Day 3.  A Ferry to Gozo

Drawing back the curtains we were dismayed to find it was raining heavily and a strong wind was blowing.  Not to be deterred, we kept with our original plans and caught a bus (No.221) to the Gozo ferry terminal at Cirkewwa, taking approximately 30 minutes.

During the winter months ferries depart for Gozo at 45 minute intervals and we only had a short time to wait until the 10.30 a.m. departure.  No tickets for the outbound journey are required but passengers need to purchase a ticket to return to Malta, costing  €4.65 each.

Mgarr, Gozo

The car ferry took 20 minutes to reach Mgarr and from the cafeteria we bought cups of tea which were very cheap at only 50 cents each.  Bus 301 is timed to meet the ferry at Mgarr and takes just 15 minutes to arrive in Gozo’s small capital city, Victoria.  From here, we were able to use our 7 day Explorer Card on the bus as it is also valid on Gozo.  Locals still refer to its capital as Lr Rabat although it was officially renamed Victoria to celebrate the British Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

St George’s Basilica, Victoria

Our first stop in Victoria was to St. George’s Basilica standing proudly at the head of a charming sandstone square.  Here we explored the sumptuous church interior and its Baroque edifice before climbing the narrow, winding streets up to the very centre of the island to reach an ornate archway entrance into The Citadel.

The Citadel. Victoria, Gozo

This miniature walled city sits on a rocky cliff commanding views of most of the island (or at least it would have done, had the visibility not been so poor).  A Citadel has existed here since Roman times but the current structure was built in the 17th century.  The Citadel has been included on Malta’s list of tentative UNESCO World Heritage sites since 1998.

Baroque Roman Catholic Cathedral, The Citadel, Gozo

Within the walls of The Citadel we were able to visit the Baroque Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Assumption built in 1697 and the Archaeological Museum which offers free admission and focuses on the history of Gozo from pre-historic to medieval periods.

Walking along the Roman walls of The Citadel exploring the ruins

It was then time for a walk along the perimeter walls where it was so windy that it was difficult to keep the camera still to take photographs.  By chance, as we were walking round at mid-day we had timed it perfectly to watch the 17th century bronze cannon being fired at noon, its sound resonating across the valley.

Victoria, Gozo

It was then back down the steps into Victoria and a stroll through the maze of narrow lanes admiring homes with grand wrought iron balconies on their sandstone facades and small shopfronts with quaint old English style signs above their doors.  As the rain became heavier we decided to return by bus to the ferry terminal and make our way back to our hotel in Bugibba.  The bus connection in Cirkewwa was again reasonably good and this took us back to our hotel just in time to enjoy afternoon tea with scones, jam and cream in Cafe Mazoc and an opportunity to dry out.

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49 thoughts on “Day 3.  A Ferry to Gozo

  1. Very brave of you to continue with your visit to Gozo given the bad weather. However, if we all waited for perfect weather we wouldn’t see very much, that’s for sure. Nice pics of Gozo. The scones would have been very welcome after such a wet and windy day out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think a week would probably be best to be able to visit many of the island’s top sights and allow some time for relaxation. Malta is very pleasant and inexpensive compared to their parts of Southern Europe. Thank you for reading and commenting on my post.

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  2. It’s a shame about the poor weather on your day for Gozo! The Azure Window is so much fun and you can take a boat right up to the base for a close up view. The Ggantija temples that another reader also mentioned are so worth the trip as they are 5500 years old- the oldest free-standing man-made structures in the world! I hope the weather cleared up for the rest of your trip!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Shyami

    We did the world heritage site Gangtija temples and the Arch in Gozo… kids just hated the ferry because the seas were so choppy and it was a rainy day for us too! But loved Victoria!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. travelrat

    Buses have numbers in Malta now? When I was there in the early 1970s, you needed to know the *colour* of the bus you wanted. (e.g. the one I used most was the Valletta-Zurrieq service, which always used yellow buses with a red stripe)

    Liked by 2 people

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