Comino is a tiny island (3.5 square kilometres in area) and is the third and smallest island of the Maltese archipelago which includes Malta and Gozo. Over the years it has been home to farmers, privately owned and even abandoned altogether. Nowadays, Comino is a bird sanctuary and nature reserve with only four permanent residents. It is extremely popular with tourists, especially during the summer months and is predominately known for The Blue Lagoon and for its tranquility and isolation. So when Mr ESLT and I visited Malta a couple of weeks ago a visit to Comino was high on our list of things to do.
There a handful of ways to get to Comino from Malta and they all involve a boat. We opted for an organised trip with Captain Morgan Cruises and for €20 each I cannot complain about the price at all. This included return hotel pick up from St Julian’s to Silema, where the boat departed from, an all-inclusive bar (wine, beer and soft drinks) all day and lunch. The journey took around 2 hours, with a short stop at Gozo to let people off. Even though there are fast ferries available, which will get you there in a quarter of the time, it was nice to enjoy the views over the mediterranean sea and to feel the Maltese sun on our skin with a glass of local lager in our hand.
The first thing we did when we arrived at Comino was take a jet boat to the caves that are built deep into the island. The jet boat was an additional €15 each and it took us on a roller coaster ride around the island as we held on for dear life and screamed as we hit each wave head on. The caves themselves are beautiful and because the jet boat was small, it took us right into the caves so we could see the rock formations and orange coral in them. And the water! Oh my, the bluest I think I have ever seen, it is easy to see why diving in the caves is a popular thing to do.
Back on solid ground we were eager to explore Comino and relax in insolation as described. Needless to say it was almost impossible to relax with thousands of other people on the most uncomfortable deck chairs known to man. Yep – Comino was a big fat let down. I know I can’t preach about too many tourists, as I am one myself, but seriously?! There isn’t a beach (well there is but it’s the size of a postage stamp) so the deck chairs are available on the concrete pier and up the cliffs. They are €5 each to hire for the day together with an additional €5 if you want to hire a parasol.
Add to this, the horrific mix burger vans and people constantly asking if you would like to take a boat trip or a Segway tour, oh and not to forget the guy with a loud hailer screaming about his boat being super quick and how he could get you back to Malta in 30 minutes, to be honest I was tempted as Comino certainly wasn’t what we had expected. The only saving grace was The Blue Lagoon – it is truly stunning. The water is crystal clear (for how long with the daily onslaught of boats, who knows) and perfect for swimming in. The worrying thing is we visited midweek during October and it was overly full of people. I overheard the Segway guy telling someone that during July and August it twice as full, especially at the weekend when locals head over to the island too!
Maybe I’ve been spoilt by having remote beaches to myself elsewhere and just expected the same. I guess it’s important to remember that Comino is one of Malta’s main tourist attractions so it’s ALWAYS. But if hordes of people aren’t your thing and you are easily annoyed (like me) it’s probably best to stay away (unfortunately).