Off the beaten track: 5 must-visit places in Gozo
While Gozo’s iconic sites are definitely worth a visit, it's some of the low profile spots that embody the true spirit of the island.

Lisa Borain
Xerri's Grotto, Xaghra
An important site used by geologists to assist in historical dating, Xerri's Grotto is one of the two remaining caves found on the Maltese Islands where stalagmites and stalactites can be seen. Calcification formations here range from a height of 25cm to a metre, while other interesting formations developed from the calcification of tree roots can also be found here, as well as speleothems. This cave was discovered in 1923, underneath a house, while the owners were digging for a well. The excavations were carried out during WWII, when the caves were used as a shelter from air-raids. 
Wied il-Mielah Window, Gharb
Now that the Azure window collapsed in March 2017 following a heavy storm, the Wied il-Mielah coastal window has become more sought after. But, it's not that straight-forward to get to. The limestone natural arch is located on the north-western coast at the end of the Wied il-Mielah valley, north of the village of Gharb. The road from Gharb leads directly to the coast and parking is available on the plateau. Directly at the end of the valley (parallel to the old river bed), there is a narrow staircase along the rock just before the window.
The Statue of the Salvatur (Risen Christ), Zebbug
Although this statue is easily seen from most of Gozo, it's rarely visited. The statue dates back to the beginning of the 20th century when according to legend, the Gozitans were worried that the strange-looking rocky hill with black smoke rising out of it was in fact a volcano. When an expert was called in and pronounced the hill safe, the locals commissioned a statue to go on its one-kilometre peak in 1904, though the current one is a replacement from the 1970s. Find it by a marked path on the left hand side of the main road that leads from Victoria to Marsalforn.
Ta’ Cenc plateau, Sannat
Rich in typical Maltese garigue, this plateau possesses deep groves which can be seen lining the natural rock, estimated to be over 4,000 years old. They show the exact routes man took to move large boulders from one place to another – an awe-inspiring endeavour. Prehistoric remains can also be found here, including sparse remnants of L-Imramma Temple and three dolmens. The plateau offers excellent views overlooking the Hanzira valley - a natural gorge with steep rocky sides separating Ta’ Sannat from the village of Xewkija. To get there, follow directions to  L-Imramma Temple.  
Cart Ruts Malta
Santa Verna remains, Xaghra
In the oldest part of the village of Xaghra lie the Santa Verna prehistoric remains. Originally a prehistoric village, the site also occupied a megalithic temple, which was probably one of the major temples in the Maltese islands in ancient times. The only remains of the temple that survive are three upright megaliths, another three horizontal blocks lining their eastern side, and the earth floor which makes it possible to see the temple's original outline. The earliest pottery remains date back to around 5,000 BC (when the first traces of human habitation on the island date back to). 

Lisa Borain
Written by
Lisa Borain
Lisa is a copywriter/editor with an adventurous interest and penchant for all things Malta.

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