Traditional European Fishing Village

Marsaxlokk – The South Port

Traditional Maltese Boat - Tal-Pass (10) Franklin Balzan viewingmalta.com
Marsaxlokk is a fishing village in the South of Malta, famous for the fish market on Sundays. The locals in Marsaxlokk worked as fishermen in the past and still do to this day. Marsaxlokk is a charming village with its traditional, painted Luzzus, tasty fish restaurants and a glimpse of Maltese daily life. Discover what is truely Maltese through the old houses lining the waterfront, the fishing boats in the harbour, the frequent yelling of “Fresh fish, fresh fish … come have a look”, fishermen by the water’s edge mending their nets and grumbling about the current affairs, while others can be seen scraping, painting and sawing making their boats ready for the sea.

Marsaxlokk Fish Market

The fish market starts as early as 7 in the morning on Sundays. During the week Marsaxlokk does not look like a fishing village as the daily catch is packed early in the morning and taken to the Valletta Fish Market. The Sunday market is very interesting as one can find the freshest of fish and prices are cheaper than in the shops. Generally Swordfish, tuna, grouper, red mullet, stonefish and the popular ‘lampuki’ are caught between spring and late autumn. Octopus and Squid can also be found on sale which are usually used for mouth-watering soups or pasta sauces. Each week there usually is a different selection, depending on what was caught from the sea that same day. It is a spectacle in itself seeing the fishermen turn into salesmen shouting their sales pitch “fresh fish, fresh fish” encouraging Maltese housewives to buy from them, getting the best deals possible other than their competitors.

Traditional Maltese Boat - Luzzu (164 Maurizio Modena viewingmalta.com)

The Sunday Market at Marsaxlokk was originally a fish market. It developed over the years to selling local produced honey, jam, wine, souvenirs, clothes and much more. After all the shopping done, one can have lunch at one of the seafood restaurants on the waterfront of Marsaxlokk.

The Eye on the Luzzu

Traditional Maltese Boat - Luzzu (29) Renata Apanaviciene viewingmalta.com
The luzzu is a traditional fishing boat, that dates back to the Pheonicians in the 9th century. These fishing boats provide a spectacular scene of Mediterranean colours in Marsaxlokk with shades of yellow, red, green and blue that decorate the luzzus with a pair of eyes on the prow. The eyes on either side of the prow is the survival of an ancient phoenician custom referring to the Eye of Osiris. The local Maltese are very superstitious, they believed the eye on the luzzu is to protect fishermen from harm while at sea and also to ward off the devil. The design of the luzzu remained the same over the centuries but originally there were sails too. Today most luzzus are all motorised with diesel engines onboard.

Swimming Zones close to Marsaxlokk

There are a number of good swimming spots along the coast at Delimara point, they may be hard to find but worth seeking out, some locations are accessible with a boat and some locations on foot. One of them is St Peter’s Pool, a natural pool ideal to spend a relaxing day away from the busy streets, only 20 mins away on foot. As the location is remote and bumpy roads all the way, this beach is rarely overcrowded. The flat rocks provide perfect sunbathing areas with high rocks offering shade from the sun. The sea is crystal clear with blue and light green colours offering snorkelling opportunities.

Diving site at Delimara

Delimara point offers an enjoyable dive for both beginners and more experienced divers. Delimara point offers the chance to see a cave, reef and wreckage of an old ship making it one more exciting venture. The reef starts at nine meters descending to 12 meters. A cave can be entered at 20 meters deep where a chimney leads up to about nine meters. Marine life can also be seen here such as silver bream, damselfish and octopus. There are also reports of a plane wreckage in the same area but only a few divers know the location. The area is known for strong currents so proceed with caution, who knows you may be the lucky one to find it…

Traditional Maltese Boat - Luzzu (12) viewingmalta.com

Marsaxlokk is an ancient fishing village with a lot to offer, a location where one can find real Maltese life. Witnessing a Maltese fisherman mending his fish net by the shore, encouraging salespeople, the original Mediterranean colours the boats offer, the fish restaurants on the Waterfront, what more can one ask for but a Maltese Fisherman’s life in the making.

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