Visiting Comino Island in Malta: All You Need to Know

Embarking on a trip through the Maltese Islands is incomplete without exploring the beautiful Comino, Malta's smallest gem. This article reveals the secrets of navigating the Mediterranean Sea to reach Comino and the famous Blue Lagoon, guaranteeing a perfect day trip to this island paradise.

As a tiny spot in the Maltese Archipelago, Comino, locally known as "Kemmuna", at 3.5 km², stands as the smallest among Malta and Gozo. While mostly uninhabited, this island boasts more than the famed Blue Lagoon, with its interesting landscapes distinguishing it from its counterparts.

Join us in this article about the heart of the Maltese Islands, finding the best ways to reach Comino from Malta or Gozo and exploring the wonders beyond the turquoise of the Blue Lagoon – from the Comino Chapel to the beaches that make the island of Comino a place not to miss.

About Comino - The Smallest Island on the Maltese Islands

Where is Comino?

A small island in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea within the Maltese Archipelago, the smaller island of Comino Malta is located between the main island of Malta and its sister island of Gozo.

Facts About Comino

  • Population of Two: Yes, two! The Vella family, well-known around the islands, also have a growing international reputation. In 2018, the famous international vlogger Nas Daily visited Comino requesting an interview with Salvu of Comino, known to locals as Salvu ta’ Kemmuna.
  • The Abandoned Hospital: One of the largest historic buildings on Comino Island is this Hospital, which the British constructed in the 1890s. This served as a quarantine place for British troops arriving in Malta from the cholera-stricken Levant. Enjoy Urban Explorers!
  • Historical Roots: Previously known as Ephaestia, the island of Comino derived its name from the cumin seed abundant on the island.
  • Flora and Fauna: Comino is rich with wild herbs and flowers and is designated as a wildlife sanctuary.
  • There was Only One Hotel: Although Comino is a tiny island, the Comino Hotel was the only hotel on the island and is located at San Niklaw Bay, serving as the primary visitor pick-up and drop-off point from Malta and Gozo. The Comino Hotel is currently on the plan for a luxurious resort.
  • There's a Chapel: The Comino Chapel at the bay of Santa Marija, a small Roman Catholic chapel devoted to the Holy Family upon its return from Egypt, graces the island.
  • Historical Significance: In the 16th and 17th centuries, the entire island of Comino served as a secluded prison or exile location for knights facing various offences. Knights guilty of minor crimes were sometimes assigned to man tower, a lonely and risky penalty.
  • Hollywood Connection: The tower gained fame when it represented the prison Chateau d'If in "The Count of Monte Cristo" movie 2002, starring Jim Caviezel.

Is Comino Worth Visiting?

Definitely! Discover the island of Comino during the peak season to discover the beauty of the renowned Blue Lagoon. If you're considering reasons to visit Comino, the Blue Lagoon is a primary attraction, offering a small slice of paradise with perfect turquoise waters that shine under the sun.

While the Blue Lagoon is a highlight on the island of Comino, your visit can transform into a full-day experience with other natural wonders awaiting exploration. Enjoy your day on various beaches and swimming spots, ideal for sun and snorkelling lovers.

Getting to Comino Island

The Hassle Free Way with Yippee Tours

Embark on a fantastic adventure with Yippee Tours, where we offer more than day tours to Gozo. Skip the queue and maximise your waiting time by exploring other attractions. Our all-inclusive sunset tours between the 15th of May and the 15th of October let you spend time on Comino Island and swim in the Blue Lagoon.

The only two tours below, available all year round, offer a visit to Comino, including the Caves and a pass by the Blue Lagoon. At the same time, during summer, you'll enjoy a swim stop at Crystal Lagoon, weather permitting only.

All tours include a convenient pick-up from Malta or Gozo, setting the scene for an exciting boat trip to Comino and Gozo. Enjoy a light traditional Gozitan lunch as part of the package, and take the chance to explore must-see attractions on the island of Gozo.

Our dedicated team provides all necessary gear, including helmets and disposable hair nets. Trust our multilingual drivers to guide you through every stop in Gozo, making your experience truly immersive and hassle-free. Opt for Yippee Tours and make the most of your journey with boat trips, a sunset cruise, and much more.

From Malta

The most convenient way to visit Comino and the Blue Lagoon in Malta is with two popular options provided by Comino Ferries. Opt for a boat trip via a small local ferry departing from the Cirkewwa Ferry Terminal, close to the Gozo Channel Ferry, or choose the motorboat leaving Marfa.

Comino Ferries Schedule

  • Operates from 9:30 am to 6 pm
  • Departs hourly
  • Travel time is about 25 minutes.

