Walk 5 – Marsaskala to Marsaxlokk
It feels like there’s been so much rain in Malta this winter that it’s been hard to plan a good day to walk. However, today was forecast as warm and sunny so I was determined to get out. Due to some last-minute setbacks at home Taco and I arrived at the starting point a bit later than planned at 10.00am which meant we only had about two hours to do the walk. However, it was a quite simple section to walk that mainly followed the coast with the option to walk across a few peninsulas if time ran out.
Starting point – Marsaskala Bay
Taco and I started the walk from Marsakala Bay where we finished last time and headed along the coast. As we walked away from the town along the beach I saw salt pans carved into the limestone rock – a typical sight along the Maltese coast. The salt pans are hand cut into the rock and have been there since Roman times. They used to be used to collect sea salt but apparently, it was a very laborious way to collect salt they aren’t used any more. There were some really nice big beach villas along this stretch of the coast right on the water. What a great spot. So far away from the crowds and traffic of Malta. I started mentally planning my holiday home.
Also on the beaches were mountains of the Sea Grass or Neptune Grass. It’s often found on the beaches in Malta. When you see it heaped up on the Maltese beaches it doesn’t look that nice and gets stuck all over you if you swim. However, it is apparently a sign of a healthy beach and clean waters. And Taco LOVES it. She had a nice roll in the Sea Grass and came out with it stuck all over her fur. Hmmmm. To give you an idea here’s a not very good video of her.
We then passed the Saint Thomas Tower which was constructed by the Knights in 1614 after the 6,000 Turkish soldiers landed in Marsaskala Bay. No time to stop though (school run to get home for!). We marched on into Saint Thomas’ Bay.
St Thomas’ Bay
Wow – how pretty it was along here. A cute little bay with a scattering of small cafes on the seafront and some gardens with play areas for kids. I will definitely be coming back here. The pace of life just feels so much slower – like you’ve really got away from everything. We continued on past a kind of caravan area and then up following a path across a beautiful green peninsula.
This peninsula was so lush and green with yellow flowers everywhere. What a perfect dog walking spot. There was a path around the peninsula and quite a few people were walking their dogs. I met an English man walking (or rather carrying) his little puppy and he showed me the way over towards Marsaxlokk.
I think this is the prettiest section of coast I’ve seen since starting this coastal walk. And such a beautiful warm day that I could have done the walk in shorts and a t-shirt as I was really hot in jeans. Not bad for mid-January.
As we came through to the other side of the cliff edge, I could see some big fish nets out at sea. These are fish farms for sea bream and sea bass mainly. We then walked over the hill and headed inland towards fields of open countryside. I then got my first glimpse of Marsaxlokk. Beautiful! It would have been easy to march on down there but I didn’t want to miss Saint Peter’s Pool. Taco and I found a tiny path (thanks to our local guide who had left us to go on to Marsaxlokk) that took us down around the coast to Saint Peter’s Pool.
Saint Peter’s Pool
In the summer months, this natural swimming hole is usually packed with people jumping from the top into the clear turquoise waters below. Today there were only a few people including a few young students who jumped in. Must have been pretty cold.
We carried on around the peninsula for a short way but didn’t have time to go all the way to the end (Delimara Point). We could just see from a distance the old lighthouse and Fort Delimara.
Walking on towards Marsaxlokk Bay there was beautiful countryside all around. You really notice how less built up it is than the North of the island.
And then I could see Marsaxlokk Bay again. It’s Malta’s second largest natural harbour and the island’s main fishing base hence the numerous fish restaurants that line the seafront. Taco and I followed a path down to sea level and then took an easy stroll into Marsaxlokk.
I’ve visited Marsaxlokk Bay several times and always found it a bit hit and miss deciding on which restaurant to try. In the summer months, it also gets packed especially on a Sunday when there’s a market along the front. But not today as this time I was heading to a restaurant to meet my friend Lara and her kids and it was nice and quiet. As a local, she knew exactly where to eat. So we met at Terrone which I’d highly recommend. A quick bite to eat then Lara dropped me and my tired dog back to our car.
This is the route below that Taco and I went.