Your Guide to Marsalforn: Gozo’s Seaside Town

Apartment buildings line the shore of the crystal-clear blue waters in Marsalforn Bay, Gozo, Malta

Just a quick heads up – some of the links I share on this site are affiliate links. That means if you click on one and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support through these links helps me create valuable content.

Marsalforn is a seaside town located northeast of Gozo. The town offers a wonderful place to unwind by the sea. It has many seaside restaurants and bars and a scenic promenade.

If you like swimming or relaxing by the water, Marsalforn is perfect. It doesn’t have a big beach, but it offers clear sea spots for swimming. Some areas are shallow and safe for children.

I’ve been living in Malta since 2011, and I’ve explored Gozo quite a bit. If you’re looking for a great place to stay near the sea, you’ve got to check out Marsalforn!

In this guide, I’ll share local tips on Marsalforn. I’ll list its beaches and swimming spots, as well as recommended hotels and restaurants. Additionally, I’ll include nearby attractions.

About Marsalforn

This town started as a small fishing village. Only a few fishermen and their families lived there.

Marsalforn grew rapidly in the 1960s and 70s. This was due to the surge in Gozo’s tourism. Visitors were attracted by its lovely coast and relaxed atmosphere. So, many apartments and hotels were constructed to meet the rising demand.

Today, Marsalforn is popular with both locals and tourists, and it gets busy in the summer. People come for the sun, sea, and good food. The promenade is ideal for a walk. People often relax at cafes, chatting and enjoying the view.

Although Marsalforn has grown but still keeps its close-knit feel. The locals are friendly and welcoming.

Scenic view of the rugged coastline and clear blue sea in Marsalforn, Gozo, Malta, with apartment buildings visible in the distance.
Marsalforn in Gozo, Malta

Is Marsalforn a Good Place to Stay During Your Holidays?

Thinking about staying in Marsalforn during your holiday in Gozo? Let me share some insights with you.

If you’re all about being close to the sea, Marsalforn is definitely a great choice. While there isn’t a huge beach, there are plenty of spots where you can go for a swim.

The water is shallow in some areas, making it safe for those who are not super confident swimmers or have small children.

You have many accommodation options. There are hotels and rental apartments for various budgets and tastes.

But, you won’t find the charming 100-year-old farmhouses that Gozo is famous for. To see those, head to traditional villages like Gharb, Xaghra, or San Lawrenz. Also, check out my post on the top farmhouses in Gozo with a pool.

One of the perks of staying in Marsalforn is the promenade. It’s not super long, but it’s a nice spot for a walk. Plus, there are lots of seaside restaurants where you can enjoy your meals with a view. If you wake up early, you can even see the sunrise.

People eating and socializing at red tables under a white canopy structure at an outdoor dining area overlooking the blue sea in Marsalforn, Gozo
Outdoor Dining in Marsalforn, Gozo

Marsalforn is ideal for travellers without a car. Buses to Victoria are quite frequent. From there, you can easily catch another bus to explore the rest of Gozo.

Note, that travelling around Gozo without a car is time-consuming. Buses often connect Victoria, Mgarr Harbour, and Marsalforn. But, waiting times for other places can be long. You can also use ride-hailing apps like Bolt or eCabs. Or, renting a car is a good option.

Get a FREE Attractions Map

Planning a trip to Malta, Gozo, or Comino? Get this free interactive map filled with insider tips, Google Maps links, and more.

For those into scuba diving, Marsalforn is a great base. There are diving schools in the area, so you can explore the underwater world.

There are some lovely walks nearby Marsalforn. You can head towards the salt pans and Xwejni Bay or even hike to Ramla Bay, one of Gozo’s most popular beaches.

Several small boats docked along the waterfront in the harbour of Marsalforn, Gozo, with residential buildings visible in the background.
Boats Docked in Marsalforn Harbour, Gozo

Now, there are a couple of things to consider. If you’re looking for 5-star luxury, Marsalforn might not be the best fit. There’s a beautiful 5-star hotel called Kempinski, but it’s in San Lawrence. You can learn more about it here.

Overall, Marsalforn is a great spot for a seaside holiday. It offers many amenities, a relaxed atmosphere, and beautiful sea views.

Places to Stay in Marsalforn

Here is a list of some places I stayed at or heard good things about.

Murella Living: This is an apart-hotel with beautifully designed rooms and apartments. It also offers a nice garden and serves a great breakfast. Moreover, it’s just a short walk from the beach.

Maria Giovanna Guest House: This is a great choice for a homely atmosphere. The rooms are cosy, and the sisters who run it are very friendly.

