Experience in Xaghra
After a sunny ferry ride to Gozo, one can easily head towards the picturesque and touristic village of Xaghra. As you are going uphill, one cannot miss to notice the countryside full of the wild flora of the neighbouring villages including the horse race track nearby the Nuffara hill. On this tiny hill there are grain silos from the French era.
Proudly perched on the Xaghra plateau, the temples of the giants dominate the eye of the visitor. The Ggantija temples which were built over 7000 years ago, are the oldest structure in the world built by mankind according to the Guinness Book of Records, which are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can enjoy the history at their own leisure in the information interpretation centre, where the Neolithic part of history is explained in detail, especially by the artifacts which were found in the area.
Walking a few metres away from the Neolithic, you head towards a more modern era. Imagine in the old times, the windmill master blowing his horn on the roof of the windmill, to announce the favourite blowing wind to start his grinding stones and powder the fruit of mother nature into flour. Entering the mill, other tools which were used for his livelihood, such as the ironmongery or carpentry, can be inspected. Many hand-made household items in the living quarters are also on exhibition, to represent the way of the living of our forefathers.
Walking towards the centre, one can see the Basilica dominating the village main square. It can be observed the change from the massive and rough stone used in our prehistoric temples to the magnificent dome, gold and marble works, afresco paintings by Mattia Preti amongst others, and all the other decorations and architecture found in this church. The main square is one of the most popular and busy squares on the island. The amount of restaurants, bars, retail and service outlets found in and around this square, confirm the dynamism and potential of this place. You will definitely be tempted to have a stop and recharge your energy while being engulfed by the hussle and bussle of the local people’s daily activity.
A few minutes away from the square, you can go for a walk to visit the grottos which offer a marvellous natural spectacle with their stalagtites and stalagmites. They represent a clear proof that Xaghra is a very fertile land with large quantities of underground water that form these natural sculptures over millions of years. This fact was the main reason why our prehistoric ancestors chose our locality for their settlements and constructed their temples and cemeteries. While visiting the Xerri’s grotto area, one can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the magnificent Citadel as well as the West side of the island.
If the weather permits, it is suggested to visit the Toys’ Museum with its marching soldiers, dolls’ houses and rocking horses which take you back to your childhood days. Continuing your way, head towards Calypso Cave, to visit the nymph’s lodge. According to Homer and the Greek mythology, love and beauty took over the human mind of Ulysses and his fellow seamen. From this perched point, Ramla bay with its golden sand is a must to admire. It is easy to be invited to go downhill towards the turquoise sea and sand dunes, covering the archeological remains from Roman, Medieval and British eras, while passing through the champaigne vineyards.
While relaxing and sipping the sun, on very clear and high visibility days, as the sun goes to sleep, anyone can notice the life far away on the horizon of our neighbouring Sicily, which leads the way to mainland Europe.