Is Comino, Malta worth visiting? / Comino and Blue Lagoon Travel Guide

Is Comino, Malta worth visiting? / Complete Comino Travel Guide

In this Comino travel guide, I will help you answer few crucial questions. Is Comino even worth visiting, how to get there (with a tour and independently)  and what is there to do on Comino apart from Blue Lagoon? Let’s go!

This small island situated between Malta and Gozo is a paradise for snorkellers, divers, windsurfers, jet skiers and all crystal blue water amateurs. The colour of the water especially in the Blue Lagoon is heavenly, but the rest of the island isn’t too shabby either. Comino is heavily advertised and is one of Malta’s biggest attractions, but is it really worth visiting?

This question may sound ridiculous at first.

Is Comino worth visiting? Why wouldn’t it be? Why even ask this question? But as indisputable as the beauty of Comino and the Blue Lagoon is, some aspects are off-putting to many.

If you just to know the essentials and skip my jibber jabber, click here to jump to important tips and advice on visiting the Comino section

Things to in Malta / Is Comino, Malta worth visiting? / Complete Comino Travel Guide

It’s undeniable that the Blue Lagoon on Comino island is one of the most beautiful places in the Mediterranean. But it’s also undeniable that the Blue Lagoon is packed full of tourists in high season and feels insanely commercialised. The island attracts huge numbers of visitors on a daily basis. And most of them arrive between noon and 5 pm on booked excursion boats.

With anything that becomes overly popular (see Maya Beach in Thailand or Train Street in Hanoi), come hoards of tourists and those who do their best and make the business out of them. Can we blame them?

For Comino, small as it is already, this means limited space and big crowds. Add to that the fact that you only have a limited time to visit – and you feel rushed, pushed around and irritated. It’s hard to enjoy paradise that way.

Is Comino, Malta worth visiting? / Complete Comino Travel Guide

When I first visited Malta, a few years before I moved there, I took one of the heavily advertised boat tours to Comino. And I loved it, the water was of incredible colour, my friend and I had a good time on the boat, enjoying free drinks and taking some typical holiday photos.

But what I also remember is that we were totally unable to find a semi-decent place to put our towels on and properly lie down and relax as people were passing everywhere. There were vendors selling cocktails in a pineapple (this hasn’t changed haha), and we had to follow other travellers on a path to get to places just like queuing in the busy market.

A few years later I moved to Malta and visited the island a few more times. Out of season and in high season, in the morning and afternoon. I visited with friends who loved it and those who hated it.

So, in short…

Is Blue Lagoon on Comino worth visiting?

If you don’t mind sharing a small spot around the Blue Lagoon with many other visitors, if you’re willing to explore more than just the Blue Lagoon and if you don’t want to miss out on swimming in the most beautiful crystal clear water, then Comino is definitely worth visiting.

If you choose alternative ways to get to Comino to get a glimpse of it without hoards of tourists, explore other parts of the island and maybe even get a thrill from the water sports on offer, you’ll most likely have a memorable day on Comino.

But as with everything, the straightforward answer to whether Comino is worth a visit isn’t so simple. Some folks love boat trips with free-flowing drinks and parties on board, stopping at the lagoon for a swim and returning in an even happier mood. Kudos to them. Everyone travels differently!

But if you are nothing like that, don’t worry, I’ve got some alternative options for you below.

Is Comino, Malta worth visiting? / Comino and Blue Lagoon Travel Guide

Whats is Comino in Malta most famous for?

Comino is most famous for the Blue Lagoon. In fact, the majority of the tours and cruises advertise this trip as a Blue Lagoon trip rather than a Comino island trip.

Blue Lagoon in Malta is a beach on Comino island famous for its out-of-the-world crystal blue waters sheltered by interesting rock formations. The white sand and blue sky refracted in the crystal clear waters create a perfect picture of an idyllic paradise that draws thousands of visitors nearly all year round. 

Yet there is so much more to Comino than Blue Lagoon. This small island inhabited just by 2 people can truly surprise you if only you dare to venture beyond the Blue Lagoon.

A gorgeous hike around the island which can be easily accomplished in a couple of hours will reward you with stunning views, interesting sites and hidden beaches that are often not advertised.

Hidden swimming and snorkelling spots, a tranquil sandy beach with a more local feel, an abandoned hospital and a famous diving spot are just a few of the adventures that await you.

Is Comino, Malta worth visiting? / Comino and Blue Lagoon Travel Guide

But is visiting Comino essential on a trip to Malta?

