If you want to feast your eyes on multicoloured traditional Maltese fishing boats, Marsaxlokk is the place to visit. There are of course many different types of Maltese fishing boats but the luzzu takes pride of place. Sturdy, wooden boats with two beady eyes on the bow to ward off the evil eye, these all weather craft have been around since time immemorial, very likely since Phoenician times, that’s a very long time ago, around 1500 BC. Little has changed except that they lost their sails and oars and are now motorised.
Marsaxlokk is a thriving village which has recreated itself around a popular village market right there on the quay with the boats as a backdrop. A nice fish lunch just off the hustle and bustle will not come amiss – please don’t ask if the fish is fresh.
St Paul’s Bay, used to be a fishing village, it is now more of a tourist resort, but has retained a certain amount of the fishing village atmosphere. Some very upmarket restaurants as well as casual eateries. Worth a visit if only to see St Paul’s Islands, traditionally where St Paul, The Apostle of the Gentiles, was shipwrecked in AD 60 and changed Malta forever. This may just be a personal opinion but there is something about St Paul’s Bay that is just so attractive.
Zurrieq is one of the oldest Maltese towns, often called Wied iz-Zurrieq, “The Valley of Zurrieq”, all the way down to the sea. And yes, catch a fishing boat to the Blue Grotto. Well, you may say there are blue grottos all over the Mediterranean. True, if you haven’t seen one, start with Zurrieq, you will not be disappointed. The fluorescent everchanging blues and greenish blues of the sea are worth the visit.