A Guide to Marsaxlokk and St Peter’s Pool, Malta

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by Michael Rozenblit

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The charming fishing village of Marsaxlokk and the natural swimming spot of St Peter’s Pool provide travellers with a fantastic day trip opportunity for those staying in the main parts of the island.

A visit to these two spots combines some fantastic elements of Malta including a picturesque town to visit, delicious seafood to eat and a nice swimming area to provide a welcome respite from the Maltese sun!

In addition, there are other attractions in South Malta that can be combined with a trip to Marsaxlokk and St Peter’s Pool if you would like to add some extra stops on your day out in South Malta!

Getting to Marsaxlokk and St Peter’s Pool

By Bus

Once you’ve been to Malta for a day or two, you’ll surely realise that buses are the best and most affordable way to get around Malta! And to get to Marsaxlokk is no different!

From Valletta, buses 81 and 85 depart throughout the day to Marsaxlokk with the journey taking approximately 30 minutes.

Unfortunately, there is no public transport that goes to St Peter’s Pool so that leaves you with three options: walk, pay for a somewhat overpriced taxi or take a boat from Marsaxlokk to St Peter’s Pool.

The walk is nearly three kilometres long and will take about 35 minutes. The path from Marsaxlokk is fairly exposed to the sun so you should definitely bring plenty of water with you and make sure you’re wearing sunscreen.

The cost of a taxi is around €10 one-way which can be a cost-effective option if you are sharing the ride with other people. There are also usually taxi drivers hanging out near the dirt path to St Peter’s Pool so you can get a ride back to Marsaxlokk if you’re tired after an afternoon of swimming!

Finally, there are also some tour operators that can organise boat trips from Marsaxlokk to St Peter’s Pool and other swimming spots in the area. If you go to the harbour you’ll be able to find the different options such as Charlie’s Boat Trips who offers a €10 trip to a couple of different swim spots including St Peter’s Pool.

The beautiful seaside village of Marsaxlokk
The beautiful seaside village of Marsaxlokk

By Car

Renting a car in Malta can be a good option if you prefer to have some flexibility when travelling around the country. Depending on where you’re staying in Malta, this will avoid you having to go to Valletta first and then get a bus from there.

From somewhere like Sliema, it’s around 14 kilometres to Marsaxlokk and it will take you around 30-40 minutes to get there depending on traffic. This will also allow you to easily go from Marsaxlokk to St Peter’s Pool without needing to worry about organising transport.

The best option for renting a car in Malta is to browse Rentalcars.com. They aggregate results across many major car hire companies to ensure you get a good price for your car hire!

By Organised Tour

It’s possible to take organised tours to Marsaxlokk though many of them only depart on Sundays when the famous Marsaxlokk Fish Market is on. They often also include stops in the Blue Grotto rather than St Peter’s Pool. If you wish to visit on a Sunday, this half-day tour or this tour can be prebooked online.

Should you visit on Sunday to see the Marsaxlokk Fish Market?

One of the main reasons travellers decide to visit Marsaxlokk is to see the famous Sunday fish market. If you’ve read the reviews online about the fish market, they are quite mixed so we want to help you make your decision easier!

If you want to visit the Marsaxlokk Fish Market, the best option is to visit as early as possible. Locals that visit the market are all doing their shopping in the early hours of the morning which is when the best fish is available.

By the time the many tour groups arrive at around 10 to 11am, the best of the produce is gone and the locals are already back home. Getting there early will allow you to see the market at its liveliest and also have the opportunity to buy better fish than what might be available later in the morning.

The Sunday Fish Market means that Marsaxlokk is incredibly busy so if you prefer to experience the sleepy feel of the village then it’s best to visit on another day. There tend to be some market stalls set up every day so you’re still able to get a small taste of the market even if you don’t visit on a Sunday.

Marsaxlokk Fish Market
Fresh Octopus from Marsaxlokk Fish Market

What to do in Marsaxlokk and St Peter’s Pool

Walk along the harbour

One of the best things about spending a day in Marsaxlokk is to simply enjoy the charm and atmosphere of the sleepy fishing village. Once you get off the bus from Valletta, it’ll only be a couple of minutes’ walk before you find yourself near the promenade.

The view of the fishing village from the pier is picture-perfect as you have the beautiful village as a backdrop and hundreds of fishing boats in the water of different sizes and colours. Strolling along the water and stopping for a few photos is a great way to start your day trip in Marsaxlokk!

The fishing village of Marsaxlokk
View of Marsaxlokk from the Harbour

Eat delicious seafood at one of Marsaxlokk’s restaurants

Marsaxlokk is a fishing village so it should come as no surprise that one of the best reasons to visit is to indulge at one of the many seafood restaurants in Marsaxlokk. Just like the rest of Malta, there are many top-quality restaurants here offering fine dining food at affordable prices.

Some excellent choices offering fresh food and local specialities include La Nostra Padrona, Liska and Hunter’s Tower. All are located along the harbour and offer great menus!

Delicious fresh fish at Rising Sun Bar
Delicious fresh fish in Marsaxlokk

Jump off cliffs and relax at St Peter’s Pool

Once you’ve explored Marsaxlokk, it’s time to spend the rest of the day relaxing at St Peter’s Pool! St Peter’s Pool is popular with locals and tourists alike, so don’t come here expecting a secluded swimming post — you’re better off visiting Gozo for that!

Nevertheless, St Peter’s Pool is a fun way to spend the afternoon and you have the option of spending your time running around and jumping off cliffs or simply laying down on a towel and going for a mellow swim. There isn’t a lot of shade in the area, so make sure to bring appropriate clothes, plenty of water and sunscreen!

Stop at the Hypogeum

The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is a UNESCO World Heritage site that’s a logical stop if you’re heading to Marsaxlokk and St Peter’s Pool from Valletta or Sliema.

The site was first discovered at the turn of the 20th century and contains several levels of underground burial sites that date back to 4000 BCE. The delicate nature of the site means that they only let in a certain number of visitors each day so it’s essential that you book in advance if you want to visit.

Marsaxlokk Cathedral
Marsaxlokk Cathedral

Where to stay in Marsaxlokk

While many travellers opt to visit Marsaxlokk and St Peter’s Pool as a day trip from elsewhere on the island, staying in Marsaxlokk can be a great option if you’re after a more relaxing and sleepy village feel. Here are some of our top picks!

Duncan Guesthouse – this budget guesthouse offers all the basic amenities in the heart of Marsaxlokk. Each room has air conditioning and a small kitchen and you can request a room with a balcony to enjoy the beautiful sea views.

Port View Guesthouse – this family-run guesthouse is located only a few metres away from the harbour. Rooms are clean and spacious and breakfast is included in the room rate. There is also a lovely rooftop terrace.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other hotels in Marsaxlokk

St. Peters Pool
St. Peters Pool

Exploring Marsaxlokk, St Peter’s Pool and the rest of South Malta is a great day trip from Valletta or Sliema. It provides travellers with another unique area of Malta to explore and plenty of delicious seafood to eat!

Are you visiting this area of Malta? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments!

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Michael is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Both solo and with his partner, Maggie, he has travelled to over 50 countries across the globe and has a particular affinity for the Balkans and Eastern Europe. He’s lived in numerous countries worldwide but currently resides in his hometown of Melbourne, Australia. Read more about Michael

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