In the summer months, travelling to Malta’s smaller and more rural sister island, Gozo, is a really popular trip for both tourists and residents. Some people go over just for the day, others to spend a few nights there either in a hotel, apartment or farmhouse.
Gozo is around a quarter of the size of Malta with picturesque villages scattered over hilltops across the island, and the land is greener and more fertile than that found in Malta. There are two popular seaside resorts – Marsalforn and Xlendi – where you can find a number of restaurants and hotels.
However some choose to shy away from the bustle of holiday resorts and rent a house of character or farmhouse in one of the inland villages such as Xaghra, Sannat, Qala or Gharb.
Getting from Malta to Gozo is straightforward via one of the three Gozo Channel Line car and foot passenger ferries: The Malita, The Ta’ Pinu and The Gaudos. All 3 have a cafeteria and a newsagent; the Malita has a double hoistable car deck, so can accommodate more cars than the others. As of the end of April 2010, the ticket offices transferred to the new terminal at Mgarr, Gozo, so if you’re travelling from Malta, you only pay your fare when you make the return journey back to Malta.
In Malta, the ferry terminal is at Cirkewwa, right on the northwest tip of Malta. You can get to Cirkewwa by car via Mellieha and the route is clearly signposted “Gozo” from all over Malta. From Bugibba/Qawra the drive takes approximately 15 minutes, and around half an hour from Sliema/St. Julian’s. If you don’t want to take your car across to Gozo, there is ample parking at the ferry terminal. Cirkewwa is served by a number of buses, no 44 and 45 go to and from the bus terminus at Valletta via Mosta (the Cirkewwa-Valletta trip takes approximately 50-60 minutes); bus no 645 goes to Sliema via Paceville/St. Julian’s and takes around 45 minutes.
The journey by ferry takes approximately 25 minutes, and sails past the small island of Comino with views of the Santa Marija Tower, which featured in the movie, “The Count of Montecristo”.
Standard fares are €4.65 for a foot passenger, and €15.70 for a car and driver (passengers in the car pay foot passenger rates).
Timetables vary depending on the time of year, with regular crossings every hour or so during the daytime. For ferry times, contact Gozo Channel Line on 2210 9000.