How to catch the Gozo Ferry to get to Malta’s sister island
Getting to Gozo is easy using the Gozo ferry, which sails to and from Malta up to 74 times every day of the week.
In this article I’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to catch the Gozo ferry, what the cost is, timing, tips, transport options and more!
The Gozo ferry is run by the Gozo Channel Line, who own 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, all year round, running a trip 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 25 minutes (one way). Both foot passengers as well as vehicles can be transported on the ferry.
Embarkation and disembarkation are simple and smooth, and in fair weather the trip is more than pleasant. Prepare your camera during the crossing–the scenery is breathtaking, including views of Comino.
How to get to the ferry terminal at Ċirkewwa
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:
Getting to Ċirkewwa by bus
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.
Take a taxi to Ċirkewwa
You can find taxis just outside the Airport terminal or from Valletta. A trip to Ċirkewwa coast around €30 / £27 / $35.
Bolt (formerly Taxify) is another easy way to make the journey to the Ferry Terminal. Use the app to make the request. Usually it only takes a few minutes for a car to pick you up. https://bolt.eu/
Rent your own car in Malta
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.
Gozo Ferry tickets and prices
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||Applicable to children from between 3 and 12 years.||€1.15|
|Standard Passenger Fare||Applicable for all passengers.||€4.65|
|Standard Passenger Night Fare||Applicable for all passengers.||€4.05|
|Car And Driver Standard Fare||Applicable for 1 car + driver.||€15.70|
|Car And Driver Standard Night Fare||Applicable for 1 car + driver.||€12.80|
|Motorcycle And Driver Night Fare||Applicable to all passengers. (2 wheels only)||€6.95|
|Standard Motorcycle & Rider Fare||Applicable to all passengers. (2 wheels only)||€8.15|
|Standard Motorcycle & Rider Night Fare||Single way fare applicable to all passengers, travelling between 1.30am and 4.30am during the winter schedule. (2 wheels only)||€6.95|
|Bicycle Standard Fare||Applicable for all bicycles||€1.15|
Arriving in Gozo
Once you arrive in Gozo you will need some form of transport to make the most of your stay. Gozo is a tiny island, just 65 square kilometers, and probably the best way to discover its most secret places is if you drive yourself. Have a look at the options listed below.
Gozo by Bus
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 (Route Map here). 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.
Gozo by Taxi
Taxis are an option, but much more expensive than driving yourself around. You can easily grab a taxi or hire a car at the ferry terminal on arrival.
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. You’ll find the tour bus waiting when you get off the ferry. Just hop on the bus and purchase your ticket in the bus itself. A day ticket for adults costs €18 and you can get tickets in advance here.
Bicycle rental in Mġarr harbour.
Rent a bicycle to tour the island, while getting a good workout too! Try Mġarr Tourist Services, right in the harbour. This is their address: 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, but you would first need to get to the village of Żebbuġ. The address is 22 Triq Il-Wied, Iż-Żebbuġ. Phone: 2155 7104. Bikes cost €12.50 per day, and you could get a cheaper deal for rentals of more than one day.
Jeep tours can be booked from Mġarr harbour as soon as you set foot off the ferry. The drivers know Gozo inside out and will take you to places that are not usually found on the tourist maps. Have a look at this Jeep Safari tour in Gozo if that sounds like something you’d be interested in doing.
Tips for taking the ferry
- You don’t need a ticket to board the ferry in Malta, you pay the fee for the return trip when you depart from Gozo.
- If you’re driving a car or motorbike to Gozo, when you get to Ċirkewwa, follow the signs to queue for the ferry
- Whatever vehicle you drive, Gozo Channel stewards will signal you when the time comes to board the next ferry
- If you’re crossing on foot you need to enter the passenger terminal and when the ferry starts the embarkation you can follow the signs towards the ship
- Public holidays and weekends are always very busy with long queues. Sunday evenings are always the worst, with many Maltese making the crossing back
- There’s a cafeteria on board the ship serving light snacks and coffee. There’s also a book shop on board.
Malta-Gozo tunnel talk
A future tunnel link between Malta and Gozo is likely to be dug in the coming years. It’s an ambitious Government project worth some €50 million euro that plans to construct a tunnel under the Gozo Channel. The approved design is for a single tube with two lanes, one in each direction. The tunnel will have 90-metre-long emergency lay-bys at 250-300 metre intervals alternating on both sides and a one-metre-wide shoulder at either side. The construction of the tunnel is expected to take until 2023-2024 to be completed.
How long does the ferry crossing take?
The Gozo ferry crossing takes around 25 minutes one way, from Ċirkewwa in Malta to Mġarr in Gozo, and vice versa. In rough seas, trips may take longer, and sometimes trips can even be cancelled due to bad weather.
Do the Gozo ferries operate all year round?
Yes, the Gozo ferry journeys back and forth the Gozo channel all year round. The company has a winter and a summer schedule with slightly different timings, which you can find here.
What are the options to get to Gozo from the airport?
To get from Malta airport to Gozo you must first arrive at Cirkewwa ferry port and then take the ferry to the island of Gozo. To reach Cirkewwa from Malta airport, you can take a taxi which costs €30 and takes 40-60 minutes (depending on traffic) or the X1 bus which costs €2 one-way but can take up to 1.5 hours during peak hours to reach the ferry terminal. The latter option is less practical on your way back to the airport in terms of making your flight on time so either add a lot of buffer time (assume 2 hours) or take a taxi.
Is there a ferry from Sliema to Gozo?
No, although from the Ferries area of Sliema, you *can* opt to take an organised boat tour to Gozo. I’ve listed a few options here: Sightseeing tours in Malta and Gozo.
How much is the ferry to Gozo?
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).
Can I take a car rented in Malta up to Gozo?
Yes. If you have hired a car in Malta, you can cross over to Gozo with it using the ferry. 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.
Do non-Maltese Seniors benefit from the reduced ticket prices?
Unfortunately, no. The Senior fares are only applicable to Maltese residents.
Do you have any questions that I haven’t answered?
Leave a comment with your question at the bottom of this page!