Gozo is an excellent place for mountain biking with its serene environment and breathtaking views. These are a set of three biking routes that are easy to follow (Gozo is a small island and you actually have to make an effort to get lost).
1) Dwejra mountain biking route
Victoria – Lunzjata – Kercem – Ghadira – Wardija Point – Ghajn Abdul – Dwejra – Ta’ Pinu – Victoria
The Dwejra route is good for beginners in mountain biking.
The track starts from Victoria Bus Terminus and initially heads west through Pjazza Santu Wistin (St. Augustine). In this pjazza is St. Augustine Church which is also an Augustinian convent that provides affordable accommodation (see “Accommodation”). Continuing west leads to Kercem. The landscape between Victoria and Kercem is Lunzjata Valley, which was once a private hunting ground during the times of the Knights of St. John. Here you will encounter a historic chapel, which is one of the oldest chapels in Gozo dedicated to Our Lady of the Annunciation, and nearby the chapel is a water spring built during the times of the Knights of Malta. In the vicinity of Lunzjata valley are St. Gregory’s catacombs.
Passing Kercem you enter the splendid countryside of Southwestern Gozo. A key sight is L-Ghadira ta’ Sarraflu near the southwestern shoreline. A little bit further west on the same road will take you to the only pond in Gozo. Further west leads you to the most Southwestern part of the route at Wardija point where you can view a Punic temple and the remains of an old tower. Northeast on the track leads to Ghajn Abdul where there is a natural water spring. Here exists a legend of a Turk who dug for water and found it and he drank so much he died. Further up is a path that leads to Neolithic Cave dwellings. Turning east leads towards the site of where Dwejra’s Azure Window once stood. The Azure Window was a geomorphologic feature formed over millions of years by wave action. This will be an ideal resting place where you can have lunch from one of the few kiosks and just sit back, absorb the scenery and listen to the rush of the sea.
Back on the route heading Northeast leads towards Ta’ Pinu Church. Heading back to Victoria, you will observe an aqueduct used to transfer water from Ghar Ilma to Victoria in the 1800s. Riding for another 1 km East leads back to Victoria where you will pass by Victoria’s most notable construction, The Citadel.
2) Zebbug mountain biking route
Victoria – Citadel – Wied l-Infern – Zebbug – Wied l-Ghasri – Il-Qolla l-Bajda – Qbajjar – Marsalforn – Salvatur – Victoria
The Zebbug mountain biking track around Gozo requires an intermediate level of biking skill. The main highlights are Il-Qolla l-Bajda (which is a weird looking hill), Is-Salvatur (which is a statue of Jesus on a hill) and the picturesque Gozitan countryside.
Heading north from the Victoria bus terminus, you come to the first site (or you can make it your last after you’re tired biking many kilometers), The Citadel. Heading North leads out of Victoria towards the countryside of Northern Gozo.
North of Victoria is Wied l-Infern which is a valley having haunting tales linked to it. Heading further North takes you to the outskirts of Zebbug where you will pass by the Zebbug church known for its beautiful marble. Taking a left turn on Triq Saghtria will allow you to witness the beauty of Ghasri Valley and Reqqa Point. The end of Triq Saghtria puts you back on the main route and here you can observe salt pans that date back to the Roman era. Just up the hill from the salt pans is Il-Qolla l-Bajda. Another minute on your bike will take you through Qbajjar, offering a splendid sea view. A little further on, you can take a swim in Marsalforn Bay from a small but nice sandy beach. Heading south takes you back in the countryside of Marsalforn Valley where you will be able to observe Is-Salvatur. This monument was created in the 1800’s to celebrate the Eucharistic congress in Malta. Riding leisurely southwards will give you another breathtaking view of Wied l-Infern from the other side. This same road takes you back to Victoria.
3) Mgarr mountain biking route
Mgarr – Nadur – Ramla Bay – Ramla Valley – Calypso’s Cave – Xaghra – Ggantija Temples – Xewkija – Ghajsielem – Mgarr
This track is for advanced bikers who intend to bike for intense physical conditioning. The terrain has many steep uphill gradients along the paths. Nonetheless, spectacular scenery is still a main characteristic of this route.
From Mgarr Harbour head north towards Nadur. As you travel up the steep hill, the view will afford a spectacular view of Comino and the Northern cliffs of Malta. Biking north of Nadur for 2 km will take you to Gozo’s prime sandy beach, Ramla Il-Hamra which is known for its color of sand. A quick swim at Ramla will prepare you for a ride around Ramla Valley to Calypso’s Cave. If you manage to tackle all the uphill biking you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of Ramla l-Hamla from Calypso’s Cave. Legend claims it was the home of Calypso during Homer’s Odessy.
After Calypso’s cave, head south through Xaghra and you will be able to visit the Ggantija Prehistoric Temples which are in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the oldest man made structure in the world.
After having marvelled at the beautiful temples, another 2 km south will take you past the main church of the village of Xewkija. You cannot miss the dome, since it’s quite big and dominates the view of the village. Continuing east will take you through Ghanjsielem, however there is also an old windmill structure, unique to Gozo, as well as Santa Cecilja Tower. Now that you’re probably tired of bike riding and managed to drown yourself in your own sweat you can enjoy the long downhill to Mgarr Harbour.