When you live in a holiday destination, it’s easy to take the easy access to sun, sea, sand and adventure for granted. We end up neglecting some of Gozo’s premier attractions because we think they are just for the tourists. But the reason tourists love them so much is because they are glorious fun. So take a weekend, plan a staycation and then do as the tourists do – here’s what you’ll enjoy the most.


If you haven’t dived before, it’s time you learned. Gozo is famous for clear waters and stunning underwater scenery. The topography includes submerged caves, chimneys, arches and tunnels. St Andrews Divers Cove (www.gozodive.com) offer an Open Water Diver Certification Course for €350, which takes three to four days.


Yes, you know all about it, but when did you last actually go? There’s magic in the air at this ancient temple and you have to be there to experience it. Beat the tourists by arriving as it opens (9am) and experience the awe-inspiring cultural, artistic and technological development of the earliest settlers in Gozo.

The site dates back to around 3,600BC and is one of the oldest sacred sites on the planet. According to Gozo folklore, the temple walls were built in 24 hours by a female giant, who did it while nursing a baby, powered only by beans and honey.

Surely that story alone is enough to tempt you back there.

Ferry to Comino

Sometimes it’s hard to find the impetus to get yourself to Comino, but once you make the effort, you’ll remember how wonderful it really is. The lack of cars and the wild, free hiking put even quiet Gozo to shame.

Take the ferry from Mġarr harbour – Ebsons generally run one per hour from 8am – and enjoy the peace, the beauty and the birds (safe from any hunting, for once).

Xerri’s Grotto and Ninu’s Cave, Xagħra

The fact that Ninu’s Cave plunges down from the kitchen of a modest family home will get you every time

Xerri’s Grotto is more visually impressive, but the fact that Ninu’s Cave plunges down from the kitchen of a modest family home will get you every time.

You might have been there before, but it’s still fun to chat with the elderly lady and her family before you admire what time and the passage of limestone have wrought right under their house. Refreshingly, the visit is still by donation.

Horseback riding tours

Gozo Stables is in Qala and the Muscat family that runs them has a long connection to horses. They can sort you out with the perfect ride, whether you are a beginner or an expert. Sunrise tours are particularly popular and you’ll get a drink and snack too. The routes include some of the most spectacular views on Gozo. Give them a call on 7906 4530.

Kayak the Inland Sea

No doubt you’ve seen the inland sea, but you have ever kayaked out of it? A SeaKayakMalta tour goes through the 80m tunnel to the open ocean on the other side. You’ll continue along the cliffs, exploring caves as you go, before ending up at Xlendi Bay. A picnic lunch is included. €65.


Cooking classes

Claire Borg loves teaching people to cook. She says: “No matter how good you are in the kitchen, there is always something new to learn.  It’s time to step out of your comfort zone and try a new technique, enjoy new flavours and reclaim the joy of creativity.” Claire offers bespoke classes in simple or advanced Gozitan cookery or modern cuisine. www.claireborg.com.

Wildlife tours

Sometimes it takes someone else to point out what has been right under your nose. Malta Nature Tours will take you to Mġarr ix-Xini and tell you all about the biodiversity of this large, gorge-like valley.

You might see Malta’s national bird, the Maltese Rock Thrush, as well as a brace of other species. From there, this 10km route will take you past a shingle beach, fossilised Globigerina limestone, coastal cliffs and an old olive grove.

Along the way, guides will identify the species encountered, be it flowers, birds, insects or reptiles. Contact them for prices. Tours start again in autumn after a summer break.


Tal-Massar Winery (Xagħra)

Gozitans, you are missing out. The Tal-Massar Winery caters to lots of tourists, but barely a local sets foot there. 86 TripAdvisor reviews all rated them as very good or excellent.

For once, the tourists have got the jump on the locals; I suggest you make your reservation right away. Tours take two hours and cost €25.


Ta Ċenc Spa Experience

It might be round the corner, but the Ta Ċenc Spa is of international quality. If you’re in need of a treat, check out the divine indoor/outdoor pool, the sandstone treatment rooms and the hydrotherapy bath. A day pass including lunch and choice of three treatments costs €60.


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