How to Get to Gozo from Malta: All Options + Tips

Learn the best options for getting to Gozo from Malta. Includes options from Valletta, Sliema, St Julians, & Bugibba with tips for saving costs & time!

Gozo is approximately 5 kilometers (about 3 miles) northwest of Malta. The most common option is to take the ferry ride from Malta’s Cirkewwa port to Gozo’s Mgarr port. This takes around 25-30 minutes but there are many options fast boats and day trips as well.

Below I’ll break down each option with recommendations to help you plan your visit!

Option 1: Gozo Day Trip from Malta

While I recommend spending at least two days on Gozo to really take in the culture and see the best sites, it is possible to visit Gozo on a day trip.

There are two full day trip options that really stand out in terms of inclusions, reviews, and value for money. These are the Self-Drive ATV Tour & Powerboat Ride and the Gozo Full-Day Jeep Tour & Powerboat Ride.

These are similar experiences, and in the end, it just comes down to whether you prefer exploring on an ATV or in a Jeep. Both of these day trips include Hotel pickup/drop-off in Malta and visits to some top Gozo attractions and popular places such as:

  • Famous Gozo beaches like Ramla Bay
  • Victoria & the Citadel
  • Calypso Cave
  • Marsalforn Village
  • Bonus: Speedboat trip to the Blue Lagoon & Comino Caves

Option 2: Public Car Ferry to Gozo

Next, travelers have the option of taking the public car ferry to Gozo from the small port of Ċirkewwa on the northwest corner of Malta Island. This short ferry ride takes approximately 15 minutes and ends at the main port in Gozo (Mġarr Harbour).

Additionally, passengers taking the Gozo Ferry can simply turn up at the port, with trips departing roughly every thirty minutes. You’ll pay for your return boat trip ticket on the way back to Malta (we paid roughly €20 for a car and 2-passenger return trip).

Gozo car ferry from maltaGozo car ferry from maltaGozo car ferry from malta
Taking the public car ferry to Gozo

Option 3: Fast Ferry to Gozo from Valletta

Next up is the fast-ferry option from Valletta to Gozo, taking approximately 45 minutes. This costs around €15 per person for the return journey.

The fast ferry terminal is located at the Lascaris Wharf Terminal in the Valletta Grand Harbour. Similarly to the car ferry above, the trip ends at the Mġarr Port on Gozo.

  • Ferry fares: Adults and youths pay €7.50 one way. Gozo residents pay €2.25, students €4.50, seniors and disability card holders €3.00, children (4-10 years) €3.00, and infants up to 3 years travel free.
  • The Mgarr-Valletta ferry runs every hour from 5:45 am to 10:45 pm, with additional trips on Fridays and Saturdays until 12:15 am.
  • The Valletta-Mgarr ferry operates from 6:45 am to 10:45 pm, with extra trips on Fridays and Saturdays until 1:15 am.

Remember that this fast ferry cannot accommodate vehicles. Therefore this is only a good option for visitors staying in Valletta and looking to explore Gozo on foot or via the limited public transport bus system once they arrive.

Mgarr harbour, gozo island, maltaMgarr harbour, gozo island, maltaMgarr harbour, gozo island, malta
Arriving at Mġarr on Gozo Island

How to Get to Gozo from Valletta

Valletta offers a couple of convenient options for getting to Gozo, with travel times varying based on your choice of transportation.

My Recommendation: I recommend taking the fast ferry if you’re short on time and traveling without a vehicle. It’s quick and convenient, allowing you to maximize your time exploring Gozo. Otherwise, check out the day trip options below.

