On people’s wishlists for places to visit, it would be no surprise if Malta ranks high.
So, an island that is full of remarkable history, breathtaking beaches with crystal clear water… as well as a haven for relaxing, and indulging in sumptuous food, no wonder it’s popular!
Yet, if you have some spare time up your sleeve… about 20 minutes across the sea by ferry is the gorgeous island of Gozo. And, when you do you go over… it will be rewarding for you to see amazing sights, and have wonderful memories.
And, that’s why in this blog post, I’ll run through 15 top things to do in Gozo. So, after reading the blog and seeing the photos, it should make you want to see Gozo too.
Check Out Mind-Blowing Fortifications From The 1500’s
In the capital of Gozo, Victoria, are commanding structures we could see from afar… and high on the hilltop. And, what we could see was The Citadel, otherwise known as Cittadella.
So, this fortified city was built in the 1500’s. And, following the Great Siege in 1565, the Knights re-developed the Citadel. Thus, this would help to further strengthen its defences against more attacks.
Plus, until 1637… it was said that the Gozitans had to stay in the Cittadella at nights, to stay safe. And, when looking at the fortifications, I could see why… they are massive and look robust!
Also, within the Citadel are other buildings including The Cathedral of the Assumption… the Gozo Museum of Archaeology, the Old Prison and Folklore Museum.
So, while you’re in the Citadel, you may as well have a look as these places too. And, when we got to the top of the Citadel, we saw some amazing views of Gozo.
Indulge In A Gozitan Ftira
Max and I were searching for the infamous Gozitan ftira to try. So, what is a Gozitan ftira you ask?
Simply, it’s like a pizza where it’s made from dough, usually fresh sourdough. But, the crust is thicker and like it’s folded over. Then, toppings such as cheese and potato… or anchovies and vegetables are put on top. Then, the ftira is put into a wood oven to cook.
Then, a delicious looking Gozitan ftira comes out piping hot looking like this…
And of course, a robust red wine accompanies the ftira magnificently. So, I got this ftira at Il-Kcina Ghawdxija in Xlendi. Yet, the sad thing was ,Max got a pizza and he had major food envy!
So, I definitely recommend making a trip to Il-Kcina Ghawdxija to have their Gozitan ftira. You will need to allow about 30 minutes or so for them to cook it. But it is worth the wait!
Plus, there are slight variations depending on the baker. And, the following bakeries are known for delicious ftiras.
The Infamous Bakeries Serving Up Gozitan Ftira
So, Max and I made a special trip to Nadur, where apparently a bakery made the best ftira in Gozo. And, this place was called, Maxokk.
Yet, when we researched further… there was another place that made an equally fantastic Gozitan ftira. And, that place is, Mekren, which is also in Nadur.
Thus, on our first stop Mekren was closer to where we were coming from. So, when we were getting closer we could see lots of people in a similar area. Then, when we got even closer, there was a huge line up at Mekren Bakery.
So, we did wait for a while, but it seemed that the line wasn’t moving. Plus, for whatever reason it was seeming like a scuffle was starting in front of us!
So, we decided to come back and then wandered on over to Maxokk.
But, to cut a long story short… the owner said that they didn’t have any traditional cheese ftira left. And, if we wanted one we would had to give 24 hours notice! So, as we were starving we ended up getting this…
And, while it was different with the big slices of potato, I wouldn’t get it again. Yet, on your travels in Gozo, you should definitely try a Gozitan ftira or two!
Chill Out On A Rare Golden Sandy Beach
When in Malta or Gozo, we saw many rocky beach areas. So, when we were on a self-guided walking tour, we came across Ramla Beach. And, this was such a contrast to the other beaches we’d seen on Gozo.
With it’s rich, soft dark golden sand… it’s rare to see a big sandy beach like this on Gozo, let alone Malta. And, in Summer it’s a popular spot especially for families.
Plus, there are a few cafes and restaurants to cook you up a storm… if you couldn’t be bothered packing and preparing your own supplies.
And, like we did, you can simply have a beverage or few, people watch and enjoy the scenery.
Marvel At The Incredible Temples Dating Back To 3600BC
Before the discovery of Göbekli Tepe, the world’s most ancient temple found so far… the temples in Malta and Gozo were the oldest known to man.
And, on the island of Gozo are the Ggantija Temples, which date as far back as 3600BC. So, that makes it even older than the pyramids! Plus, it’s included as a site on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
And, what’s so mind-blowing is this. Some of the Coralline Limestone blocks that make up the temples are five meters long… and weigh over fifty tonnes.
Now, imagine who was transporting and carrying them, and how they did it? Sounds almost impossible right?
Yet, whatever the Gozitans did back then… the remains of their efforts with the two Ggantija Temples are on show for visitors to see.
