Gozo is Malta’s sister island, equally as rich in scenery, natural beauty, marvelous architecture and culture. You can get there with the Gozo Channel Ferry which works 24/7, 365 days a year. Whether you’re a local looking for a quick getaway or a tourist that wants to make most out of their experience on the archipelago, here are top 10 things to do in Gozo.
Located in the capital Victoria, Citadella is undoubtedly Gozo’s major landmark, and rightly so. It is an ancient, fortified city built on top of a hill, thus boasting beautiful scenic and panoramic views. The buildings there such as the Cathedral of Gozo, the Gozitan law courts, the Bishop’s Palace and several museums are overflowing with historical, military and architectural value. Simply walking through the winding roads with small shops and traditional bizzilla (lace) artists takes you back to simpler times.
2. Ramla l-Ħamra
Gozo has many beaches to choose from, however the most popular and with reason has to be Ramla l-Ħamra. With clean blue waters, raw and unspoiled natural surroundings, together with this marvelous sand of a reddish hue (hence the name Ramla Ħamra = red sand) it is bound to be a favourite among families, locals and tourists, as well as snorkelers. It is extremely child friendly with tonnes of sand to play with and shallow waters that get deeper the further out you go. Definitely not a site to miss when visiting Gozo!
3. Wied il-Mielaħ Window
When one thinks of Gozo, the Azure Window immediately comes to mind. Many were devastated when it collapsed in March of 2017, however within the same island is the just-as-beautiful natural limestone arch located at the end of Wied il-Mielaħ Valley. The valley of Wied il-Mielaħ is rich in flora and a lovely place to walk. The way down the valley is like a botanical display of vegetation
typical of the Mediterranean. The stone that forms the top of the arch is still in great condition, making it a window one can actually walk on. It truly is a natural wonder created entirely from storms and crashing waves.
4. Ġgantija Temples
This megalithic temples complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, older than the Pyramids of Giza and Stonehenge. The name given to these temples (ġgantija coming from the word ġgant which means giant) came from the fact that the stones used to build this temple were very large in size. So the people believed that only giants could have possibly carried these rocks to create the temples. The site is made up of two temples and it is the largest temple complex on the Maltese Islands. There’s also a small museum where you can learn more information should you be interested.
5. Ta’ Pinu Basilica
This church is located in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by hills and the sea. It started off as a small chapel and by time the main structure was built. Pope John Paul II as well as Pope Benedict XVI both visited this basilica and prayed there during their visit to Malta. The interior is just as nice as the exterior, with a marble canopy, several mosaics, stained-glass windows and sculptures made of Maltese stone. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and together are associated with many miracles. In fact there is an ex-voto gallery filled with letters, photographs and miscellaneous items to honor Holy Mary for the miracles she conducted.
6. Dining in Xlendi
Xlendi is a Gozitan fishing village. It enjoys many restaurants which specialise in freshly caught fish and seafood. These restaurants boast a pleasurable view of Xlendi Bay, a small sandy beach popular for swimming and snorkeling. You can enjoy local cuisine whilst sipping some wine and and feeling the breeze. It is an experience that can be enjoyed as a romantic night out, or with family and friends. There are many hotels and bars in the vicinity where you can end your night with drinks and maybe even karaoke.
7. Tas-Sanap Cliffs
These cliffs can be considered as a hidden gem as they aren’t known by many locals or tourists. They are around 120 meters high overlooking what seems like an endless ocean. It is a natural, scenic and easy walk that can be enjoyed by anyone. The path is mostly paved, but it still feels like you’re cut off from the modern world and immersed into nature’s beauty. It is an idyllic spot to watch sunsets and capture some breathtaking photographs whilst witnessing some indigenous flora and fauna along the way.
With many reefs and caves, Gozo has become a renowned island for scuba diving. The waters are generally calm and are crystal-clear. There are many diving instructors across the island too. Popular diving spots include Wied il-Għasri (for seahorses), Double Arch Reef (for cuttlefish, octopus and sea urchins), and Crocodile Rock (for groupers, tunas and barracudas) among many others.
9. Nadur Carnival
Carnival is a big deal on the Maltese Islands and is mainly celebrated in Malta’s Capital, Valletta. However, the Carnival organised in Nadur takes a slightly different approach. It’s a big street party more aimed towards teenagers and adults. The costumes and masks tend to be more hilarious, grotesque and macabre. Carnival in Nadur in an assured wild weekend! It keeps gaining popularity every year so it is suggested to book your accommodation in Gozo in advance.
10. Bethlehem f’Għajnsielem
This is undoubtedly one of the Maltese Archipelago’s most popular Christmas attraction. This is a life-size crib with around 150 actors that depict the typical scene Mary and Joseph would have encountered upon their arrival in Judea. It takes you back to 2000 years ago with shepherds and farmers strolling around, along with several animals such as donkeys, horses, and chickens. It’s a great experience for the whole family!