If you’re up for one of the most mesmerizing sunset views you’ll see in Gozo (and Malta), then you’re in the right place. In this post, you’ll find everything you need to know about Tal-Mixta Cave including a brief history, how to get there and what to expect once there!
Tal-Mixta Cave is a picturesque cave high up in the hills of Nadur, a small village located in the eastern part of Gozo. The location of this cave, overlooking the idyllic bay of Ramla l-Hamra, on the ridge opposite the popular Calypso Cave, offers one of the most stunning views you’ll get to see on your trip to Gozo.
The history of this cave is very much tied with its name. The word “mixta” is derived from the Maltese word “mxett” meaning wintering (a place where one shelters in winter together with the cattle). A cave, with a similar name, also on the island of Gozo, was inhabited by troglodytes. Troglodytic refers to a prehistoric race of people that lived in caves, dens or holes. It is thought that Tal-Mixta Cave is one of the last intact troglodytic abodes in Gozo. Over the years, lots of Bronze Age pottery has been discovered in and around the cave. These findings have confirmed that this cave used to serve as a home to ancient inhabitants.
On the 7th of July 1733, a pirate attack resulted in a Gozitan family of eight being taken captive. Moreover, the pirates ravaged the valley in search for supplies. This attack made the vulnerability of Ramla bay evident. The Knights of St. John which at the time were in charge of the Maltese islands, rectified this problem by building a wall made of rough stones below the bay’s water surface. This wall spanned the whole width of the bay. Furthermore, they excavated a fougasse and built an entrenchment which also incorporated Tal-Mixta cave. In 1743, the Knights of St. John, blocked the opening of Tal-Mixta Cave with stones. However, they left two openings for cannons to fire against enemy’s ships. It is said that within the cave there once existed a concealed staircase accessing the entrenchment wall and fougasse below.
How to Get There
There are two main options on how to get to this cave:
You can reach this cave by trekking north of the ancient town of Nadur. If you’re coming by car, you need to reach the end of the Triq I-Ghassa tal-Mahrag road. This road is quite narrow and bumpy so if you prefer to walk a bit more, you can just park at the beginning of this road and then walk from here to the cave. At the entrance, there will be a descending staircase that will take you to the cave.
If you’re coming by bus, the closest stop is Qasab. To get here from Victoria you would need to catch bus 302 which departs every hour with the whole trip lasting less than half an hour. Alternatively, you can catch bus 322 which departs from Mgarr and passes through Marsalforn before making its way to Ramla bay. Bus 322 departs every 90 minutes and the whole trip takes around 20 minutes.
From Ramla Bay
An uphill path from the shore of Ramla bay takes you to this cave which is located on the eastern part of the bay. The climb takes around 40 minutes.
Ramla bay is well connected by public transport can be easily reached from Victoria, Marsalforn or Mgarr.
To get to Ramla Bay from Victoria you would need to catch bus 302 which departs every hour with the whole trip lasting less than half an hour. Alternatively, you can catch bus 322 which departs from Mgarr and passes through Marsalforn before making its way to Ramla bay. Bus 322 departs every 90 minutes and the whole trip takes around 20 minutes.
Is it worth the effort?
Whichever way you choose to get here, once inside, you will be rewarded with a breath-taking, enchanting view that will make all your effort worthwhile. Through the wide crevice of the cave, you will be able to witness a stunning view of the bright red sandy beach of Ramla bay and its surrounding countryside. The best time of the day to go is definitely during sunset.
Where to stay?
- If you’re spending more than a day in Gozo and are intending on getting around by bus, I highly recommend using Victoria as your base since buses from here depart to any location in the island.
- On the other hand, if you’re thinking of renting a car during your stay in Gozo, I highly recommend staying in Nadur. This is a traditional Gozitan town with some very nice restaurants and bars.