Bus to Comino Ferries

  • Catch bus number 41 or bus number 42. More buses here
  • Cirkewwa, embark at your last stop near the ferry terminal.
  • Marfa ferries take off at the l-Ahrax bus stop.

Ferries Parking Options

  • Both options offer accessible parking lots for cars
  • Availability varies throughout the day
  • Locate the Marfa parking lot or the Cirkewwa parking lot near the terminal.

Booking Online, Schedule and Prices

  • Explore schedules and prices
  • Secure your spot in advance
  • Visit the Comino Ferries website for online ticket purchases in advance.

From Gozo

While Gozo lacks an official ferry operator like Malta, getting to Comino from Gozo is hassle-free with our inclusive packages and convenient tours. Booking our Quad Bike Day Tour or Tuk Tuk Day tours, you'll be saving money, skipping the queue, and saving your time exploring the beauty of Comino. Our multilingual tours cover all major attractions in Gozo, ensuring a complete and efficient experience.

TIP: If you're still wondering how to take the ferry or fast ferry from Malta to Gozo, we've covered everything for you in this Gozo ferry guide.

In Gozo, your sole option for ferries and boats is the Mgarr Harbour Ferry Terminal. The journey from Gozo to Comino is a quick 15-minute trip, making it an ideal day trip destination. Reach the Mgarr Harbour by catching bus number 301 and bus number 323.

For drivers, accessing the harbour from any part of Gozo is straightforward, with three parking lots available at the Mgarr Ferry Terminal, Mgarr Marina and Marina Car Park. Parking is convenient for visitors, depending on the time of year and season.

Traditional white taxis and ride-hailing apps like eCabs, Uber, and Bolt offer Mgarr Harbour Ferry Terminal reliable transportation options.

The Natural Wonders of Comino

Blue Lagoon

The well-known Blue Lagoon is the gem of the island of Comino and one of Malta's best beaches. A picturesque bay, the Blue Lagoon is a heavenly spot for every tourist who visits Malta and Gozo.

The stunning turquoise water, a signature of the Blue Lagoon, fascinates visitors worldwide. In the summer season, the Blue Lagoon beach is a sought-after destination, with its crystal-clear water and white sand providing an excellent location for a beach holiday.

The famous Blue Lagoon is renowned for being a picturesque bay and a must-visit destination on the island of Comino. The beach, protected from waves, offers a stunning backdrop of turquoise water and inviting white sand, creating a beautiful atmosphere.

Crystal Lagoon

The Crystal Lagoon is a hidden gem on Comino Island. It is named for its crystal-clear waters and is often outranked by its more famous sibling, the Blue Lagoon. Although less renowned, the Crystal Lagoon boasts a beauty that rivals its well-known counterpart.

The pristine waters are welcomed by cliffs along the shore, making access only by a boat trip. As a quieter and less famous choice to the Blue Lagoon, the Crystal Lagoon offers a tranquil area for swimming and snorkelling in the refreshing waters.

Santa Marija Bay

Discover the natural wonder of Santa Marija Bay on Comino Island, a hidden gem less than a 30-minute walk from the prominent Blue Lagoon. This stunning bay features a small sandy beach and offers a tranquil escape for visitors.

While the Blue Lagoon captures widespread attention, few know that just around the curve lies another wonderful water haven—Santa Marija Bay. Equally stunning, the Crystal Lagoon is an extensive, secluded bay boasting clear water and a white, sandy bottom just south of the Blue Lagoon.

Exploring Santa Marija Bay, a favourite among tourists on Comino, reveals several small sea caves and a striking limestone cliff line that contrasts with the blue waters beneath. Dive into the beauty of this beach and other beaches on Comino Island, experiencing the various natural wonders this destination has to offer.

Top Things To Do in Comino

Diving and Snorkeling

Explore the excellent underwater haven for scuba divers and snorkellers in the Mediterranean Sea, with Malta standing out as a popular diving destination. Comino Island, in particular, offers a unique diving experience with its warm, turquoise waters and secluded coves.

Dive into the depths of the Blue Lagoon, an ideal location for divers to find deep caves beneath the sea surface and witness the abundance of rich marine life in the area. Diving conditions along the coastline are excellent, and a must-not-miss location is the deep coral reef near the tiny islet of Kemmunett.

For an incredible dive experience, venture to the Santa Marija Cave, a top-rated dive site where you can immerse yourself among sandbars of greenish-bronze fish. This dive site, unreachable by land, becomes easily reachable through organised trips by diving centres in Malta and Gozo.

Hiking to Stunning Viewpoints

Experience the natural beauty of the whole island, with Comino being an authentic paradise! An alternative way to escape the crowds is hiking Comino's circumference, starting and finishing at the iconic Blue Lagoon.

