Comino Calling: Your guide to Malta’s sister isle
and dive deeper
Nestled between the larger islands of Malta and Gozo, Comino is the Maltese archipelago’s charming little sister. For centuries, this little-known gem served as a refuge for pirates, and later became a strategic base for the Knights of St John. In fact, the Santa Marija Fort, perched on the island’s clifftop, played a vital role in communication, linking Gozo’s Cittadella to Malta’s ancient city of Mdina through fire signals.
Today, Comino is an altogether more tranquil haven, which beckons travellers to relax in its untouched beauty. The island continues to captivate visitors with its pristine beaches, mesmerising lagoons, enticing diving spots, and other coastal wonders. It’s no wonder the island continues to draw thousands of holidaymakers each year, making Comino a must-visit destination for those seeking an idyllic escape.
If you’re planning a trip to Malta in the summertime, then a visit to Comino should be on your itinerary. Here you’ll find essential info to make the most out of your trip to this serene island surrounded by clear waters and sun-soaked landscapes.
Getting to Comino from Malta
The island of Comino can only be reached by boat. The easiest and most budget-friendly choice is to catch one of the regular Comino ferry services running between Ċirkewwa and Marfa on the tip of Malta’s northern coast. With many trips each day, you can pick the times that suit you.
If getting to Ċirkewwa is a bit of a stretch from where you are staying, you can also book a popular boat trip, which depart from places like Sliema, Bugibba, and St Paul’s Bay. Some include Comino along with other stops around the Maltese coastline. But if you’re all about Comino, a few trips focus only on this island, cruising to the Blue Lagoon and around the islet to reveal secluded swimming spots under its scenic cliffs. Operators typically offer day-long trips, with plenty of time to enjoy the beach and sea before heading back to Malta.
Those looking for a more exclusive experience can opt to charter a private boat. This option gives you flexibility and, depending on which operator you choose, you might even be treated to cocktails and lunch on the boat for that extra touch of luxury.
When people hear of Comino, they often only think of the Blue Lagoon. But there’s more to this little island. Here are some top picks to add up your Comino adventure.
Comino’s star attraction is undoubtedly the Blue Lagoon. This small but incredibly beautiful beach features stunning bright blue waters that need to be seen to be believed. Given its popularity, it can get super busy throughout the summer months. That’s why it’s best to arrive extra early to enjoy the crystal-clear waters ahead of the crowds.
Just a short 10-minute walk away from the Blue Lagoon is the equally dazzling Crystal Lagoon. This spot also boasts radiant blue waters backdropped by stunning rock formations that plunge into the sea. The cliffs here have also formed a series of caves and tunnels, that make it a paradise for snorkelling and diving. If the summer sun makes the walk less appealing, you can easily swim or kayak to the lagoon. It’s a fantastic way to delve deeper into Comino’s coastal charm and uncover more of its natural beauty.
Santa Maria Bay
If you wish to escape the bustle of the Blue Lagoon at the height of summer, you might consider heading toward Santa Marija Bay. This peaceful Comino beach enjoys clear, shallow waters, making it an ideal spot to enjoy a day swimming and basking in the sun on the soft sands, surrounded by wild shrubs. The beach also has its own bar and facilities, which make it especially perfect for families with young kids to enjoy a leisurely day of pure beach bliss.
Comino’s not just about beaches. It’s got plenty of coastal caves to explore too. Many of these are only accessible by boat and continue to be popular diving and snorkelling spots thanks to their rich marine life and colourful rock formations which light up in all sorts of other-worldly hues at certain times of day. Some popular Comino cave sites include Popeye Cave, the Santa Marija Caves, and the Monte Cristo cave, known for appearing in the 2002 film The Count of Monte Cristo starring Jim Caviezel and Guy Pearce.
Comino Chapel, Watchtower, and Hospital
While Comino doesn’t boast many historic buildings, a little island stroll reveals some interesting sites. The Chapel of the Return of the Holy Family is about 500 years old and is very charming thanks to its simple, white-washed facade complete with bell gable. Climb the 17th-century Santa Marija tower for awesome panoramic views across the Maltese archipelago. This tower was also used as a location in the Monte Cristo movie. And if you’re into military history, be sure to check out the abandoned Isolation Hospital from the 1890s. The Brits build this quarantine zone to tend to soldiers with Cholera returning from the Levant.
Enrich your Comino getaway with AX Hotels
If you’re staying at one of our award-winning AX Hotels in Sliema, Qawra, or Valletta reach out to a member of our service team for personalised recommendations and tips. We can provide tailored insights on optimal routes, reputable boat operators, and private charters close to your hotel, ensuring you maximise your day on the beautiful island of Comino.