A Comprehensive Guide to Comino, Malta
Comino is a small and picturesque island located in the Maltese Archipelago. It is famous for its stunning scenery, the Blue Lagoon, and its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters. You can take a ferry from the nearby islands of Gozo or Malta to Comino. One of Comino’s best-known tourist attractions is the Blue Lagoon, which provides a variety of activities like snorkeling, swimming, and sunbathing. In this guide to Comino, we’ll go over everything you need to know to plan your vacation to this magical place.
Best time to visit Comino
The best time to visit Comino is during the summer months (June to September) when the weather is warm and sunny.
- Location: Comino is located between Malta and Gozo.
- Area: It covers an area of 3.5 square kilometers.
- Population: Comino has a permanent population of around 4 people.
- Language: The official language is Maltese, but most locals also speak English.
- Currency: The currency is the euro.
- Comino includes the well-known Blue Lagoon.
- Classified as a natural reserve and bird sanctuary
- There are no asphalted roads on the island
How to get there
You can get a boat to Comino Island and Cirkewwa, Sliema, and Valletta are just a few of the places in Malta where numerous ferry and boat services are available. One-way or round-trip reservations are available. Package arrangements for some boat tours also include visits to Comino’s well-known Blue Lagoon and other tourist hotspots. To get to the island, you can also schedule a private boat cruise, a catamaran tour, or even rent a kayak. It is best to verify the ferry schedules and make reservations in advance, particularly during the peak travel period.
1. Public Transport & Ferry
Best budget Option
The ferry departs from Marr Harbour and Ċirkewwa (the northern port in Malta), as well as Marfa Bay (on Gozo). It takes around 25 minutes to cross to Comino, and the round-trip fare is about €10. On Comino, the port is typically San Niklaw Bay on the island’s northern side. This is the cheapest way to go to Comino and it is less expensive than an entire island tour. It leaves from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM every 30 minutes.
If you only want to visit the Blue Lagoon and want to walk around the island, this is an excellent alternative. However, several of Comino’s attractions, such as the sea caves, unusual rock formations, and the isolated arches on the southern side, cannot be reached by land. Two of the ferry operators are Comino Ferries and Comino Ferry Service.
2. By private boat
Best for more privacy
If you prefer a more exclusive experience, you can rent a private boat and enjoy a personalized tour of the island. This is, in our opinion, the best way to enjoy Comino Island because you’ll probably go to more remote locations and see a little more than what the larger group tours can provide. I fully endorse the excursion I took with Outdoor Explorers, a nearby company owned by two brothers.
3. Day Trip: Boat Tours from Malta
The easiest way to get to Comino and its Blue Lagoon is by booking a day trip or a tour with one of the boat tour operators that depart usually from Sliema or Buġibba, St. Paul’s Bay, or Gozo. Operators often spend a minimum of 5 to 6 hours at the Blue Lagoon and cruise around a portion of the island. Although these tours are more expensive than the ferries described above, bus rides to Irkewwa are frequently crowded.
What to see
Comino is a small island but there are a lot of things to see if you. We gathered a list of the top 11 things to see on this beautiful island. Make sure that you will organize your time accordingly in order to enjoy everything this island has to offer.
1. The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is a stunning turquoise blue cove situated on Comino Island in Malta. It is one of the most popular attractions in the area and attracts thousands of visitors every year. The crystal-clear waters and stunning surroundings make it an ideal place to swim, sunbathe and snorkel.
Things to consider before visiting Blue Lagoon:
- When to go: It’s best to go early in the morning before it becomes too busy. If you go in the afternoon, it can get fairly crowded, with a considerable wait to board a boat.
- If you intend to snorkel, you should carry your own equipment. Snorkeling equipment can be rented at the ferry station or on the island.
- Food and Drink: Bring extra food and water for the day.
- Sun Protection: The sun in Malta may be harsh, so carry sunblock, a hat, and sunglasses to keep yourself safe.
- Respect the Environment: Because the Blue Lagoon is a protected area, it is critical that to follow the rules and not damage the natural environment.
- Safety: The Blue Lagoon is a safe place to swim, but make sure to be mindful of the boat
2. Crystal Lagoon
Near the famous Blue Lagoon, there is another lagoon with crystal-clear waters and we believe is equally, if not more beautiful than the Blue Lagoon! The Crystal Lagoon is a large, protected bay with turquoise water and a white, sandy bottom. The bay is located just south of the Blue Lagoon and may be reached by either a short 700-meter walking path (about 5 minutes) or by boat. This bay contains a number of small sea caves as well as a steep, towering limestone cliff line that contrasts attractively with the blue ocean below.
