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FATMAP difficulty grade
Marsalforn - the start point for this hike - is something of an anomaly on Gozo, being busy and occasionally noisy.
Most of the island is peaceful and sleepy but Marsalforn is a bustling little village with a shallow harbour which provides some brilliant snorkelling.
The scuba diving industry in Marsalforn is a significant part of the local economy, and the village is a mecca for divers from across the globe. Start out on the village sea front and head north-east out of town onto a rocky but clear path which climbs away from civilisation and onto a rugged hillside.
The path is part of the Gozo Coastal Trail (which is described in detail in a FATMAP Guidebook) and is marked by pink paint dots, so it's easy to follow.
At times it's pretty rugged and rough, and it also goes through some pretty dense foliage at times, but you'll never struggle to navigate - confident hikers will have no problems. The path used to take a different line but a major landslide caused a section of the trail to be destroyed.
There's actually an old trail which leads right up to the landslide and if you weren't concentrating it would be very possible to walk off the cliff which the landslide created.
Pay attention! Keep following the trail as it winds dramatically to Ix-Xtajta Bay and then further onto Ramla Bay, Gozo's largest and most popular sandy beach.
If you've done some sweating on the hike then a jump in the sea will help to reduce your core temperature! Hike the length of the beach and then make the steep climb up towards the Tal-Mixta cave, which is clearly visible from below.
The trail goes through some dense foliage at times and even from below it isn't clear at all that you can actually get through and out of the cave.
Keep following the path and trust that your efforts will pay off! When you finally reach the cave it provides a wonderful view back to Ramla Bay and sections of the path to Marsalforn.
It is also remarkably cool on even the hottest of days and has some interesting ruins so it's well worth spending some time soaking in the cool air and history before exiting via the tunnel at the back of it. When you're finally ready to brave the sun again make the long but enjoyable trip along dusty lanes into the outskirts of Nadur village.
We've shown the hike going to Wistin bus stop because it's well linked to Victoria - Gozo's capital - and it's the start point for the next stage of the Gozo Coastal Hike; Nadur to Mgarr. There are plenty of lovely places to eat and sleep in Nadur so either spend the evening exploring the village or catch the bus elsewhere on Gozo.