Marsaskala (M'Skala) is a picturesque fishing village in south-eastern Malta. Marsaskala, or Wied il-Ghajn as known in Maltese, extends along the long narrow inlet on both sides of the bay from Zonqor Point all the way to St. Thomas Bay. The rugged coastline is largely edged by a promenade, with low shelving rock ledges cut with salt pans.
The name comes from the words "Marsa" (meaning "Port"). The second part, "Skala", has given rise to different interpretations. It could have been a derivative if Sqalli (Sicilian) or Skala (Steps) in reference to some rock-cut steps that may have existed on the water's edge.
As evidenced by several archaeological remains found in various areas, Marsaskala was first inhabited thousands of years ago. It's Pre-history is divided between the Neolithic and the Bronze Age. The cart-ruts are undoubtedly the most ancient remains. The parallel channels formed in the rock face mysteriously lead straight into the sea. Early Christian catacombs as well as Roman era villa and Roman Baths remains were also discovered, leading many historians to believe that Marsaskala was also a Roman port.
The magnificent St Thomas Tower, which still exists to this very day, was built by The Knights of St John soon after an attack in 1614 by 60 Ottoman Turkish ships carrying 6000 soldiers. Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt built the tower to reduce the area's vulnerability to sea borne attacks. Other fortified towers still exist in the area, notably Mamo Tower and the De Redin watch tower.
Marsaskala remained a tiny fishing port until after the end of the 2nd World War. The people living in Cottonera started to build summer houses here, and then later decided to become all year round residents. This slowly transformed the small sleepy fishing village into the town that it is today, yet it managed to retain much of its traditional charm.
The water front and with its lovely long promenade, is laden with bars, restaurants and cafes. It is a lovely place for a long relaxing walk, with stops on the way for drinks, snacks, and playgrounds for families to enjoy.
The Zonqor area, with the natural attraction of the rocky shores, is now home to fantastic Waterfront Apartments overlooking the fishing boats that still crowd the bay. One of these developments, Ta' Monita Residence goes a long way towards upgrading this already charming locality. The St. Thomas Bay area is home to some of Malta's most exclusive Bungalow Villas.
Marsaskala is extremely up-and-coming with many leading firms choosing to locate their people around Marsascala, within easy reach of the celebrated Smart City, the commercial and business development.