Malta’s prettiest fishing village sits around a bay on the south coast of the island and has starred in thousands of postcards and many a film. Marsaxlokk’s (pronounced marsa-schlock) chief attractions are twofold: the buzzing daily market and the fishing boats. The latter comprises a large fleet of luzzus (pronounced ‘lut-sues’) bobbing in the bay. These traditional, cheerily painted and wooden Phoenician-style fishing boats have become symbolic of the island – most of them are red, yellow and sky-blue, with eyes painted on their prows to ward off evil. With fishing the staple livelihood of this photogenic little town, there is small wonder that it is one of the best – and cheapest – places on Malta to eat the very freshest of fish. Chose from any of the outdoors restaurants for a fine seafood feast.
Marsaxlokk’s fresh produce market runs daily and sprawls along the quayside under brightly striped awnings; get there at 8am to avoid the crowds an admire the piles of seasonal fruit, vegetables and freshly caught fish. Proceedings reach a crescendo on Sundays, when visitors pour in from all over the island to snap up anything from exquisite locally hand-made lace, linen tablecloths and delicate filigree jewelry to gourmet relishes and Maltese honey – but you’ll have to delve among piles of tatty souvenirs and cheap household goods. Be prepared to barter but expect handcrafted lace to be expensive; if it is not, then it simply is not handmade.
Marsaxlokk market runs daily, but is at its best on Sunday mornings. Take bus No. 81 from Valletta bus station; the journey takes about 35 minutes.