Getting to Gozo
Malta and Gozo are within easy reach of each other by means of frequent and direct sea transport.
The Gozo Channel from Cirkewwa and the Gozo Fast Ferry from Valletta carry passengers between Malta and Gozo several times a day. The crossing from Cirkewwa takes about 25 minutes, whereas the ferry ride from Valletta takes around 40 minutes.
The Gozo Channel Company and GozoFast Ferry Company are responsible for the running of these services.
Places to Visit in Gozo
No visitor has ever been to Malta and left without visiting her sister islands, Gozo and Comino. Gozo, aptly termed as the island where time stands still because of the tranquility it exudes, is greener than Malta and more rural. It exhibits sweeping views of terraced fields, glimmering shorelines, and monumental churches. Comino, a mile long and uninhabited, is a veritable paradise with a turquoise lagoon.
The Island of Gozo has often been referred to as the island of sunshine and history and with good reason. With a history boasting 6,000 years of civilization, every square inch of its land, its temples and monuments bear witness to these past civilizations. For those of you with an appetite for culture, Gozo has several fascinating historical and archaeological sites, some of which date back 5,600 years – older than the Pyramids!
Museum lovers will find a variety of treasures to discover in Gozo. Each museum houses fabulous artifacts from various eras and they include art, archaeology, natural history, wartime, the temples and our celebrated maritime history. Even more treasures can be found in the 55 churches built all around Gozo!
For those who wish to take it easier in Gozo, a simple stroll around our charming towns and villages will surely help you enjoy the uniqueness and tranquility that is typical of the island.
Beaches in Gozo – Marsalforn Bay, Ramla Bay, Xlendi Bay, Hondoq Ir-Rummien Bay, San Blas Bay, Imgarr ix-Xini Bay, Dahlet Qorrot Bay.
Beaches in Comino– Blue Lagoon, Santa Marija Bay, St. Nicholas Bay, Crystal Lagoon
Weather in Gozo
Malta’s climate is Mediterranean, which means it is strongly influenced by the sea. The Maltese Islands have a pleasantly sunny climate with a daily average of around 12 hours sunshine in Summer going down to 10 hours in Winter.
Summers are extremely hot, dry and very sunny. However, the day-time temperatures in summer are often mitigated by cooling sea breezes.
Spring and Autumn are cooler, except when the occasional Scirocco wind from Africa brings unseasonably high temperatures and humidity.
Winters are mild, with the occasional short cold spells brought about by the North and North-Easterly winds from central Europe.
Cold winds, snow, frost and fog are unknown. Rain falls between September and April. It seldom rains after April, and nearly never in summertime.
Annual rainfall is low, average 568mm a year. Bathing in the sea is quite possible well into the ‘winter’ months, and the peak beach season can last until mid-to late October.
Check out the weather here Gozo Weather.
Geography of Gozo
There are no mountains or rivers, but several hills. The majority of fields are small and terraced, but despite lack of rain and other adverse terrain conditions, the agriculture is well developed.
Driving in Malta and Gozo
In Malta and Gozo, driving is on the left hand side. The national speed limit is 80km/h on the open roads and 50km/h in built up areas, unless otherwise indicated on relevant road signs.
If you intend to rent a car or drive in Malta, it is advisable to take our comprehensive insurance. National or International driving licence are accepted.
Electricity in Gozo
The electrical supply is 230 volts/-10%. The frequency of the supply is 50 hertz. The three-pin rectangular sockets are used in Malta as in the United Kingdom. Adapters are very easy to find.
Medical care in Malta and Gozo is available through both public and private hospitals and the quality of medical care in Malta and Gozo is excellent. We suggest that before you travel to the Maltese Islands, all necessary measures are taken to ensure that you, and anyone else travelling with you, is up-to-date on all routine and recommended immunisations according to schedules defined in your country of residence.
We strongly recommend that you consult with your doctor for specific information related to your needs and your medical history. Recommendations may differ for pregnant women, young children, and persons who have chronic medical conditions.
Hospitals in Malta and Gozo are modern and supported by a regional network of health centres. Aside from the Covid-19 vaccination certificate, travellers do not normally require any other vaccination certificates or immunisations to enter the Maltese Islands. Visitors from EU member states should make sure that they have a European Health Insurance card.
It is advisable that all visitors, irrespective of their nationality, take out a personal medical insurance policy. Malta has reciprocal health agreements with Australia and the United Kingdom. Nationals of these countries visiting the Islands for less than one month are entitled to free medical and hospital care in both Malta and Gozo.
Visitors receiving special medical treatment should bring a medical prescription or a letter of introduction from their family doctor, in case they need to purchase particular medicines.
Public General Hospitals
Mater Dei Hospital
B’Kara MSD 2090
Tel: 356 25450000
Email: [email protected]
Gozo General Hospital
Tel: 356 21561600
Fax: 356 21560881
For more information on health sevices click here.
Pharmacies are found throughout the Maltese Islands and are open during normal shopping hours. On Sundays, chemists open on a roster from 09.00 until 12.30 in Malta and from 07.30 until 11.00 in Gozo. See the pharmacy roster here.
Water and Milk
It is best not to drink water from the tap in the Maltese Islands. Local and Imported bottled mineral water is available in shops, supermarkets, restaurants and bars. Milk is pasteurised and available daily in cartons and bottles. All dairy products are safe for consumption.
