In the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, wedged between Malta and Gozo, there’s a little jewel by the name of Comino. For the smallest island in the Maltese Archipelago, it’s got a lot to shout about.
Apart from the one hotel and the family that lives there, the island is virtually uninhabited. It’s devoid of cars, towns or restaurants (apart from a few food trucks). Comino’s an arid wilderness. The jagged cliffs overlooking the crystal clear waters make it a little paradise for beach-goers and nature enthusiasts. The island is a haven for snorkelers, divers, cliff jumpers and hikers from all around the world.
Out of all its splendid beaches, the Blue Lagoon stands out for its azure, clear waters and white sand. You can’t help but stare at the water. As soon as the little boat approaches the Blue Lagoon, a sudden rush to dive into the sparkly waters comes over you. The lagoon itself is a sheltered inlet, nestled between Comino and the smaller island of Cominotto. It’s a natural pool – only cleaner. The current coming from the crack in Cominotto keeps the water fresh and clean. Many visitors take up the challenge of swimming from one island to the other – only do so if you’re not a strong swimmer.
When there you could also take a jet boat to discover the sea caves of the island. The jetboat is small, allowing it to take you right into the caves to see the rock colorful rock formations. Apart from relishing in the shimmering turquoise waters, take the time to explore the incredible land, thick with Mediterranean flora and fauna – fragrant wild herbs and flowers. The breathtaking tapestry of browns, greens and orange is best come sunset.
From St.Mary’s Bay you can see the tower of the same. It’s one of few architectural features on the island. It was built in the 1600s to defend Malta and Gozo from the Ottoman Turks and to discourage pirates and smugglers from using Comino as a hiding place.
If you work up an appetite, you’re spoilt for choice. Comino’s full of food-trucks, some offering junk food but others have a good selection of healthier options. After lunch, you can help yourself to an ice-cream or pineapple cocktail (alcoholic or nonalcoholic). In the summer months it’s packed with day-trippers, and for good reason. It’s also possible to rent out deckchairs and parasols – in which case, it’s best to head out in the early morning. The best time to visit would be in May or September, when the temperatures are high but the tourists haven’t hit in the masses.
HOW TO GET THERE
Comino is easily accessible, with direct and frequent boats to and from Santa Maria Bay from various points in Malta and Gozo. You can get a direct boat from Mtarfa, Cirkewwa, or Sliema in Malta and from Mgarr or Hondoq in Gozo. It takes around 15-20 minutes each way, and costs around 10 euro for a return trip. The boat that drops you off will give you a time to return – be sure not to miss this as the last boats from the island are at 6pm. The ferries operate regularly from May to October.
Apart from buying just a transfer trip, you could also find some companies selling full-day trips on bigger boats that also include a tour, lunch and some drinks. Considering that Comino tends to get quite busy in the peak season, this is probably your best option. When the beaches are crowded, it’s much nicer to be able to jump directly into the sea without having to worry about finding a spot or where to leave your valuables.
If you’d like to spend the night there, there’s one hotel on the island where you can sleep. Another option, for the more adventurous ones, is camping. Comino is a famous camping spot. While you’d need to provide your own BBQ and camping supplies, there are showers madeavailableto the public.
Learning English on the Maltese Islands
BELS School of English has two schools, one in St Paul’s Bay, Malta in and one in Kercem, Gozo.
The schools are family-run, so you’re guaranteed individual attention. So why not come and Learn English in Malta and Gozo!