Depending on your pace and the number of stops you make, this two to three-hour hike offers a unique perspective and some of the best views of Comino's scenic waters and cliffs. Ensure you are well-prepared with sunscreen, water, sunglasses, a hat, good walking shoes and a few hours in hand for this hike on Comino Island.

Fear not, as there are no dangerous animals on the trail, but keep an eye out for encounters with the island's charming wild rabbits.

Explore the Comino Caves

Comino Island's natural wonders include the breathtaking Comino Caves. These deep caves naturally formed over centuries by the powerful shaping of the rough Mediterranean Sea. A favourite among locals from the main island of Malta, its sister island of Gozo, and tourists alike, the Comino Caves offer an unforgettable experience.

Explore famous caves such as Lovers Cave, Popeye Cave, Santa Marija Caves, Crystal Lagoon Tunnel Cave, Blue Lagoon Cominotto Cave, and Monte Cristo Cave, each offering a fantastic wonder of crystal blue waters and magnificent structures.

Discover the complete guide to the Comino Caves at Yippee Malta, providing information to explore these natural formations on Comino.

Cave Tour Included as Part of your Yippee Tour

Opt for the most incredible adventure by booking a Quad Bike day tour or a Tuk Tuk day tour with Yippee Malta to explore the stunning islands of Gozo and Comino. A bonus is included as you pass Comino's beautiful caves and the Blue Lagoon.

During the summer, your return trip to Malta includes a refreshing swim stop at the Crystal Lagoon. Get to the Blue Lagoon with our all-inclusive tours, which will take you on a boat journey between the three islands.

St Mary’s Tower

The island of Comino boasts the tiniest man-made constructions, and that's a noteworthy part of its charm. Among the structures that have withstood the test of time, St Mary's Tower, locally known as "It-Torri ta' Santa Marija," stands out as the most amazing.

This early 17th-century watchtower was pitched by the Knights of the Order of Saint John as a defensive action against pirates. While not unique, as similar defensive towers exist around Malta, St Mary's Tower is a symbolic piece of history.

Recently restored and opened to the public, this historic square building served various purposes over the centuries, including as a prison and bird-protection sanctuary. Inside St Mary's Tower, visitors can explore a map showcasing all the defensive towers spread across Malta and Gozo.

Climbing this 12-meter-high tower to enjoy a breathtaking view over Comino is highly recommended. Discover the rich history and panoramic views of St Mary's Tower, providing a unique glimpse into the island's past as part of Malta's early warning system.

Santa Marija Chapel of Our Lady’s Return From Egypt

The sole religious structure on Comino Island is a Roman Catholic chapel dedicated to Our Lady's Return From Egypt. This 400-year-old Comino chapel overlooking the bay of Santa Marija features a unique display of three bells within a trio of archways atop its top.

While the exterior presents a simple and ancient facade, the chapel's interior reveals a striking Neo-Gothic style with pointed archways. Although there are no official opening hours, the chapel on the island of Comino is noteworthy, even from the outside.

Il-Batterija ta' Santa Marija

Don't miss a stop at the Battery of Santa Marija when you stroll through Comino Island and enjoy its breathtaking view. Fearing an Ottoman invasion, the Knights of St John fortified the Maltese coast, building a series of batteries on the three islands.

Locally known as "Il-Batterija ta' Santa Marija," it was established in 1715 to safeguard the south Comino channel simultaneously with other coastal fortifications on the Maltese coast. This semi-circular structure, strategically positioned with an opening wall facing the sea, was initially designed for four 6-pounder guns.

San Niklaw Bay

Located on the North of the island, St. Nicholas Bay, known locally as "Il-Bajja ta San Niklaw" or "San Niklaw Bay," served as the ferry entry point to the Comino Hotel. This small beach with lovely crystal-clear waters is a hidden gem for snorkelling.

St. Nicholas Bay is a popular destination for water activities, offering a tranquil alternative to the busy Blue Lagoon and ensuring a less crowded experience.

Beyond its appeal in the summer, this bay retains its charm during the winter, inviting visitors to experience island walks and observations of nature. The area is renowned for winter hikes and trekking, with calm seas providing an ideal setting for a swim with a fantastic view.

Practical Tips and Things to Know

Best times to visit

Ideal Season for Comino:

  • Summer between June and September is the prime time for visiting Comino.
  • The beginning of May and mid-October can also offer excellent swimming conditions.

Consider Your Preferences:

  • Decide if you prefer a crowded beach or a quieter atmosphere.
  • Comino can be bustling, especially from June to August.

