Getting to Gozo is easy using the Gozo ferry, or one of the Gozo fast ferry services.
The main one departs from Ċirkewwa (at the Northernmost part of Malta) and sails to and from Gozo (in around 20 minutes) up to 74 times every day of the week. The fast ferry services offer dozens of daily crossings taking roughly 45 minutes from Valletta.
In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to catch the Gozo ferry, what the options are, cost, timing, tips, and more!
The main Gozo ferry is run by the Gozo Channel Line, which operates four ships and operates a daily ferry service that carries both passengers and vehicles between the two main islands.
You’ll be able to find a ferry at almost every hour of the day, from early morning till late at night all year round. They run trips as frequently as every 30 minutes during peak times.
The ferry sails between Ċirkewwa (all the way up north in Malta) and Mġarr (a small harbour on the southeast coast of Gozo), and a crossing takes just around 20-25 minutes (one way). You can board the ferry as a passenger on foot, but you can also take a (rental) car on board. (And there are no extra car rental fees for driving in Gozo.)
Embarkation and disembarkation are simple and smooth, and in fair weather, the trip is a pretty pleasant one. You can find a seat indoors or enjoy the fresh air on the sides of the main deck or the top deck. Ensure to keep your camera handy during the crossing – the scenery is breathtaking, including views of Comino.
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To be able to catch the Gozo ferry, first you need to get to the Ferry Terminal in Ċirkewwa.
These are the most commonly used transport options:
The Malta Public transport is an efficient way to get to Ċirkewwa. It’s very economical but not very fast. The following bus routes can take you to the Ċirkewwa Ferry Terminal from various towns and villages across Malta: 41, 42, 101, 221, 222, 250 and X1. If taking a bus from Valletta, it will take you around an hour to get there.
From Malta International Airport, you can also catch the X1 bus directly to Ċirkewwa. The trip takes approximately 1 hour and 15 min. A one-way bus ticket costs just €2.
More detailed info here: How to get from Malta Airport to Gozo.
You can find taxis just outside the Airport terminal or from Valletta. A trip to Ċirkewwa with a standard taxi costs around €45 / £38 / $52 and will take you around 45 mins.
Any.cab and Welcome Pickups are my recommended providers of taxi airport transfers, and both make it easy and comfortable to get to the Ferry Terminal.
Renting a car in Malta is a good option when you want to uncover all the secrets the island has to offer. You might, for example, want to visit hidden, more secluded beaches like the ones I mention in my article on the Best Beaches in Gozo.
The way the ticketing works confuses some people, but it’s very straightforward: When you board the ship in Ċirkewwa you do not need to collect/pay for a ticket. The fare for the trip is paid on your return.
If you’re a foot passenger, you’ll need to purchase tickets at the passenger terminal in Mġarr Harbour, while vehicular traffic has to pass through ticket booths to pay the fare and joy the ferry queue for embarkation.
Here’s an overview of ticket prices:
|Type of ticket||Description||Cost|
|Children’s Fare||Ages 3-12||€1.15|
|Standard Passenger Fare||€4.65|
|Car And Driver Standard Fare||For 1 car + driver.||€15.70|
|Standard Motorcycle & Rider Fare||€8.15|
|Bicycle Standard Fare||€1.15|
If you don’t need to take up a car to Gozo, you can also take one of the Gozo fast ferry services from Valletta. That can save you some time if you’re staying in or East of Valletta, and even in St. Julian’s or Sliema, since you can cross over to Valletta with the Valletta ferry easily. You will have to cross over to the other side of Valletta, though (with a 15-minute walk).
Two operators run this service at similar fares and with similar vessels: Virtu Ferries Gozo and Gozo Fast Ferry. Their schedules run at hourly intervals, meaning that either one or the other service departs from Valletta and Gozo every half hour. The earliest trip is at 5.45 am in the morning, the last from Gozo at 8.45 pm or 10.45 pm (Fri-Sat only). Crossings take a little under 45 minutes.
The vessels in use by these operators are of a high standard, with comfortable seats and a small cafeteria on board.
The dock used by both operators is located on the East side of Valletta, across the road from Ta Liesse church and right next to the Three Cities ferry dock. Taxis are usually stationed nearby to offer arriving passengers a ride.
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Once you arrive in Gozo (at Mġarr Harbour) you will need some form of transport to make the most of your stay. Gozo is a tiny island, just 67 km² (26 sq miles), and probably the best way to discover its most secret places is if you drive yourself.
Nevertheless, have a look at the options listed below to find the one(s) best suited to your needs.
The Malta Public Transport operates 14 bus routes in Gozo. Once you make the crossing, you can take a bus from Mġarr harbour in Gozo to other villages in Gozo.
However, all routes depart and terminate at Victoria (Gozo). So if, for example, you want to reach Marsalforn from Mġarr Harbour, you’ll have to take one bus to Victoria and hop on another to get to Marsalforn. As you can see, it’s not the most efficient service, but it gets you from A to B, and it’s cheap.
When using the bus service in Gozo, you can travel using the same bus cards and tickets used in Malta. The 301 between Victoria (Rabat) and the ferry terminal operates every 30 minutes.
