Join me exploring Tal Mixta Cave Gozo
I absolutely adore heading off the beaten track whilst on my holidays in Malta and Gozo - as it's truly there you'll find so many hidden gems!
The greatest vistas, views, rock formations, forts, walks, chapels, sunrises and sunsets are best and most easily reached by car. Whilst you can experience - and eventually reach these by using public transport, your own two legs or even by pedal power, you can discover so much more and pack so much more in if you have a car.
By hiring a car your day truly belongs to you and you can fully explore the Maltese Archipelago to your hearts content.
But above all else, its an adventure!
I've lost count how many times I've shrieked with utter delight at finding something or somewhere new, and after 4 decades of visiting the islands I'm still discovering!
Today I invite you to join me exploring the awesome L-Ghar tal-Mixta, or Tal Mixta Cave which sits high above the beautiful red sands of Ramla Bay in Gozo.
The cave is more of a grotto than a cave and it's widely yawning mouth captures a breath-taking view of the aquamarine bay below, the ridge opposite with Calypso's Cave (a lot less inspiring) and the fertile terraced fields of the Nadur Valley.
Even with a car it's a little tricky to find, which is all part of the adventure! Don't panic if you take a wrong turn enroute, as you will be rewarded with the most breath-taking views!
Only a couple of years ago you could park right beside the cave, now thankfully and hopefully to preserve and conserve this gem, you'll need to leave your car a light stroll away.
🔔 Remember to walk on foot 😆and beware of the guard cat!
Once you have parked up, simply follow the rough path - it only takes around 5-10 minutes to reach the entrance to the cave, depending upon how many selfie stops you make 😉
Once inside, you simply can't help but be spellbound by the scene which greets you. I couldn't possibly try to describe it, so let me show you. Come on in!
Pretty cool eh! Are you ready to explore some more?
The history of the cave is captivating.
Its origins are prehistoric. The cave is one of the oldest Troglodytic homes in Gozo. Troglodytes were cave dwelling people. The word "Mixta" is derived from the Maltese word "Mxett" which translates as "a place where one shelters in the winter with cattle".
Fast forward a few centuries to July of 1733! Two vessels dropped anchor in beautiful Ramla Bay, where the crew proceeded to wreak havoc - rampaging and ravaging the Nadur Valley in search of supplies. During their wrecking spree they took a Gozitan family of 8 hostage.
It very quickly became apparent just how vulnerable the bay was and the Knights of St John set out to quickly rectify the problem.
The Knights built a wall of rough stones just below the water line, which stretched all the way across the width of this wide bay, scuppering any further attempts to breach it. A fougasse ( which is a hollow in the ground filled with gunpowder ) was excavated and an accompanying entrenchment was constructed.
Tal Mixta Cave became a part of the entrenchment as it was the perfect natural stronghold.
Not only was the cave sheltered but it was also unseen from the open sea.
The teeny tiny opening you see me crawling through is sea facing and it's here that a canon was erected to further protect Gozo's shores.
It is believed that a concealed staircase once existed which would relay the Knights between the Cave and the entrenchment wall and fougasse below.
Knowing the history of the cave really adds so much perspective to your visit!
Whilst the cave provides a spectacular view, you now fully understand the strategic importance it played as a safe haven and almost hidden defence for Gozo just a few centuries ago. Imagine who else has stood in your place taking in that view!
You simply can't help but be awestruck by it's wonder and beauty. It's special. Try to stay a while so you can really breathe in its history and almost magical aura.
There is no entrance fee either - this is a natural cave totally untouched by tourism. It's so very true that "the best things in life are free!"
Tips and important info!
🔔 Set your alarm and rise early enough to have this beautiful cave all to yourself, whilst simultaneously bagging the safest parking spot. Remember the Maltese drive in the shade 😉
💼 Travel light, a camera and selfie stick are all you will need once inside
👟 Shoes with a grip are a must, this is not a place for flip flops, trust me, I tried it once - ouch.
♿ Access is difficult - the path to the cave is rough and uneven strewn with lots of loose stones and rocks and there are quite steep rocky steps down into the cave. Please note there are no guard rails at all, so please do take care once inside especially with young ones.
🏖️ Visit the cave before you spend a fabulous day enjoying everything beautiful Ramla Bay has to offer.
Location - Triq l-Għassa tal-Maħrag, Nadur NDR (the Sat-Nav does get you there, honestly)
Enjoy my lovelies!