Noteworthy amongst principal attractions for visitors to the island of Gozo are its natural caves and grottos, formed in limestone rock over thousands of years.
For the adventurous Gozo tourist, underground caves exert a unique lure, and a visit to Gozo can more than satiate this yearning for an experience of the elemental. Of the Gozitan caves accessible to the general public there are 3 main sites:
Ninu’s Cave, discovered by Joseph Rapa underneath his house in 1888, is located in the village of Xaghra on Gozo. Its main area, a chamber approximately 20m x 8m, is accessed via a 4m descent down a spiral staircase. Here there are stalagmites and stalactites galore, and even a few helictites (a more curved and angular cave formation, for those who don’t know!).
Xerri’s Grotto, also in Xaghra, was also discovered underneath a house, this time by Anthony Xerri in 1924. Larger than Ninu’s Cave, the grotto has all the usual calcified formations, many given nicknames due to their resemblance to different animals such as tortoises, vultures, and giraffes. The cave is also notable in that it was used as an Air Raid Shelter during World War II, providing as secure a refuge as imaginable for the citizens of Gozo at a much-needed time.
Lastly, the town of Xaghra also features the Calypso Cave, overlooking Gozo’s finest beach, Ramla il-Hamr – “the Red Sandy Beach.” This cave is renowned for being alleged to be where the beautiful nymph Calypso kept Odysseus as a “prisoner of love” for seven years in Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’, that most famous of all Greek mythology texts.
Cave lovers and casual sightseers alike will find their curiosity benefitted from a visit to any or all of these cave sites on Gozo and trips can be arranged via SunChateaux.