Looking for a cool spring destination? How about Malta? This little Mediterranean archipelago is located between Sicily and the African coast and it’s the 5th smallest country in Europe. Smaller than Andorra if you can believe that! It has some great places to visit from limestone cities to amazing blue waters, superb coast line views and adorable fishing villages. Oh… and if you are a Game of Thrones fan, this is the island to visit and imagine yourself in the middle of some epic movie scenes. (Like hello, Khaleesi’s wedding anybody?)
The Maltese archipelago is made up of three islands. The main one, that also hosts the capital in Valletta is called Malta, and the two smaller ones are Gozo and Comino. I spent 4 days in this amazing country and I was taken by it’s views. But the one thing that really stuck to my heart was the colorful fishing village of Marsaxlokk in the south of Malta.
How to get to Marsaxlokk
The little fishing village is located about 6 km away from the airport and if you rent a car you can get there in about 10 minutes. If you’re like me and are too lazy to get your driver license, you can also get there by bus without a big hustle. From Valletta you can get to Marsaxlokk in about 45 minutes with bus lines 81 or 85. From Sliema you can take lines 15 or 25 to Valletta and from there hop on one of the routes I mentioned earlier. It will take you a little over an hour.
Marsaxlokk is ideal for exploring. Of course you have your church and there is the fort of St. Lucian, but what I enjoyed most was walking around the harbor. You can watch the fishermen untangle and mend their nets, getting them ready for the next outing. You can enjoy the freshest fish at one of the many restaurants on the water front. If you’re like me, having lunch on the boardwalk and enjoying the warm rays of the sun is just what the doctor ordered coming out of winter.
After a quick and fresh bite to eat, you can resume your walk and check out the colorful boats in the harbor. The fishermen still use the traditional Maltese boats called Luzzu. Painted in bright blue, red, green and yellow, these iconic Maltese symbols have been around from Phoenician times. The design is very sturdy when it comes to rough waters, but unlike ancient vessels that were equipped with sails, the modern Luzzu boats are powered by diesel engines.
The eyes on the bow of the ships come from an ancient Phoenician custom, practiced also by Greeks and Egyptians. The Eye of Osiris or Horus is meant to protect the boat and fishermen from harm when they venture out to sea. The superstition is definitely high! The boats are passed down from one generation to another and yet you can see the colors look pretty fresh. That’s because every 5 years, the colors are stripped down for a thorough boat inspection and then painted back exactly the same.
Saint Peter’s Pool
Another amazing little corner of Malta can be found at only half an hour walking from Marsaxlokk. There is no public transport to this spot, so better be wearing some comfy shoes. But realistically a little walk after a rich lunch in the harbor fits just right. You don’t want to go swimming on a full stomach. If you do come with a car, than you can park in the area, but there are limited spaces and the road is narrow.
Keep in mind that this is a natural swimming pool. There are no amenities – no umbrellas, no chairs, no lifeguard and not place to buy a snack or water. So you have to bring a towel and drinks with you. But remember to preserve the place and don’t leave any garbage behind. You will enjoy some of the most amazing shades of blue and a smooth rocky shore.
On the other side of the island, about 20 minutes by car from Marsaxlokk or 1h by buss you can find another amazing natural site that should be on your Malta must-see travel list. If you are going by bus, from Marsaxlokk you need to take 119 to the airport and then 201 until you reach the panoramic view point.
The massive arch of over 30m looks like an elephant dunking his trump into the sea. Just like the Blue Grotto in Capri the light reflections in the water and the caves produce the most amazing shades of blue.
More about Malta, beautiful sunsets and views from above in a future post.
Enjoyed it? Pin it! 🙂
- For exploring Malta you can rent a car from the airport at good rates, but be careful on what side you are used to driving. In Malta you are driving on the right! Also, get ready to have nerves of steel. The traffic is crazy, and the GPS will make you go in circles a few times. But with a car you can reach some amazing places and stop where ever you want and take a shot.
- For the public transport rates and timetables check here and find the best option for you.
- The food is fairly cheap and extra fresh, but boy oh boy do they love onions!
- If you travel in spring or autumn be sure to have a wind jacket with you. Since there are no trees to protect you, it gets very windy.