MARSASCALA & MARSAXLOKK
I remember saying in our previous post on Malta (you can read about it here), that you can expect lots of pictures of these two colourful towns … after checking our photo’s, I could only find one (!) photo of Marsascala, but fortunately lots more of Marsaxlokk.
I have no explanation as to why this is the case … it might be because the towns looked very similar (they are after all just 5km apart).
So, let’s introduce you then to two of the most beautiful fishermen’s villages in Malta …
When the Ottomans landed in Marsascala at around 1614, this village was sacked and devasted. In the centuries that followed, Marsascala remained mainly a harbour and fishing port.
It was only during the 1980’s that this fishing town was starting to see the prospects of tourism. During summer, this place is one of the most popular on the island – though still clinging to its village atmosphere, it’s a far cry from Sliema and St Julian.
So, let’s move on to Marsaxlokk (pronounced approximately ‘Marssa-shlok’). The name means ‘sirocco harbour’, referring to the fiercely hot wind that blows in from North Africa between May and September.
Marsaxlokk has grown considerably to meet the increasing needs of tourism, but thankfully, when we’ve visited this village, there were still no hotels or high rising apartment blocks … ah, now I know why we’ve enjoyed our time here and taken so many photo’s ☺️.
There is another great history story about Marsaxlokk. In December 1989 George Bush and Mikhael Gorbachev had a summit meeting here in this harbour … unfortunately for them, the choppy seas resulted in some meetings to be cancelled or rescheduled, thus the nickname of ‘Seasick Summit’ as it was referred to by the international media. Fortunately, when we’ve visited Marsaxlokk (in June), the sea was calm and the temperatures high up in the 30 degrees Celsius.
As mentioned, Marsaxlokk still has the atmosphere of a fishing village and we’ve loved walking up and down the streets to have a look at all the old buildings (and beautiful doors).
It was a lazy morning, quite hot, as we’ve strolled through Marsaxlokk. The people of the town were not really in a hurry … they were sitting on chairs out on the streets or on their balconies, looking at everyone passing by. One elderly gentleman called us over and wanted to know from where we were … and then happily posed for a photo!
We were fortunate that we’ve visited Marsaxlokk on a Sunday, because of their popular Sunday market that takes place every Sunday. As one might expect, it’s mostly a fish market, but we’ve also seen local produce and some beautiful locally made lace tablecloths.
By now, it was time for us to find a table at a restaurant and taste the delicious food that Malta has to offer. Of course, I had to indulge in their seafood and ordered calamari while Berto had a creamy mushroom pasta dish.
After a wonderful day of walking through the fishermen village of Marsaxlokk, it was time to find our bus that would take us back to Valletta. We’ve really enjoyed our visit here and the vibe that the Sunday market added to the atmosphere, was really great.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this leisurely stroll through the fishing villages of Marsascala and Marsaxlokk.
In our next post about Malta, we will go to Mdina (The Silent City) where we will visit another beautiful cathedral and more museums. See you there!
We have done these trips in 2011 & 2013