Cave Hopping in Gozo

CALYPSO’S CAVE

Gozo is the place Homer described as Ogygia, the island inhabited by the nymph goddess Calypso. A cave overlooking the golden sands of Ramla Bay is said to be the cavern where she kept Homer for seven years.

There’s another cave on the Eastern side of the bay. After climbing up the cave through the Ramla valley and making their way to Ghar il-Mixta, many upload a picture incorrectly hashtagged #CalypsoCave.

GHAR IL-MIXTA: RAMLA BAY

The man-made cavern was created as a lookout under the rule of the Knights of St. John in 1733, following an attack by two Muslim vessels anchored in Ramla Bay. It offers shelter and also cannot be seen from the open seas. An up-hill path from the shore to the valleys can get you to the cave in around 10 minutes. It’s also accessible through a side-road on the main road down to the beach.

NINU’S CAVE AND XERRI’S GROTTO: XAGHRA (Entrance Fee)

Ninu’s Cave was discovered in 1888 when Joseph Rapa, with an oil lamp in hand, made his way through the cracks and crawled 30m inwards all the way to the edge of the cave. Today, the cave can be accessed through a 4m descent down a flight of steps that were carved into the ground by Rapa himself.

Xerri’s Grotto was discovered in 1924. It’s further underground, and can be accessed through a 10m spiral staircase. This grotto is slightly bigger.

A SEACAVE IN XLENDI

This sea-cave isn’t named or listed on any tourist sites. On the Eastern cliff-side of Xlendi Bay, there’s a steep stone-staircase leading to a path along the cliffs. The sight that awaits you at the end of the path is nothing short of spectacular. The scene is more idyllic in summer as the waters are calmer and it’s a great spot for a peaceful afternoon, away from the busier areas.

 

Read Andrea Said’s full article with Ralph Grech’s photos of the mesmerising Gozo caves in the June issue of VIDA