Last updated on July 10th, 2024 at 08:39 am

Comino is an unmissable part of any trip to Malta and this guide on how to get to Comino and the Blue Lagoon is all you need to plan the perfect day trip to this small yet spectacular island.

A little speck in the Mediterranean Sea, this three-and-a-half square kilometre rock is the smallest of the country’s three main islands – Malta, Gozo, and Comino. The latter is largely uninhabited, save for just two official residents. At least, that’s what we were told.

Despite – or perhaps because of – its splendid isolation, Comino is a must-see on any Malta itinerary, boasting some gorgeous natural landscapes that are unlike anything else in the Maltese Archipelago. Undoubtedly, the ultimate highlight of Comino is the Blue Lagoon. That said, there are several other amazing things to see in Comino, apart from the Blue Lagoon.

In this article, you’ll find out how to get to Comino from Malta or Gozo, alongside the best things to do in Comino, apart from swimming in the turquoise waters of the famous Blue Lagoon.

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This image shows the view of Blue Lagoon and the shore of Comino from the water.
A view of Comino while swimming in the crystal clear waters of the Blue Lagoon

Is Comino Worth Visiting?

If you’re wondering why you should visit Comino, the answer could be limited to just three words: the Blue Lagoon. This natural wonder is often the top reason to visit Comino. When the sun is glittering off the perfect turquoise waters, it truly is an amazingly beautiful spot. On a hot day, paddling here feels like a small slice of heaven.

That said, while the Blue Lagoon is one of the highlights in Malta, there are enough other things to explore to turn a trip to Comino into a full-day visit. First off, you will find, of course, many other beaches and swimming spots to explore, which are perfect for sun worshippers and snorkelling fans. 

On top of that, you can also explore a handful of historic buildings that give the whole place a romantic impression of a lost civilisation. Even if most of these structures were in use by the Maltese government just a few decades ago. And let’s not forget about the jaw-dropping sea views at every turn.

This image shows a panoramic view of the cliffs and sea of Comino, with a boat approaching the Crystal Lagoon.
Catching breathtaking views at every turn is a valid reason to visit Comino in its own right

Best Tours For a Fantastic Comino Day Trip

How To Get To Comino From Malta Island

Since there are no hotels in Comino – the island’s only hotel shut its doors a couple of years ago – you can only experience Comino and the Blue Lagoon as part of a day trip. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to reach these shores, either from the main island of Malta or the smaller island of Gozo.

By Ferry

If you’re wondering how to get to Comino and the Blue Lagoon in Malta, one of the most popular ways is to take the local ferry. To be precise, it’s more of a large motorboat than a proper ferry, but it does the job just fine.  

The ferry ride takes around 25 minutes, with a service running every half an hour – always weather permitting, of course. There are two different departure points, situated close to one another. The harbour at Cirkewwa and the small port of Marfa. Incidentally, Cirkewwa is also where you can find the (actual) ferry that travels between Malta and Gozo. 

This image shows a boat, which is actually the Comino Ferry, before its departure from Marfa to Comino. If you're wondering how to get to Comino, this ferry is one of the best options.
The Comino Ferry at the small port of Marfa

While there are ferries from both Cirkewwa and Marfa, we tried the Marfa option, as we were on a road trip. Why? Because it’s much easier to find a parking spot in Marfa. As a rough guide, Cirkewwa is ideal if you are taking the bus as the boarding point is opposite the Cirkewwa Bus Terminal.

On the other hand, if you’re moving around by car, the Marfa boarding point is the best option. You can park your car here. You can buy your ferry tickets either online or prior to your boarding at the kiosks near the boarding points. Check the schedule and prices on the official website of Comino Ferries. As far as timings go, it takes just under an hour to drive to Marfa from the Maltese capital, Valletta.

On a Boat Tour

If convenience is your priority or you haven’t rented a car that allows you to drive to the ferry terminal, there are also several companies offering Blue Lagoon boat trips. These depart from all the main Malta hotspots, such as the resort towns of Saint Paul and Sliema. If you’re staying in Valetta, you have to take the Sliema Ferry first to get straight to the port in Sliema from where the boat trips from Malta to Comino Island start.

Depending on where you’re staying, you can pick one of those boat tours to the Blue Lagoon and Comino Island:

This image shows a tourist boat mooring at the turquoise waters of Comino.
The insanely turquoise waters of Comino Island

When it comes to deciding how to get to the Blue Lagoon in Malta, bear in mind that these boat tours are more prone to weather-related disruptions. Plus, you will find yourself tied to the boat’s schedule, rather than being able to set your own agenda.

You should expect to spend a little more for a boat trip. However, the huge benefit of this option is you can swim off the vessel – or, in some cases, slide off – rather than scrapping with the other tourists over the extremely limited sandy beach space at the Blue Lagoon, especially during busy times of the year and day.

