Marsaxlokk is a picturesque fishing village on the eastern coast of the island of Malta. Definitely worth a visit, albeit just to watch the colourful fishing boats and have some fresh seafood.
Fun fact: Marsaxlokk, pronounced marsa-schlock, means Eastern (xlokk) port (marsa).
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Visit the Marsaxlokk market
The waterfront market is what Marsaxlokk is known for. Every day, from Monday to Saturday, you can shop scarfs, jewellery, nougat, liquer, paintings and other souvenirs at the Marsaxlokk open market.
On Sunday, this market is extended with a fish market, where local fishermen sell what they’ve caught. That’s when the market gets really busy, with both locals and tourists.
We visited the Marsaxlokk market on a Wednesday, so haven’t seen the fish market. The waterfront market wasn’t that busy at all, but the waterfront terraces were pretty packed. It was a pretty regular touristy market but the view is nice!
Walk along the Marsaxlokk waterfront
Right next to Shingle Beach is Marsaxlokk Harbour, a small harbour with mainly fishing boats.
When continuing further along the water, you’ll notice Marsaxlokk bay is filled with colourful traditional Maltese fishing boats called Luzzu. A very photogenic sight!
St Peter’s Pool
If you want to go for a swim in Marsaxlokk, we can definitely recommend St Peter's Pool. It’s basically a natural open-air swimming pool between the rocks.
The water in St Peter’s Bay is a clear blue, great for some snorkelling, with cliffs around it to jump off. A couple of locals were putting up a show doing solo and twin dives, jumps and summersaults. There was even a guy doing a duo act with his dog. Entertainment guaranteed!
Saint Peter’s Pool doesn’t have a sand beach, but rather rock slabs where you can chill in between swimming. There was some, not much, shade while we were there between 3:00 and 4:00 in the afternoon. It was pretty busy though.
You can park your car at the free car park at the end of an unsealed road. From there, take the path down to St Peter’s Pool, taking a right where it splits.
If you’re in need of refreshments, there should be an ice cream van at the car park selling cold drinks, slushees, sandwiches, and (obviously) ice cream.
Don’t have a car? No worries, you can join a boat tour to St Peter’s Pool as well, leaving from Marsaxlokk Harbour.
Best restaurants in Marsaxlokk
As Marsaxlokk is a fishing village, it’s only natural you should try some seafood when visiting. For being this small, Marsaxlokk has quite some choice when it comes to restaurants. And almost all of them are on that one road, called Xatt is-Sajjieda, along the seafront.
Brecht had read some praising reviews of Terrone, a small but busy restaurant at the Marsaxlokk waterfront. The small terrace was already filling up quickly at opening time, but we managed to secure a table.
Terrone focusses on southern Italian and local Maltese cuisine. The menu changes daily, based on what the fishermen caught and the vegetable suppliers have on offer. All dishes are made with local, fresh, and seasonal produce. This means that the menu isn’t that elaborate, but the food was so good!
For most dishes there are 2 portion sizes available, a starter and a main one. Because we were having lunch there, they didn’t mind us going with the starter portions.
Another highly rated restaurant in Marsaxlokk is Tartarun, a family-run fish restaurant. The fish is locally sourced daily and served in a couple of signature dishes and a bunch of highly innovative (their words) specials. Sounds delicious, if you ask us.
We did a day trip to Marsaxlokk, but you can stay the night there as well. Don’t expect big hotels, rather small guesthouses and holiday apartments, all a stone’s throw from the small Marsaxlokk bay. Click here for all Marsaxlokk hotels according to Booking.com.
How to get to Marsaxlokk
During our time in Malta, we stayed in St Julian's. We rented a car for the duration of our stay and did a day trip from St Julian’s to Marsaxlokk and the rest of the southeastern part of the island.
From St Julian’s it’s just a 30 minute drive to Marsaxlokk. If you’re lucky, you can find a parking spot right at the small Marsaxlokk harbour.
If you don’t feel comfortable driving in foreign countries, you can use Malta’s public transport as well. To give you an example, it takes about 40 minutes to get from Valletta to Marsaxlokk by bus. That’s just 10 minutes longer than by car, and you don’t need to look for a parking spot. For more information on public transport in Malta, click here.
Another option is taking one of those famous red open-top busses from City Sightseeing you see everywhere. Just book a ticket here, and hop on and off at all the major tourist attractions in Malta. Note that there are 2 routes on the island of Malta, and Marsaxlokk is part of the South Route.
We spent about 2 hours in Marsaxlokk, which includes our lunch, but not St Peter’s Pool. Stroll along the waterfront of this charming village, browsing the (touristy) market and enjoying the view over the bay filled with colourful fishing boats. Then, head to St Peter’s Pool for a refreshing dip in the water!
Marsaxlokk in short
- What? Picturesque fishing village
- When? Busiest during Sunday fish market, but daily market as well
- How long? Allow for about 2 hours, including lunch
- How much? Free, if you don’t count food, drinks or souvenirs
- Highlight? Traditional fishing boats, St Peter’s Pool
- Where to eat? Terrone
- Where to stay? Check out all accommodation options in Marsaxlokk according to Booking.com
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