Option 1: Direct Ferry from Lascaris Wharf Terminal

  • Details: The fast ferry from Valletta to Gozo is the quickest way to reach the island, taking approximately 45 minutes. The terminal is located at the Lascaris Wharf Terminal in the Valletta Grand Harbour.
  • Cost: Around €7.50 one way or €15 per person for a return journey.
  • Duration: Approximately 45 minutes.
  • Tips: This ferry cannot accommodate vehicles, so it is ideal for visitors staying in Valletta and looking to explore Gozo on foot or via the limited public transport bus system once they arrive.
Gozo fast ferry in valletta grand harbour, maltaGozo fast ferry in valletta grand harbour, maltaGozo fast ferry in valletta grand harbour, malta

Option 2: Bus and Car Ferry from Ċirkewwa

  • Details: Take a bus (41 or 221) from Bugibba to the Ċirkewwa Ferry Terminal, then the main Gozo ferry to Mgarr Harbour.
  • Cost: The bus fare is around €2 per person, and the car ferry return ticket is €4.65 for foot passengers and €15.70 for a car and driver.
  • Duration: The bus journey takes about 40 minutes, and the ferry ride is approximately 25-30 minutes.
  • Tips: Suitable for those bringing a vehicle or preferring a more flexible schedule. You’ll pay for your ticket on the way back from Gozo.

How to Get to Gozo from Sliema or St Julians

Sliema and St Julians are popular places to stay in Malta and while there are no direct ferries, there are a couple of convenient options for getting to Gozo.

My Recommendation: If you’re looking for speed and convenience, I recommend going for the fast ferry via Valletta. It’s a quick and efficient way to get to Gozo, especially if you’re traveling without a vehicle. Otherwise, the bus and car ferry option is great for those who want to bring their vehicle or have more flexibility in their schedule.

Option 1: Fast Ferry via Valletta

  • Details: First, take a ferry or bus to Valletta. Then, catch the fast ferry from the Lascaris Wharf Terminal to Gozo.
  • Cost: Ferry or bus to Valletta costs around €2-€3 per person, and the fast ferry is about €7.50 one-way or €15 per person for a return journey.
  • Duration: Approximately 45 minutes for the fast ferry plus the transit time to Valletta (15-30 minutes).
  • Tips: Ideal for those who prefer a quick journey without a vehicle. The fast ferry schedule changes frequently, so check the times in advance.

Option 2: Bus and Car Ferry

  • Details: Take a bus (X2) from Sliema to the Ċirkewwa Ferry Terminal, then the main Gozo ferry to Mgarr Harbour.
  • Cost: The bus fare is around €2 per person, and the car ferry return ticket is €4.65 for foot passengers and €15.70 for a car and driver.
  • Duration: The bus journey takes about 1 hour 30 minutes, and the ferry ride is approximately 25-30 minutes.
  • Tips: Suitable for travelers who want to bring a vehicle or prefer a more leisurely pace. Tickets are purchased on your return trip from Gozo.

How to Get to Gozo from Bugibba

From Bugibba, there was a verry going to Gozo. However, there have been upgrades on the jetty and the boat is currently not stopping there. Therefore, I recommend taking the bus to Valletta and catching the ferry from there.

Alternatively, take the bus:

  • Details: Take a bus (41 or 221) from Bugibba to the Ċirkewwa Ferry Terminal, then the main Gozo ferry to Mgarr Harbour.
  • Cost: The bus fare is around €2 per person, and the car ferry return ticket is €4.65 for foot passengers and €15.70 for a car and driver.
  • Duration: The bus journey takes about 40 minutes, and the ferry ride is approximately 25-30 minutes.
  • Tips: Suitable for those bringing a vehicle or preferring a more flexible schedule. Tickets are purchased on your return trip from Gozo.

Where to Stay on Gozo

Due to its small size and well-connected network of buses and roads, choosing the ideal location to stay in Gozo is less crucial than on the main island of Malta.

However, if you ask, locals will always tell you that to get the complete Gozitan experience, what’s more important is picking a traditional boutique hotel over a luxury resort or modern hotel. You’ll find many boutique hotels in Gozo dotted all over the island, from Nadur to Xlendi. Below are the 3 top picks.

1. Quaint Boutique Hotel Boutique

Accommodation on Malta’s quieter sister island should reflect its more peaceful and traditional ambiance. This beautifully renovated boutique hotel is situated directly beside the Nadur Parish Church, with spacious balcony terraces looking over the town square.

