Since as long as I remember, Gozo was a must for my family at least once a year. We have this kind of family tradition where we would visit the sister island at least for a day once a year. Sometimes we stayed longer and sometimes we went more than once a year. Now that I am 29 years old, this tradition still holds. Most of the tourists who come to Malta include Gozo in their itinerary for at least a day trip. In my opinion to really experience Gozo (although just 67km 2) you must at least stay 3 nights, but if you do not have enough time here are the top places you can visit in one day. Distances in Gozo are very short and getting from a place to another won’t take more than 15/20 minutes maximum. Therefore there are a lot of things you can manage to do in one day.
Shop in Rabat & get lost in the alleys of Cittadella
Rabat is the capital of Gozo and the main location for some shopping. You can buy typical products here like the traditional gbejniet (goat’s milk cheeselets) or handmade lace products. Do not forget to include Cittadella in your itinerary. This is where the Gozitans used to find shelter when they were attacked during past times. The fortified hillside city is like a journey back in time; if you get there early you will hardly meet anyone else on its narrow winding roads. Moreover you will also enjoy views of the island that stretch from coast to coast since Cittadella is located right at the centre of the island.
Travel back in time at Ggantija
This is one of the islands UNESCO Heritage sites and these temples are among the oldest freestanding temples in the world. They have been built between 3600 and 3200 B.C, thus older then UK’s Stonehenge temples. The first thing that will amaze you is the huge stones that make up these temples. The name Ggantija in fact refers to giants as it is believed that the people who built them where in fact giants. Bear in mind that these temples have been built in an era where there were no tools to carry around heavy limestone boulders. In these temples rituals and also sacrifices used to be held for religious purposes, although it is not excluded that some people actually lived here.
Soak in the sun at Ramla l-Hamra
This is Gozo’s most iconic sandy beach. It is located close to Xaghra and getting to the beach involves a drive down the valley characterised by terraced fields of tomatoes and other vegetables and fruits, which are typical of the island. This beach is still unspoilt and there are practically no buildings surrounding it (apart from a couple of food kiosks). There are sand dunes at the back of the beach and the water is shallow. The name means Red sandy beach; given the unique colour of the sand of this beach. It is one of the favourite beaches with the locals to relax and soak in the sun, including the numerous lizards that can be found here 🙂
Understand locals’ spirituality at Ta’ Pinu Shrine
Ta’ Pinu is a landmark in Gozo and both the Basilica as well as its location are equally stunning. It is located in the countryside on the way to the village of Gharb but you have distant sea views as well. The square in front of the Basilica is now pedestrian and is beautifully decorated with colourful mosaics depicting various scenes from the Bible. The shrine is very important to local people and a lot of pilgrimages are held here. Entrance is free but be sure to cover yourself well; you cannot get in wearing shorts or sleeveless tops.
Watch the sunset from Dwejra
Yes I know the Azure Window is no longer there 🙁 The day it collapsed was a very sad day for us Maltese. However Dwejra is not just the Azure Window, there is the inlet sea and also a beautiful cliff side coast which sparkles as the sun sets. There is Fungus rock as well, a small island where a special plant with medicinal properties (the Maltese Fungus) grows.
Practical Information to visit Gozo in One Day
- Make the most of your day by getting an early ferry from Cirkewwa with Gozo Channel. Click here to check the ferry timetable.
- Total area of the island: 67 km²
- More information on events and places to visit in Gozo on Visit Gozo official tourism website.
- Spending more than one day in Gozo? Find accommodation on booking.com