And, unlike some of the other temples… surprisingly there are no coverings over the top or surrounding them.
So, we were able to get up close, and were even within reach of touching the gigantic blocks!
Discover An Ancient Windmill Built In 1725
When Max and I bought our tickets for the Ggantija Temples, this included entry into the Ta Kola Windmill. And, as it was only a few hundred meters away, we decided to check it out.
So, the original windmill dates back to 1725. But, due to poor construction it had to be re-built in the 1780’s.
The name of the windmill comes from Ġuzeppi Grech, otherwise known as Żeppu ta’ Kola. And, it was this man who was the last miller.
So, after going through the entrance of the Ta Kola windmill… there was an old workshop set up like a museum.
And here, we would discover the history behind the windmill… as well as the tools used, and production processes for other things such as olive oil.
Then, on the next level up was a re-enactment of where the miller and his family would live. And, this included a set up of the rooms and furniture, as they would have lived back then.
Then, we were walking up a small spiral staircase that could barely fit one person.
And, once we reached the top we could see the large milling mechanism.
So, to see both the Ta Kola Windmill and Ggantija Temples, it was 9 Euros per adult. Yet, there are other ticket options available. So, best to check the Heritage Malta website to see what suits your circumstances.
See Life Size Chequerboards On Gozo Island
So, what am I talking about when I mention chequerboards on Gozo? Well, we saw them in several locations on the island… including near the Billingshurst Cavern in Zebbug.
The chequerboards are a nickname for the many salt pans on the island.
Yet, when we were there it was the wrong timing to see the salt being collected. But, the water from the ocean would still flow into the salt pans… making them look like miniature pools.
Now, the salt pans in Malta and Gozo have been there since the Phoenician and Roman times. And, what’s so great about it, is they’ve kept the tradition going to reap salt from mother nature.
Relax With A Drink And Enjoy The Stunning Views
Wherever you go in Gozo, there’s sure to be many places to enjoy a beverage or two.
So, when Max and were in Xlendi, we ventured out to lots of places. We did “bar” crawls all the way around Xlendi Bay! Yet, it was easy to do as Xlendi isn’t a huge town.
And, here we are having a beer at the IL Terrazzo Restaurant… while we were waiting to check in to our Airbnb apartment.
And, here’s another photo of us enjoying a drink watching the sunset, at Da Manuel Restaurant. But, that was until we were told to leave, as we were only having drinks, and no food.
Then, even having a coffee in the morning… we could enjoy the sound of the waves crashing in the bay.
Wander The Back Streets Of Victoria
When we were in Victoria, the capital city of Gozo… is was a treat for us to get a tour of the back streets.
So, we wouldn’t have known about the cute little winding alleyways, if we were walking on the main streets. And, these narrow streets were like the Arabic ones.
And, the more we strolled around, the more it was like a labyrinth!
Yet, it was beautiful seeing these quaint streets. And, it was so peaceful, compared to being amongst the common touristy areas.
There were many things we discovered on our tour… and we were so fortunate to have had the privilege to learn about it.
So, to find out about the surprising things we learnt about these back streets… CLICK HERE to read our blog.
Make Your Eyes Pop Inside The Xaghra Parish Church
Xaghra is a small town in Gozo, which is a popular tourist spot because it has the Ggantija Temples. Yet, when Max and I were in Xaghra, we spent the time afterwards to wander into the main square.
Then, after having some moreish pastizzis at D Snacks Pastizzeria… we took a few more steps to reach the town center. And, as we did we saw the Xaghra Parish Church.
Now, we didn’t think we could go inside, as our shoulders weren’t completely covered. Yet, we stuck our heads in the front door to have a sneak peek. Then, someone from inside the church came over.
And, he said that we could come inside but to put on the cloth to cover our shoulders. Then, we’re glad we could go in further because we were shocked at how elaborate it was inside.
Enjoy A Traditional Maltese “Cheesecake”
Now, it just wouldn’t be right visiting Gozo, let alone Malta without having a Maltese “cheesecake.” And, before you even start picturing a cheesecake that looks like a dessert, that’s not what I mean!
Because, having spoken to a few Gozitans… some of them called the ricotta pastizzis cheesecakes!
And, my goodness, did Max and I have heaps of pastizzis during our time in Malta and Gozo. Plus, we had the pea pastizzis too.
In fact, we were on a mission to find the best pastizzi in Malta. Plus, we have a series of blog posts about it.
So, come along the journey with us to find the best pastizzi in Malta, by clicking HERE.
Go Diving Or Rock Climbing Amongst The Cliffs
On our trip in Gozo, we saw many divers getting ready to head out… as well as many groups in the waters around the island. So, no doubt going diving is a popular activity when here.
