A Guide to Gozo – Getting There, Cost and More
Is it worthwhile holidaying in or visiting Gozo for the day? Here I will cover all the ins and outs of Gozo so you can get an overview of the island, whether it is cheaper than Malta, child friendly, how to get to Gozo and more.
I have an article here that compares Malta vs Gozo. Essentially, Gozo is a smaller island than Malta and is much less commercialised. Hence it is quieter, with much less traffic and a more laid back feel. Gozo is wilder with more scenic views than Malta and a small handful of activities that make it ideal for a short stay. It is well worth a visit even if you do not stay for a night or more.
Activities wise there isn’t much for younger children. Except for some play grounds here and there like the Victoria playground located here on Google maps which is behind Vill Rundle Gardens and beaches which children always enjoy. Gozo is better for older children and adults. In fact here is a list of activities and places to visit in Gozo you can find on this site.
When to Visit For a Holiday in Gozo
Gozo is nice all year round. However the best time of year to visit Gozo is during Spring or autumn after it has had a chance to rain several times. This is because it is warmer than winter, but not too hot like it is in summer. As a result the hills are lush with greenery and you can go for long walks or hikes and you can get up to all sorts of outdoor activities.
On the other hand during summer the land gets parched because of the hot weather. So the hills are dry and yellowish brown in colour and it is not ideal to hike.
In fact summer outdoor activities for extended periods of time are more tiring in the summer sun. To protect yourself you should make sure to slap on some good sun cream and wear a hat. To give you an idea here is the average temperature by month:
Average Temperature in Malta and Gozo
In summer it is easier to stick to activities indoors. If you are out and about you should limit the amount of walking during peak hours of the sun. That is to say from 11:00-16:00. The ideal times to go for extended walks in summer are in the early morning when the sun has not had time to sizzle the ground. Or late evening when the ground and air have cooled down.
However the good thing about summer time is that you can enjoy swimming at any one of the beaches in Gozo.
Cost of Gozo
In general Gozo is cheaper than Malta for activities, food and drinks. Restaurants are usually a at least several euros cheaper per plate unless you go to tourist traps. A hotel room is around 10% cheaper in Gozo, however Airbnb accommodation is 30% more expensive than Malta.
Activities for a holiday in Gozo do not cost much except for Ggantija. Ggantija will cost you €10 per adult and reduced prices apply for kids and senior citizens. With your Ggantija ticket you can also get access to the Ta’ Kola windmill, which is within walking distance of the temples.
All other activities are cheaper. Unless you decide to go for an organised tour. In that case you will be paying much more to visit any location. There are some good organised tours to visit Gozo by Get Your Guide. They will allow you to do fun activities while visiting scenic places, or visit the highlights with expert guides that will provide historical context.
Restaurants are cheaper in Gozo. They used to be a lot cheaper, but recently prices on the island have been going up. Ideally if you want to save money on food while on holiday in Gozo you should stay away from tourist traps. Like for example the Xlendi Bay area or Rabat the capital of Gozo. Other towns and villages will usually have cheaper food and drinks.
Based on data accumulated in September 2022, hotels across Gozo are generally cheaper than those in Malta. On the other hand Airbnb houses and apartments are more expensive than those in busier towns in Malta.
|Location||Average Hotel Price||Average Airbnb Price|
|St Julians, Malta||€101||€164|
|St Paul’s Bay||€93||€166|
How to Get Cheaper Accommodation
Of course you can pay less than the average price for accommodation fairly easily in Malta and Gozo. In fact if it were not for one hotel in St Paul’s Bay that costs €456 per night the average price would be €78. You can find more average prices for hotels in different towns outlined here in is Malta expensive?
If you want more choice to find the right hotel, Booking.com has way more than eight times the amount of listed accommodation in Malta than any other travel online marketplace like Expedia. Although the good thing about Expedia is that you can book packages.
In comparison to hotels, holiday flats or houses are more expensive. However they usually have more than one bedroom. Hence they accommodate more people which makes it more worthwhile for families.
Regardless, a lot of local Maltese have recently complained about exorbitant prices for holiday flats in Gozo. This is because many locals tended to go to Gozo for weekend breaks throughout the year.
However since prices have gone up, locals are not going up to Gozo as much, if at all. Instead the locals might go up for the day and do not spend the night there.
Other locals think it is more worthwhile to travel to the nearby island of Sicily instead for the price. The trip is cheaper even though you have to also pay for the flight or ferry to get there. Plus Sicily is beautiful, with good food and activities. Here is a guide comparing Sicily vs Malta on costs, historical attractions, beaches, kids activities and more.
My husband’s family have noticed many friends on facebook have gone on holiday to Sicily this year. It is not impossible to get cheaper prices for accommodation in Gozo, you can easily find good deals. However during peak summer months prices do go up.
How to Get to Gozo
Gozo does not have an airport, but it has harbours for ferries that carry passengers and goods to the island. So to get to the island you first need to land in Malta. You can opt to fly and land in Malta International Airport or get a ferry from Sicily if you are driving down.
After that you need to figure out which ferry you are going to use to go for your holiday in Gozo. There are a couple of different ferries you could opt for that depart from different locations in Malta.
Gozo Ferry Information
|Ferry||Harbour location||Travel Time|
|Gozo Channel||Cirkewwa Ferry Terminal, Malta||25 minutes|
|Gozo Fast Ferry||Lascaris Wharf Terminal, Valletta, Malta||45 minutes|
There is only 4km distance by sea between Malta and Gozo from their closest points in Cirkewwa and Mgarr respectively. Even though the Gozo Channel ferry has a shorter distance to travel and takes less time to arrive, by comparison it is slower than the Gozo Fast Ferry.
This is because it is a slower ferry, but partly because the ferry staff have to guide passengers to where and how to park their cars. Hence boarding takes a little longer.
Both Valletta and Cirkewwa have a large bus terminus where many different buses go to and stop. The only difference with Cirkewwa, is that it takes more time to get there because it is in a remote spot in the northern most point of Malta.
|Gozo Channel||Car + driver €15.70, €4.65 pp return*|
|Gozo Fast Ferry||€7 pp one way*|
Tickets for the Gozo Fast Ferry are more expensive than the ones for the Gozo Channel. Additionally they are one way tickets so you will pay €14 per person to go to Gozo and come back. On the other hand the Gozo Channel is much cheaper because it also includes the return trip.
To clarify If you are boarding the Gozo Channel with no car then you need to pay €4.65 per person. However if you are driving onto the ferry with a car then you will pay €15.70 for the car and driver. Any additional person will need to pay €4.65 each. You will pay the fair in Gozo when you queue up for the ferry to return back to Malta.