Included in the package I bought for visiting the Blue Lagoon in Comino, was a day trip to Gozo, and if something’s included, it’d be rude not to take advantage of that, right?
So after spending the morning diving in and out of those glorious Comino blues, I dried off on deck, got changed and got ready to make the most of my day trip to Gozo.
The tour I booked was with Hornblower Cruises, a family-owned business in Malta, and the tour included a trip to the Blue Lagoon in Comino, a day trip to Gozo (lasting approx 3 hours) and a return trip to Bugibba passing by the sea caves. But you can read more about those details here, because this post is all about what I got up to on my day trip to Gozo!
However, if you’re not planning on visiting Gozo as part of a tour, fear not. Because there’s a boat which departs every 45 minutes from Cirkewwa on the island of Malta and heads to Gozo for a round-trip price of 5 EUR.
After departing the Blue Lagoon, the Hornblower boat docked in the Mgarr Harbour and that’s where my day trip to Gozo began. After arriving on the island, I had 3 hours to explore as part of Hornblower’s “Taste Of The Island” segment. During the stop on Gozo, you’re more than welcome to explore the surroundings yourself, but to be honest a tour was easier and meant there was no need to worry about timings or transport. The minibus was waiting as I arrived, and after I loaded into the bus with 8 others, we were off!
What To Do In Gozo
The first stop during the day trip to Gozo was to the capital city of Victoria (also Known As Ir-Rabat).
The centre was bustling with cafes and local markets, but I was there to see one thing…
The UNESCO Site of Citadella
The Citadella is situated in the centre of Gozo, atop a nice uphill climb. You’ll want to take water for this part of the trip, as walking around in that midday Maltese sun is something else!
Luckily, once you get into the fortified city of Citadella and above the narrow winding walkways, the views open up—and so does the breeze.
The Citadella is built upon a hill, providing a strategic vantage point, and it has been at the centre of activity on the island for generations, possibly since the Neolithic times. It’s told that the Citadel was fortified during the Bronze Age (around 1500 BC, if you’re curious) and was later developed by the Phoenicians before it was turned into a complex Acropolis in the Roman times. All I know is that the city dominates the skyline and it’s easy to see why. It’s really quite beautiful.
I walked around the city in the beating sun, appreciating the Norman-style windows and arches, snapping photos and making the most of every bit of shade I could find. Before returning to the city of Victoria for a drink, an ice-cream and to wait at the pickup point ready for my next destination.
Ta Pinu Church
This is a stop which is supposed to happen during the “Taste Of The Island” tour. However, on Sundays (and some days) it doesn’t. My trip was one such someday. Which is a shame as the Romanesque-style pilgrimage church dedicated to the Virgin Mary looks quite picturesque with its solitary 47-meter-high campanile. Instead, I saw it from afar, on route to the next stop of my day trip to Gozo…
A small house once stood atop the hills surrounding the inland sea, and it’s rumoured that that’s where the location drew its name from. However, the area of Dwejra is no longer known for the house. It’s known for its unique features and the cool swimming spot connected to the sea through a tunnel, perfect for bathers, snorkelers and divers alike.
It’s also famous for being the location where the Azure window used to stand. Unfortunately, a dramatic storm hit the arch and now the Azure window is buried in the sea below. But the sea nearby is still nice for swimming in though. However, on the day I was visiting the water was hella choppy and looked quite dangerous. Something which didn’t seem to deter people who were still swimming in the pool below, but I’m a safety girl, so no danger swims for me.
Shortly after this picture was taken a wave broke over the barrier pushing them all into the edges. Nobody was injured, but it must have hurt and could have so easily gone wrong. So this is just a friendly internet reminder to stay safe when travelling. Nothing ruins travel plans quite like dying!
Dying wasn’t on my agenda, so I scrapped the danger swims and decided to take the view in from above instead, and was rewarded with beautiful views (and slight fatigue from a day of walking around in 33°c sunshine).
After that, it was back to the Mgarr Harbour to embark upon the return journey. I began the journey by hiding in the lower-deck with a bowl of chips from the onboard cafe. Before returning to sit outside and take it in the evening sun and coastal views.
Was A Day Trip To Gozo Enough?
Honestly, it depends on how you like to travel. There were both pros and cons for exploring Gozo this way. For example:
It was a nice way to spend a few hours of a holiday.
The Hornblower trip was well organised which meant that I didn’t have to think about timings, transport or getting lost and missing the boat—which helped me relax tremendously.
There were 9 of us in total on the minibus, made up of two couples and a group of five. That group of five? Rude. I kept to myself but the snide comments and general way they spoke to people was… Not my style to say the least.
The tour felt a little rushed. Not in the sense that there wasn’t ample time for the places. But in the sense that Gozo has a lot more to offer than a three-hour, three-location trip.
The “Taste Of The Island” tour is great for a little taste, but to be honest, if I were to do another day trip to Gozo, I’d do a self-drive tour to give myself more time in the places which interested me. I’d also add the following places to my list:
The Megalithic Temples
Considering I spent most of my history lessons sitting outside of the classroom in time-out for talking too much, I seem to love history when I’m exploring—and the Ġgantija temples seem fascinating. They’re older than the pyramids of Egypt and are the oldest Megalithic Temples of Malta.
The Marsalforn Salt Pans
I don’t know why salt pans in Malta interest me so much. I saw them in Bugibba and St Peter’s Pool, but for some reason these carved out rocks make my eyeballs happy. If you pass by at the right time of year, it can make your taste buds happy too, as between May and September the salt is harvested, with many vendors selling the goods on the side of the roads.
Wied II Gashri
Not far from the salt pans, is Wied II Gashri—a small cove situated between two cliffs. If you spend much time on Instagram you’ll have seen many a drone image of this place. The only way to get to the water is by walking down the cliff. But don’t worry, there are plenty of stairs carved into the rock to help you get there. Once there you’ll find beautiful clear water, perfect for a little midday dip.
Tal Mixta Cave
If you prefer to appreciate water from above it, rather than in it, the Tal Mixta cave provides the perfect viewpoint, looking down at the beach below. It’s not so much a place to explore, as it is a place to take photos. But the walk is worth it for those coastal views!