A complete and comprehensive travel guide to Comino Island, Malta. Features 16 top attractions and things to do on this tiny Maltese island.
Did you know that some of the most popular attractions in Malta are found on the tiny island of Comino?
Located between the island of Gozo and the main island of Malta, Comino Island is a Mediterranean Sea paradise featuring some of the most spectacular natural attractions in this amazing island nation.
Discover crystal-clear waters, magnificent sea caves, and countless fun activities and unmissable things to do on Comino in this useful travel guide. Here, I’ll reveal to you the top Comino Island highlights like swimming in Malta’s Blue Lagoon, exploring the magnificent Santa Marija Bay, and marveling at the towering limestone cliffs at Crystal Lagoon.
Furthermore, I’ll also break down the best ways to get to Comino Island from Malta or Gozo, what to expect once you arrive, and include useful tips like the best time to visit, where to stay, and a brief history of the island.
About The Maltese Island of Comino
Comino, also Kemmuna in Maltese, is a tiny island situated between the main island of Malta and its sister island, Gozo.
At only 3.5 square kilometers (1.35 square miles) in size, Comino is also the smallest of the three main islands of Malta. This island is generally considered the most beautiful place in Malta and has an official nature reserve status. This is the island where you will find some of Malta’s most beautiful coastal attractions like the famous Blue Lagoon.
The official population of Comino is just 2 people, with no asphalted roads or public transport (besides shuttle boats) on the island. However, there are basic amenities including a public toilet, police station, church, and even the Comino Hotel (the only accommodation on the island).
Comino is a generally rocky landscape and is sprawling with colorful flowers and wild herbs, including natural cumin, which the island is named after.
How to Get to Comino from Gozo or Malta
Since Comino Island is one of Malta’s most famous tourist attractions, you’ll find a wide range of popular ways to get here from the main island of Malta.
- Day Trip: Shared Boat Tours from Malta
- Private Boat Trip (from Gozo or Comino)
- Public Transport & Ferry from Ċirkewwa (northern port in Malta)
Below I’ll break down each option before getting into all the top attractions and fun things to do on Comino Island when you arrive.
#1 Rated Comino Boat Tour
Looking for the quick answer? Click the button to be taken directly to the booking page for the most inclusive and cost-effective Comino group boat trip you can find online.
Travel Tip: Since the majority of travelers stay on the main island of Malta, I’ve only included directions for getting to Comino from here. However, travelers looking for a way to get to Comino from Gozo Island can also book this Gozo to Comino boat trip with Outdoor Explorers.
1. Comino Island BOAT TOUR (OR CATAMARAN) FROM MALTA
Firstly, the easiest way to get to Comino is to book a Comino group boat tour. You can book this day trip online and it includes 4.5 hours to spend at the Blue Lagoon as well as all of the Comino highlights including:
- Crystal Lagoon
- Santa Maria Cave
- Elephants Head
- Santa Maria Bay
- St. Nicholas Bay
- Ahrax Cave
This Comino Blue Lagoon & Caves Boat Cruise linked above currently offers the most bang-for-buck, but the boat is large and accommodates a bigger crowd. Alternatively, travelers preferring a small-group tour have the option of booking a catamaran cruise or private tour instead.
2. Malta Private Boat Tour of Comino Island
Small groups or those who don’t want to share a boat with other tourists also have the option to book a private tour on small speed boats.
In my opinion, this is the best way to experience Comino Island as you’ll likely visit more secluded spots and see a bit more than what the larger group tours can accommodate. I highly recommend the trip I went on with Outdoor Explorers, a local business run by two brothers.
On this trip, we visited all of the epic sea caves, and our skipper Joseph even drove inside some of the smaller ones, which was awesome!
3. Budget Option: Boat Trip Transfer to Comino
If you’re not in a rush, the cheapest way to get to Comino is by taking the boat transfer from Ċirkewwa Port on Malta Island, and Mġarr Port on Gozo.
This isn’t a boat tour but simply a small boat ferry transfer that is slightly cheaper than the full island tour. It departs every 30 minutes from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. Booking in advance isn’t usually necessary.
This is a good option if you’re only planning to visit the Blue Lagoon and would like to explore the island on foot. However, several attractions on Comino like the sea caves, unique rock formations, and the secluded arches on the southern side aren’t accessible from the land.
16 Top Attractions & Things to do on Comino Island
Now that you’re equipped with all the information you need to visit, let’s dive into this comprehensive list of things to do on Comino, the heart of the Maltese Islands!
1. The Comino Blue Lagoon
Of course, the island’s main attraction is the famous Comino Blue Lagoon. This shallow, protected cove lies on the western side, sheltered between Comino and neighboring islet Cominotto. In fact, its Maltese name, Bejn il-Kmiemen, literally translates to Between the Cominos.
