Caves of Xaghra
Caves © Heini Samuelsen
The alabaster caves at Xaghra feature amazing stalactites and stalagmites, and at least one of them, Calypso Cave, has an important place in Greek mythology. Calypso Cave overlooks the red sand of Gozo's best beach, Ramla Ihamra. The grotto is believed to be the one referred to in Homer's Odyssey as being where the beautiful nymph, Calypso, kept Odysseus as a 'prisoner of love' for seven years. A visit to Calypso Cave affords visitors fantastic views over the bay and below the cave are the remains of a fortification built by the Knights of St John as a defence bastion, which may also interest some.
Two other caves worth visiting at Xaghra are Xerri's Grotto and Ninu's Grotto, both more impressive geologically than Calypso, but lacking the love story and the phenomenal view. Xerri's Grotto and Ninu's Grotto were both discovered by local families when they were digging wells on their property and visiting the caves requires knocking on their doors and descending to the caves through their houses; the families are very friendly and happily show visitors around. Children enjoy exploring the caves and as attractions they are particularly recommended to those travelling in Malta with kids or to anybody interested in the geology of the region.