Calypso Cave is located in a cliff just off Xaghra; overlooking Gozo’s most sought-after sandy beach, Ramla Bay.
This site is thought to be the same cave Homer mentioned in `The Odyssey’ where Calypso, the beautiful nymph, kept Odysseus as a `prisoner of love’ for seven years.
Calypso had promised him immortality if he stayed with her, but he escaped when he could, and returned to his wife Penelope.
The story may be myth, but many believe that the island of Ogygia is actually Gozo, and that the cave in the story is an actual cave located in Xaghra, about 2.5 miles (3.9 km) northeast of Victoria. The cave itself is not open to visitors anymore, but still draws crowds due to its association with the legend of Calypso. From the entrance of the cave, visitors get a bird’s eye view of Ramla Beach.
It is presumed that the cave is a complex labyrinth, extending down to sea level at some points, however, stone boulders block the way a few metres inwards.
The cave’s interior and exterior are not too impressive but the magnificent views over Ramla Bay and the valley make the visit all worth it.
On the shore below Calypso Cave one can also observe the remains of the Marsalforn tower, a fortification built by the Knights of Malta in the early-eighteenth century to protect against sea-ward attacks.
How to get to Calypso Cave
To reach this cave, you have to follow Racecourse Street out of Xaghra. Before the road stoops in route to Ramla Bay, there is a gift shop with a stone archway on the left.
Through the archway and across a ‘karst garden’, you will find a flight of stairs incised in rock. Downstairs you will find a platform and the entrance to the cave is an archway 1 metre high.
Entrance is free of charge. There is no artificial lighting inside, so a portable torch becomes handy.