Best tips for planning a perfect family holiday in Gozo.
Gozo is a perfect holiday destination. The island is a beautiful place to unwind and even little children will enjoy the days you spend here!
Gozo is a fascinating island and there are many places to visit and explore as a family and a variety of activities that bring together your family. From horse-riding in the countryside or along the coast to relaxing at the beach with your kids, there’s no doubt that you’ll understand why Gozo is indeed a heaven when it comes to family holidays. One of the bigger advantages is that as a small island, every place in Gozo is a stone’s throw away and there are no long and tedious journeys that you need to face with little children strapped to the back seat.
In Gozo, you’re not lying when you tell your child “We’ll be there in 2 minutes!” because you can cross the island from one tip to the other in not more than 20 minutes. All in all this means a hassle-free holiday and therefore more time for fun!
Arriving in Gozo
Start your holiday planning by booking your flight. The airport is mainland on Malta, so you also need to plan a transfer from the airport in Malta to Ċirkewwa to take the ferry to Gozo. Gozo is linked to Malta via a ferry. The crossing is scenic, along the Gozo channel and all ferries take both foot passengers and cars.
A place to stay
Next on your list is planning your accommodation. Here the options are truly endless. For its size, Gozo offers different accommodation options that suit your style and budget. For the ultimate luxury, you might want to choose one of the 5-star hotels that include spa facilities. This is highly suggested for those who want to take a break from their little ones and indulge in some self-pampering. Similarly you can choose 4-star hotels, boutique hotels, or guesthouses. Otherwise, you can consider renting out a holiday property such as a villa, a farmhouse or even an apartment next to the beach. Villas and farmhouses often include pools and BBQ spaces amid the other comforts and luxuries. Make sure you pick a family-friendly holiday accommodation. Some places are more equipped than others for providing facilities for very little children including baby baths and bottle warmers so that you will have more comfort during your stay!
Exploring the island like a pro
The island is only 67km2 and it’s up to you how you want to explore it. You can choose the regular bus services which run spot on time, or else rent your own vehicle and the most adventurous families even opt to walk around the island with their young toddlers in a hiking child pouch. You must be aware however, that the island is hilly and that temperatures can soar over 30 degrees Celsius in July and August, making long walks more challenging. When it comes to sightseeing, we do suggest the double-decker sightseeing buses, which will take you around the island’s sleepy villages, making stops at the different places of interest. Children will also enjoy a trip on the trackless train. Depending on the age of your kids, you might want to take up Segway Tours or Jeep Tours.
Once you’re in Gozo take time to visit the capital Victoria. The busy hub at the centre of the island is a charming town. Spend a day here exploring the narrow streets and alleys, the various museums or take a peek inside some of the churches. While in Victoria stop for an ice-cream, coffee or a quick lunch at one of the squares where accessible restaurants offer great meals and hearty food in a beautiful, historic setting.
Whatever you do, do not miss out on boat rides. Marsalforn and Xlendi are two of the best places for boat rides, only superceded by the Dwejra inland sea ride, that takes you right through a cliff tunnel into the open sea. A once in a lifetime experience, especially if you choose to do this at sunset. Just go down to the jetty and ask for the operators. In Gozo, people are known for their helpful approach towards tourists and their fluent English, so being a tourist in Gozo, feels like being at home. For more exciting adventures with your children, choose kayaking. If you’re here during the summer months, then water sports and water fun has to be on the cards. If your kids want to try something new, do note that in Gozo dive centres provide diving classes just for kids.
Top places to visit with kids
No doubt, that at the top of your list should be the beaches. Gozo’s collection of bays includes rocky inlets and sandy beaches. Our favourite sandy beach is Ramla, where the red sand stretches right across the bay. We suggest that you take a dip at the various beaches such as Ħondoq ir-Rummien and Xatt l-Aħmar. If you hire a car, it’s relatively easy to spend a day or two driving around from one beach to another and stopping for a quick swim! Marsalforn and Xlendi are also top places to visit. These seaside resorts are also great places when it comes to dining options. Check out the local fish dishes and make sure you taste the local fruits of the season.
You cannot visit Gozo without touring the Citadel. The old bastioned city overlooking the island is a unique spot that is enjoyed by old and young alike. History can be enjoyed by little children too and a trip to Ġgantija should not be missed. The old megalithic temples that are older than the pyramids are truly fascinating and it’s always interesting to hear what children have to say about the place. There are also numerous coastal towers to visit, and many times, the island comes across as a kind of fairytale place come to life complete with watchtowers, forts and castle. And don’t forget Comino – spend a day on what truly was a pirate island in the past…..
If you’re here during the festa season, join the locals as they celebrate their village patron saints during the weekend in different villages around the island. Band marches, confetti, light festoons, balloons and fireworks along with street food set the perfect atmosphere of Mediterranean summer celebrations.
Family holidays are always about quality time, catching up, enjoying each other, and making memories while growing up together. Gozo is an opportunity to do all that and much more!