No, it’s not essential. I believe that visiting places like Valletta, Mdina and taking a coastal walk and seeing Blue Grotto is essential. 

Would I recommend it?

If you only had one beach day planned I would rather suggest Ghajn Tuffieha or Paradise Bay instead for a chilled and tranquil beach day. But if you have a week in Malta and fancy a jolly beach trip and a swim in the most turquoise sea, then the Comino trip is a great choice!

So here’s a complete Comino travel guide for you. I list all the ways you can get to and visit Comino, how much it costs and what else there is to do on Comino besides the Blue Lagoon.

How to get to Comino

There are few but slightly limited ways to get to Comino. If you want to come to Comino completely independently, on your own terms and possibly for a whole day, it might be tricky.

Here’s a breakdown of all possible ways of getting to Comino and the Blue Lagoon, Malta:

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On a cruise or with an organised trip

The most popular way to visit Comino is on one of the cruises that are available all over Malta. You can book them in most coastal resorts like Sliema, Buggiba, Mellieha or Cirkewwa and the most popular operators are Captain Morgan, Hornblower Cruises, Sea Adventures and I See Malta. You will have plenty to choose from, especially if you are based in the south of Malta. Just walk down the Sliema harbour and you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Alternatively, especially if you prefer to read reviews before booking, you can book online through websites like Viator or Get Your Guide.

Personally, I don’t recommend a combined Gozo and Comino tour and have expressed this opinion in some of my Malta posts. As much as you can experience and enjoy Comino in a couple of hours, Gozo is a whole different story. Gozo is such a beautiful island packed full of natural wonders and activities that a visit of just a couple of hours not only doesn’t do it justice but also takes away from much of your experience.

If you only have a day to spare, just pick one, Gozo or Comino, and have a reason to come back to Malta to see the other.

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Independently on a ferry

The best way to get to Comino without a tour is to take the ferry from Cirkewwa. This in fact is the best way to visit Comino overall.

The earliest ferry leaves at 8:30 am and you can reach the island before all the tourists arrive. The last ferry leaves at 6 pm. So if you choose to visit Comino this way, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the island, avoid the crowds and see everything Comino has to offer.

Please note that this is more of a water taxi rather than a ferry and vehicles can be transported in this way. No motor vehicles are allowed on Comino.

Important Info/Confusion warning:

The actual ferry that leaves from Cirkewwa ferry port only goes to Gozo and vehicles are not allowed on it. The Cirkewwa Ferry Port isn’t the place where you will be taking your boat to Comino. The Comino boat stop is located slightly below the ferry port. It’s called Comino Ferries Co-Op Ltd and is signposted.

You can also take a boat from Marfa, which is moored in front of the Labranda Riviera Hotel & Spa (3 bus stops earlier). This is a private water taxi transport called Comino Ferries. I personally recommend you take this one as it goes past the caves, which is a nice start to the trip.

If you’re taking the ferry from Cirkewwa, you’ll need to do a bit of planning as you’ll need to get to the Cirkewwa boat station which is in the north. If you are already based in the north of Malta, this shouldn’t be a problem, but if you are in the south, you’ll have to allow an additional hour to reach this part of the island. It’s worth it, trust me.

Direct buses to Cirkewwa depart regularly from the Sliema waterfront (bus nb 222) and Valetta (bus nb 41). The journey takes about an hour. You can also opt for an Uber ride, which would be €30 at most. The return ferry ticket costs between €8 and €12, depending on which water taxi you take. No need to book in advance. If you opt for public transport to Cirkewwa, you will be saving loads. Pack a picnic, a swimsuit and a frozen bottle of water and you’re set for the day.

There is also an I See Malta ferry that departs from Sliema and Buggiba, but the schedule here is much more limited. For a very short time, there were a few more departures, with the last one from Comino being at 8 pm, but for some reason, it has now been abandoned. Which is a great pity. But you can still take a ferry from Sliema which will take you to either Gozo or Comino. The last return ferry from Comino to Sliema leaves at 16:45 and the return ticket costs €30.

 I do believe that those timetables change depending on the season and demand to keep an eye on the up-to-date schedule here.

Is Comino, Malta worth visiting? / Comino and Blue Lagoon Travel Guide

Travel to Comino from Gozo

This is definitely a great alternative especially if you are spending a bit more time in Malta. Visiting Comino from Gozo is a great way to combine visiting both islands independently over two days.

