Gozo Instagram fave Mixta cave ‘not closed to public’ minister says

Newly-erected signs leading up to the popular Ghar Mixta cave in Gozo’s Nadur warns site is private but Gozo ministry insists cave is not closed to general public

Keep out... says the sign on the right of the access road to Mixta cave in Gozo
Keep out... says the sign on the right of the access road to Mixta cave in Gozo

Newly-erected signs leading up to the popular Ghar Mixta cave in Gozo’s Nadur are warning that the site is private and that one ought to keep out.

Photos of the area show that someone blocked off the tourist hotspot trail with limestone bricks. A public bench in the area has been cordoned off with a stack of stones and several signs saying ‘Keep out’ and ‘Private’ have been erected ahead of the trail to the cave.

The Gozo Ministry, however, told MaltaToday that “the area is not closed to the general public.”

The Mixta cave is arguably one of the most popular Gozo spots in Nadur, providing a picturesque panorama of Ramla Bay below. Remains found at the site had indicated that the spot may have served as a troglodytic settlement during the Medieval period.

“The area is not closed to the general public… staff from the Ministry for Gozo visited the site and they noticed that there were tourists enjoying the surrounding area and view,” the ministry said, adding that the area is “mainly government owned.”

The ministry said that it would continue to monitor the site and take necessary action accordingly.

However, Nadur mayor Edward Said, told MaltaToday that the issue was not as straightforward and not simply a question of someone deciding to block the area off on a whim.

“The issue goes back many years. There are many complications on lease and land titles and problems related to the Lands Authority,” he said.

“We are not sure who is doing what. We just want the government to do the checks and take the cave in its ownership as no one is yet sure who owns it. It is a delicate issue about which we all have to be careful at the moment.”

Said added that the local council was discussing the issue with the central government.

Unfortunately, tourists recently posting on the review website Tripadvisor have returned confused and somewhat disappointed after an arduous trek to the cave only to find that the cave was inaccessible.

“The cave itself is not accessible and closed to the public. There is another viewpoint from the other side of the bay and probably a second cave. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the entrance as it is located inside a private residence,” one of the reviews reads.

Another warns potential visitors that seven dogs are roaming the area, preventing them from venturing any further.

“Our only weapon to protect ourselves was the beach bag. I am almost two metres high, no sugar boy, but this very tough encounter made us go directly to the Ramla beach instead of the cave. The owner of that property is pretty irresponsible when he leaves his gate open and then on official tourist walk-path there is such intimidating experience,” the post reads.

The Gozo Ministry confirmed, however, that the area is not closed and that it has seen tourists enjoy the area in recent days.

With this official declaration one can feel safe about ignoring the ‘KEEP OUT’ sign and heading to the coveted cave with its supreme view of the bay below.

Just beware of the dogs.