Eight great places to visit in Gozo

Reading time: 3 - 6 minutes

Though it’s the second largest of the three islands that make up the Maltese archipelago, Gozo measures barely nine miles by five. But what Malta’s little sister lacks in size, she more than makes up for in beautiful beaches, UNESCO-listed treasures, and wonderful coastal walks with plenty of spectacular views. Here’s our round-up of eight fabulous places to visit on this Mediterranean stunner.

Daħlet Qorrot Bay

Nestled between the northern cliffs near the island’s second city, in-Nadur, this quiet cove is popular with locals looking to cool off with a swim. You can ease yourself in from the pebble beach, but most of the swimming is done from the rocks by the brightly coloured boathouses. The turquoise waters here are teeming with marine life including red mullet, parrot fish, and the occasional eel, so you’ll often spot fishing boats bobbing offshore, or fishermen mending their nets in the shallows.

Mġarr ix-Xini Tower

Built by the Knights of Malta in 1661, Mġarr ix-Xini is the largest of Gozo’s four surviving watchtowers erected during the Knight’s Period. Standing guard over its namesake bay, the tower is open to the public and offers spectacular views towards Malta’s north coast. The secluded inlet it overlooks is a beautiful spot for swimming and snorkelling, and the scenic path from the bay to the tower has been recently renovated. The bay also attracts divers looking to explore the several intriguing sea caves and the nearby wreck of the ferryboat, “Xlendi”.

Victoria, Gozo

Victoria

The Maltese archipelago was part of the British Empire for 150 years and in honour of the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887, Gozo’s largest town was named after the long-reigning monarch. Victorias centrepiece is the Ċittadella (also known as Il-Kastell), the town’s fortified old quarter. While most of the colossal walls were built in the early 17th century by the Order of Saint John, parts date back to the 15th century and there's archaeological evidence of fortifications atop this flat-topped hill since the Bronze Age. Climb onto the battlements for views of the entire island, check out an array of interesting museums, and step into the baroque Cathedral of the Assumption to admire the magnificent painted ceiling.

Fungus Rock, Gozo

Fungus Rock

A small rock with a big history, this tiny islet lies off Gozo’s west coast. It’s the only place in Europe where Cynomorium coccineus is known to grow – a rare plant which was highly prized in the early 17th century. This fungus-like perennial was believed to have a long list of medicinal properties including the treatment of dysentery and use as a dressing for wounds. So coveted was the plant that during the occupation of the islands by the Knights of St John, unauthorised access to the rock was punishable by three years' service as an oarsman aboard a galley ship. Pharmacologists have since found it doesn't impact health in the ways it was thought, though it has been shown to lower blood pressure.

Dwejra Tower

Though it was one of several watchtowers built to warn of attack by pirates or invaders, Dwejra’s main purpose was to prevent people from accessing the aforementioned Fungus Rock. Thanks to its position on a coastal vantage point, it offers far-reaching views over the Mediterranean towards the north-east coast of Africa. During the island’s time under British rule, the tower was manned by the King’s Own Malta Regiment in WWI before serving as an observation post in WWII. Recently restored, the tower is now open to the public and houses a restaurant serving traditional Maltese food.

Lady of Ta’ Pinu Basilica

The origins of this golden-stone chapel date back to the 16th century and it’s arguably the most spectacular church on Gozo. Set on the edge of a sheer seaside cliff, Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu Basilica provides awe-inspiring views over the island and ample some spectacular photo opportunities. In 2017, a set of 20 mosaics depicting the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary were installed in the grounds, creating an open-air space for meditation and prayer. Legend has it that the church was scheduled for demolition in 1575 on the orders of Pope Gregory XIII. But when the workman who struck the first hammer blow broke his arm, it was taken as a bad omen and the church was saved.

Calypso Cave

Predominantly made of limestone, the Maltese islands are pockmarked with hundreds of coastal caves. The most famous on Gozo is Calypso Cave. Located on the west coast of the island, people visit this natural wonder to enjoy birds-eye views over the Med, all framed by the arch of the cave’s roof. According to ancient Greek poet Homer in The Odyssey, this is the place where love-sick nymph Calypso seduced Odysseus and kept him captive for seven years. Below the cave, you can see the ruins of a defence fortification built by the Knights of Malta in the 18th century.

Ġgantija Temples

Commanding soaring views over most of southern Gozo, this megalithic temple complex is an incredible feat of ancient architecture that predates the Pyramids of Egypt. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ġgantija (meaning giantess in Maltese) lives up to its name. With walls standing over 6m high and spanning over 40m, they’re the largest of the megalithic structures found on the Maltese Islands and dating from 3600 to 3000 BC, believed to be the oldest, too. The museum and visitor centre showcases some of the fascinating artefacts discovered here and you can arrange a private tour of the site with an expert for a small additional price to the entry fee.

Feeling inspired to visit Gozo?

Discover beautiful beaches, UNESCO-listed treasures, and wonderful coastal walks with our 7-night walking holiday on this Mediterranean gem.