The easiest way to explore Gozo, one of the islands in Malta, is through one of the hop on hop off tours.
Gozo is the second largest island of the Maltese Archipelago. Compared to Malta, Gozo is sparsely populated and quite sleepy. I enjoyed our day exploring the island, and I especially love the little town of Victoria. If we had more time I would have loved to stay a night there.
There’s a public ferry that takes you to Gozo from Malta.
We went to Malta in January, which isn’t a typical time to visit. If you decide to do a winter trip like us, just know that the waters can get really choppy.
Even though it’s only 3 miles away, they sometimes have to cancel the ferry due to the weather. I was quite surprised by this since Malta seemed to have relatively mild weather in the winter, but the winds that cut through can get quite strong.
The ferry is large and has a cafe area where they serve food and drink. Since it was really windy, we stayed inside and enjoyed the views.
Gozo Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Tour
Once you arrive you can easily spot your bus.
There are two companies that run these bus tours. We opted for the bus tour with City Sightseeing. I don’t think it really makes a difference which company you book with. We honestly just went with them because they were a bit cheaper.
There are two route options. The shorter route takes about an hour without traffic, and the longer route about 90 minutes. In high season traffic can be really bad, so plan accordingly.
I recommend the longer route so you can visit Dwejra, where the Azure window used to be. Although it’s no longer standing, the area is still interesting to explore.
The buses run about every 45 minutes.
The buses are quite full in the summer months, but in the winter we had room to stretch out.
We also learned that Gozo is next to deserted in January. It was kind of awesome, but also kind of strange. The homes were abandoned, construction was halted for the winter, and the entire island was just void of people.
Things to Keep in Mind
We learned that if you opt for the open-air seating up top, you may get stuck up there if it’s raining. We weren’t allowed to stand down below, so at the end of our trip, we ended up sitting in a light drizzle for a bit.
We wanted to make sure we caught the ferry back, so we made sure to only stop at our top spots. This included the famous Azure Window that has unfortunately since collapsed. But that area is still worth exploring.
So be sure to do a bit of planning for stops, and keep the ferry schedule in mind. If we’d had more time, I would have explored Victoria a bit more.
Is the Hop-on, Hop-off Tour Worth It?
In my opinion yes, it’s worth it. For the price point and the amount of things you see in a short time, I think it’s a great way to spend the day.
If you really don’t want to be with the masses, though, you could opt for a private tour like this fun Tuk Tuk Tour with boat transfer too. Just be prepared to spend much more than you would with the ferry and bus options.