Thursday, August 11, 2011

Malta - Ramla Bay

Ramla Bay in Gozo from Nadur Heights.
One of the most spectacular bay in the Maltese islands, Ramla Bay is remarkable for its largely unspoilt surroundings which are traditionally the Aplace where the nymph Calypso entertained Ulysse. The Roman villa lies hidden under the sands on the far side of the bay.

Sent by Silvan, a Facebook friend from Malta.

This is from Wikipedia : Ramla Bay is located at the bottom of a rich and fertile valley on the northern side of the island of Gozo. Gozo is one of the Maltese islands. The village of Xagħra, located on one of the hills of Gozo, overlooks this valley. It is about a forty minute walk from Xagħra to the bay. The bay can also be reached from the village of Nadur. Bus service to the beach is extremely intermittent. The terraced walls built by the farmers give the valley an appearance of a quilt when viewed from the high ridges surrounding it.

The beach is quite wide and sandy. It is a particularly golden-reddish sand which makes this beach different from all others in Gozo and Malta. Its real Maltese name is Ir-Ramla il-Ħamra — the Red Sandy Beach. The area around the beach is quite interesting and provides some very rich historical treasures. Roman remains lie beneath the sand and the famous Calypso Cave overlooks the western side of the beach.

The beach is popular with both Maltese residents and tourists, and part of it is a Natura 2000 site. There are two cantinas on the beach and several ice cream kiosks. The beach is surrounded by hillsides on both the west and east where many local farmers have gardens and orchards. A sandy path on the eastern hillside leads up to the Calypso Cave.

According to tradition, this is the cave referred to by Homer in The Odyssey. The nymph Calypso lived in this cave and it is where she entertained Ulysses for seven years before he resumed his journey. Calypso Cave is in fact a series of caves and, according to some, these extend right down to the sea. In recent years, these caves have been tarnished by improper care as they are strewn with litter, in particular, empty beer bottles. This is diminishing the attraction of this cave for the Maltese locals and tourists.

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