History of Marsaxlokk

The name Marsaxlokk comes from the Arabic word marsa, which means port and xlokk, which is the Maltese word for south-east. The term is related to the name for the dry sirocco wind that blows from the Sahara, comparable to the equivalent Catalan word, xaloc. The inhabitants of the Village are called the Xlukkajri and are, traditionally, fishermen by trade.

Little is known about this Village during the Middle Ages. However, during the heyday of the Turkish Empire, when its warriors used to land and attack Zejtun, the Village was practically deserted because of the danger of being killed or captured and sold as slaves. But as the Turkish Empire’s power and practical attacks diminished, the Village began to grow gradually. Today this Village has grown and developed into a tourist attraction, with its simple lifestyle.

Many a local and foreigner have invested in a second home or residence respectively. The latter often fall in love with the beautiful picturesque views and excellent investment opportunities that are available near to the sea whereas many of the locals purchase homes in Marsaxlokk as a summer residence.

Some of the street names and their meanings are:

Arznell Str : Arznell is a kind of fish that was commonly caught by fishermen in fish pots up to a few years ago.

Bir Rikka Str : Bir means well. A well was found in the vicinity, which both the Carthaginians and later the Turks used.

Busbiesi Lane : “Busbies” is the fennel plant. Once here, there were fields full of fennel.

L-Gholjiet ta’ Juno Str : This is up Tas-Silg Hill. At about 218 B.C. when Malta was under Roman’s rule, the Romans built a temple on this hill. The temple was dedicated to the Roman goddess Juno. This was the third temple built on this particular hill.

Delimara Str : Delimara is a peninsula which forms part of Marsaxlokk harbour.


Marsaxlokk is also famous for the national boats, which are the luzzu and the kajjik. They serve the fisherman on fishing near the shore, and for fishing away from the coast they use another type of boat. Tourists also can take boat trips from Marsaxlokk to Delimara and Birzebbuġa.

Most of Malta’s fish supplies are caught by fishermen from this port, as about 70% of the Maltese fishing fleet is based there. Swordfish, tuna, and ‘lampuki’ are caught in abundance between spring and late autumn. On weekdays, the catch is taken to the fish-market in Marsa, but on Sundays, fresh fish is sold by fishermen directly on the quay.

Places of Interest in Marsaxlokk


Delimara is the north wing of the Marsaxlokk bay and offers some stunning locations for swimming, walking, trekking, camping, and sightseeing. A collection of limestone cliffs, azure sea inlets, caves, sea arches and old fortresses, Delimara is a must for any adventure seeker and nature-lover.

Fortifications in Marsaxlokk

Fortifications come in quantity in the Marsaxlokk area, a natural harbour used and abused by pirates, corsairs, raiding enemies, and the Ottoman fleet. The Knights erected a line of defence in spectacular locations. From one extremity of the harbour to the other, one can find a strong of beautiful fortresses to explore.

The Sunday Fish Market

The Sunday market boasts freshly caught fish, local fruits and vegetables; on any other day it sells traditional crafts and souvenirs for tourists. A must-go for fresh fish on Sunday mornings and this being a fishermen village you’re guaranteed a delectable selection.

As with every seaside town in Malta, swimming is an attractive feature of Marsaxlokk in the long summer season. Great swimming and diving areas in Delimara and around Marsaxlokk port offer a great relief from summer heat and remarkable nature experiences.

To the north-east of the Village, on the rounded hilltop of Tas-Silġ, there is a multi-period sanctuary site covering all eras from the Neolithic to the fourth century AD. The Tas-Silġ site includes megalithic remains, scattered edifices belonging to three different temples. The temple, long associated with the remains at Tas-Silġ, contained “many ornaments among which was a carefully and supremely crafted ancient ivory statue of Victory.” The presence of such ornaments is a clear indication of the importance of this temple not just locally but also on a Mediterranean scale. Recent studies of the ceramics from Tas-Silġ led to conclusions that the sanctuary was used as a centre of exchange for local and imported goods. The remains atop the hill also include a more recent Byzantine basilica and monastery.

The Promenade

Walking along the promenade, the port teems with attractive Maltese boats of Phoenician descent, better-known as’‘luzz”, with their protective eyes painted on for posterity. Along the path are many restaurants from fine dining to take-aways, fish being a specialty Marsaxlokk is famous for. Seaside walks and colourful sunsets accompany the busy port every day.


Real Estate in Marsaxlokk

Everything about this little, picturesque Village emanates an authentic southern Maltese atmosphere – laidback and lively, scenic and intriguing. Marsaxlokk offers a variety of properties for sale and to let to fit everyone’s lifestyles. Farmhouses are available on the periphery with beautiful land and swimming pools, as well as villas and detached bungalows with or without gardens and pool area. Both unconverted and converted townhouses are to be found in the quaint streets of the Village. Modern and contemporary buildings abound in the densely populated interior, with maisonettes and penthouses ranging from bachelor pads to family homes. It is important that you contact a professional property agent that deals in this area. View Property in Marsaxlokk.

35.842173, 14.545597
4.7 km (sqr)
Patron Saint
Our Lady of Pompei