A complete guide to the famous Calypso’s Cave on the island of Gozo, Malta– said to be the nymph Calypso’s cave in Homer’s famous Odyssey.
Calypso’s Cave (L-ghar ta’ Calisso in Maltese) is a famous site on Gozo island appealing to both history fans and those looking for one of the absolute best viewpoints of Gozo’s famous red sand beach– the Ramla l-Ħamra Beach in Ramla Bay.
In this quick travel guide, I’ll give you a rundown of Calypso cave, including a brief history and some information on how to get here and what to expect once you arrive.
Also, at the end of this blog post, I’ll recommend another famous cave on the other end of Ramla Bay if you’re chasing even more stunning views!
- About Calypso’s Cave on Gozo Island
- Where is Calypso’s Cave
- How to Get to Calypso’s Cave on Gozo Island
- What to Expect at Calypso’s Cave
- Is Gozo’s Calypso’s Cave Closed?
- An Alternative Open Cave at Ramla Bay
- Where to Stay on Gozo Island
- More Gozo Island Travel Guides & Adventure Inspiration
- Best Gozo Tours & Activities
About Calypso’s Cave on Gozo Island
Calypso’s Cave gets its name from the fact that many people believe that it is the cave featured in Homer’s famous Odyssey tale (book V). In this story, the Greek Hero, Odysseus was trapped in the cave by a nymph, Calypso for seven years as a “prisoner of love”. Many believe that Gozo must have been the famous island of Ogygia, in the tale of Odysseys, where the protagonist lost his ship to the rock Ogiran following a big storm.
Odysseus was promised complete immortality if he did stay in this cave. However, he managed to escape the cave and return to his wife Penelope.
Interestingly, Gozo is not the only island in the Mediterranean Sea laying claims to this story. I also visited the island of Mljet in Croatia, which also contains a cave with this story.
However, what isn’t disputed, is that this cave did play a role during the times of the Knights of Malta. In fact, just below this cave are the ruins of fortifications. The knights built these here during the mid-18th century to protect against the many invading forces and sea-ward attacks.
Whether you’re a fan of history and mythology or not, Calypso’s cave is undoubtedly one of the most stunning viewpoints on Gozo Island. From here, you’ll get expansive views across one of the island’s most famous beaches, the red sands of Ramla Bay.
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Where is Calypso’s Cave
Calypso’s Cave is located on a grassy hillside near the village of Xagħra on Gozo Island’s north coast. The hill rises above Ramla Beach (Gozo’s most sought-after sandy beach) but travelers can best reach it via the steep lane wrapping behind the hill.
Travelers will find this just off the Triq Ta Ghaijn Hosna road leading to the red sands of Ramla Beach.
Below I’ve pinned the exact location of Calypso’s cave to help you find it. Once you arrive, you’ll find a small parking lot with signs and a short, paved walking track to the lookout above the cave.
How to Get to Calypso’s Cave on Gozo Island
Looking for the easy option? Then, the easiest and funnest way to explore Calypso’s Cave and other highlights on the island of Gozo is to join in on the famous Gozo Full-Day Jeep day trip.
This tour offers the opportunity to tick off some of the best attractions on the island, including:
- Ġgantija Temples
- Xlendi Bay
- Dwerja Bay
- Citadel in Victoria
- Comino Island and Blue Lagoon boat trip
This epic Jeep tour offers the best bang for buck in terms of a day trip to Gozo. However, if you’re already on the island, then I’d suggest either renting a car or hopping on the route 302 bus to the Ramla Bay stop and walking up the hill.
What to Expect at Calypso’s Cave
The granite face of Calypso’s Cave rises out of the grassy hillside with some small buildings located right beside it.
Once you arrive, you’ll immediately notice that the entrance to the cave is blocked off. This is the result of large boulders collapsing following geological movements. Unfortunately, this means that the cave has a completely crumpled entrance, and authorities discourage exploration as it is quite dangerous. When I visited, there were some steel beams holding up the rock to prevent further erosion.
However, it is said that before the collapse, it was possible to explore the interior of Calypso’s Cave. This apparently, is connected to the sea via a complex labyrinth of tunnels, which would have been awesome to explore!
With that said, in its current state, it’s best to enjoy the site from afar. Instead, the viewing platform provides a great place to take in the magnificent views out to the open sea and over Gozo’s spectacular northern coastline.
We spent a good hour here enjoying a snack and watching the waves roll in gently onto the red sands. Next, we decided to take some photos before heading over to some of the other highlights on the island.
Is Gozo’s Calypso’s Cave Closed?
Yes, unfortunately, the entrance to Calypso’s Cave is closed as a result of geological movement causing huge stone boulders to collapse.
However, fans of history and Greek mythology will still appreciate this site from the adjacent viewing platform. If you’re looking for the famous viewpoint cave over Ramla Bay (it’s a different cave), then I’ll reveal that exact location below.
An Alternative Open Cave at Ramla Bay
While Calypso’s Cave has long held the limelight as the Ramla Bay Cave, recent tourism promotions and epic photos making the rounds on social media have revealed another beautiful limestone cave on the other end of this beach.
This is Tal-Mixta Cave, and while not so much of a hidden gem as it once was, a visit to this spectacular viewpoint is well worth the effort!
Where to Stay on Gozo Island
Due to its small size and well-connected network of buses and roads, choosing the ideal location to stay in Gozo is less crucial than on the main island of Malta.
However, if you ask, locals will always tell you that to get the complete Gozitan experience, what’s more important is picking a traditional boutique hotel over a luxury resort or modern hotel. You’ll find these dotted all over the island, from Nadur to Xlendi. Below are the three best accommodation options in Gozo.
- Quaint Boutique Hotel – Nadur
Accommodation on Malta’s quieter sister island should reflect its more peaceful and traditional ambiance. This beautifully renovated boutique hotel is situated directly beside the Nadur Parish Church, with spacious balcony terraces looking over the town square.
- Viewpoint Boutique Living – Xlendi
This family-run boutique hotel dates back 300 years and is situated on a beautiful cliff overlooking the Xlendi Valley and the Mediterranean Sea. The location is ideal for couples looking to get away, with convenient access to the beach and just a short 2 km drive to the Citadella.
- Kempinski Hotel – San Lawrenz
For travelers preferring modern, 5-star luxury, the Kempinski Hotel is your best bet. This amazing hotel is located in San Lawrenz, on a 30,000m² tropical oasis. An excellent choice for larger groups and families as there are self-catering apartment options as well!
More Gozo Island Travel Guides & Adventure Inspiration
I hope this quick travel guide has answered all your questions about visiting the famous and historical Calypso’s Cave on Northern Gozo Island.
While you’re here, make sure to take a look through some of my other travel guides to Malta. I bet you’ll find a bunch of useful information and some epic hidden gems you would have otherwise missed!