Ggantija is the best-preserved of Malta's prehistoric temples, themselves unique in prehistory.
There are two temples on site, enclosed by a boundary wall of truly massive stones. Both temples date from around 3600BC, a time when farming and settled communities were established but metal tools (and wheels) were unknown.
Both temples face south-east and follow the cloverleaf layout you'll find on other Maltese temple sites. It is almost certain that they were originally roofed.
There are 'bowls' carved into the stone, holes (for watching ceremonies?) made in doorways and some stones are decorated with a pattern of dots. The hours of work which must have been involved in carving such holes and patterns without metal tools is staggering, let alone the effort involved in moving the huge megaliths into place.
The boundary wall is especially impressive. It's made using a 'header and stretcher' technique and some of its stones are truly vast.
Ggantija is absolutely unmissable, imo, if only to pt into context the skills and abilities of humans at the time we too often dismiss as 'the Stone Age'.
You can virtually explore the site using the interactive link below.
Joseph Rapa discovered the natural cave in 1888. It is located in the rear of No 15 January Street, about 75 m from the parish church, in the village of Xaghra. The cave is well illuminated by electric lights.
It was immediately considered remarkable because of the prolific number of natural stalactite and stalagmite formations. It is entered via a 4 m descent down a flight of steps, which end in a large chamber approximately 20 m by 8m. The calcification of water dripping from the cave ceiling formed numerous magnificent columns standing side by side like some petrified forest. In the past the cave must have been even more spectacular because there is evidence of numerous straw stalactites, which have now been broken off. There are even a few helictites. The formations are now dry and mainly the same colour as the surrounding rock, although some are semitransparent and it is possible to see the rings formed as they grew.
Calypso Cave is situated in Xaghra and overlooks the red sands of Gozo's finest beach, Ramla l-Hamra. This cave is alleged to be the cave referred to by Homer in "The Odyssey". Some are even convinced that Gozo is the Island of Ogygia and the cave to be the one where the beautiful nymph Calypso kept Odysseus as a "prisoner of love" for seven years.
The cave itself is not that impressive but it does generate a feeling of excitement due to its links with Greek mythology. Apart from that, one can also enjoy a breath taking view of the picteresque Ramla l-Hamra Bay. On the shore below Calypso Cave one can also see the ruins of a fortification built by the Knights of Malta in the mid-18th century to serve as defence against invading forces.
Srug Street, Xaghra, XRA 102, Malta
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Families
Giant Street, Xaghra, Malta
Good for: Families
Triq is-Srug, Xaghra, Malta
Off Marsalforn Road, Xaghra, Malta
Gnien Imrik Street, , XAGHRA XRA102
10 Gnien Imrik Street, Xaghra, XRA102, MT
4 EVENLY GARDENS IN XAGHRA, GOZO - OWNED BY FIDELMA BERGIN
When you find an ad for a property, you obviously have things in mind that you require for your own personal situation and when you find that place, you expect to find all those features in working order because after all, it's what you are paying for.
We found this property on a popular holiday home rental site and it attracted us because it had several features and bonuses that we felt we'd enjoy. We went ahead and rented the property because of the following features advertised:
Televisions in each room
These key features were all missing from our holiday!! This is what we arrived to find:
POOL: The pool was not in usable condition, the pump had broken and therefore there was plenty of debris floating on the top of the pool. We reported it to the housekeeper and owner and nobody showed up as promised to fix it. We never got to use the pool for the entire 2 weeks we stayed there.
HEATED FLOORS - We travelled to Gozo just this May and when we got there the evenings were still cool so we attempted to turn on the heated floors to find that they were not working either. We contacted the owner and she got somebody to come fill oil tanks but it took 3 days to get working!
AIR CONDITIONING - Anyone who has travelled to Malta or Gozo knows that you MUST have A/C to be comfortable. Well guess what????? That wasn't working either!!! The home was cheaply wired and all a/c units ran off the same circuit so we'd get power failures by turning on the units simultaneously with say the television or dishwasher! Even turning on the air in all rooms shorted the circuit! We ended up getting power failures and had to constantly turn on the main breaker to restore power. We had electricians coming in and out of the home during our holiday, trying to fix the problem, a major inconvenience. The home ended up getting so hot with days of no air conditioning and at night nasty insects were making their way into the house because they were attracted to the heat! We must have killed about 60 nasty bugs while we were there!! We were scared to shut our eyes at night and slept with lights on to watch the bugs!!!!
SATELLITE T.V. - There is no satellite television, just local cable.. BIG DIFFERENCE so this was false advertising!! Oh but that's not all... The televisions in every room did not work, just the one on the living room. SO I ask you, why advertise the extra televisions as a feature? We have children so this would have been a plus and was something that attracted us to the home.... but yet another feature not operational!!!
There was also the fact that the top terrace and many staircases in the home were not ideal for children and this was something she neglected to mention in her ad and to me in a telephone conversation after I asked specifically if the property was appropriate for children!!!
Even though Fidelma made attempts to fix these problems while we were on our holiday (should have been operational before our arrival anyway but..), her response to our overall experience was in our opinion, disgusting. For the entire two weeks we were missing the features we paid good money to use and there was no reimbursement, no apologies, only insults about how demanding we were for requesting to have the features that she advertised in the first place. Fidelma sent me a nasty email personally attacking me by stating how dirty we left the home even though we cleaned it throughout the entire two weeks!! She acted extremely rudely! It is no wonder she expects full payment two weeks before you arrive. Again we found her to be a very dishonest person and not a good representative for the tourism industry in Malta.
This is not an owner you want to deal with in our opinion.
Unique Suggestions: We have learned not to rent from somebody demanding full payment before you arrive. A percentage to secure is customary however those who are confident in their property and are honest people allow their renters to stay at their property and then collect the balance at the end of their stay. We have always done this in the past but took a chance this time on the basis that the owner presented herself as a responsible business woman as she has a side business and deals in customer service however this held no water in terms of her being honourable or respectful. BIG MISTAKE!
Fun Alternatives: Always try and find a property with reviews from previous vacationers.... there is no more honest opinions than the consumers who are paying their hard earned money!!