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Jan 27 2017

Comino: A Maltese Island

Comino: A Maltese Island

Out of sheer curiosity, I felt compelled to visit the virtually uninhabited Maltese island of Comino when I went to Malta.  Before I went, I wanted to know if it was possible to stay on the island.  I found out that the answer is yes and no.  Yes because there is a hotel and a campsite.  No because the hotel and deserted campsite were closed for the low season.  I was there in January.

I had a vague idea of how to get to the island, but I wasn’t completely sure.  All I really knew was that I had to get to the ferry terminal.  You can get there from Malta or Gozo.  I was staying in Gozo, so I went to the ferry terminal in Mgarr.  The night before, I had read about getting a ferry over to the island, which seemed relatively easy.  Once I arrived at the ferry terminal, I went up to the desk to buy a ticket, only to be told they only sell tickets to Malta.  I was really confused.  I went to the information desk and was told that private boat companies provide the service to Comino.  That wasn’t clear from the website I had looked at the night before.

I walked outside the ferry terminal and saw there was only one company making the journey because it was low season. The price of a ticket was 15€.  In the summer, there are two options: 10€ for a return trip or 15€ and a return trip which includes a boat ride to some of the caves around the island.  It wasn’t quite the hourly service I had read about with multiple return journeys. The boat was due to leave at 11am and return at 2.15 pm.  I had about 20 minutes before the boat was due to depart, so I went back into the ferry terminal and bought a couple of pea pasties and a bottle of water to take with me.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to buy anything on Comino since it was low season.

When the time came, we boarded the boat and headed over to Comino. It was windy, and the sea was choppy.  Just be prepared for that if you struggle with boat journeys.

We landed by the hotel rather than the Blue Lagoon for safety reasons. The captain of the boat told us to walk straight ahead, turn right, then left to get to the Blue Lagoon. There were no signs on the island, so I started following the directions, but then decided just to wander around.  It’s just as well I did, otherwise I would have missed this…

I arrived at a bay that had a statue of St Bernadette kneeling in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary. That was an incredible sight with the rough sea in the background.

After that, I continued on round to the Blue Lagoon.  I have to be honest, it wasn’t what I was expecting.  They advertise it like crazy but, having seen it, I just don’t understand why.  Maybe it’s better in the summer, but it’s tiny.

I continued on, heading towards the tower.  On my way there, I saw some people on the top of a massive rock, which jutted out into the sea.  It looked great, so I climbed up for the view.

After eating my packed lunch with that spectacular view, I continued on to the tower.  The view must be amazing from the top of the tower.  Unfortunately, it was closed because of the weather.  Nonetheless, I had a fantastic view of Malta, Gozo, Cominotto, and Comino.  As you will hear from the videos, it was blowing a gale, so I couldn’t go too close to the edge.

The time seemed to fly by while I was there, so I didn’t have the chance to explore the whole island.  I went to Santa Maria Bay, on the other side of the island, just one bay along from where we were going to be picked up.  I instantly liked this bay, preferring it to the Blue Lagoon because of the colour of the sea, the interesting rock formations, and the fact that I had the bay all to myself.

This is where you can pitch a tent for free at the campsite.  That’s something I would like to do at some point.

When the time came, I walked back to the hotel and got on the boat.  Once we were all there, the boat left.  Thankfully, the weather was good enough for us to go via the Santa Maria Caves.  I was sitting by the entrance to get a good view for photos and videos.  It wasn’t long before I began to regret that decision because it was as if someone was throwing buckets of salt water over me.  Believe me, the sea is incredibly salty, and the sea was that rough.

If I had known I was going to get soaked on the boat, I would have put my rain gear on.  Once we had set off, I was squished up against the side of the boat and couldn’t get to my rain gear.  It was one of those situations that made me and the others on the boat laugh.  What else can you do?  As soon as I arrived back on shore, I went straight to the toilet at the ferry terminal to change out of my wet clothes, and then I waited for the bus back to Victoria (Gozo’s only city).

Useful information

  • Boats to Comino leave from the ports in Malta or Gozo.

  • The Comino Ferries Service is operated by four private boat companies.

  • In low season, there are fewer options in relation to when and how you travel.  It’s worth checking this in advance.

  • Travel to Comino is dependent on weather conditions.

  • You can only stay on the island for part of the year.

  • Bring refreshments with you.

  • Depending on weather conditions, be prepared to get wet from the waves lapping over the boat.

  • Be wary when the wind is blowing.  It can be strong enough to sweep you off your feet.

  • Have a charged, working mobile phone with you, just in case you accidentally get left behind.  There are mobile phone numbers on the ticket you can ring if that happens.

  • Bring walking shoes, layers of clothes, and rain gear.  The terrain is uneven, and there is absolutely no shelter.  If it rains, you have no way of escaping it.


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Would you consider going to Comino and staying overnight?

About the author

Teresa Keane

Teresa has been to almost 60 countries. She started travelling independently at the age of 38 when she gave up her job, rented out her house, put her possessions in storage and spent a year travelling the world. It changed her life. She now creates, publishes, & promotes online travel content and is an experienced freelance trainer & EFL teacher.

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