Posted on Jun 9, 2018
Comino (Kemmuna in Malti) is a small, barren chunk of limestone wedged smack-bang between Malta and Gozo. It was once reportedly the hideout of pirates and smugglers, and its remoteness saw it used as a place of isolation for cholera and plague victims in the early 19th century. The almost empty island – there's just one hotel here – is a breathtakingly beautiful place, ringed by caves and sea cliffs. It's home to the Blue Lagoon, one of Malta's loveliest but also most-visited natural attractions. In summer, hordes of day trippers descend from Malta and Gozo, but in spring, autumn and winter you'll have a better chance of enjoying the turquoise waters.
Comino is only 2.5km by 1.5km. It's a nature reserve and bird sanctuary, and free of cars. A walk along the rough tracks affords some great views of northern Malta and of Gozo. It's impossible to get lost here.
The main part of the Comino Hotel is on San Niklaw Bay, and the Comino Hotel Bungalows are on Santa Marija Bay, 500m to the east. Triq Congreve, a rough track lined with oleander trees, runs from Santa Marija Bay south to St Mary's Tower. Side tracks lead to the Blue Lagoon and San Niklaw Bay.
The only buildings of note are the stark little Chapel of Our Lady's Return from Egypt, built in 1618, at Santa Marija Bay and the fortified St Mary's Tower, built by the Knights in the same year. It was once part of the chain of signal towers between Gozo and Mdina. It may have served as an isolation hospital at some point, and was definitely used to house livestock, but was restored in 2004 and is now open to the public. Climb the steps and enjoy the views.