The clear waters of the Blue Lagoon are somewhat of a posterchild for Malta, appearing in tourism adverts and as a mandatory addition to any visitor’s Instagram grid. The turquoise water and sandy bottom at the Blue Lagoon make it the perfect place for swimming and snorkeling with many fish and healthy marine life.
All Comino Island boat trips visit the Blue Lagoon, with a small boat ramp being the main disembarkation point onto Comino Island from Malta or Gozo.
Travel Tip: Be warned, the Blue Lagoon can get seriously busy during the peak season (summer months). However, in order to get this amazing spot practically all to yourself is to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon. The private boat trip linked above can be arranged for an early pickup. Alternatively, these guys also offer a sunset Blue Lagoon trip which would also guarantee fewer crowds.
2. Cominotto Island
Cominotto Island is a tiny islet sitting directly opposite Comino and the Blue Lagoon. When visiting Comino and the Blue Lagoon, make sure to take a swim across the crystal clear waters to this tiny islet for a more secluded beach and an epic beach cave!
Cominotto means small Comino, and its beach Cominotto Beach was featured in the epic Troy movie.
If you’re interested in water sports, you can also rent a kayak or SUP from the Blue Lagoon area and paddle over yourself!
3. Crystal Lagoon
While everybody knows about the famous Blue Lagoon, few are aware that just around the bend is another amazing clear water lagoon that I believe is equally, if not more beautiful than the Blue Lagoon!
The Crystal Lagoon is a wide, sheltered bay filled with clear turquoise water and a white, sandy bottom. The cove is located just south of the Blue Lagoon, either by taking the short 700-meter (765 yards) walking track (a roughly 5 minute walk) or via boat for those on a Comino Island tour.
Visiting the Crystal Lagoon is one of my favorite things to do on Comino. There are several small sea caves in this bay, as well as a steep, towering limestone cliff line that contrasts beautifully with the blue water below.
4. Tunnel Cave
Comino’s limestone coastline is dotted with deep and intricate sea caves that are ripe for exploring! Many of these are only accessible from the water, meaning you’ll need either a small boat or kayak to enter them.
One of my favorite of these sea caves on Comino is the Tunnel Cave, a long natural tunnel connecting the southern end of the Blue Lagoon to the Crystal Lagoon. This one is a little too narrow to fit a boat through. However, if you are confident, it’s possible to swim through it in calm weather.
5. Popeye’s Cave
Directly across the lagoon from the Tunnel Cave is yet another spectacular cave on Comino Island. Locals call this one Popeye’s Cave, as it appeared in the 1980 Popeye film starring Robbin Williams.
Popeye’s Cave features a huge cavern accessible on the south-facing coast just east of Crystal Lagoon. The roof of this cave has collapsed, revealing a large natural skylight radiating down on the huge limestone boulders below.
Google Maps Pin: L-Għar ta’ Bla Saqaf/It-Tieqa/Taħt il-Ħnejja
6. Scuba Diving – the P31 Wreck on Comino Island
Divers regard Malta as the best scuba diving location in Europe. As a result, you can expect that one of the best things to do on Comino Island is to go diving in its several cave systems and nearby shipwrecks.
My favorite dive on Comino Island is the P31 wreck, also known as Patrol Boat P31 (Pasewalk), lying on a sandy bottom just a few hundred meters from the southern side of the Blue Lagoon.
This is a beginner-friendly wreck dive as the wreck is almost perfectly upright, with the lowest section sitting at a depth of just 18-20 meters.
Diver’s Tip: If you’re considering scuba diving on Comino Island from Malta, I highly recommend visiting OrangeShark Diving Centre. These guys run one of the most impressive and professional dive shops I’ve ever visited!
7. Window Cave
Another interesting attraction on Comino Island Malta is the Window Cave. As its name suggests, this tiny cave is not much more than a large open hole serving as a window into the clear water beyond.
This is certainly a worthwhile photo stop if you have a SUP, kayak, or are visiting on a private boat tour on Comino.
8. Lover’s Cave
Lover’s Cave is a little-known hidden gem and a beautiful place that certainly deserves a visit! You’ll find it just a little further southeast of Popeye’s Cave as you make your way around Comino Island in an anti-clockwise direction.
Once again only accessible from the water, Lover’s Cave appears as nothing more than a small cave opening on Comino Island’s rugged coastline. But, once you make your way down the dark, 65-meter long tunnel, you’ll see that it opens up to a large cavern with a sandy beach inside!
This really is a beautiful place– and the most private sandy beach you’ll find on Comino!
9. Saint Mary’s Tower
The most prominent structure on Comino Malta is the Saint Mary’s Tower, also known as Santa Marija Tower, or simply Comino Tower (Torri ta’ Kemmuna in Maltese). This large, bastioned watchtower was built during the times of the Maltese Knights in 1618, and served as the fifth of six Wignacourt Towers.