2. Viewpoint Boutique Living – Xlendi

This family-run boutique hotel dates back 300 years and is situated on a beautiful cliff overlooking the Xlendi Valley and the Mediterranean Sea. The location is ideal for couples looking to get away, with convenient access to the beach and just a short 2 km drive to the Citadella.

3. Kempinski Hotel – San Lawrenz

For travelers preferring modern, 5-star luxury, the Kempinski Hotel is your best bet. This amazing hotel is located in San Lawrenz, on a 30,000m² tropical oasis. An excellent choice for larger groups and families as there are self-catering apartment options as well!

Bus Transport Options to Gozo

The main locations in Malta are serviced by direct routes to the Ċirkewwa ferry terminal where you can board the ferry and cross the channel to Gozo. If you’re a traveler on foot and trying to save money, this is my recommended route.

Below is a table of the available bus routes, their starting points, and key bus stops along the way:

Route Starting Point Key Bus Stops
42 Valletta Floriana, Ħamrun, Santa Venera, Fleur-de-Lys, Birkirkara, Ħal Lija, Mosta, Burmarrad, St. Paul’s Bay, Xemxija, Mellieħa, Marfa
41 Valletta Floriana, Pieta, Msida, Swatar, Birkirkara, Ħal Lija, Mosta, Burmarrad, St. Paul’s Bay, Xemxija, Mellieħa, Marfa
101 Mġarr Zebbiegħ, Mġarr, Għajn Tuffieħa, Manikata, Mellieħa, Marfa
221 Buġibba Qawra, Buġibba, St. Paul’s Bay, Xemxija, Mellieħa, Marfa
222 Sliema St. Julians, Swieqi, Pembroke, Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq, Qawra, St. Paul’s Bay, Xemxija, Mellieħa, Marfa
X1 Malta International Airport Msida, Swieqi, Qawra, St. Paul’s Bay, Mellieħa
X300 Valletta Msida

How to Get Around and Explore Gozo Island

While Gozo Island is relatively small, you’ll need some sort of transport to get around to all the attractions and must-visit spots.

Again, I highly recommend renting a car in Malta and bringing it over cheaply on the car ferry. This is exactly what I did and it offers the most freedom to explore.

Alternatively, the only public transport on Gozo is a limited but fairly useful network of route buses. There are a total of 15 bus routes on the island, running in each direction between Victoria (Rabat), and the Mġarr Harbour ferry terminal.

Another option is to rent an ATV near the main ferry port. However, I found this option to be just as expensive as the day trips above and comparable to renting a car on Malta, to begin with.

Tip: Car prices can skyrocket and sell out for the summer months. I recommend checking DiscoverCars to compare deals across dealerships before you arrive.

FAQs

What is the most common way to get to Gozo from Malta?

The most common way to get to Gozo from Malta is by taking the ferry from Malta’s Cirkewwa port to Gozo’s Mgarr port. This ferry ride takes around 25-30 minutes and there are many bus routes (explained in this article) to get to the terminal.

What is the fastest way to get to Gozo?

The fastest way to get to Gozo is by taking the fast ferry from Valletta, which takes approximately 45 minutes. That said, if you are staying in Mellieha or somewhere in North Malta, it will be faster to go via Cirkewwa.

Can I take my car to Gozo?

Yes, you can take your car to Gozo on the public car ferry from Ċirkewwa. The return ticket costs approximately €15.70 for a car and driver. You do not need to book in advance and you pay on the return from Gozo.

How easy is it to get to Gozo from Malta?

Getting to Gozo from Malta is very easy. You can take the public car ferry from Ċirkewwa, which runs every 30 minutes and takes 25-30 minutes, or the fast ferry from Valletta, which takes about 45 minutes. Both options are reliable and frequent.

What airport do you fly to for Gozo?

There is no airport on Gozo. Many different international airlines fly to Malta International Airport which is the only airport for all islands.

Whether you opt for the ferry, day trip, or public transport, I hope this guide has helped you plan your trip to Gozo! Check out more of my guides below for more inspiration and advice.