When you travel to Malta, you’ll have to choose which of its islands you want to visit. In fact, there are nine little islands to discover. Three of them, also the largest islands, are most commonly visited by travelers: Gozo, Comino, and Malta. Gozo is smaller in size than Malta, which is more famous and Comino is the smallest.
Here are some quick guidelines that will help you decide which islands you want to visit in Malta.
Malta: food, history, culture, and nightlife
Mostly famous as a top-notch Mediterranean travel destination, Malta sees quite a lot of visitors during the summer months.
The little group of island in Malta has a lot to offer for such a small surface area. Its location is in the middle of the Mediterranean sea and, in Malta, you’ll find good food, a lot of history, wonderful nightlife and heaps of culture. The Maltese Capital city Valletta is also located on the main island of Malta and there is a nice little fishing town there that’s called Marsaxlokk. In Gozo, you’ll find more rural life and tradition. Lesser mass-tourism as well. Comino is very tiny, but you’ll find a beautiful Blue Lagoon there.
The Pro’s of visiting Malta
- More accommodation opportunities widespread over the island. You’ll either find cheaper places to stay as more expensive stays in Malta because of the wide range of tourists that visit the main island.
- There are a lot of things to visit on the main island of Malta. More than in Gozo.
- The Maltese airport is located on the main island Malta.
- You’ll find a much more lively nightlife and many more bars and clubs on Malta.
- Valletta, the Capital city of Malta is a little gem and is located on the main island of Malta.
- Malta is where the most museums and historical treasures are located.
When to visit Malta?
If you are looking for a lot of sunshine then the summer months are the best time to visit. The winter months are also wonderful for making walks and sightseeing. Keep in mind that it can be a bit rainy in November and December.
Gozo: history, tranquility and rural life
You’ll find a lot more green, tranquility and rural life in Gozo, the Northern sister island of Malta. Life here has a different tempo compared to Malta. In Gozo, you’ll find more inhabitants dedicated to fishing and agriculture. Gozo is small, even smaller than Malta. But regardless its size, Gozo is packed with points of interest in a stunning rugged landscape. You’ll see a lot of Baroque churches and old farmhouses in its countryside. The biggest difference is that Gozo is designated for a different type of tourism. The type of travelers that don’t like mass tourism and like to take it easy in a more traditional and natural environment will rather choose for Gozo.
The Pro’s of visiting Gozo
- The traditional way of life in Gozo has mostly been preserved. In Malta, you’ll also find a lot of Maltese tradition, but less because of mass tourism and overdevelopment.
- The rural land of Gozo has been maintained in a better way over the years. This caused Gozo to have more fertile ground, making it a better place for agriculture. Gozo is more rural and shows a different, more natural side of the island.
- In Gozo, you’ll find its ancient Citadel that goes by the name of Victoria (Still known as Rabat by the locals). In the old times, it used to be a fortress which was used as a safe haven for pirates that raided the sea and coasts around Gozo.
- The island of Gozo has a broad offer of historical sites, old fortifications, amazing sights and well-preserved prehistoric temple (!!).
- Gozo has mostly been spared from over development and mass tourism. It’s much quieter on this island since there are lesser tourists. You’ll find the opposite in Malta.
- Although Gozo is small, once you go to the countryside you will feel that you are alone on the island since you can walk for hours without meeting anybody. Especially the winter months are amazing for long walks along the shore. During these colder months, big waves crash into the cliffs of the coast. A spectacular sight.
- Gozo is a great place for the outdoor adventure traveler as there a lot of options to choose from rock climbing, hiking, and kayaking. While exploring the island you will see a wide variety of amazing views due to a large number of valleys, hills and small beaches. There is an abundance of abandoned hidden ancient temples and shrines in the countryside.
- As the coastline in Gozo is spectacular, there are some of the best diving spots of the Mediterranean sea located here.
- The building material of houses and other structures in Gozo mainly consist of natural resources. In other words, the houses in Gozo look a lot better because of this. In the main island of Malta, you’ll find a lot of concrete and breeze-block buildings. Quick over development and small budgets are the cause of this.
When to visit Gozo?
Because temperatures can become scorching during the summer, Gozo is at its best from October to May. The average temperature in this period is around 18 degrees C, which is much more pleasant for exploring the island.
Malta is little, Gozo is even smaller. But both the islands are large enough for a combined visit and a road trip. You’ll need at least 1 or 2 weeks to explore both the islands. You can combine a visit to the two island with ease. It all depends on how you want to spend your holiday.
For a budget stay I’d recommend you book your accommodation in Malta. Rent a car for a few days or take public transport to explore the island of Malta. If you want, you can do a one day trip to Gozo, it’s not a far drive anyway. Best is to leave early in the morning and to go back to your accommodation in the evening.
For a different kind of holiday (more serene, more nature), I’d say you take a look at the wonderful accommodation options in Gozo. As Gozo is more authentic and less touristy, you have a better chance here to enjoy your holiday in tranquility and calmness. Away from the mass-tourism scene in Malta, you’ll only see a few tourists showing up here on a day trip now and then. Gozo is where you’ll find more Maltese tradition and agriculture.
You always also have the option to rent a car in Gozo or to take public transport and Visit Malta for a day or two. It’s anyway worth the effort to take a visit to the Capital city of Malta, Valletta.