Discover Comino: Malta’s Hidden Gem – A Complete Guide

Comino, a tiny island nestled between Malta and Gozo, is a paradise for nature enthusiasts, history buffs, and film aficionados alike. Despite its small size, Comino offers a rich tapestry of experiences, from crystal-clear waters and historic sites to cinematic landscapes and delectable local refreshments. Whether you’re planning a day trip or an extended stay, this guide will provide you with all the essential information, including transport options, dining experiences, and key attractions.

A Glimpse into Comino’s History

Named after the cumin herb that once flourished here, Comino has a history that dates back to the Roman period. Throughout the centuries, it served as a hideout for pirates and smugglers and later became a hunting ground for the Knights of St. John. Today, the island is largely uninhabited, with a population of just a handful of residents, including the caretakers of the Comino Hotel and the police officers stationed there.

Cinematic Backdrop: Films Featuring Comino

Comino’s stunning natural beauty has not gone unnoticed by filmmakers. The island’s most famous appearance is in the 2002 film “The Count of Monte Cristo,” where its rugged landscapes and the iconic Blue Lagoon were used as key locations. Additionally, parts of “Swept Away,” the 2002 remake directed by Guy Ritchie, were filmed here, showcasing Comino’s pristine beaches and azure waters.

Getting to Comino: Your Transport Options

Reaching Comino is an adventure in itself, with several transport options available:

  1. Ferry Services: Regular ferries operate from both Malta and Gozo, offering a quick and scenic route to Comino. Departures are frequent, particularly during the summer months, with services running from Cirkewwa in Malta and Mgarr in Gozo.
  2. Private Boat Charters: For a more personalised experience, consider hiring a private boat. Several companies offer charters, allowing you to explore the island and its surroundings at your own pace.
  3. Day Cruises: Various tour operators provide day cruises that include stops at Comino’s main attractions, such as the Blue Lagoon and the Crystal Lagoon. These cruises often include amenities like lunch and snorkelling gear.
  4. Water Taxis: Available from multiple points in Malta and Gozo, water taxis offer a flexible and direct way to reach Comino. They are ideal for small groups or those looking to avoid the crowds.

Exploring Comino: Key Features and Attractions

The Blue Lagoon

Undoubtedly the crown jewel of Comino, the Blue Lagoon is famed for its striking turquoise waters and white sandy seabed. It’s an ideal spot for swimming, snorkelling, and sunbathing. During peak season, it can get quite busy, so arriving early is recommended.

Comino Tower (St. Mary’s Tower)

This historic watchtower, built in 1618 by the Knights of St. John, offers panoramic views of the island and surrounding seas. The tower played a defensive role throughout history and today serves as a cultural landmark, open to visitors who can climb to the top for breathtaking vistas.

St. Mary’s Chapel

Built in the 13th century, this quaint chapel is one of the few remaining historic structures on the island. It’s a serene spot for reflection and provides insight into the island’s religious heritage.

Santa Marija Bay and Beach

A quieter alternative to the Blue Lagoon, Santa Marija Bay offers a peaceful retreat with clear waters and sandy shores. It’s perfect for those looking to relax away from the more crowded areas.

Culinary Experiences: Local Refreshments

While Comino is largely uninhabited, there are still a few options for refreshments:

  1. Comino Hotel Restaurant: The island’s only hotel offers a restaurant where visitors can enjoy a variety of dishes, from traditional Maltese cuisine to international fare. It’s a great spot to relax and refuel after a day of exploration.
  2. Food Kiosks: Near the Blue Lagoon, several seasonal food kiosks serve snacks, beverages, and light meals. These are convenient options for grabbing a quick bite while enjoying the beach.
  3. Picnicking: Given the limited dining options, many visitors opt to bring their own picnic. There are several picturesque spots around the island where you can enjoy a meal with a view.

Accommodations: Staying on Comino

While most visitors explore Comino as a day trip, there are options for those who wish to stay overnight:

  1. Comino Hotel: The island’s sole hotel offers comfortable accommodations with stunning views. Staying here provides a unique opportunity to experience Comino’s tranquil evenings and star-filled skies.
  2. Camping: For the more adventurous, camping is permitted in designated areas. It’s a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the island’s natural beauty and wake up to the sound of the sea.

final thoughts…

Comino may be small, but it’s brimming with charm and beauty. From its historic sites and cinematic landscapes to its clear waters and serene beaches, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re visiting for a few hours or staying a few nights, Comino promises an unforgettable experience in the heart of the Mediterranean.

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