The best way would be to spend a day and one night on Gozo and then take a morning ferry to Comino with a return to Malta the same day. Of course, if you opted to stay on Gozo for a bit longer you can also return to Gozo the same way.

There are a few ways of getting to Comino from Gozo:

Visit Comino on a private charter boat

And finally, there is what is probably truly the best way of visiting Comino yet it will involve a bit more spending. Some say it’s worth it though.

It is very easy to rent a charted boat in Malta where you will get your own skipper and a boat to yourself. Many of my friends were renting a catamaran for their birthdays when I used to live in Malta. Isn’t this the best way to spend your birthday?!

If you opt for that, you will be able to plan your own day, spend as much time as you want at any bay, enjoy turquoise waters just for yourself and your party, jump from the boat, kayak, SUP or simply chill on a deck with a cold drink. Tempted? You can book on Viator or check out the available charters here or here.

Is Comino, Malta worth visiting? / Comino and Blue Lagoon Travel Guide

Things to do in Comino that arent Blue Lagoon

Swim across to Cominotto

Just opposite the very busy Blue Lagoon beach, you will find the much quieter but equally beautiful small sandy beach of Cominotto, together with a few interesting rock formations and caves to discover.

The caveat? You have to swim across!

You can also get here by boat, but if you arrive by cruise ship like most, the only way to get there is to swim. I mean, how bad can that be, right?
If you happen to have a dry bag with you, you could pack a towel and just settle in for the day, but even a short visit is definitely worth it!

Is Comino, Malta worth visiting? / Comino and Blue Lagoon Travel Guide

Discover Crystal Lagoon (perhaps the best thing to do on Comino)

This lagoon will make you pick up the jaw off the floor. If you’re only willing to walk maybe 15 to 20 minutes, you’ll be standing atop of what might be the most beautiful lagoon you’ve ever seen.

The mostly sandy bottom and the crystal clear water creates the most spectacular sight. Together with the high cliffs and the few boats that dock here, you’ll quickly forget the crowded blue lagoon.

Crystal Lagood isn’t only possibly more beautiful, but also more tranquil then Blue Lagoon, which adds to its allure. The view from the cliffs is to die for and you can even walk down the fairly steep rocky steps to the actual beach for a swim or snorkel.

If you’re on a private boat, the skipper will definitely stop here, as it’s a real highlight on Comino.

Is Comino, Malta worth visiting? / Comino and Blue Lagoon Travel Guide

Take a loop hike around Comino

This Comino loop hike only takes about 2.5 hours to complete but it’s packed with great sights, little hidden beaches and panoramic views.

If you are hardcore like me, you can also do the hike in July or August. But beware: it’s scorching and the trail doesn’t offer much shade.  Wear a sun hat and sunscreen and drink plenty of water. Otherwise, any other time of the year is just glorious!

Those are the sights and stops worth including in the Comino hike:

  • Crystal Lagoon (mentioned above)
  • Santa Marija watchtower

    a historic 17th-century watchtower which was built by the Knight as a fire-signal post that has also been used in several films, such as The Count of Monte Cristo.

  • Abandoned Isolation Hospital – built by the British in the 1890s, served as a quarantine station for British troops returning to Malta.
  • Saint Mary’s Battery – built by the Order of Saint John as a coastal fortification. Can be visited inside. Walk down towards the shore and you will find a small beautiful natural arch.
  • Santa Maria Caves + views! One of the best diving spots in Malta.Great views from the top
  • Santa Maria Bay and beach – this is a must-stop on this hike and spending time on the beach here is one of the best things to do on Comino overall so I will talk a bit more about it further down in the post.
  • Chapel of Our Lady’s Return from Egypt – dedicated to the Return of the Holy Family from Egypt. Its interiors are neo-gothic and sometimes it is possible to go inside.

I suggest walking the hike anticlockwise. Below is a map (loose) of a trail and this is a link to the Wikiloc trail. But to be honest, you won’t really need it. 

It’s not a strenuous hike and there is hardly any elevation gain. The only difficulty might be the heat and lack of shade. Other than that, I highly recommend taking this walk. A rewarding swim in Blue Lagoon culminated with a yummy cocktail will make for a wonderful Comino trip.

Is Comino, Malta worth visiting? / Comino and Blue Lagoon Travel Guide
Is Comino, Malta worth visiting? / Comino and Blue Lagoon Travel Guide

Santa Marija Beach / Things to do on Comino

It is a small sandy beach with more of a local feel and definitely quieter than Blue Lagoon. If you fancy a swim followed by chilling on an actual sandy beach, head to Santa Marija Bay. It’s a pretty spot and you will notice many locals arrive here by boat. It’s a hidden spot on Comino many tourists dont venture to.

