7 Amazing Caves To Explore In Malta & Gozo
- Aug 15, 2020
...an excellent escape from street-level madness.
Malta boasts some of the world’s best-kept prehistoric sites, and this does not exclude caves. These naturally-occurring gems, formed by the dissolution of limestone (one of Malta’s natural resources) serve as an insight into the islands’ prehistoric past.
Therefore, whether you’re a curious explorer, a history aficionado or a tourist who’s just trying to get away from the summer heat, these subterranean marvels are an excellent escape from street-level madness.
Here are our top 7 must-see caves when visiting Malta and Gozo:
Ghar-Dalam is one of the oldest cave networks in Malta as it was sculpted by torrential waters during the ice-age. It contains the remains of animals such as the dwarf elephant, the hippopotamus, deers and bears from different eras of prehistory prior to the last ice age. Pottery dating back to Malta’s first settlers can still be viewed today at the adjoining museum.
- Blue Grotto
Located near the incredibly popular touristic hotspot of Wied iz-Zurrieq, Blue Grotto is the name given to several sea caverns present in the area. No one fails to be impressed by the iridescent light show that the caves create, due to the reflections of the underwater flora and fauna blended with the sun’s rays.
- The Hypogeum
The Hal-Saflieni Hypogeum is located in the bustling town of Paola and is one of the oldest prehistoric, hypogeum-style caves that still exist. Its intricate networks of passageways, halls and chambers cover a pretty big area over three levels, and it was constructed by Malta’s first settlers to mimic a temple.
“Ghar Lapsi” does not only refer to the popular bay near the quaint village of Siggiewi; it primarily alludes to the small cave that characterises the area. Grab your flippers and go for a snorkel – you’ll soon discover some pretty amazing marine life without much difficulty, thanks to water’s clarity in the area.
- Tal-Mixta Cave, Xaghra Gozo
Tal-Mixta Cave (also known as Calypso’s Cave) in Xaghra serves as a natural observation deck, as it overlooks the picturesque reddish sands of Ramla Bay. Legend has it that this cave is the prison-cave where nymph Calypso kept Odysseus as her prisoner in Homer’s Odyssey.
- Ninu’s Cave, Xaghra Gozo
Ninu’s Cave is one of Malta’s urban wonders. Situated just beneath one of Xaghra’s old houses, this cave features a menagerie of stalactites, stalagmites and helictites, some of which are semi-transparent in colour. This underground gem was discovered by the local Joseph Rapa in 1888, while he was digging a well.
- Xerri’s Grotto, Xaghra Gozo
Xerri’s Grotto was also discovered by a private individual. In 1923/4, as Anthony Xerri was digging a well in a residential area, he made the discovery of a lifetime when he accidentally unearthed this grotto.
Xerri’s Grotto is larger than the neighbouring Nina’s Cave. It contains stalagmites and stalactites, as well as calcifications of tree roots. It’s interesting to note that during WWII, the family residing there at the time extended the grotto and used it as an air-raid shelter.