Getting to anywhere resembling “off the beaten path” on an island as popular and as busy as Malta can be quite the task. However, thanks to a couple eye-catching photos on Pinterest, we were pretty sure we had found just the place we were looking for – a small fishing village in the southeast corner of the island.
When we boarded the bus from Valletta we weren’t sure if the little town of less than 4,000 people would live up to what we had seen (Pinterest does have a way of building places up). Would the boats be out even in winter? Would places be open for lunch so we could get a taste of the famous seafood? These questions were swirling around our head right until we got off the bus. With one turn of the corner all our questions were answered.
A big smile grew on Calli’s face, and I knew the day was going to be great. The boats were out and just as beautiful as we imagined, the restaurants on the promenade were setting out menu-boards and putting down tablecloths, and two kite-boarders were even braving the wind and waves!
Although there isn’t a ton to see or do in Marsaxloxx, what is available was enough to keep us occupied for more than a few hours. After pausing to take a few dozen pictures of the colourful boats bobbing in the harbour, we walked along the promenade- the wind whipping at our faces and salty sea-spray in the air. May local fisherman were out painting and making repairs on their beautiful boats.
The stars of the city are undoubtedly these Maltese fishing boats – known locally as Luzzus. Their design is very unique, dating back to Phoenician times, and consists of high, pointed tips at both ends, bright colours, and a pair of eyes painted on the bow. This design has survived for so long because it is very stable even in rough seas.
Once we’d thoroughly seen the harbour, we turned our attention to selecting a place to sample the catch of the day. Today, Marsaxloxx is overflowing with fresh seafood restaurants; however, this wasn’t always the case. To cope with the influx of tourists visiting on daytrips, a plethora of new seafood restaurants have popped up along the harbour – many of which are owned and operated by the families of local fishermen.
We chose a small family-run place and settled in for some of the fresh and local fare. For less than $20 we managed to get fresh fish, squids, shrimps, and some chips – they were all amazing! With our bellies full, we set back out to get a few more photos before hopping back onto the bus for the ride back to Valletta.
Logistics: Marsaxlokk can be reached from Valletta via bus 81 or 85. There is a ton of restaurants all along the promenade and on the backstreets. Sundays are particularly popular as there is a fish market in the bay where you can purchase fresh seafood from the fisherman and get local restaurants to cook up your score for you!
Sharing over at the Sunday Traveler this week!