time to explore with esplora
Exploring Gozo's rich nature
In this Gozitan tour, you will be treated with a diverse natural scenery and wildlife. From the untouched valley of Nadur to spectacular views at Tal-Mixta Cave and finishing at San Blas Bay where you can discover the marine wildlife! The route is approximately 6km long and it will take you from 2-3 hours to complete
Words by Eleni Karatzia, BirdLife Malta
Start at Nadur’s main road
Head north on the main road leaving town and follow the signs towards Ramla Bay. On your left you will be able to see the beautiful vast valley that separates Nadur and Xagħra and on your right you will have graphic buildings. Thirty minutes into this walk, there is a viewpoint where you can relax, have a snack and enjoy the pristine countryside of Gozo and the view of Ramla l-Ħamra Bay. You will see a big sign on your right that directs you into the rural road of Triq ta’ Xurdin. Take that road and then take the first cement road on your left and then the first again. You will then have to take a right towards the sign indicating Tal-Mixta Cave. During this path, you will be able to see and hear the distinct call of the smallest breeding bird in Malta, the Zitting Cisticola! On your left, you will enjoy the coastal view and rolling hills.
Keep following the path and you will see a narrow rock-hewn passage and some steps on your left that lead to the cave. This cave was constructed as a lookout under the rule of the Knights of St. John in 1733 after an attack by Muslim vessels in Ramla Bay and it offered shelter as it could not be seen from open seas. Here, you will be welcomed with spectacular views of Ramla Bay, a relatively undeveloped beach with a wide stretch of red sand. You can relax, enjoy the view and have a lookout to see Barn Swallows flying rapidly above, a very common migrant and breeder in the Maltese Islands. You can also take the opportunity to capture a stunning silhouette photo!
San Blas Bay
When you leave the cave, retrace your steps until you reach a crossroad and then take a left. After a while, you will take the road on the right and then the first road on the left. You will see the beautiful view of the largely untouched red sandy bay and the Wied ta’ San Blas valley on your right. You will then see a narrow path to take on your right towards San Blas Bay. This path is steep but very rewarding as you will be surrounded by fields and wild plants! You should also look around to spot the Sardinian Warbler, probably the most abundant species in Malta after the Spanish Sparrow. When you reach the bay, you will enjoy the views of the towering cliffs and realise that it is quite a peaceful and secluded beach. This area is also great for snorkelling as it is very shallow and clear! Have a dip to freshen up and see marine animals such as the Mediterranean Shore Crab, the Saddled Seabream and the colourful Ornate Wrasse.
After swimming and relaxing at the bay, you can start your way back by following the straight main path. Climbing back up the hill requires some stamina as it is very steep but being surrounded by the valley and wildlife certainly makes up for it! Notice the maquis vegetation as well as trees such as the Carob. Don’t forget to keep your eyes open for dragonflies, lizards and if you are lucky, even chameleons! When you reach the end of the path, you will find the bus stop where you can make your way back or explore more of this amazing island!