Marsaxlokk is a cute little village with a true Maltese character. It is officially (but also informally) known as the fishing village of Malta. This is the place where the smell of fish and sea will venture into your senses and consume you. A lovely, peaceful town which is made up of no more than one major main road which splits the beautiful sea, with an interesting, highly colourful waterfront. Dear reader, we’d like you to meet our beloved Marsaxlokk.
Where is Marsaxlokk located?
Easily answered by saying ‘the extreme southern tip of Malta’. In fact, the fish-like shape of the main island of the Maltese archipelago is split between two small towns, both equally beautiful in their own way; Birzebbugia and the fishing village of Marsaxlokk. But don’t worry, as we will explore later in this article, nowhere in the Maltese islands is very far away. Marsaxlokk borders Birzebbugia, which hosts the Malta Freeport, and the area known as tal-Barrani in Zejtun. The road which crosses these two points make up tiny Marsaxlokk.
Why stay in Marsaxlokk?
Accommodation facilities in Marsaxlokk are quickly popping up with a fast pace as the whole island of Malta is now becoming more and more developed with blocks of apartments and tourist accommodations. Staying in Marsaxlokk is good if you have a car, or if you wish to stay close to the sea and focus all the energy during your stay to enjoying a fresh breeze, nice swimming and seafood. It is not ideal to stay here if you like bustling cities or if you are a shopping enthusiast. But Marsaxlokk offers a completely different side to Malta, which is quieter and more authentic. So if this feature in a holiday is what you are looking for, Marsaxlokk is a good option.
History of Marsaxlokk
Marsaxlokk, sometimes written in short as M’Xlokk, has a lot of history to offer, despite it not being a place renowned for story. But this zone in Malta, like any other area which is close to the sea, has a history which dates back to the knights. This is why it is not surprising that Marsaxlokk is home to an old tower. The name of the tower is Fort San Lucjan (or Lucian), and it was built by the Order of St John in 1610. This is the second-largest watchtower in Malta and is definitely worth a visit. Nowadays the tower serves as an Aquatic Research Centre Facility.
According to history books, Marsaxlokk was the first place where the Phoenicians landed in Malta in the 9th century B.C. The area known as Tas-Silg is also an interesting historical spot as discoveries made showed that it was a site for worship in the Bronze Era.
Over the years, the place became a hub for fishermen and it is still like this till this very day.
How to get to Marsaxlokk
From Valletta (Capital City)
Once you land in Luqa Airport, the only direct bus there is to Marsaxlokk is route 119.
What to do?
Marsaxlokk is a small village with a lot to offer with great things to do and things to see.
- Visit the Parish church which is dedicated to the Madonna of Pompeii. This was built in 1897 and is situated in the main square. It has a beautiful interior with magnificent paintings by Maltese artist Giuseppe Cali.
- If you are holidaying in Malta in the first week of July, you should make it point not to miss the local village feast.
- Take a stroll along the Harbour. Observe local fishermen and watch out for the colourful ‘luzzu’ (the traditional Maltese boat).
- Go shop from the local open market which takes place every day. You can find souvenir stalls and other local products like honey and jam. On Sunday the market gets bigger and fishermen come to show off their catch.
- Go swimming! There are amazing swimming spots in the area. Check out St Peter’s Pool or Kalanka Bay. They are not easily accessible, but from the town centre, they are easily reached by motorbike or even a nice walk.
- Visit a Fort. Marsaxlokk boasts interesting places like Fort St Lucian, Fort Tas-Silg and Fort Delimara.
- Hike through the village periphery. There’s a good track between Marsascala and Marsaxlokk. An ideal activity for winter.
Where to eat?
Marsaxlokk prides itself with being the local champion of seafood. But there are more options than one might think. Here’s what we suggest:
- Rising Sun Bar is a small family run bar & restaurant offering traditional Maltese food. Watch out for their daily specials and make sure to order their octopus if it’s on the list.
- Filippo is an Italian restaurant using local fresh produce.
- Capo Mulini offers a great view, right by the sea. Exquisite fish but you should also try their pasta.
- If you mention Marsaxlokk to the locals, everyone will tell you to visit Tartarun. Known for its’ exquisite fresh fish & seafood while offering perfect ambience and high-end service.
- Terrone offers dishes which are a combination of southern Italian and local Maltese cuisine, based on fresh & seasonal produce.
Tip: Marsaxlokk can get very busy for Sunday lunch, make sure to book in advance!