Dechchairs and parasols are available for rental and you will find a small kiosk as well.

Is Comino, Malta worth visiting? / Comino and Blue Lagoon Travel Guide

Dive in Santa maria caves

Malta is a true paradise for divers and it is in fact a diving destination for many. Comino offers a few incredible diving spots and Santa Marija Caves are very popular amongst divers due to their fascinating cave systems. Not far from the caves, you can dive to see the P31 wreck, a patrol boat used by the armed forces, that was deliberately scuttled in 2009 as a diving attraction and artificial reef. 

There is a diving school located on Comino but you can use any of the many diving schools spread around Malta in order to explore the underwater world of Malta including Comino Caves as well as sank ships and aircraft.

Is Comino, Malta worth visiting? / Comino and Blue Lagoon Travel Guide

Enjoy water sports on Comino

A great thing to do during peak hours. Whilst everyone is ‘fighting’ for a piece of ground or a lounger to sit on – you can just hop on one of the boats touring the caves or take part in some water activities.

Right next to Blue Lagoon Beach, you will find a small stand where all the water sports and activities will be advertised. 

Yes, there is a crazy sofa and banana ride and all those shenanigans. And don’t blame me but when my sister visited we had a blast on the crazy sofa! And its an understatement lol

But the best thing I have ever done on Comino was a jet ski ride!

The boat took us to the open waters between Comino and Gozo and after the safety briefing, we were free to jet between the islands and enjoy fantastic views. There are also other water activities on offer like speed boat tours to the caves or kayak rentals. So much fun!

Is Comino, Malta worth visiting? / Comino and Blue Lagoon Travel Guide

Camp on Comino

If you want to watch the sunset on Comino, BBq on the beach and wake up to a nearly empty paradise island nearly all for you, how about considering camping on Comino?

There is only one campsite on Comino called Tal-Ful, located north of the island near Santa Marija Bay. There is no permit needed and you can stay for up to 30 days. Just in case you wanted.

If you decide to camp on Comino try to get there nice and early. It is the only free campsite in Malta hence it is popular. You want to make sure you reserve your spot, especially during the peak season. 

Is Comino, Malta worth visiting? / Comino and Blue Lagoon Travel Guide

Things to know before visiting Comino (Important!) / Comino Travel Guide

The best time to visit Comino is during the shoulder months of May to June and September to November. This is true for the whole of Malta. July and August are hot and humid but also very busy so you need to be prepared for crowds.

You can visit the Blue Lagoon even in winter, although the ferry routes are more limited and the weather is more often stormy. On a sunny day in February, you can get by by wearing a T-shirt, but the water will be a little too cold for swimming. For some. I visited Comino once in the winter and it was magical.

Blue Lagoon is not a white sand beach with crystal blue water. It is mostly rocky and if you are looking for a day spent lying on a sandy beach, it will not happen. The water is incredible but you will have to walk over some sharp rocks to get in. There is one small strip of sand but this is where all the tourists gather. For a sandy beach experience, you will have to swim across to Cominotto or visit Santa Marija Bay.

When you arrive at the Blue Lagoon, you will have the opportunity to reserve one of the sun loungers, which are located right on the waterfront. Most of these loungers are on a small rock right on the water, packed like sardines and often on a very narrow path that is constantly crowded. I personally never chose this option, but if getting some shade and resting on a chair is important to you, this might be the right option. Make sure you get an early ferry to get a spot, the later you arrive the most likely all the chairs and umbrellas will be taken. 

Blue Lagoon during peak time - Is Comino, Malta worth visiting?
Blue Lagoon during peak time – Is Comino, Malta worth visiting?

Try to find lounge chairs further along the shore, away from the sandy beach of the Blue Lagoon, and closer towards the Crystal Lagoon. The water is cleaner there, but the entrance to the water is a bit rockier. The sunbeds cost €25 for a pair or €15 for a single.

You can also find a spot on the top of the cliff and spread your towel there for free, but space is limited and there is no shade there.

The best option is to venture slightly outside the Blue Lagoon and find a hidden rocky beach. There are few to the left and to the right of the Blue Lagoon beach. Those are some great snorkelling spots as well.

