Comino Island, Malta: The Unspoiled Jewel of the Mediterranean

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Comino Island Malta

Tucked away like a precious gem in the Mediterranean, Comino Island is a tiny paradise that beckons travellers seeking serenity, stunning landscapes, and crystal-clear waters. This hidden heaven, sandwiched between the larger islands of Malta and Gozo, offers a perfect retreat from the fast-paced rhythms of contemporary existence.

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Comino Island of Malta
Comino is a tiny piece of paradise between Malta and Gozo.

Comino is known for its beautiful beaches, clear waters, and unspoiled natural beauty. It is a popular destination for swimming, snorkelling, diving, and boat trips.

Brief Introduction: An Overview of Comino, Malta

Comino, the third-largest island in the Maltese archipelago, is renowned for its untouched beauty, making it a favourite among nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. With a land area of just 3.5km2, this charming islet promises an intimate and unforgettable experience.

The crystal-clear water is surely inviting.

Location

Comino is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, between Malta and Gozo. It is about 2.5 kilometres long and 1 kilometre wide.

Comino Island is situated between Malta and Gozo.

How to Get to Comino

There are a few ways to get to Comino Island.

Boat Trips

This is the most popular method. Tourists can purchase boat tour packages from some tourist hotspots like Sliema, Buġibba, Qawra, and St. Paul’s Bay to depart for Comino Island. The advantage of boat tours is that they pass by several attractions, such as Julian’s Bay, George’s Bay, Qawra Bay, St. Paul’s Bay, and Mellieha Bay. The cost ranges between €25-35, and it’s a good idea to compare different packages offered by various travel agencies/boat operators before making a choice. The one-way boat journey takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, and then you’ll arrive at Comino Island!

Notes:
› These boat tour services usually operate between April and October each year.
› Cheaper boat companies often attract larger crowds.
› Most travel agencies/boat companies offer simple online booking and refund options. If the weather is unfavorable on the day of your tour, refunds are usually hassle-free.
› Daily departure flights are limited, so consider planning ahead and booking online in advance.

Hop-On-Hop-Off Ferry

Just like all Hop-On-Hop-Off services, visitors can purchase a single-day unlimited boat ticket, allowing them to freely hop between Sliema, Buġibba, Gozo, and the Blue Lagoon.

Notes:
While the concept of “island hopping” sounds appealing, the hours between 10 AM and 4 PM on Comino can get incredibly crowded, and the midday sun can be scorching. The Hop-On-Hop-Off boats don’t stay anchored there; they move on to the next stop after dropping passengers off. So, while you wait for the next boat, you’ll need to find a place to cool off (and there aren’t many options). Consequently, even though the boat tours might be pricier, they have the advantage of staying docked, providing a refuge if the heat becomes too much to handle.

Taking a boat from Ċirkewwa (ideal for self-drivers)

Ċirkewwa and the nearby Marfa Ferry Terminal also offer regular fast boat services to Comino Island. Round-trip tickets range between €12-15 (with discounted rates for children), and it’s advisable to purchase them online in advance for added savings.

The one-way boat journey takes approximately 20-25 minutes. We find this option more suitable for self-driving tourists, as Ċirkewwa is situated at the northern tip of Malta, and taking a bus there could take around an hour. Furthermore, this doesn’t account for the additional time it takes to travel from the terminal to Comino Island. Just the transportation time can add up to several hours. Considering this, unless you’re self-driving or staying in Mellieħa (a 10-minute drive), we generally don’t recommend this method.

Notes:
› There is a parking lot near the ferry terminal, so visitors who drive don’t need to worry about parking.
› Buying ferry tickets online in advance offers discounts: Purchase tickets here.

What to See and Expect

Due to its proximity to the Atlantic and its beautiful environment, as well as the presence of numerous historical sites, Comino Island is also a popular tourist destination. In addition to the well-known Blue Lagoon, the island features attractions such as Santa Marija Tower and Santa Marija Bay.

Some of the interesting points on Comino

For visitors to Comino, the majority are drawn by the allure of the Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon refers to the lagoon between Comino Island and Cominotto Island. As it boasts a picturesque bay with white sandy beaches and abundant marine life, it attracts numerous tourists and boats each day. This breathtakingly beautiful bay with translucent blue waters that seem to be straight out of a dream. It’s a heaven for snorkelers, swimmers, and sun-seekers.

Thus, the Blue Lagoon is acclaimed as one of the most beautiful spots among all the islands of Malta. Its location nestled between the islands naturally forms a sandy beach and a “swimming pool” area, allowing visitors to freely enjoy swimming, snorkelling, and even deep diving.

Blue Lagoon is a heaven for snorkelers, swimmers, and sun-seekers.
The sea water is truly clear and transparent.
Cominotto Island across is a much quieter beach. You can purchase an additional ticket to go there, if you wish for a quieter getaway.
Notes:

› There is no cafe and restaurant around Blue Lagoon, but there are fast food trucks by the Blue Lagoon offering light meals.
› During the peak tourist season (July to September), the Blue Lagoon can get too crowded. Avoid peak season if possible.
› Between 10 AM and 4 PM, there’s generally a higher number of people. Try to take the earliest boat and be among the first visitors to arrive on Comino Island that day
› For a better beach experience, consider the nearby Cominotto Island, which tends to be less crowded.
› From April to November, the average temperature in Malta is above 20°C, especially around midday when it gets very hot and sunny. Unfortunately, there are no natural shaded areas by the Blue Lagoon. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen!
› If you need to store items, there are rental lockers available by the beach.
› Don’t forget to bring snorkelling gear; the underwater world is stunning! If you forget, you can consider renting or purchasing snorkelling equipment from boats or local shops.

Food trucks: Prices are quite expensive, ranging from €8 to €12 for a light meal.
Midday crowd on Comino
Pineapple juice on Comino at €8 (2022)

The island also offers various water activities: tandem paragliding, jet skiing, banana boat rides, and even the latest water jetpack experience. As visitors disembark at the pier, numerous operators provide water-based activities. It’s recommended to explore several options to compare prices before deciding.

Apart from the Blue Lagoon, there are other attractions such as Santa Marija Tower (St. Mary’s Tower). You can also explore other beaches on Comino, including Santa Marija Bay and San Niklaw Bay. However, there is no public transportation on the island, so reaching these other attractions can only be done on foot.

Essential Items Checklist:
  • Swimwear
  • Sandals
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Towel
  • Food and drinks.

Visitor’s Information

Comino Island has only one permanent inhabitant, but visitors are welcome to explore its natural wonders during the day. Remember to respect the environment and local guidelines to preserve its pristine charm for generations to come.

There are a number of boat trips that depart from Comino Island.

Facilities around Comino

While Comino is unspoiled and serene, basic facilities like restrooms and food kiosks are available near the Blue Lagoon to ensure a comfortable experience for visitors.

Tips for Visiting

  • As Comino Island receives many visitors, especially during peak seasons, consider arriving early to secure your spot on the ferry and enjoy the tranquility before the crowds.
  • Pack essentials such as sunscreen, water, and snacks, as there are limited facilities on the island.
  • Respect the environment and follow the principles of Leave No Trace to preserve the natural beauty of Comino Island.
  • While the Blue Lagoon is mesmerising, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the island’s other hidden gems and hiking trails.

Conclusion

Comino Island is a microcosm of Malta’s natural beauty, offering a slice of paradise where azure waters meet rugged landscapes. A visit to this pristine gem promises an unforgettable journey filled with awe-inspiring sights and the soothing embrace of nature. Whether you’re seeking adventure or tranquility, Comino Island beckons with open arms.


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