Marsaxlokk, Malta: A smorgasbord for the senses
Malta, the tiny island about 60 miles of Mediterranean south of Sicily, is known for fresh fish. On weekdays, most of the local catch is sold at the bustling market in Valletta, but on Sunday, head for the village of Marsaxlokk, the island's largest fishing port.
Here, the fishermen sell their catch directly to you in a small market that runs along Malta's largest bay. If the prices (cheap) and the smells (heady) don't get to you, the sight of turquoise water dotted with luzzu—traditional, brightly-colored fishing boats-should seal the deal.
On the docket: Tuna, swordfish, sea bream, red mullet, lampuki (dolphin fish) in the autumn, prawns the size of your hand, and plenty of octopus and squid, ready for a grill and a little lemon. And all of it was swimming hours ago.
The market also sells plenty of other wares—comestible and not (linen lovers shouldn't miss the the stalls of aprons, embroidery and lace). But it's the fish—and the ruddy fishermen hawking their wares—that's the real draw.