Marsascala: a fishing village with a buzzing lifestyle
Marsascala is an ancient fishing village in Malta, with a picturesque bay, located in the southeast corner of the island. The town has a population of 10,024 people and used to form part of Zabbar in the 19 century. The town has grown up around the sheltered bay, Marsascala Creek, and is protected by the headland of Ras il-Gżira to the south and by Ras iż-Żonqor, to the north. The town today stretches on both sides of the bay and Marsascala’s bay has a promenade continuing all the way to St Thomas Bay with views of low shelving rocks, colourful fishing boats and saltpans. In summer, the village is buzzing with life and many Maltese families have summer homes in this lovely, picturesque bay – the population rises to 20,000 in summer. Marsaskala has a range of modern leisure facilities, bars and restaurants.
It is much debated where Marsaskala got its name. Marsa is an Arabic word for “bay”; however Skala might have been derived from the Italian word for Sqalli meaning “Sicilian”. Sicilian fishermen are indeed often stayed in Marsascala as it is only 60 miles south of Sicily. The Maltese often refer to Marsaskala as Wied il-Għajn, Wied meaning valley and Ghajn refers to the spring of fresh water (Valley of the fresh Spring). This reference is due to the old towns location between two valets in which springs of fresh water used to flow down into the deepest part of the bay.