FATMAP difficulty grade
Gozo is known for being a peaceful island with some of the best diving on the planet, mile after mile of huge cliffs, and some lovely little villages.
Elsewhere in FATMAP you'll be able to find routes which take you to the turquoise water and towering cliffs, but this route is focused on getting you to some of the island's most enchanting villages. The ride is circular so you can start it anywhere, but we've described it from the tranquil Villa Rundle gardens in Victoria (sometimes referred to as "Rabat") - Gozo's capital. Begin by following the main street east and then cut into the suburbs and make your way to the central square in Xewkija (pronounced "Shoo - kia") which is home to one of Malta's of best known churches - the Rotunda of Xewkija.
The church is huge and the dome in the centre of it is apparently the third highest unsupported dome in the World! Having taken a look around the church and marvelled at how hard it must have been to build, get back on the road and descend down to the hustle and bustle of Mgarr - the gateway to Gozo and the place where the ferries arrive from Malta. Either drop down right to the harbour or (as drawn on our route) hold onto some height and make the climb up to the little village of Qala.
From Qala there's a lovely section of high and desolate road which undulates over to Nadur village.
There's a much more direct line between the 2 villages than the one drawn on our route, but our line provides the most scenic and enjoyable way of traveling between the 2 settlements.
There's also the option of detouring and descending to Dahlet Qorrot - one of Gozo's most beautiful bays and a wonderful spot for a mid-ride swim. Nadur is the third most populated settlement on Gozo and it's a dusty, sleepy place where life moves slowly and you can't help but feel relaxed.
Grabbing a drink in the village square is highly recommended. From Nadur head over to Xaghra - the second biggest settlement on the island, and home to possibly the nicest of all the village squares on Gozo.
Another drink is highly recommended! From Xaghra enjoy the long, winding and scenic descent down to Marsalforn.
Follow the coast road along and then make the famously steep and tough climb up to Zebbug.
There's no shame is getting off and pushing your bike up to Zebbug- you certainly won't be the first person to have done so! Zebbug itself is a pretty quiet place and if you're keen for one more pitstop before getting back to Victoria, carrying on to Gharb and enjoying that village's lovely square is a better choice than stopping in Zebbug.
From Gharb, cruise back triumphantly into Victoria and enjoy the buzz of the "big smoke"!