3. Santa Marija Bay
Santa Marija Bay (also called Santa Maria Bay) is located on the north side of Comino Island, just past San Niklaw Bay, and is considered the second-best place for picnics and swimming on Comino Island, after the Blue Lagoon, and is one of the few beaches nearby. Comino Island Hotel and bungalows are also located here and also a popular camping site for backpackers. This area is about a 40-minute peaceful walk away from the crowds towards the northern part of the island. Nonetheless, it’s really peaceful and quiet.
There are sun chairs for hire along the beach, as well as umbrellas for shade. Travelers will also discover a small boat ramp further along the bay, which is an excellent place to launch a kayak from. There’s also a modest church called the Chapel of Our Lady’s Return from Egypt at Santa Marija Bay.
4. Santa Marija Caves
The turquoise waters of the cave make it an ideal location for snorkeling and scuba diving. Santa Marija Cave is also accessible via a tunnel from Santa Marija Bay. The Santa Marija Caves are, in our opinion, one of the most stunning and magnificent spots on the island.
All Comino Island tours stop by the Santa Marija Caves due to their popularity, and most would rate it as one of the two most important things to visit on Comino Island, after the Blue Lagoon.
5. San Niklaw Bay
In the north part of Comino, there are the beautiful turquoise waters of San Niklaw Bay. The clean waters and rocky shores provide easy access to the ocean, and it is one of the best sites on Comino for swimming and snorkeling.
Tip: If you’re visiting Comino during peak season and the Blue Lagoon feels too crowded, we recommend taking a short stroll along the dirt trail to San Niklaw Bay, which has a much more relaxing ambiance.
6. St. Mary’s Chapel
St. Mary’s Chapel is a historic religious landmark and it is a modest medieval chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary that dates back to the 16th century. The chapel is a famous tourist attraction for those interested in Malta’s history and architecture. You’d better wear good walking shoes as the ground around the chapel can be rough, carry lots of drink and sun protection as there is limited shade, and be respectful of the chapel’s historical value by avoiding disrupting or defacing the place in any way.
7. Santa Marija Tower
The Saint Mary’s Tower, commonly known as the Santa Marija Tower, is a historic watchtower. It was constructed in the 16th century as a protection against pirate invasions during the authority of the Order of St. John. The tower is strategically located, with a clear view of the surrounding waterways, and was used to alert the main island of Malta of any oncoming dangers.
The tower is currently a major tourist attraction, providing stunning views of the surrounding coastline and the Blue Lagoon’s crystal-clear seas. Climb the stairway within the tower to the top and enjoy the amazing panoramic views, such as watching the sunset.
If you are adventurous like us you should definitely try to climb the tower. The climb to the top can be challenging, but the view is totally worth the effort. You should also be careful of the strong winds that can occur in the area, especially at the top of the tower.
8. Santa Marija Battery
Santa Marija Battery is a military structure constructed in the 16th century by the Knights Hospitaller and functioned as a coastal defensive battery during many battles, including the Great Siege of 1565. The battery is made up of many structures, including a fortification wall, a magazine, and several gun emplacements. While you are there, you can explore its well-preserved remains, learn about its history and significance, and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding coastline and sea. Please be aware that you are advised to wear appropriate footwear and be prepared for difficult terrain when viewing the battery.
9. Cominotto Island
Cominotto Island is a small, uninhabited island located between the islands of Comino and Gozo and is part of the Comino National Park. The island is surrounded by crystal-clear waters and it is a popular destination for snorkeling and diving. You can also explore the numerous caves and rocky formations that can be found on the island. Access to Cominotto Island is limited to small boats, which can be arranged through local tour operators. You can also swim across the crystal clear waters to this tiny islet for a more secluded beach and an epic beach cave when visiting Comino and the Blue Lagoon.
10. Hike Around Comino Island
For those searching for a lovely hike, Comino Island in Malta has many trekking pathways. What to expect when hiking around the island: Comino is entirely uninhabited and a natural paradise! You’ll walk over clifftops, staring down into hidden bays with sapphire-colored water. You’ll be amazed by a shoreline sculpted by centuries of waves into arches, caves, and mysterious holes. If you can pull yourself away from the stunning shoreline, you’ll see rare plants, birds, and possibly wild rabbits. When you get to Saint Marija Bay, you can eat your picnic lunch on the picturesque tiny beach.
