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Nymphs, rips & lagers: surfing at Ramla Bay

Surfer on a longboard

Seemingly sleeping on Gozo’s north coast, Ramla Beach relaxes in a perfect crescent of gorgeous copper sand, sloping gently into the inviting sea.

It’s a traveller’s dream. Firstly, it’s on Gozo, an irresistible island, far less populated than Malta, that still has that genuine undiscovered feeling about it. Secondly, I mean just look at the colours of the sand and sea. It’s been painted by angels!

Ramla Bay is steeped in history and mythology. According to legend, the beach was the site of the cave where the nymph Calypso held the Greek hero Odysseus captive for seven years in Homer’s epic poem, the Odyssey. Seven years in that cave, with that view? Sounds like glamping to us, we’re in!

It’s also a surfer’s dream too when conditions are spot on. Being north facing, look out for winds coming from the Northeast. When the swell also kicks in from the northeast too, you’ve got bigger sets coming in… which is always fun

Be careful out there

Fun, with a hint of danger, as longboarder Liam Spiteri told us last year. A rip current occurs on this beach, catching many tourists off guard. Luckily we’ve always got some surfers ready to pull people out when struggling. You can not take that sh*t for granted people, it’s not as calm and easy as it looks! 

The bay is a peach for longboarding too. It’s got a wide mouth, and you can play as much as you like on slightly smaller waves. 

Some areas close to the sand have large rocks, so be careful when entering and exiting the bay, you don’t want to stub your toes on those sharp rocks. In the summer months, this beach is a touristic hive. You’ve got a few rental companies there for jet skis and other vessels, and they literally take up a large section of the bay, making a makeshift corridor from the sand right to the open sea. It’s great for a tourist, but those buoys and ropes are a surfer’s nightmare. Getting your leash caught up in those lines is not fun.

Laurie McGregor told us about Ramla, and she loves an adrenaline rush. Where there are waves, you’ll find a surfer, no matter how small or remote the bay may seem.

Man staring out of Calypso cave
Nice view, huh!

Well, for when that rip current runs riot, the bay’s got a solution. A massive bronze statue of Madonna has been installed as a tribute to the many fishermen and sailors that have lost their lives at sea. “Il Madonna ta Ramla” adds a slightly eerie, yet charming touch to the bay, and will hopefully protect the surfers too!

The stuff of legends

Besides the cool cave and statue, you’ll see many historical fortifications and walls dotted around the bay, to protect the islanders from invasions around the 16th century when the Maltese islands were in high demand. They only wanted to invade for our Cisk Lager, which is now thankfully exported too, so calm down pirates! 

Sunset over beach
What a stunner!

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