Colorful Malta: Marsaxlokk fishing village


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?)

Fungus Rock – Dwejra, Gozo

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.

Valletta Grand Harbor, 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 port view

Discovering Marsaxlokk

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.

Delicious fresh fish right on the waterfront in Marsaxlokk

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.

Fisherman working on his nets in Marsaxlokk

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.

The Luzzu boats in Marsaxlokk keep their eyes on you
Luzzu boats in Masaxlokk harbor

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.

St. Peter’s Pool view from the top of the cliff
St. Peter’s Pool smooth rock “beach”

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.

Blue Grotto

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.

Blue grotto in Malta

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.

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Jaunting Tips

  • 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.

37 Replies to “Colorful Malta: Marsaxlokk fishing village”

  1. I was in Malta about 3 years ago and absolutely loved every second of it! I would go back in a heartbeat ❤️ Thanks for sharing this x

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it! I have one more post in the making about it. Couldn’t keep it all into one 😀

  2. I loved Marsaxlokk when we visited Malta last year 🙂 I’m only bummed we didn’t make it to Saint Peter’s Pool. Well, all the more reason to go back.. 😉

    1. I’m bummed it was too cold to take a dip, because it’s such an amazing place to go for a swim.

  3. What a beautiful post! I would love to spend a few days exploring, camera in hand!

    1. My favorite thing to do! Though it’s not easy to find someone who wants to hang out while you take a gazillion photos with different camera settings 😀

  4. I would have never thought to visit Malta but the Blue Grotto and St, Peters pool look very picturesque. I remember seeing the fisherman in Ghana some years ago and it was amazing to see there technique, so I’m sure I would enjoy the fishing village in Malta . I want to taste some of the food, I entry trying new dishes.

    1. What can I say… it surprised me also! And except for the traffic and the wind I was impressed! I would love to go when it’s warmer and actually go swimming, snorkeling and diving.

  5. I love visiting fishing villages!!! This particular one in Malta looks amazing! I bet the food in the local restaurants is incredible!

    1. The fish was amazing.. however disappointed by one place that served a shrimp salad with…. FROZEN shrimps.

  6. I’ve been reading so much about Malta and you’ve just oomph-ed my interest in it. Looks like an incredible place to spend a few days.

    1. Glad to hear that! It is really nice, and I can imagine when it’s a bit more warmed than when I went it’s even better.

  7. Such gorgeous photography!! The sea looks unbelievable and I would love to jump in it!!
    I love Malta – I once went one August and they had a heatwave, it was about 45celcius everyday!!

    1. Oh. Thank you so much! I want to go again sometimes in summer, but for sure not August. I love summer and heat.. but 45C is extreme!

  8. Wow! Your pictures are stunning. Malta looks and sounds so beautiful. I’ve been hearing more and more about it lately but after reading this I think I need to go and see it for myself.

    1. Thank you so much! I think Malta might be the new Morocco :)) Like last year.. everybody was going crazy with Morocco. It’s still in my head, but I don’t want to do it solo. Too many creepy stories. Malta sure is amazing and super friendly. You should check it out, but I would suggest a more warmer period, maybe beginning of summer. Because all that gorgeous blue water, and not being able to take a dip… it was hurting my soul.

  9. Lovely photos! And so much useful information… Malta has been on my radar for quite some time already, I’m really hoping to finally visit it this year, so all this will, most probably, be super helpful.
    Thanks 🙂

    1. Thank you very much! I am always happy when I read comments like yours. If my stories offer even a bit of inspiration I am super happy!

  10. Wow, St. Peter’s pool is just lovely! And it’s within walking distance? And thanks for including the public trans link. Those can be so tricky to find on my own!

    1. Glad to be of help! I imagine I am not the only one in a situation where you need to know how to get someplace. So I like to share my experiences also from that point. Transportation when reaching a new place is the first concern after all. That is if you don’t rent a car.

  11. Malta is high on my list and your photos just reaffirmed that! I love the boat with the eyes. These are amazing tips and thank you for all the advice 🙂

    1. You will love it! My only bonus advice, go when it’s a bit more warm. I was way off season. And it’s a shame not to enjoy those beautiful blue waters!

  12. Malta is lovely. Many people from here in Switzerland go to Malta to vacation, but I’ve not yet made it there! Would like to someday! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

    1. It is an amazing place. Great to explore, great landscapes, fresh sea food 😀

  13. Andrea Mayfield says:

    I have always wanted to go to Malta! The water is so gorgeous! Love your photos!

    1. Thank you! You should really go! I like my picture also hahaha, but in real life much more spectacular 😀

  14. I loved Malta! I went last year in April and think I might have eaten at the same restaurant in Marsaxlokk as you haha. Great pictures – they bring back awesome memories. I had no idea Saint Peter’s Pool was a thing! A must for next time 🙂

    1. Hahaha. that’s amazing! Yes.. and it was so close! You should visit again!

  15. The color of that water is stunning!! I’ve been wanting to visit Malta for some time now, this post is inspiring that more!

    1. Thank you! Please do! It’s an amazing country!

  16. Oh Malta is so pretty! Been there a couple of years ago and there are so many places I really loved and enjoyed. Marsaxlokk is one of them. The colors of those fisher boats, awesome! So picturesque.

    1. Thank you! It was a great surprise for me. Lovely cities and villages, beautiful landscapes, great spots for photography.

  17. I’ve no idea how to pronounce this but it looks so lovely. The landscapes are all so beautiful Malta has been on my bucket list for a while now but I still haven’t made it – shame! Hopefully this year!

    1. Hahaha.. yes there are some difficult names to pronounce in Malta. This would be like Mar-(as in market)-sax-(as in saxophone)-lokk-(as in lock). You should check it out for sure!

  18. Malta is truly an amazing place! Wish I would’ve read your post before I visited! Would have loved to have explored Marsaxlokk. Great post!

    1. ah.. I’m bummed also when I read a post AFTER I visited a place, because of course I discover something I missed, but then again, it’s one more reason to return 😉

  19. […] Explore the fishing village of Marsaxlokk: This place wiggled its way into my heart. I just loved it and its surrounding areas. Check out my full post about it for some Jaunting Tips – Colorful Malta: Marsaxlokk fishing village. […]

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