But, diving is not for the faint hearted, and this was one activity I chose not to do.
Yet, we did see many divers on our walk in the Ghasri area. And, in particular we saw many divers around Reqqa Point.
Plus, also in the Ghasri area is Wied Il-Għasri (Ghasri Valley). And, it looks truly spectacular. Here is where we saw many rock climbers, and we saw them then abseiling down the cliffs.
It looked like a magical experience in a stunning environment.
Check Out A Shrine With A Difference In Gharb
In the village of Gharb is a Basilica and Shrine called, Ta Pinu.
So, there are a few stories behind Ta Pinu… And, one of the stories were back in 1883, where a woman by the name of Karmni Grima, heard the voice of “Our Lady.” And, this was at the small chapel that was at this location.
Thus, it then became a place of pilgrimage for many people. So, the site was expanded and the church was in dedication of the Virgin Mary.
And, inside is a plaque in commemoration of Frenċ tal-Għarb. So, he was a farmer who was well regarded in the community, and was known as a faith healer. And, he would develop herbs and concoctions that would help heal the sick and diseased.
Now, while the outside of the building has Romanesque architecture… on the inside it was decked out with Maltese stonework and art.
Plus, to see an amazing view of Ta Pinu and the surrounds… head across the road to where a pathway leads to the Way of the Cross, with 14 marble statues.
And, when we did we saw spectacular scenery such as this…
Views And Pews At Church Of St John The Baptist
Max and I had heard about the biggest church on Gozo, that was in the village of Xewkija. This church was St John The Baptist. And, what made it so popular to visit was the sheer size of it.
Plus, once inside we were able to go up to the bell tower area for great views.
But, as the Malta public bus system was in havoc, our bus to Xewkija was delayed. And, we thought we would miss out on seeing the inside of it… as we were led to believe that it closes daily from 12pm for several hours.
Then, once we got off at the bus stop called, Industrijali, it was minutes before 12pm. So, we rushed to get to the church. And, once we were at the front panting like we’d done a sprint, our hearts sank as we saw that the door was not open.
Then, someone came out from the front door so we went on in. And, as we were speaking to the young lady there… she said the church was still on for viewing! So, like sweaty pigs we had a look at the church inside…
Then, we went up to the bell tower area and saw some great views of the surrounding area.
Have A Specialty Beer In Gozo’s First Craft Brewery
After Max and I had finished our visit at the Church Of St John The Baptist… I had already done some research on other things we could do within walking distance. And, as we love trying new things especially beer, we had to stop by this place…
OK, so it doesn’t look like anything special from the outside. Yet once we walked through this section, onto our right, our eyes lit up. And here, on a hot Summer’s day we were going to quench our thirst at Lord Chambray.
There were already some people sitting at the bar drinking some brews. Then, once the co-owner saw us, she was greeting us and welcoming us in… and, so were the people at the bar who had been enjoying several beers already!
So, it was said to us that Lord Chambray was the first real Craft Brewery in Gozo. And with that, we checked out their range, which had a good variety.
But, the hard part was deciding which craft beers to try. Cheers!
Swim In The Crystal Clear Blue Waters
The wonderful thing about Gozo is that the ocean water is a brilliant blue and crystal clear. And, that makes it look very inviting to have a swim and cool down in Summer.
Plus, the great thing is there are so many places to enjoy these beautiful waters. So, one place that we went to was Marsalforn Bay.
And, as we walked around Marsalforn… we discovered that there were many different areas to chill out, relax and go in for a dip.
Getting Around Gozo To See The Sights
So on this trip to Gozo, for all of these sights that we visited… Max and I walked or took the Malta Public Transport buses.
The buses are easy to work out, but if you’re short on time, this may not be the best option for you. And, that’s because some of the buses only run every hour or so. Thus, if you miss a bus then that’s hours of waiting.
Plus, use the bus timetables as a guide, because they can be late or not even run!
So, other options are hiring a car in Gozo, or getting private transport. And, that even includes something we weren’t expecting, such as these tuk tuks!
Plus, there is a Hop-on Hop-off bus service on Gozo. And, this stops at various sights and attractions on the island… making it a cheap and convenient way to tour around.
Yet, if you plan to get a taxi around, make sure you negotiate the rate beforehand. I did a rookie traveler mistake and didn’t do this on a trip. And, for less than a 10-minute taxi ride, I had to pay 15 Euros!
To find out more about getting to and from Gozo and around the island, CLICK HERE.
So, that was our list of 15 things to do in Gozo Malta. Yet, there are of course plenty of other things to see in Gozo.
So, when you’re planning your trip to Malta, make sure you include Gozo on your itinerary.
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