After backpacking through Europe for 6 weeks, I was growing weary of long lines and crowded tourist attractions. I was also beginning to think that although I was seeing famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and The Colosseum, I was missing out on actual local life. In a desperate search through my guidebook, I stumbled upon Marsaxlokk, Malta, a sleepy fishing village, largely untouched by modernisation. Here I spent three full days recharging my batteries while lazing around this quaint town. Hopefully this account of my journey will give you something to look forward to when you just want to slip away from the tourist trail.

Sunday Market

Said to be one of the top fish markets in all of Malta, I made sure to wake up early to see what all of the fuss was about. Local fisherman were laying out their haul and residents of the city gathered to chat with friends and stock up on seafood for the week. Although mostly known for its fish, the market was also full of locally grown vegetables and fruit as well as honey and clothing.

The Harbour

Probably my favourite place in the city was the harbour. I spent plenty of time soaking in the day at waterfront cafes, sipping coffee and watching the fishermen come and go. The most beautiful part of the harbour were the colourful fishing boats. These traditional “luzzus”, as they are called, are boats that date back to the Phoenicians. They made the perfect subjects of my photographs as they bobbed around the sparkling waters.

St. Peter’s Pool

This natural swimming pool by the bay is popular with locals and tourists but is not often very crowded. I spent the afternoon sunbathing on the rocks and taking dips in the crystal water to cool off. Some people even used the higher cliffs to jump off in to the water. If you are planning to visit the pool make sure to keep an eye on your belongings as I was warned of occasional thieves wandering around the area.

Church Tour

There are a few beautiful churches sprinkled around the town and I took it upon myself to spend an afternoon on a self-made tour. I first visited Marsaxlokk Church to see the statue of Madonna which originated in Italy in early 1900. I then moved on to Our Lady Of Pompeii Church which was built in the 1800s and hosts a yearly pilgrimage. The one I found most beautiful was the Church of Our Lady of Snow. Also built in the 1800s, this church is often used as a retreat centre.

Seafood

Nothing to me is more fun than eating the local cuisine in each place that I visit. Marsaxlokk is known for its seafood and I spent plenty of time sampling it. Roaming around the harbour area was the perfect place to get the freshest meals.

Marsaxlokk was a fantastic choice for a relaxed journey and reminded me that not all travel needs to be hectic and rushed. Take the time to enjoy this laid back town and regain your sense of relaxation from busy travels.
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