Marsaskala Malta - Mediterranean Holiday Destinations
The picturesque seaside town of Wied il-Ghajn, or Marsaskala as its more commonly known, is the only tourist resort in the southeast of Malta. Until WWII, it was a small fishing village with a few summer residences of the Maltese aristocracy. As people became more lucrative however, it was quickly spotted as one of the most beautiful places on Malta and now has the fastest growing population of anywhere on the island. Marsaskala is still more popular with Maltese families than with foreign tourists but you'd be unwise to dismiss it entirely. Some of Malta's most impressive historical sites are in the south and Marsaskala would be a great place to base yourself.
Originally built around a fresh-water spring, the town spread along two valleys running towards the sea. Nowadays, the most picturesque view is of the houses clustered around a narrow bay filled with luzzus (the local fishing boats), and a Venetian style bell tower dominating the far end.
Marsaskala town is centred on the promenade where most of the bars, restaurants and cafes can be found, and which gets pretty lively with Maltese tourists during the summer. Along the south side of the bay you'll pass Marsaskala's one hotel The Corinthia Jerma Palace, and pass out onto the headland where the town's only main sight, St Thomas Tower, is to be found. This well-preserved 17th century fort currently under reconstruction is worth walking to, mainly for the views from the headland however, as the tower is closed to the public.
There's no doubt that Malta's main areas of tourist development are in the northern parts of the island and the south is remarkably lacking. The important sights such as The Blue Grotto and Hypogeum are well signposted and enjoy regular visits from tourists on organised tours from the northern resorts but that aside, much of the south has little to offer. The only exception to this is Marsaskala where although it only has a handful of accommodation options and a virtually non-existent nightlife, the fresh seafood is exceptional as is the joy of not being surrounded by Brits abroad. But don't rush to Marsaskala if you're looking for a typical package holiday; it has been the focus of tourist attention over the past years but still fails to live up to the attractions and facilities provided by its northerly neighbours.