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Island of Comino

Located between Malta and Gozo, Comino is most visited by day trippers coming to see the Blue Lagoon.  Even though it is just over1½ miles long and virtually uninhabited, it still has its attractions.

It is easily reached from both Malta or Gozo.  From Malta a small ferry goes from Cirkewwa or the nearby Marfa Jetty taking about 25 minutes or alternatively day cruises go from both Cirkewwa or Sliema.  There is a ferry from Mgarr on Gozo that takes about 15-20 minutes.

History

Throughout most of its history, Comino has been virtually uninhabited except for corsairs, pirates and smugglers, plus an odd hermit or two.  The first attempt to encourage large scale inhabitation was under the Knights when Grand Master Wignacourt in 1618 built the substantial St Mary's Tower which still stands today.  Whilst this led to an increase in the population, by 1700 most of the population had left.  In the Napoleonic wars the British held 2000 French prisoners from the previous French garison until they were repatriated.  In WW1, there was a quarantine hospital on Comino

Things to see on Comino

Probably the most famous attraction on Comino is the Blue Lagoon.  This is a perfect stretch of turquoise sea between Comino and the tiny island of Cominotto.  The lagoon is surrounded by caves and is the perfect spot to go swimming or snorkelling.  Hence it has the problem that it gets very busy during the summer between 10:00 and 16:00.  Whilst there are toilets and kiosks selling drinks and snacks, there is very little shade, apart from hired umbrellas.

10 minutes walk from the Blue Lagoon is St Nicholas Bay, overlooked by the Comino Hotel.  Whilst the beaches are not particulary good (& belong to the hotel), it is an excellent spot to go snorkelling.  The hotel can provide lunch for day trippers as well as guests

Another 10 minutes walk takes you to the larger beach at Santa Marija Bay.  This has a sandy beach.  It also has the local police station and Comino's only chapel, built at the same time as Comino Tower.  There has been a church here since the 12th century.  The Bay was where Brad Pitt as Achilles met his mother in the film Troy.

About 15 minutes walk from the Blue Lagoon stands St Mary's Tower. It was built in 1618 and has the typical medieval keep look of the Wignacourt towers, albeit possibly more strongly constructed than normal, as possibly, because of its isolated position, it would have had to hold out longer.  The roof provides panoramic views of the other two Maltese islands.  It played the part  of Chateau D'If in the 2002 film, The Count of Monte Cristo. A short walk along the cliffs takes you to St Mary's Battery, built to guard the channel between Malta and Comino in 1715-16.  It is semi-circular in shape with a small blockhouse for the gunners and their amunition, and was built to take 6 cannons.

Things to do on Comino

Apart from lazing in the Sun, going for a swim or a stroll (to circumvent the island on foot takes approximately 2½ hours), Comino is an excellent place for bird watching or diving

As it is designated a bird reserve, hunting is banned on Comino, even in the autumn.  Hence it provides a great place to watch migrating birds.  BirdLife Malta has a ringing station and hide during the migratory period.

There are some great diving sites around Comino, suitable for both beginners and more experienced divers.  There is a dive centre next to the hotel.