As you can see from this, the Blue Lagoon isn’t a chilled paradise beach experience and more of a dip-and-go kind of thing. But by now (after reading the above info) you know how to escape the crowds and enjoy the Blue Lagoon and Comino (for example by swimming across to Cominotto Beach or finding a quiet spot on Santa Marija Beach).

Around the Blue Lagoon on Comino, you’ll find toilets, showers and lockers located at the top of the hill not far from the main pier. There are also numerous stalls and food tracks offering snacks, meals, drinks and those famous pineapple cocktails.

You can also bring your own drinks and snacks if you prefer to save some money. There are no supermarkets or other stores on Comino.

Last tourists are leaving the island - Comino and Blue Lagoon Travel Guide
Last tourists are leaving the island – Comino and Blue Lagoon Travel Guide

There isn’t much shade on Comino – bring a sunhat, sunscreen and drink plenty of water. 

Bring comfortable shoes with you. Try to resist those flip-flops. The ground in most parts of Comino is rocky and the paths can be slippery. In many places, access to the water is also rocky and slippery. Water shoes are ideal for this and they’re lightweight and pack down very small. You can also walk around with water shoes and they’ll come in handy at many other beaches in Malta. Also, if you are planning a hike, you should consider comfortable sandals or trainers.

Watch out for the jellyfish. Don’t worry, jellyfish in Malta aren’t very dangerous, they just leave an annoying burn. Check out this website before venturing to any beach. There are certain days (depending on tides, water temperature, etc.) when there are more or hardly any jellyfish in different parts of the island.

I was stung only once during my time living in Malta, but it’s good practice to be watchful. On ‘jellyfish day” you’ll spot them in the water. Or suddenly there will be very few bathers. I, unfortunately, missed this hint and that’s when I got stung.

It wasn’t the most pleasant experience, but it was nothing dangerous.

What to do when the jellyfish stings you?

You really don’t need to pee on it. Swipe a credit card over the burn to remove the tentacles. Use some vinegar from the food trucks or nearby restaurants, apply it for 5 minutes and then wash it off with seawater. Lifeguards often have supplies of antiseptic creams as well. It’ll sting a bit, but trust me, it’s not bad and jellyfish on Malta’s coast aren’t dangerous.

If you want to book a water activity, you should do it right after you arrive. At busy times, you’ll have to wait your turn, and you don’t want to miss out just because you left it until the last minute.

Take some cash with you. Some stalls will let you pay with a card, but some will only accept cash. You might also need some coins for the toilet or lockers.

Consider packing a snorkel. Comino is one of the best places in Malta for snorkelling. 

I hope that you found this Comino and Blue Lagoon Travel Guide helpful and if you were wondering if Comino is worth visiting, you have found your answer.

It is a special little gem in Malta and if you plan it well you will have a blast visiting Comino.

Let me know what you think in the comments below and if you have any questions I will be happy to answer them all.

Until then, happy travels!

 

Are you wondering where to stay in Malta? Read my complete guide to all the best towns and best areas to stay in Malta!

Here is a list of everything you should know before travelling to Malta.

Looking for some more beach time? I wrote a complete guide to the best beaches in Malta. 

And if you are seeking a truly Maltese experience you can’t miss the colourful fishing village of Marsaxlokk. 

This post may contain affiliate links which means that if you purchase the product or make a booking via one of my links, I will receive a small commission. Please know that I will never recommend or promote a product I don’t believe in or haven’t used. This way, you are supporting this blog at no extra cost to you. Thank you!

Useful Malta Travel Resources and Travel Tips:

 

Book your accommodation in advance, especially if you travel during peak season. For the best prices check out Booking.com or Hostelworld for the best hostel deals. 

Check how to get the ExplorePlus travel card here! It will give you Unlimited Travel for 7 days, 2 free trips on the Valletta Ferry from Sliema or the Three Cities, 2 free trips on the Tallinja Bike and a few sightseeing options.

Take a free walking tour in Valletta! It’s an amazing way to learn the history of the city and Malta as a whole!

Book your experience or a tour via Get Your Guide or Viator. Those are two of the most popular tour marketplace sites featuring the largest selection of experiences. 

Keep some cash on you. Although in bigger cities you will be able to pay by card in the majority of establishments there are still a few smaller, privately owned shops that will only accept cash. 

Check out the Malta events calendar here!

All the timetables you will ever need:

Valletta to Sliema Ferry

Gozo and Comin Ferry from Sliema / Hop On Hop Off

Gozo ferry from Cerkewwa

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