Hiring a car in Gozo gives you by far the most flexibility to get around on the island. Driving in Gozo is very easy, with hardly any traffic (apart from the main road leading to Victoria from the South at times). Parking is also much less of a headache than it can be in Malta.
Taxis are an option, but they are much more expensive than driving yourself around. You can easily grab a taxi at the ferry terminal on arrival. Bolt also operates on-demand taxi rides via a mobile app as well.
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Hop on hop off buses are also very convenient if travelling to Gozo without a car and if you want to see the main attractions in a short time. The buses stop at all the major attractions. Headphones are provided to listen to descriptions of the sights in 8 different languages. The harbour stop is right outside the passenger terminal.
You can buy the Gozo pass from iSeeMalta in advance online, which offers a combo with the hop-on-hop-off ferry. That service can take you to Comino and its Blue Lagoon, Buġibba and Sliema, making sightseeing convenient.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can rent a bicycle to tour the island. Just beware that its hilly terrain makes for a real challenge (especially during the hot summer months)! Try Mġarr Tourist Services (4, Mġarr Harbour, Mġarr Terminal, Mġarr GSM 9031. Phone: 9982 9141). The cost is €25 per bike for the day.
Another option is On 2 Wheels (22 Triq Il-Wied, Iż-Żebbuġ. Phone: 2155 7104), but you would first need to get to the village of Żebbuġ (in the North of Gozo). You can get a bike at half the price of the first option though: €12.50 per day.
The Gozo Channel ferry crossing takes around 25 minutes one way, from Ċirkewwa in Malta to Mġarr in Gozo, and vice versa. The fast ferry services take less than 45 minutes from Valletta to Mġarr.
When seas are rough, trips may take longer, and sometimes trips can even be cancelled due to bad weather.
For the main Gozo ferry, basic foot passenger tickets cost €4.65 for a return trip, while a car and driver ticket costs €15.70 (with passengers travevlling with you being charged the regular passenger fee).
Standard tickets for the Gozo fast ferry services cost around €10-12 per person.
Yes, al Gozo ferry services operate all year round. The only exceptions are times when seas are too rough to make the crossing. That happens only rarely though.
The three operators have winter and summer schedules with slightly different timings and run frequently from early morning till late at night.
Yes. If you have hired a car in Malta, you can cross over to Gozo with it using the ferry (without additional rental fees).
Compared to Malta, driving in Gozo is easier and much more relaxed. There’s hardly any traffic, except perhaps in and around Victoria (also referred to as Rabat) in the centre of the island, at times.
The options to get to Gozo from the airport are:
Unfortunately, no. The Senior fares are only applicable to Maltese residents.
Yes, but it’s not a direct ferry. You’ll have to take the iSeeMalta hop-on-hop-off ferry.
Yes, you can get a ferry to Gozo from Valletta using one of the Gozo fast ferry services. These mostly operate during the day from 6.45 am until 7.30 am or 8.30 pm on weekends. Their schedules tend to change regularly, though, and these smaller vessels are vulnerable to bad weather (with trips being cancelled a few days in advance). They’re also not a great option for people who get seasick easily as it can be quite a rough ride.
Alternatively, you can take the iSeeMalta Hop-on-hop-off ferry from Sliema to Gozo.
Leave a comment with your question at the bottom of this page!
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Is it free to travel with the ferry for people +60?
Hi Ewa, it’s free for people 60+ years of age but not for tourists. You need what’s called the “Karta Anzjan” (elderly benefits card) to be able to benefit. For that you’d need to be a local resident with a Maltese ID card I believe.
Hi thanks for great info – question: while I don’t need to pay for tickets for trip to Gozo do I need to make a reservation for my vehicle in advance? We will be traveling to Gozo in mid November
Hi Rachel, you’re welcome – No, there’s no need to make a reservation in advance, you just pay for your ticket at the booths and queue up to board. What you do need to keep in mind is timing. Just because you aim to take a ferry at a particular time doesn’t mean you’ll actually be able to get on it if it’s busier than usual. Certain times you can expect to be busier, for example, a late afternoon or evening on Sundays in summer when people who live in Malta head back home from a weekend in Gozo. If you go to the website of Gozo Channel, you can see the number of queued vehicles in real-time, as well as webcams. The two most commonly used vessels (M.V. Malita and M.V. Ta Pinu) can carry up to 138 cars. Just keep in mind sometimes larger vehicles board as well and they’ll obviously take up more space. If timing is important I’m happy to help suggest a time – just let me know the date and by what time you’d want to get to Malta.
hi, how do I book a ferry from Malta to Goza if I have a car?
Hi Hetal, there’s no need to book. 🙂 Just queue up in the lanes of cars when you get to Ċirkewwa and roll onto the ferry. You pay the fee on your return from Gozo, where you’ll drive down to Mġarr Harbour and pass through ticket booths before you can queue up to board the ferry back to Malta.
Very helpful website! Thanks so much.
Can you book the Gozo ferry please?
Hi Donald, for the main ferry (that departs from Ċirkewwa) you can’t, no, but unless you’re looking to cross to Gozo with a car there isn’t a need since they’re large vessels (and it’s a short trip). With the fast ferry services from Valletta you _can_ buy tickets online in advance.