If you pick the right boat company, you can explore several different Comino beaches, coves and caves over the course of several hours instead.

This image shows the little harbour at the Blue Lagoon. If you're wondering how to get to Comino, this is where the Comino ferry stops.
The main beach and tiny port of the Blue Lagoon

Top Tip

If you get seasick, opt for the ferry to Comino instead of a boat tour. First of all, the ferry ride from Marfa or Cirkewwa takes a lot less than the boat tour from Saint Paul’s Bay or Sliema to Comino. Secondly, the area between Marfa/Cirkewwa and Comino is largely protected from the winds.

How To Get To Comino From Gozo Island

The options on how to get to Comino from Gozo are similar to those from Malta. You can either catch a ferry or join a boat tour. As you would expect, given that Gozo is about a third of the size of the main Malta Island, there are fewer choices and times for everything.

The Blue Lagoon ferry leaves from Mgarr, Gozo’s port, every hour and takes just 15 minutes. Again, if you have a car, it’s easy to reach the harbour from anywhere on the island. However, if you are going vehicle-free, the 301 bus provides a fairly fast 25-minute journey between Gozo’s main town, Victoria, and the ferry terminal at Mgarr.

This image shows a panoramic view of Gozo's port, taken from the ferry.
Mgarr Port as seen from the Malta Gozo ferry

While there are boat tour options from Gozo, including some that can arrange transfers from other major towns around the island to the harbour, there isn’t the same proliferation of operators as there is from Malta. Therefore, you might want to consider a private boat rental. This also, of course, means greater flexibility, albeit at a higher price tag.

For the adventurous, the proximity of Comino to Gozo opens up another pretty cool option: kayaking. It’s possible to sign onto a kayak tour for a full day or a half day that will take you around the beaches and bays of Comino. These are usually led by a professional guide, so you don’t need to worry about getting lost.

This image shows a small boat on a private tour at the Blue Lagoon.
Getting to Comino on a private boat

Facilities on Comino Island

The most important consideration first: there are public toilets on Comino Island. If you want to rinse off, you can also find showers on a ridge above the Blue Lagoon.

During high season, several food trucks rock up to service the tourist crowd. They range from simple sandwiches to cocktails served up in pineapples. An Instagram gimmick that is pretty random, considering these tropical fruits aren’t grown anywhere in the Mediterranean Sea. 

There are also other beach essentials that you can rent on-site rather than lugging them all the way over yourself. These include deck chairs and umbrellas if you intend to set up shop for the morning, afternoon or even the whole day.

Last but not least, there are also luggage storage facilities in case you want to leave your valuables somewhere safe while exploring Comino.

This image shows the food trucks and the crowds on Comino Island.
Food trucks and cocktail bars – what else could you ask for?

Things To Do in Comino

1. Enjoy The Crystal Clear Waters of The Blue Lagoon

Yes, we’ve already mentioned this, but the Blue Lagoon is Comino’s number-one attraction. A narrow channel of water between the main Comino Island and the smaller Cominotto Island, the Blue Lagoon gets filled with boats and people during the summer season.

Fair warning: you will not find much peace and quiet here. However, it is worth braving the crowds to bathe for a little while in such fantastically clear waters. We’d recommend heading out in the early morning – we’re talking 8 am or 9 am early – or late afternoon to avoid the floods of people that pile off boats and onto the very narrow strip of land that constitutes a beach.

This image shows the Blue Lagoon early in the morning.
The Blue Lagoon Malta

2. Swim To Cominotto Island

While you are at the Blue Lagoon, take a few minutes to check out Cominotto. This tiny little land mass is just 0.25 square kilometres large and helps shield the Blue Lagoon from the open sea. 

While there isn’t any way to reach the island on foot, it is only a short, fairly gentle swim across from the Comino port. The surrounding reefs provide excellent snorkelling opportunities, so bring along some goggles, too.

3. Sail To The Crystal Lagoon

Named after its crystal clear waters, the Crystal Lagoon is the less popular sibling of the Blue Lagoon. However, it’s almost just as beautiful. The waters are ringed on the land side by cliffs, which means you can only get here as part of a boat trip.

Because of its relative inaccessibility and the fact that it’s less famous than the Blue Lagoon, the Crystal Lagoon is a quieter space to enjoy either swimming or snorkelling in the refreshing waters.

This image shows a boat at the Crystal Lagoon, taken from our ferry.
The Crystal Lagoon in Comino

4. Hike The Perimeter of The Island

Another way to escape the crowds is to hike the perimeter of Comino. This takes between two and a half and three and a half hours, depending on your pace and how many stops you make. While you won’t be able to explore the Comino caves and reefs as you would by kayaking around the island, you’ll get some of the best views of the picturesque waters and cliffs on this walk instead.