Quieter Periods:

  • Visiting from the end of September onwards offers a less crowded experience.
  • The water remains suitable for swimming until at least mid-October.

Off-Season Exploration:

  • Consider a winter visit for a different perspective.
  • Even in winter, Malta experiences sunny days.

Essential information and contacts

  • Emergency: 112
  • Gozo Hospital: 21561600
  • Helicopter Rescue Service: 21244371
  • Patrol Boat Rescue: 21238797
  • Direct Dialling Code: +356 or 00356

What To Bring

Ensure Sun Protection by packing essential items such as sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat, and, if possible, an umbrella for hot summer days when the sun can be dangerous, with a UV Index reaching 10+. If you're unfamiliar with such hot weather, wear sunscreen for the entire day on the island. Don't forget to stay hydrated—drink plenty of water.

Consider the weather and your daily plans when visiting Comino, making comfortable sneakers or hiking shoes a year-round necessity, especially if you intend to explore the island's trails. The rocky terrain highlights the importance of proper footwear to avoid injuries while climbing cliffs for scenic views. Ensure comfort on the beach by packing flip-flops.

In the hot summer, prioritise your swimsuit and light clothes for sun protection. Consider packing something soft to protect yourself from the sun. Bring a jacket for cooler autumn or winter evenings on Comino Island. The temperature is rarely below 9 degrees, but the strong winds can get chilly.

Camping on Comino Island

Camping in Comino is permitted and free, and no permit is needed at the Tal-Ful Campsite in the north part of the island overlooking the beautiful bay of Santa Marija, which has easy access for a swim at the small sandy beach. Facilities are available, such as public toilets and a stone BBQ. Plan ahead with food supplies since no groceries can be found on the island.

Things to Avoid

For safety, it's important to avoid jumping off the cliffs opposite the beach in Comino, as the surface and ridges are very rocky, posing a significant risk of life-threatening injuries. Cliff-diving in Comino, especially for tourists who are unfamiliar with the area, can lead to severe outcomes. Exercise caution to prevent accidents, as getting to a doctor or hospital may take some time.

Stay within the designated swimming zones on Comino Island and avoid risking out to areas like the caves near the Blue Lagoon beach. Even experienced swimmers may struggle to return due to intense waves and currents. It's essential to be aware of the significant boat traffic, especially during peak season, as straying outside designated zones could endanger you.

Watch out for sea currents around the island of Comino, as the lagoon is a narrow stretch of water between open seas where currents can be pretty intense. Before entering the water, especially with children, check for currents. If currents are present, swim only in sheltered areas to ensure safety. In the event of being caught in a current, avoid swimming against it. Instead, swim with or slightly across it until reaching a stable area, then seek help if needed.

Why Yippee Tours?

Let us recap and discover why Yippee Malta is your go-to tour company in Gozo for unforgettable day trips to the Blue Lagoon and Comino. As the top-rated and number-one tour company in Gozo, we take pride in offering guided tours that provide in-depth details about the landscapes of Gozo and beyond.

Our services include pick-up and drop-off from Malta and Gozo with a Yippee boat to avoid queues and private transport, a traditional lunch with a glass of local wine, and, last but not least, a professional team of multilingual drivers. Our tours are designed to cater to couples, families, and friend groups.

You might be tight on time to explore the iconic destinations in Gozo, such as the Cittadella, the Gozo Salt Pans and Ta' Pinu National Shrine, but that's when Yippee Malta comes in and saves the day for you by offering tours that cover the two smallest islands on the Maltese archipelago in just one day. Our tours start at 10.30 am, 2.15 pm, and 2.30 pm.

You might be asking what to expect as vehicles, right? Our outstanding fleet of brightly coloured Tuk Tuks is decorated with typical Gozitan patterns, Gozo's most popular and well-reviewed choice. Alternatively, explore the islands on our high-powered, state-of-the-art 570cc Quad Bikes (ATV).

Don't just take our word for it; explore what our clients say about their experiences with us. We proudly hold the prestigious Trip Advisor 2023 Travellers Choice Award, reflecting our commitment to excellence.

Secure your spot on this epic tour with just a €25 deposit. If you've been waiting for an adventure, you're just a click away from making unforgettable memories with the family of Yippee Malta. Book your day trip today!

Author: Norbert Bezzina

About Yippee

Yippee (part of Cominology Ltd) is the #1 Gozo tour operator, with a unique fleet of brightly-coloured Tuk Tuks, eJeeps, and high-powered Quad Bikes.

Address: Yippee, 17 Triq ix-xatt, Ghajnsielem, GSM 9033, Gozo - Malta

Contact: +356 2156 0512