Malta's Sister Islands: A Day Trip Itinerary to Iconic Sights

July 11th 2024 in Guides
Malta's Sister Islands: A Day Trip Itinerary to Iconic Sights

Gozo, Malta's charming sister island, is a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural beauty. Though smaller than Malta, Gozo is packed with stunning landscapes, ancient landmarks, and inviting towns. If you’re planning a day trip, this guide will help you discover the best sights and experiences Gozo has to offer.

Getting to Gozo

To start your adventure, you need to get to Gozo from Malta. The most common way is by ferry, which departs from Cirkewwa on Malta's northern tip. The ferry ride is short, around 25 minutes, and offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. Once you arrive at Mgarr Harbour, you're ready to start your journey.

Must-See Landmarks in Gozo

1. Citadel (Cittadella)

Located in the heart of Gozo, the Citadel is a historic fortress that offers breathtaking views of the island. This ancient structure dates back to the Bronze Age and has seen various rulers, from the Romans to the Knights of St John. Wander through its narrow streets, visit the old prisons, and explore the Gozo Cathedral.

2. Azure Window Ruins and Inland Sea

Although the famous Azure Window collapsed in 2017, the area remains a must-visit. The site, known as Dwejra, is still beautiful with its rugged coastline and the Inland Sea, a small lagoon connected to the Mediterranean by a natural arch. It’s a great spot for diving and swimming.

3. Ġgantija Temples

The Ġgantija Temples are some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world, even older than the pyramids of Egypt. Located in Xagħra, these Neolithic temples date back over 5,500 years. The site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers a fascinating glimpse into ancient history.

4. Ta' Pinu Basilica

The Ta' Pinu Basilica is a stunning church known for its beautiful architecture and peaceful surroundings. Located near the village of Għarb, this basilica is a popular pilgrimage site and offers serene views of the surrounding countryside.

5. Ramla Bay

Ramla Bay is Gozo’s most famous beach, known for its unique red sand. It’s a perfect spot to relax and enjoy the Mediterranean sun. The bay is also home to the mythological Calypso Cave, said to be where the nymph Calypso kept Odysseus captive in Homer’s Odyssey.

Exploring Gozo's Towns

Victoria

Victoria, also known as Rabat, is the capital of Gozo. This bustling town is full of life, with markets, shops, and cafes. Don’t miss the It-Tokk market in Independence Square, where you can buy local produce and crafts. The town also offers numerous restaurants where you can enjoy traditional Gozitan cuisine.

Xlendi

Xlendi is a picturesque seaside village perfect for a leisurely stroll or a meal by the sea. The village is surrounded by cliffs and offers stunning views of the sunset. It’s also a great spot for swimming and snorkelling.

Marsalforn

Marsalforn is another charming coastal town, popular for its restaurants and vibrant nightlife. It’s a great place to unwind after a day of exploring, with many eateries offering fresh seafood and local dishes.

Tips for Your Day Trip

Rent a Car: To make the most of your day trip, consider renting a car. It will give you the flexibility to visit multiple sites and explore the island at your own pace. Rent a car in Malta or directly in Gozo.

Plan Your Route: With so much to see, planning your route can help you make the most of your time. Start early to ensure you can visit all the main attractions.

Stay Hydrated: The Maltese sun can be strong, so carry water and stay hydrated, especially during the summer months.

Local Cuisine: Don’t miss trying Gozitan specialities like ftira (a local type of bread), gbejna (Gozitan cheese), and fresh seafood.

A day trip to Gozo is a delightful experience filled with history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re exploring ancient temples, relaxing on red sandy beaches, or wandering through charming towns, Gozo has something for everyone. For the best experience, consider renting a car to make the most of your visit.