Gozo is the second largest of the three main islands in Malta’s archipelago. Its boasts beautiful beaches such as Ramla Bay, cliffs and caves, intriguing scuba-diving sites, ancient history and homegrown wine – all of which have helped to make this compact beauty a rising star of Mediterranean getaways. Here’s our guide for Gozo’s top attractions.
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Relax on Ramla Bay beach
Gozo’s only truly sandy beach meets a calm, clear sea that’s perfect for swimming. Sun loungers and umbrellas are available to rent across these golden grains, with an ice cream truck almost permanently parked at the entrance and a string of restaurant’s a stone’s throw away. When you’re done relaxing in the sun, take the sandy path on the hillside up to the Calypso Cave for a great view of the beach.
Book a tasting at Tal-Massar Winery
Book a tour of the Tal-Massar Winery to learn about the region’s wine-making process, in an expansive vineyard with a backdrop of the sea. The Mediterranean heat and ocean breeze create a distinctive climate for the the grapes here, which produce popular wines such as the semi-sweet Garb. Tastings come with authentic Gozitan treats – galletti (crackers) with dips, sheep’s cheese, home-made bread, sun-dried tomatoes and cold pressed olive oil.
Step inside Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu Basilica
Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu Basilica is the most spectacular church in Gozo. On the edge of a sheer seaside cliff, it provides awe-inspiring views as well as a calming atmosphere. The origins of the golden-stone chapel date back to the 16th century, but one of its most exquisite features arrived in 2017: a set of 20 mosaics representing the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. They curve around benches in the grounds, creating an open-air space for meditation and prayer.
Go scuba diving in the Blue Hole
Gozo is just as beautiful below the waterline as it is above. Its varied coast features caves and wrecks, coral gardens and rock formations – including the legendary Blue Hole, which is shaped like an upright tube and covered with colourful sponges. Gozo Aqua Sports Dive Centre offers a range of diving courses and excursions. The majority begin from shore, but there are also options for boat trip during the summer, such as to Comino Caves or P31 – a shipwreck 18m (59ft) down below.
Explore the ancient Citadel
At the heart of the Victoria area is the centre of the Gozo’s Bronze Age civilisation – the Citadel, or Cittadella. Parts of the colossal city walls date back to the 15th century, but most of the fortifications that you see today were built in the early 17th century by the Order of Saint John. Climb onto the battlements for views of the entire island, see the prison used by knights and step into the low-lit, baroque Cathedral of the Assumption.
Climb up Dwejra Tower
This 17th-century watchtower is squat in stature, but thanks to its position on a coastal vantage point, bonfires and smoke were effective methods to communicate with other Lascaris towers. The tower’s purpose? To prevent anyone not authorised from collecting fungus melitensis (Maltese fungus) from the area, which was erroneously believed to have unique medicinal properties. Recently restored, the tower is now open to the public and contains a restaurant selling traditional Maltese food.
Walk around the Ggantija Temple
Older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids, the Unesco-protected Ggantija Temple has been around for more than 5,500 years. Gozitan folklore surrounds this Neolithic complex – one legend is that is was the site of a fertility cult. Whatever its purpose, walking around the dual temples offers a fascinating insight into the artistic and technological development of early human life. The Interpretation Centre explains the history of the Neolithic period and displays prehistoric artefacts found in Gozo.
Delve into the legend of Calypso Cave
As the Maltese islands are predominantly made of limestone, they are pocked with caves both underwater and around the shore. The most famous on Gozo is Calypso Cave, where people come to enjoy the birds-eye ocean view, framed by the arch of the roof. According to the Greek legend of Homer’s Odyssey, this is the place where love-sick nymph Calypso seduced Odysseus. Below the cave, you can see the ruins of a defence fortification built by the Knights of Malta in the 18th century.
See the salt pans of Gozo’s north coast
The checkerboard sea pools of Xwejni Bay look like an elaborate art installation – but they are in fact centuries-old salt pans, with around 300 of them spanning two acres along the north Gozo coast. The traditional harvesting of salt still takes place here, in a process whereby the crystals are left behind by the natural evaporation of sea water. The natural resource is processed and stored in the caves along the coast – you can easily find jars of “white gold” for sale in Malta’s souvenir shops.
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