There are many ways to see the treasures that lie in wait for you when you decide to holiday on our beautiful island of Gozo. Its small size (14 x 7 km, or 8.5 x 4.5 miles) makes it perfect for leisurely exploring by foot, by bicycle and even Segway. However, there is a four-wheeled option to seeing Gozo that might suit those visitors who like to go faster.
Hiring a car gives you the freedom to explore Gozo at your own pace – over several days or even in just one day. Depending on your mood you can motor around Gozo’s specactular coastline, visit sleepy villages and their magnificent Baroque churches, or find out about Gozo’s ancient past at the Ġgantija temples. Choose when to stop for a tasty snack of Ftira and Ġbejniet, and take your time finding the perfect restaurant with the best view for your evening supper.
All roads on Gozo lead to Victoria
The Cathedral and citadel at Gozo’s capital, Victoria. Photo credit: ©Glenn Slattery Photography.
Gozo’s capital Victoria (Rabat) is a great place to start. All roads on Gozo lead to Victoria so you can choose to head off in whatever direction you prefer.
But before you set off, you should take in the medieval atmosphere of the capital’s maze of laneways surrounding It-Tokk, the buzzing central square. And don’t forget to take in Gozo’s Cathedral and the magnificent 360° panoramic view from the old Citadel walls.
Suggested itineraries for Gozo road trips:
The Fungus Rock in Dwejra, Gozo
Dwerja, on Gozo’s dramatic western coast is just a 10-minute drive from Victoria. Here you’ll find stunning cliffs eroded by wind and sea jutting into the Mediterranean, including Gozo’s most famous landmark – the magnificent Azure Window. This is a perfect place to wait for the sun to go down and capture a beautiful sunset.
Nearby, you’ll see why diving is so popular in Gozo’s beautiful turquoise waters with natural attractions like the Blue Hole and the Inland Sea. And then there’s Fungus Rock – so called as it was once thought a flowering plant with medicinal properties that grows on the island was a fungus. Today it is a nature reserve.
Further south, but still on the western edge of Gozo is Xlendi Bay, popular for swimming, snorkelling and diving, due to nearby accessible reefs. Xlendi has a good selection of restaurants and bars.
North: Gharb – Ghasri – Xwejni Salt Pans – Marsalform Bay
Ta’ Pinu National Shrine
The quaint village of Għarb in the northern end of the island is the oldest settlement on Gozo. Here you’ll find the Ta’ Dbiegi Craft Village, where you can watch local artisans producing pottery, glass, and hand woven lace. The village museum is also well worth a visit, before you head over to the unmissable basilica of Ta’ Pinu, located on the outskirts of the village.
From the oldest to the smallest village on Gozo – Ghasri – and the Gordan lighhouse which dates back to 1853. Take the road by foot from the village square to Wied il-Ghasri, a small valley that leads down to a tiny beach wedged between cliffs.
While you are touring the northern coast of Gozo you must visit the the ancient salt pans at Xwejni, and Marsalforn Bay. The salt pans were carved out of solid rock by the Romans and are still in use today with several Gozitan families harvesting sea salt in the traditional way between May and September. The pretty fishing village of Marsalforn features a long beach and has a lovely promenade.
North East: Xagħra – Ġgantija temples – Ramla Bay
The drive from Victoria to picturesque Xagħra takes you through some of the best agricultural land on Gozo. In the village, beneath two private residences you’ll find Xerri’s Grotto and Ninu’s Cave – with fabulous stalagmites and stalactites. On the edge of town on the coast, you’ll find a stunning lookout on Ramla Bay and catch a glimpse of Calypso’s Cave.
This area is home to one of Gozo’s most famous tourist sites – the neolithic Ġgantija temples, built between 3600 and 3200 BC. These faascinating strucures are older than Egypt’s pyramids and you can find out all about how they were constructed and the life of the people who built them at the excellent visitor’s centre here
After all that culture you might want to head to beautiful Ramla Bay to relax on one of the best beaches in Europe for families. The beach is wide and a unique gorgeous red-gold colour sand.
South & South East: Xewkija – Nadur – San Blas Bay – Hondoq – Qala – Mgarr
San Blas Bay
From Victoria head south east towards Xewkija, whose village church, the Rotunda, dedicated to St John the Baptist, is the largest of all the many churches found in Gozo. Its dome is the world’s third highest unsupported dome, behind St Paul’s of London and St Peter’s in Rome.
The village of In- Nadur lies on a hill in eastern Gozo and has wonderful views over fertile countryside and towards the sea. Once again, the village skyline is dominated by a baroque church, this one dedicated to St Peter and St Paul. Each year on 29 June, the feast of the two saints (also called L-Imnarja) is celebrated. If you’re lucky enough to be in Gozo at the end of January/early February, Nadur’s famous Spontaneous Carnival is a must.
Not far from Nadur, and reached by a narrow and very steep road (although you’ll have to park and walk), is the peaceful San Blas Bay, with its pretty beach of red sand. Heading south east you’ll come to another picturesque fishing village called Daħlet Qorrot, which is home to some unique boathouses carved from caves and ledges at the base of the cliffs.
At Gozo’s southeastern tip is Honndoq ir-Rummien, a small beach popular with Gozitans, especially for summer evening barbeques. From here you get a great view of Malta. You can reach Honndoq via the village of Qala.
Ask us for help
Baron Holiday Homes is happy to organise car hire and tours of Gozo for our guests. Just get in touch and we’ll tell you all you need to know about walks near to your rental property.
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