Hillock Residence: These modern apartments come with a private pool. They are ideal for families or friend groups.

These are only a few suggestions. Many other great places to stay exist in Marsalforn. First, consider what matters most to you: location, amenities, or budget. Then, read reviews from other travellers. This will give you a better idea of what to expect.

Marsalforn gets busy in peak season. So, if you have a favourite spot in mind, it’s wise to book early.

Need advice on renting a car in Malta? Here’s my guide with insider tips on everything you need to know.

Beaches and Swimming Spots in Marsalforn

On the left of the bay when facing the sea, look left there is a rocky coastline with many swimming spots. Ladders make entering and exiting easy. It’s both safe and beautiful.

Rocky coastline with apartment buildings along Marsalforn bay in Gozo, Malta
The Rocky Coastline on the Left Side of Marsalforn Bay

On the right side of the bay is a small sandy beach. It’s often full of kids, with an ice cream kiosk and cafes close by. 

Pebble beach and clear blue waters of Marsalforn Bay, with apartment buildings along the shore in the background.
Marsalforn Beach

Walk to the end of the bay to find a rocky beach named Għar Qawqla. It’s beautiful, with clear water and spots to jump in. The water isn’t deep, so it’s perfect for all. I believe it’s the best spot in Marsalforn. In summer, it’s usually busy.

Clear shallow waters and rocky coast of Għar Qawqla Beach in Marsalforn, Gozo
Għar Qawqla Beach in Marsalforn

You can swim in Xwejni Bay, just a kilometer from Marsalforn. The water is shallow, perfect for snorkelling. There’s a small pebble beach, toilets, and a beach restaurant. 

Clear turquoise waters at Xwejni Bay, close to Marsalforn, Gozo, with the rocky shoreline and cliffs visible in the distance under a bright blue sky.
Clear Waters at Xwejni Bay

Recommended Restaurant in Marsalforn

Here are two restaurants I’ve tried and recommend:

Il-Kartell Restaurant: If you’re in the mood for some fresh seafood, head to Il-Kartell. They’ve got a great variety of fish dishes.

Qbajjar Restaurant: It’s my favorite restaurant in Gozo, a 20-minute walk from Marsalforn. They serve seafood, pasta, pizza, and Mediterranean dishes.

Nearby Attractions

If you’re staying in Marsalforn, there are many nearby places to check out.

Let’s start with the salt pans. These are shallow pools in the rock. Here, sea water evaporates, leaving salt crystals. This method is traditional, lasting for centuries. You can walk along the coast to see them up close. Check out my guide to salt pans. It has directions and more info.

An eroded and pitted rocky shoreline in Marsalforn, Gozo, with small pools of seawater settled in the salt pans, and the blue sea visible in the background.
Salt Pans near Marsalforn

Photo: Salt Pans near Marsalforn

North of the salt pans, you’ll find Wied il-Ghasri. It’s a beautiful valley that leads to the sea. There’s a small pebble beach. It’s perfect for swimming and snorkelling. Also, I have a guide for you to check.

You should visit Zebbug. It’s a charming, traditional village on a hill near Marsalforn. The views are breathtaking. The village features narrow streets and old stone houses. It’s a great way to experience Gozitan life.

There are a few nice places nearby. However, the whole island is full of amazing sights and activities. Gozo’s small size makes everything close. So, check out my guides for the top things to do and the best beaches in Gozo.

Marsalforn in Gozo: FAQ 

Is Marsalforn worth visiting?

Yes, Marsalforn is definitely worth visiting if you enjoy being by the sea. The town has a scenic promenade lined with seaside restaurants and a relaxed atmosphere. It’s a great base for exploring nearby attractions like the salt pans or Wied il-Ghasri valley.

How many people live in Marsalforn?

Marsalforn is home to about 3000 residents, but this number greatly increases in the summer due to many Maltese owning vacation homes there. Additionally, it is a well-liked destination among tourists.

Is there a beach in Marsalforn?

Marsalforn does not have a large beach, but it does offer a small sandy beach on the right side of the bay, which is popular with children. There are also rocky areas with ladders for easy sea access on the left side of the bay. At the end of the bay is a rocky beach called Ghar Qawqla, which is great for swimming and jumping in.

A scenic view of eroded coastal rock formations along the shore in Marsalforn, Gozo, with blue sea water in the foreground.
Ghar Qawqla Beach

So, there you have it – your ultimate guide to Marsalforn! This seaside town has a little bit of everything – great swimming spots, good restaurants, and a chilled-out vibe that’s perfect for a holiday.

If you need any more tips or recommendations, give me a shout. I’m always happy to help out.

You may also like