Marsalforn is the most popular resort on the Island. In summer it throbs with life as hundreds of Gozitan and Maltese families move in to spend the summer at the coast and foreign visitors arrive for a revitalising dose of sun and sea.
A beach of sand and small pebbles is backed by a promenade which runs right round the head of the bay, providing a pleasant place to stroll at all times of year and a traditional summer evening gathering place for local families and visitors alike.
The rocks along each side of the bay provide plenty of additional space for sunbathing and swimming straight into deeper water. These are also good places for snorkelling.
Small fishing boats gather on the eastern side and in winter when almost everyone else has gone, the fishermen can still be seen peacefully repairing their boats and mending their nets.
Motor and sailing boats give the place a lively look in summer and there are several good boat trips on offer including a cruise around Gozo (with swimming and snorkelling stops) and a trip over to Comino and the legendary Blue Lagoon.
Marsalforn is a popular base for diving enthusiasts, who can choose from a variety of diving schools and dive sites. The village is is also well served with restaurants, bars, self catering apartments and hotels.
The name is a composite word, meaning the “harbour of caves hollowed by the sea”. Up to the seventeenth century, before the development of Mgarr Harbour, Marsalforn was the principal seaport of Gozo. The seaside resort is well served with hotels, apartments, restaurants, bars, as well as diving and water sports clubs. It comes to life during the warm summer evenings. Then a festive atmosphere prevails with people relaxing over al fresco meals, and meting friends on the promenade for walks and talks.
The church of Marsalforn, dedicated to St. Paul Shipwreck is recorded very early. The present building dates to 1730. Tradition holds that St. Paul, after his three month stay in Malta left the island from the tiny port just beneath the church. Marsalforn is the closest port to Sicily from the Maltese islands.
A scenic promenade leads from Marsalforn to Qbajjar and Xwejni where a number of saltpans dating from Roman times are still in use. A redoubt dating back to 1620 still stands on the shoreline.