Marsaxlokk (pronounced mar-sah-schlok) remains a traditional fishing village despite its rapid development after becoming the main cargo port for the country. It boasts a long and rich history, beginning in prehistoric times when some of the country’s megalithic temples were built nearby nearly 5,000 years ago. These temples are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Later, the Phoenicians landed here and established a trading post in the ninth century B.C., and Suleiman the Magnificent used this harbor as an anchorage for his fleet during the Great Siege of Valletta.
The majority of Marsaxlokk hotels are in the two and three star categories. There are no luxury hotels because the majority of tourists do not stay here due to the large power station and large commercial shipping port. However, this is actually a bonus for those looking for Marsaxlokk villas in Malta that are less expensive. Marsaxlokk is located quite close to the international airport, and you will find several areas that do not look out onto the power plant or shipping port. One of the best of the Marsaxlokk hotels is the Sea Breeze—actually located in Birzebbuga. It is a modest three star property with an excellent restaurant and clean comfortable rooms looking out to see. In Marsaxlokk itself, there are some good aparthotels that have fully equipped kitchens and are excellent for families and small groups on a budget.
There are many Marsaxlokk villas in Malta available as vacation rentals, including in neighboring communities that are only a few minutes away by car. These communities include Marsascala, located less than a mile to the northeast and Birzebbuga located less than a mile to the south west. Both of these little villages sit in their own secluded bays with lovely views out to sea. Additionally, there are some very quiet sandy beaches in these bays. Most of the Malta beaches are quite rocky, and the few sandy ones are quite crowded. So this is a great place to stay to avoid those crowds. Although you will find most of the Marsaxlokk villas in Malta listed as real estate available for purchase, a careful search will reveal that many of the owners do rent them out to people looking to enjoy their vacations away from the crowds on the more popular east and north coasts.
Popular things to do in Marsaxlokk include sailing and sightseeing cruises on the charming and gaily painted traditional fishing boats that you will see everywhere in the harbor. These are called luzzus, and most will have an eye painted on the side due to the fishermen’s lore that this wards off the evil eye. Additionally, the Hagar Qim and Mnajdra megalithic temples are on the rocky scenic western coast about five miles away. Many visitors who stay in Marsaxlokk hotels are here to enjoy the excellent hiking along this part of the coast. There are also numerous seafood restaurants here, and dining on fish you may have seen in the market that morning is a wonderful experience. There is also a simple, but lovely, parish church that was built in 1872 and boasts the typical red Maltese dome. You will also enjoy shopping in the colorful open air market with handcraft stalls on most days of the week, and the lively fish market occurs every Sunday.