Mystical, historic, beautiful… holidays in Gozo have a lot to offer besides days spent lounging in the sun...
Gozo is part of the Maltese archipelago, which sits in the Mediterranean Sea between Sicily and Tunisia. The islands – Malta, Gozo and Comino – have been influenced by many nations and you can feel the touch of Italy, Africa and even Britain during a stay here (you still find red telephone and post boxes on these former islands of the British Empire).
The silver screen is also influencing life on Gozo. Angelina Jolie directed and starred in “By the Sea” during a lengthy stay on the island, with frequent visits from husband Brad Pitt, while the Azure Window – a limestone arch on the west coast - took a star turn in TV’s “Game of Thrones”. Gozo has starred in many films and TV series over the years, but its most recent performances have raised the profile for Gozo holidays.
To enjoy a Gozo holiday, visitors fly into Malta Airport and then complete the journey by road and sea via fast and frequent ferry services. Consider hiring a car in Malta and bringing a vehicle over on the ferry. Alternatively, hire a car in Gozo for your arrival on the island. The island is small – not even nine miles across – but there is much to explore and having a car makes it easy to see the best of it.
Dozens of churches dot the landscape here, with pre-historic temples claiming even older religious roots. You can see them by hiking one of the island’s many trails, or head just offshore for some of the best diving in the Med.
There are a handful of luxury hotels in Gozo, many of which offer swimming pools, spas, and exquisite dining. Some of the bigger hotels occupy rural spots on the island, with little to do in the immediate area (another good reason to book car hire). To be close to local restaurants and bars, stay in more developed resorts such as Xlendi and Marsalforn. The capital Victoria, formerly and still often known as Rabat, is also a great place to base your holiday in Gozo.
If you are hoping for a great-value holiday in the sun, Gozo could be your dream destination. Use TravelSupermarket’s search tool to compare holiday deals to Gozo.
Read our climate guide to Gozo to figure out when to go…
The main holiday season in Gozo runs from May to October, when average daytime temperatures top 20C. It’s hot here in July and August, very hot, with 30C+ temperatures during the day and warm evenings (jackets are definitely not required). June and September, meanwhile, experience average temperatures in the high-twenties and fewer crowds, making them a great time to look for cheap holidays.
Winters are mild in Gozo (average daytime temperatures of 15C in January) and sightseeing is a real pleasure at this much less popular time of year.
Don’t be shy, head to any of these fantastic annual events in Gozo and party it up with the locals…
Carnival; February/March: It’s off-season in Gozo, but if you do venture to the island at this time of year you should travel to the inland village of Nadur where the islanders put on a terrific show. Words such as “macabre” and “grotesque” are thrown around a lot by those describing this event, so expect a surprise or two.
Summer feasts: Not a week goes by between June and September without a celebration of a saint or some other religious festivity. Island visitors are warmly welcomed at all of the “village festas” throughout the season.
Festival Mediterranea; October-November: A showcase for the cultural traditions and artistic talents of the island, this annual event has opera, guided walks, exhibitions, feasting and much more.
For a small island, Gozo packs a big punch on the tourism scene. Here are a few ideas for things to see and do…
Grown-up families: Gozo loves opera. There are many operatic events held during the Festival Mediterranea each autumn, while you can also attend a performance at one of the two theatres in Victoria during your stay. Book tickets before you arrive on the island to avoid disappointment.
Active types: High visibility, warm waters and an underwater terrain that simply astounds are the main reasons why Gozo is one of the top diving destinations on the planet. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced diver, there is a dive centre here to get you in that wetsuit and deliver you into an incredible world beneath the waves.
Free and cheap: Visit the Ggantija Temples during your stay. More than 5,000 years old, these megalithic stone structures are bound to impress.