Malta is an archipelago comprised of 3 islands. The main island is the largest and is the one that we landed on. We grabbed a bus (which ended up being 2 hours long – to avoid our headache check the schedules and routes so that you don’t make the same mistake we did) to the ferry terminal to catch the 25 minute ferry to the second largest island in Malta called Gozo. The ferry runs every 30 minutes and is super convenient to get back and forth. Overall the public transportation in Gozo is incredibly convenient and civilized – cannot say the same about the bigger island Malta – the buses seem to run on their own time regardless of what the schedule states.
We rented an Airbnb in Fort Chambray which is a fort built by the French in the 1700s. The fort has been partially modified to house condos and has 2 stunning pools – the location was amazing – you can see the Fort even from the island of Malta! If you are near Mgarr or the fort, consider visiting a restaurant that we fell in love with – Giuseppe’s. This place has patio seating overlooking the Mgarr Harbour and the statuesque Lady of Loreto church and square. The delicious inexpensive home cooked meals brought us back 5 of the 7 nights we were in Gozo!
Gozo has a coastal walking path around the island which is broken out into 4 different 4-7 hour walks. This was one of the most enjoyable parts of our week-long stay in Gozo. Each day we took a different path and saw first hand the incredible history and natural beauty of Gozo. Our first path started right outside of our Airbnb at Mgarr and we followed it along to Xlendi which is a quiet sea side village with a beautiful cove which is a definite must sea. Along the way there is an even smaller cove called Mgarr Ix Xini Fjord (which can also be reached by car) – absolutely one of my favorite quiet spots on the island and the setting for one of the scenes in By the Sea a movie with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Along the way you will also see the jaw dropping cliffs of Sannat – Ta Seguna Cliffs and the Ta Cenc Cliffs which are the highest cliffs in all of Gozo.
Even if you do not do all the walks around Gozo, make sure to visit the caves of San Lawrenz, the beach town of Marsalforn as well as the Xwejni Beach Bay which is very close to Marsalforn and easily found along the coastal walking path between San Lawrenz and Marsalforn.
Ramla Bay is considered the best beach of Gozo (or even Malta) it has a wide red sandy beach and a couple of restaurants with nothing much else around it (bus stops very close to the beach). A smaller and much quieter bay is San Blas Bay which is well worth the hike. It is a sister bay to Ramla and also has a red sandy beach (although much smaller). There is a hut restaurant there and not much else except for the stunning views and the sound of the crushing waves.
Most of the buses on Gozo travel through Victoria which is the capital of the island and is definitely worth a stroll through it’s ancient streets. Another recommended stop is the Citadel which is an area that has been inhabited since the Stone Age and has stunning views of the Gozo Valley.
The island of Comino (which is the small island between Malta and Gozo) is well worth a full day visit (or even a stay as it now has 2 hotels located on it). With a population of 4, Comino is a very quiet island which draws hikers (there is a wonderful coastal path around the island), historians and beach lovers alike. Make sure to bring water and snacks/lunch for the walk. There are a few snack trucks right at the ferry drop off/pick up point, but beyond that there are no stores or amenities. Blue Lagoon, which is a beach located just north of the ferry drop off on Comino is a turquoise, light blue water which is beyond delicious in the hot sun and looks like heaven and paradise rolled into one.
Getting to Comino from Malta or Gozo – ferry schedule and information.