Make sure you bring water, sunscreen and a hat because there is almost nowhere to hide from the rays during this hike.

This image shows a couple hiking on a trail with the Blue Lagoon in the background.
Hiking is one of the best things to do in Comino Malta

5. Climb Saint Mary’s Tower

There isn’t much in the way of man-made constructions on Comino Island. That’s one of its major charms if you ask us. That said, of the structures that have weathered the ages, the most striking is Saint Mary’s Tower (Torri ta’ Santa Marija to the locals).

This early 17th-century watchtower is a stocky chunk of a building that was originally erected by the Knights of the Order of Saint John to defend against pirates. It’s not one of a kind as there are several of these fortifications around Malta. Inside Saint Mary’s Tower, you can find a map of all the watchtowers you can – or can’t – visit in Malta and Gozo.

This image shows Saint Mary's Tower.
The imposing Saint Mary’s Tower

Saint Mary’s Tower has only been restored and opened to the public quite recently, having been used for all sorts of things (prison and bird protection among others) over the centuries, as the plaques on site will inform you. We highly recommend clambering up to the top of the 12-metre-high tower for the views over Comino.

This image shows a selfie photo of Maria and Katerina taken at Saint Mary's tower terrace. A panoramic view of the Blue Lagoon is in the background.
A mandatory selfie on top of Saint Mary’s Tower

6. Take a Glimpse Outside The Abandoned Isolation Hospital

One of the things you’ll see from the top of Saint Mary’s Tower is a former medical facility that was built by the British in the late 1800s to quarantine soldiers suffering from the plague. Despite its name, we’re pretty sure there is actually someone living there. But the sandy-coloured facade still makes for a pretty snap. Plus, you can hide in the shade of one of the walls if you want a respite from the sun for a minute.

This image shows a panoramic view of the abandoned isolation hospital.
Abandoned and fascinating

7. Enjoy The Views From Saint Mary’s Gun Battery

Towards the southeastern part of Comino, the remnants of a rather unimpressive gun battery await. First utilised by the Knights of Saint John for defensive purposes back in 1715, there’s not much to see now. Therefore, you shouldn’t go out of your way just to visit the battery. However, as part of a hike around the island, it makes for a good stop-off point. 

Saint Mary’s Gun Battery is about halfway around the island from the Blue Lagoon and Comino’s ferry terminal. Therefore, if you’ve brought along a snack or a sandwich, you can enjoy a munch while staring out from the cannon-laden blockhouse roof.

This image shows a family of four at Saint Mary's gun battery. Three of them are sitting on a high wall enjoying the sea view and the fourth one is standing next to one of the three cannons behind the wall.
Everyone stops for a snack at Saint Mary’s Gun Battery

8. Visit The Chapel of Our Lady’s Return From Egypt

The only religious structure on Comino Island, the Chapel of Our Lady’s Return From Egypt is about 400 years old. It has a distinctive arrangement of three bells contained inside a trio of archways atop the roof.

Apparently, there are times when you can peek inside the building to see the restored paintings lining the altar. Yet, it was closed when we got there. Therefore, we can’t tell for sure when – and if – it’s open to the public but it’s worth checking out even from the outside.

This image shows the Chapel of Our Lady's Return from Egypt. A cyclist is standing in front of the Chapel.
The Chapel of Our Lady’s Return From Egypt

9. Escape The Crowds at Santa Maria Bay

The very final thing we’ve included on this list of things to do in Comino is a visit to Santa Maria Bay. This coastal area is less than 30 minutes walk from the Blue Lagoon and boasts an actual sandy beach.

Admittedly, Santa Maria Bay doesn’t have the wow factor of the Blue Lagoon. But that also means it tends to be less crowded. Once you have taken in the glittering, gem-like quality of the Blue Lagoon, you can decamp to Santa Maria Bay for a slightly calmer spot to swim and soak up the sun.

This image shows the sandy Santa Maria Bay in Comino.
Santa Maria Bay

If you’re planning a trip to Malta soon, make sure you leave enough time for a full-day trip to Comino Island. Apart from admiring the utter beauty of the Blue Lagoon, Comino is the perfect place to relax and decompress while hiking, swimming or simply lazing under the Mediterranean sun.

We do hope that you’ll find this guide on how to get to Comino and our list of the best things to do in Comino helpful when planning your trip to this tiny gem of an island in the Mediterranean Sea.

Check out our guide with the top things to do in Valletta.

Or delve into the magic of Mdina, Malta’s Silent City, by reading this guide.

WORDS: Maria & Katerina
IMAGES: Katerina

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