Swimming At St. Peter’s Pool In Malta

After spending a rainy morning exploring Valletta, the weather in Malta decided to bless me with some of that Maltese sunshine—and with a whole afternoon free I knew exactly where I wanted to spend it: St. Peter’s Pool.

Located near Marsaxlokk on the south-eastern side of Malta, St. Peter’s Pool is a horse-shoe shaped rock formation that, due to erosion over the years, has created quite the tranquil swimming spot.

But before we get to those clear azure waters, let’s rewind a little.

I’d arrived in Marsaxlokk with the hopes of finding somewhere to watch the Formula One, but after searching for sports bars, pubs, and establishments with streaming sites, I had no such luck, so instead, I went for a walk along Marsaxlokk’s waterfront taking in the produce sold at the local market.

You see, Marsaxlokk is a small coastal fishing village lined with the most beautiful waterfront—because when you look at it you’ll see rows and rows of limestone buildings, broken up by the bold colours of the luzza (pronounced lutza in Maltese) boats bobbing up and down on the water.

I strolled along the market, looking at all of the fish, fruit, vegetables and clothing they had available. Outside of the fresh produce and pastries, the market was pretty generic and seemed to sell the same fayre that you see at any other market, so after walking the length of the market I stopped to enjoy a drink and decide how I’d get to St. Peter’s pool.

How To Get To St. Peter’s Pool

Travelling to St. Peter’s Pool by Bus

If you’re using public transport to get to St. Peter’s Pool you’ll need to travel to Abdosir bus stop. There are numerous bus routes which travel here, but the bus you’ll need will depend upon which direction you’re travelling from. If you’re travelling from Sliema, Bugibba or St. Julians it’s best to travel to Valletta or Floriana first, and then take the 81 or 85 bus to Abdosir. Alternatively, if you’re heading to St. Peter’s Pool from the direction of the airport, you should get the 119 bus.

This route will bring you into Marsaxlokk where you can choose from the following three options to get to St. Peter’s Pool:

Driving To St. Peter’s Pool

From Marsaxlokk head towards Delimara Lighthouse and follow the narrow road until you’ve passed the power station chimney (less than a mile from the main road). From here you’ll see a sign located near a low-building which says St. Peter’s Pool. Follow that sign! The drive should take about ten minutes from the Marsaxlokk waterfront.

If you’re not driving yourself, you can also take a taxi to St Peter’s Pool. The price depends upon the season (and your negotiation skills!), and you’ll find numerous taxis parked near the Tourist Information Center.

Walking To St. Peter’s Pool

If you’re planning to walk towards St. Peter’s Pool, then you, dear internet reader, are nuts. Not because of the walk, that’s a leisurely 35-45 minute walk. But because of the sun. You see, when it’s a beautiful 30°c ++, you don’t really want to be making that walk—unless you don’t feel the heat, in which case you’ll be just fine. But if, like me, you’re a mere mortal, I present to you my favourite option for getting to St. Peter’s Pool.

Getting A Water Taxi To St. Peter’s Pool

Along the waterfront opposite Roots restaurant and Sphinx Pastizzeria, you’ll find a makeshift stall selling tickets for the local water taxis. Tickets cost 10 EUR per person for a return trip to St. Peter’s Pool and are paid for in advance. At the time of purchase, you’ll pick a time for departure and collection so you can choose how long you spend there. Alternatively, if you’re feeling flush you could always charter your own boat to head to St. Peter’s Pool and enjoy a day in the beautiful water away from the crowds…

But I wasn’t. So after paying for the tickets and booking a time slot, I stepped onto the traditional luzza and was on my way. It was a beautiful boat ride, passing an array of fishing boats, a boat so large it looked like an oil tanker and a scenic jagged coastline. The trip took about 20 minutes or so, but was refreshing with the sea breeze.

Turns out that “boat so large it looked like an oil tanker” was actually there to deliver liquefied natural gas to the onshore regasification plant, but either way. It was huge, and it felt particularly large as I chugged past in our little boat that was, I kid you not, smaller than this boat’s anchor.

As we approached I could see people dotted along the cliff edges, sprawled out on the rocks making the most of the Maltese sun. The edges spanned from left to right, with a small cove on the left, and salt pans on the right. I opted to veer left as it seemed quiet, like a good spot to go for a swim.

The cliff edges created a shaded area, which was a welcome respite from the glaring sun for a while, but I love the sun and hate being cold, so picked a location near the water edge and my new friend:

And with that, I stripped off to see what all the fuss was about.

Loads of people dove straight in, whereas I realised I forgot my makeup remover and as I didn’t fancy looking like a panda, I made use of the ladder to lower myself into the crisp clear water below. There are a few ladders along the sandstone at St. Peter’s Pool, so you needn’t worry about becoming stuck in the water.

I want to say it was refreshing, but it was cold.
So cold.
But hey, after fifteen seconds or so my body was used to it and so off I went.

It’s recommended that you don’t enter the water unless you’re a strong swimmer because of the waves crashing against the rocks, but the water was incredibly calm on the day I visited. As a result, you could see how clear it was, viewing the fish, rocks and jellyfish below.

I didn’t fancy a jellyfish sting so left the water for a while to watch (read: rate) people diving. Obviously, I gave myself a 0.

After spending an hour or so on the left side, I ventured over to the right of the rocks, to see what else St. Peter’s Pool had to offer—and it was here that I found all of the people.

After walking past the salt pans and climbing up onto a rock edge, you’ll find a trodden path that takes you up towards stairs and round towards the jump site. The rocks are pretty smooth because of the erosion, and due to the location, pretty much the entirety of St. Peter’s Pool is a sun trap.

This side of St. Peter’s Pool was much, much busier though. However, everybody diving had this unspoken system: you wait for the previous diver to clear the site, you dive, you clear the site, and so on and so forth. It was really refreshing to see such a busy area operating so safely. There were no guards and no guides, just people using common sense and enjoying the area.

St. Peter’s Pool is an area frequented by both locals and tourists alike so the area does get busy. Some people may tell you to head down early, but to be honest there’s no feeling like getting out of the water and laying on the sun-warmed stones after. It’s complete and utter bliss.

There isn’t any infrastructure around St. Peter’s Pool so you’ll want to take your own provisions. If you’re not sure what to take, the below list will help.

What To Pack For A Trip To St Peter’s Pool.

Because there’s no infrastructure near St. Peter’s Pool, you’ll want to pack your own provisions to ensure you’re not caught short. Sun cream and drinking water are non-negotiable and if get hangry, you’ll want to pack a picnic. Items you should consider taking, include:

  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Water shoes
    PS) Wear shoes which are suitable for wet and rocky surfaces.
  • Swimwear
  • A towel
  • Suncream
  • A first aid kit or at the very least plasters, a bandage and antihistamines (in case you cut yourself on the rocks or get stung by a jellyfish)
  • Snacks
  • Drinking water
  • Wet wipes or tissues
  • Cash for your boat trip
  • A bag for your rubbish.

PS) Go to the toilet before you head to St. Peter’s Pool. There aren’t any there, nor is there any privacy for an emergency release!

over and out,
Amy Morgan