Language in Malta and Gozo
The official languages of the islands are Maltese and English. Maltese is a language of Semitic origin written in the Latin script. Over the centuries, it has incorporated many words derived from English, Italian and French.
Italian is also widely spoken.
Il-Lingwa Maltija – The Maltese Language
The Maltese language is a source of fascination to both visitors and linguists. The Maltese speak a unique language – Malti – the only Semitic language written in Latin characters.
Maltese is thought to derive from the language of the ancient Phoenicians who arrived in Malta in 750 B.C. The influence of the Arabs who made the Islands their home from the 9th to 13th centuries is clear in the Maltese language whose roots are closely akin to Arabic. Places, names and numbers are the most obvious examples of Arabic influence on the language.
Through the ages, many foreign words, particularly English, Italian and French ones, also became part of the language. English is Malta’s official language after Maltese, which means it is widely and fluently spoken and is the language of international business.
Surprisingly, nationals have managed to retain the unique language in face of so many others brought by various powers over the centuries. Throughout the centuries, Maltese was mainly spoken. However, from the second half of the 19th century, its grammatical rules were defined and written down, and it became an official written language as well.
The earliest written evidence of Maltese is a ballad by Pietro Caxaro, (d.1485). The Knights attempted to script it as well. The survival of the language is perhaps a testament to the resilience of the Maltese and Gozitans to remain distinct people with a distinct culture.
For non-native speakers trying to learn Maltese, the most awkward sound is similar to the Arabic q – an almost silent, but difficult to master, glottal stop. If you are interested in learning Maltese, several language schools on the islands run courses for non-native speakers.
Malta has been part of the European Union since 2004, which means that the Euro is used as a currency.
Banking hours are usually between 8.30 a.m. and 13:00 p.m from Monday to Saturdays. Some banks are open to the public for longer hours. Opening hours change from Winter to Summer. Foreign exchange facilities are available at the Malta International Airport on a 24-hour basis all year round. There are also a number of automated foreign exchange machines scattered around the islands as well at automated teller machines (ATMs). Furthermore, a number of exchange brokers operate on the islands.
The following banks operate in Malta and Gozo:
Access, American Express, Carte Blanche, Diners Club International, Master Card, Visa and Revolut are accepted by most hotels and restaurants and a good number of retail outlets. Card-holders should check with their credit/charge card company for details on merchant acceptability and other services that may be available.
Shopping in Gozo
All shopping arcades and shops in Gozo are situated in very central places and visitors may easily reach these localities either by private or public transport. Shops are open daily until 19.00hrs. There are two shopping malls in Gozo which are located in the capital city Victoria. These are the Duke Shopping Mall and Arcadia Shopping Mall.
Shops throughout Gozo offer all that customers may need such as food, fashionable clothes for all types of occasions, souvenirs, shoes, equipment and household accessories. Shops are not open on Sundays and public holidays.
Major credit cards, cheques and eurocheques are accepted at most leading shops and restaurants. Card-holders should check with their credit/charge card company for details on merchant acceptability and other services that may be available.
There is an open-air market, open Monday to Saturday, in Victoria that operates until 1pm.
Another open-air market, is open on Wednesdays from 7am till 12pm.
Malta and Gozo have 14 annual Public Holidays. With the exception of Good Friday, whose days varies from year to year, every other Public Holiday is celebrated on a fixed day of the year.
The dates are the following:
- 1st January – New Years Day
- 10 February – Feast of St. Paul’s Shipwreck
- 19th March – Feast of St. Joseph
- 31st March – Freedom Day
- March/April (date changes) – Good Friday
- 1st May – Labour Day
- 7th June – Sette Giugno
- 29th June – Feast of St. Peter & St. Paul (L-Imnarja)
- 15th August – Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady (Santa Marija)
- 8th September – Feast of Our Lady of Victories
- 21st September – Independence Day
- 8th December – Feast of the Immaculate Conception
- 13th December – Republic Day
- 25th December – Christmas Day
Local and international telephone calls can be made from hotel rooms, and credit and charge cards are normally accepted.
Go plc provides a 24-hour international telephone, telex and facsimile service at its St George’s Branch. A similar service is available from the Valletta Branch in South Street. However, the service is only available during office hours and from Mondays to Saturdays. The services of overseas telephone calls, telex and facsimile, are available from Maltacom’s Branch Offices at Bisazza Street and Plaza Shopping Complex in Sliema, Malta International Airport, Qawra and St Paul’s Bay. These Branch offices are open daily.
There are 520 card phones in Malta and Gozo in public areas, the Malta International Airport, Maltacom branches and tourist frequented areas. At least one card phone in each village of Malta and Gozo is available. Phone cards are on sale from Maltacom Branches, HSBC Bank branches, Post Office branches and over 400 other retail outlets, which display the Telecard sign.
Important telephone numbers:
- 00 International Direct Dialling Access Code from Malta
- 356 Malta Country Code
- 112 Emergency
- 191 Police
- 196 Ambulance
- 199 Fire
- 150 Star Services
- 133 Telephone Faults
- 190 Directory Enquiries
- 194 Overseas Operator
- 195 Time check
- 153 Government Information Service
- 179 Support line for abused children & adults
- 244371 AFM Helicopter Section
- 238797 AFM Patrol Boat Section
- 247858 Price Control
Time in Gozo
Malta and Gozo are on the Central European Time (CET) zone, which is one hour ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The islands are six hours ahead of Eastern Seaboard Time (EST).