline with its majestic dome and elegant façade, St George’s Basilica is a masterpiece of Baroque architecture. Its imposing exterior gives way to a lavishly adorned interior, where marble columns, gilded altars, and intricate frescoes create a sense of awe and reverence.

Outside the basilica you will also see a wonderful square filled with restaurants and bars all looking forward to welcoming tourists. It’s a very typical European setting, one which delights any tourist.

4.2. Visit the Cathedral of the Assumption

The Cathedral of the Assumption is a stunning example of Baroque architecture, with its imposing façade, intricate stonework, and elegant bell towers commanding attention from afar.

Built in the 17th century on the site of a former Roman temple, the cathedral’s majestic presence reflects the island’s deep-rooted faith and cultural heritage.

The Cathedral of the Assumption holds a special place in the hearts of Gozitans, serving as the seat of the diocese of Gozo and a place of pilgrimage for devout believers.

The square which leads from the gates of the citadel to the stairs of the cathedral are also very beautiful and picturesque offering a typical Maltese scene.

4.3. Check out the Views from the Citadel

Perched majestically atop a hill overlooking Victoria, the Citadel stands as a timeless sentinel, guarding over Gozo’s capital with its towering bastions and fortified walls.

The Citadel, also known as Il-Kastell, is a testament to Gozo’s tumultuous past and strategic importance throughout the centuries. Its origins can be traced back to the Bronze Age, with successive rulers, including the Phoenicians, Romans, and Knights of St John, leaving their mark on its storied walls.

Today, the Citadel stands as a symbol of resilience and endurance, offering visitors a glimpse into Gozo’s rich history and cultural heritage.

We went on top the wall ramparts and found that the views of the citadel but more importantly of the Gozitan landscape are not to be missed. The views from the citadel reminded us of Mdina. We really enjoyed eating our pastizzi and simply enjoying the views.

The ramparts can be a bit narrow at places so do watch your step!

5. See Basilica Tal-Madonna Ta’ Pinu Mill Gharb

The Basilica Tal-Madonna Ta’ Pinu holds a special place in the hearts of Gozitans, as well as pilgrims from around the world, who flock to its hallowed halls to seek solace, offer prayers, and pay homage to the Virgin Mary.

Perched atop a hill overlooking the tranquil countryside, the basilica exudes an aura of peace and serenity that inspires reverence and contemplation.

The basilica is home to a revered icon of the Virgin Mary, known as Ta’ Pinu, which is said to have miraculous healing powers and has inspired countless acts of faith and devotion over the centuries. Pilgrims come to pray before the icon, seeking comfort, healing, and divine intervention in times of need.

Don’t miss the beautiful mosaics just outside of the Basilica. We were truly impressed!

Although the location is fairly remote, don’t be discouraged as the bus stops right in front, however, do plan your trip as there is 1 bus per hour. Perhaps here we really could have benefitted from the more regular Gozo Hop-on-Hop off bus service.

Top Restaurants in Victoria, Gozo

Similar to Valletta, food lovers will delight in Victoria’s diverse culinary scene, which showcases the best of Gozitan cuisine. From quaint cafes serving freshly baked pastries to family-run trattorias dishing up hearty Maltese fare, there’s no shortage of dining options to tempt your taste buds.

Be sure to sample local specialties such as ftira (traditional Maltese bread), pastizzi (flaky pastries filled with ricotta or mushy peas), and lampuki (local fish) when exploring the city’s culinary delights.

Below is a set of recommendations for you to sample some local foods:

1. Café Jubilee

The first Café Jubilee outlet was opened in Victoria, the capital of Gozo, back in 1998. The café was so successful that the Valletta restaurant quickly followed two years later.

The décor usually associated with the golden era of the 1920s and 1930s bistros in Western Europe, but added a modern twist and a local touch. The atmosphere is stylish yet informal and relaxed, with rich glowing wood and brass light fittings for a unique feeling of warmth and intimacy, suitable for anything from a business lunch to a romantic date.

They offer bistro-style food, including sandwiches, salads, soups, pasta options and main dishes, as well as some delectable desserts.

I had the eggs Benedict with bacon on rye bread, I found the portion to be way too small and inadequate for a foodie like myself. On the other hand, Hristina had the Monte Cristo sandwich which, whilst not a classic Monte Cristo sandwich, was tasty and filling.

We sat outside in the square which really made the experience even more enjoyable for two hungry travellers.

2. Casa Vostra

Casa Vostra is a must-visit Italian restaurant in the heart of Victoria, Gozo with an innovative menu and interior design. The menu is vibrant and daring, specializing in Neapolitan style pizzas.

We really enjoyed everything about this restaurant from the customer service to the food itself and the attention to detail. Both pizzas were tasty and the ingredients were fresh an in abundance.

Talking about drinks, they don’t disappoint either. I had a whisky sour and I must say, the velvety texture of the cocktail combined with the right proportions of egg white to whisky make it an instant success with anyone.

Final Thoughts

As our journey through Gozo and Victoria comes to a close, it’s impossible not to reflect on the myriad experiences and wonders we’ve encountered along the way. From ancient temples to sun-kissed beaches, bustling markets to sacred sanctuaries, Gozo has captivated our hearts.

Ready to book? Below are some recommendations to get your trip started:


  • Accommodation – would recommend booking your accommodation through an aggregator such as Booking.com or Agoda to get the best rates. We also use TripAdvisor to read reviews.

  • Transport – consider Rentalcars.com for car renting or if you rely on public transport, you can use Omio for trains, coaches, ferries, airport transfers and even flights.

  • Activities – a great option is GetYourGuide, Klook or Viator for tours, excursions, experiences and tickets to many tourist attractions.

  • Travel money – we have Starling Bank accounts (UK residents only) with 0% fees on FX and a good Mastercard exchange rate. Revolut is another good option.

  • Internet abroad – with Airalo or Nomad you can access a wide range of eSIMs (digital SIM cards) available for different countries and regions.

  • Luggage storage – if you need to store your bags whilst exploring the destination, you can use Radical Storage to find your closest luggage storage and enjoy your journey until the very end.

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The Great Pyramid of Giza and camel ride

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