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) 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 on the top deck. Make sure to keep your camera handy during the crossing – the scenery is breathtaking, including views of Comino.
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.
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.
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 opt to 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.
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 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 mobile app as well.
Get a taste of Gozo by visiting a number of the best sightseeing highlights from landmarks to natural beauty, churches, and other historical buildings with a fun mode of transport that can take you to places regular tour buses can’t: a GoCar or a Malta-styled Tuk Tuk.
Both tours are operated by a renowned local touring company with great reviews. You can choose between a full-day or a half-day tour. Find out more and book in advance here:
TIP: Use coupon code malta5 and get 5% off!
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.
To get from Malta airport to Gozo you take the main ferry from Ċirkewwa ferry port or from Valletta (for the fast ferry services).
To reach Cirkewwa from Malta airport, you can take a taxi which costs around €45 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.
To reach the ferry dock in Valletta, I recommend taking a taxi, which costs around €12-14 for a one-way trip from the airport.
No, however, you can take a short ferry trip across Marsamxett Harbour to get to Sliema, from where you can opt to take a boat tour (including day trips) to Gozo, often combined with a visit to the Blue Lagoon in Comino.
Alternatively, you can take the iSeeMalta Hop-on-hop-off ferry from Sliema to get to Gozo.
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