The following are some of the most popular trekking routes on the island:
Santa Maria Bay to Blue Lagoon: This hike from Santa Maria Bay to Blue Lagoon is a short and simple walk along a well-defined road that provides stunning views of the blue lagoon and the Mediterranean Sea.
From Santa Maria Bay to the Santa Maria Caves: This walk is a little more difficult, with a steep ascent and descent, but it provides stunning views of Santa Maria Bay and the Santa Maria Caves.
Santa Maria Bay to Santa Maria Tower: This hike leads you along a well-defined path to the top of a hill, where you can take in the breathtaking views of Santa Maria Bay and the Santa Maria Tower.
If you are like us and enjoy the adventure more, you can hike the whole island in a circle. We crafted for you the trekking path around the island. The whole path is about 6.5km and it will take you about 2 hours.
It is advisable to wear appropriate footwear, bring water and snacks, and to always stay on marked trails. Also, be mindful of the hot weather, especially during the summer months.
11. Snorkel in the crystal blue waters
Snorkeling at Comino Island’s crystal clear waters is an incredible experience. When you dive into the crystal clear water, you’ll feel as if you’ve entered a completely different world. The beautiful coral formations and the colors will take your breath away. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen! Don’t worry if you’re new to snorkeling. The water is normally calm, and the visibility is good, making it a perfect place for beginners.
One of the most unforgettable moments we had while snorkeling at Comino was coming face to face with a large school of colorful fish. They surrounded us as we floated on the water’s surface, and it was truly a magical moment. We also had the unique experience of swimming close to some amazing rock formations and exploring a few small caves.
Accommodation and hotels on Comino
Hotel Comino & Bungalows: Offering comfortable rooms, a restaurant, and a bar, Hotel Comino is a popular choice for travelers. There is also a swimming pool, a sun deck, and a private beach at the hotel.
Comino Bungalows are an excellent choice for anyone seeking a more rustic and environmentally friendly vacation. The bungalows have everything you need, including a kitchenette, private bathroom, and outdoor lounging space.
Comino Camping: Comino Camping offers camping spaces with electric hook-ups, as well as showers and toilets, for those who wish to be near nature.
Where to eat on Comino
There is a small restaurant on Comino that serves a variety of local and international dishes. The menu is limited, but the food is fresh and delicious. Alternatively, you can bring your own food and enjoy a picnic on the beach. Even if you are not staying at the hotel, you can have lunch there. Boats docked near the Blue Lagoon or San Niklaw Bay will frequently serve cool drinks and food, and the Blue Lagoon itself has several shops.
Our tips and recommendations
- Arrive as early as possible at the lagoon. Tourists go to the Blue Lagoon in greater numbers throughout the months of July.
- To protect yourself from the sun, bring plenty of sunscreens and a hat.
- If you intend to go hiking, bring a nice pair of comfortable walking shoes.
- Bring a reusable water bottle because there are no businesses on Comino and the island’s resources are limited.
- Get a Swimsuit if you are visiting Comino in Summer!!
- Towel to dry yourself off. There aren’t many places to lay the towel down flat. Don’t expect a normal beach.
- Snacks – There will be snacks available but it doesn’t hurt to bring some with you!
- Get Snorkeling gear if you plan to go snorkeling.
- Change of clothes for after you’re done swimming or if you want to eat at the Comino Hotel.
- Get flip flops for use in the showers.
- Water shoes can be useful for cliff jumping or walking around rocky terrain.
- To conserve the ecology, leave the island as you found it and properly dispose of your rubbish.
Comino, Is it worth it?
Our answer is ‘Yes.’ However, keep the following in mind:
Visiting Comino in the peak season (July, August).
The Blue Lagoon is the major reason to visit Comino. It’s a popular tourist destination, so expect it to be crowded from mid-morning until mid-afternoon during peak season. If you love the sun and sea and don’t mind the crowds, then you should visit Comino but our advice is to either visit the Blue Lagoon very early or late in the afternoon when it’s less crowded.
Visiting Comino in off season
If you want to explore the entire island it is better to do it in the off-season. In the summer month walking in the sun is unpleasant because there is much shade available.