Malta has a long history of invasion dating back past the Middle Ages. Many foreign forces made their way to the Maltese Islands, including pirates, Ottoman Turks, Romans, Arabs, Carthaginians, and Phoenicians.
As a result, the Knights established these watchtowers as a warning strategy against these invading forces. If guards spotted an opposing fleet, they lit fires at the top of the tower, which would warn the others to do the same.
Today, you can spot Saint Mary’s Tower from the sea, or hike out to it from the Blue Lagoon. You’ll find it on a high cliff point near the southwest corner of Comino Island, nearby an abandoned isolation hospital.
10. San Niklaw Bay
Moving to the north end of Comino and we’ll arrive at the beautiful turquoise waters of San Niklaw Bay. This is one of the best places on Comino for swimming and snorkeling due to its clear waters and rocky shores, providing easy access to the ocean.
Visiting Comino in the high season and the the Blue Lagoon seems too busy for you? I recommend taking the short walk along the dirt trail to San Niklaw Bay, where you’ll find a much more relaxed atmosphere.
11. Santa Marija Bay
Santa Marija Bay (also written Santa Maria Bay), is a small pebble beach in a sheltered cove on the northern end of Comino, just past San Niklaw Bay.
This is one of the most popular beaches on Comino Island and is where you will find the Comino Island Hotel. Along the shore, there are sun chairs available for rent and protective umbrellas to rest under. Further along the bay travelers will also find a small boat ramp, which is a good location to take a kayak from.
Additionally, you’ll even find a small church at Santa Marija Bay called the Chapel of Our Lady’s Return from Egypt.
12. Santa Marija Caves
For me, the amazing natural attractions on Comino are what make this place so special. By far, one of the most awe-inspiring and beautiful places on the island are the Santa Marija Caves.
Picture the most vibrant and clear turquoise water you’ve ever seen, leading into a broad cavern. The summer sun reflects off the white bottom, painting the cave roof with glimmering light.
Due to its popularity, all Comino Island tours stop by the Santa Marija Caves and most would consider it up there with the two most unmissable things to do on Comino Island, after the Blue Lagoon.
Travel Tip: For adventure travlelers exploring Comino Island by land, it’s possible to walk through to one of the Santa Marija Caves. From Santa Marija Bay, follow the rocky flats to the east until you come to a small cavern entrance. Here, you can climb down and enter the cave to pop out on the other side.
13. Ġebel Comino – Comino’s Highest Point
Feel like getting adventurous? Why not hike to Ġebel Comino, the highest point on the island? Okay, at less than 70 meters, hiking to this viewpoint is no big feat. However, the vantage point is still well worth the effort, with expansive views across the island, Malta, and even Gozo.
To get to this viewpoint on Comino, simply walk past the closed down pig farm (Comino Pig Farm) on the eastern side. You’ll see a worn trail leading to the top of the hill. There’s also a stack of stones at the top, marking the highest point.
Did you know? Comino is regarded as a bird sanctuary, where many seasonal species including Wryneck, Skylark, Grey Herons, Egrets, and Blue Rock Thrush visit and nest on the island.
14. Elephant Head Rock (Elephant Arch)
Elephant Head Rock, or Elephant Arch is one of the most unique natural attractions on Comino. This huge limestone arch is located on the eastern cliffside and only visible from a boat or kayak.
As you can probably make out from the photo below, this natural rock formation looks exactly like an elephant’s head, including its trunk. This spot isn’t great for swimming but does make for a great photo opportunity.
15. Il-Batterija ta’ Santa Marija & the Natural Arch
Moving around the island to the far southern side, we’ll find the Il-Batterija ta’ Santa Marija, or Saint Mary’s battery or the Comino Battery.
This coastal cannon battery was built by the Order of Saint John as far back as 1715 and served as a primary defense battery for the island of Comino. The gun platform, parapet, and blockhouse sit high on the cliffline and are visible but largely unacessessible from the sea.
Just beneath this battery is another natural arch. For those making their way around the island on a tour or a boat, stopping by and perhaps swimming in the clear waters beneath this little arch is in my opinion one of the most underrated things to do on Comino!
16. Hike Around Comino Island
Want to explore more than just Comino’s beaches, lagoons, and sea caves? Strap up your hiking shoes and head inland to discover a neat network of unsealed roads and worn tracks leading to many hidden gems. If you’re feeling up to it, you could even rent a mountain bike from Gozo or Malta and bring it over!
Being a small island, it takes roughly 2-3 hours to walk around the circumference, stopping at highlights and viewpoints like the Crystal Lagoon cliffs, Santa Marija Bay, the Comino Battery, or even the far-reaching headland at Lantern Point (Il- Ponta tal- Irqieqa).
Accommodation Guide: Where to Stay in Malta
While visitors will find hotels and resorts scattered all over Malta’s islands, the most popular neighborhoods to base yourself in Malta include Valletta, Sliema & St Julian’s, Mellieħa Bay, and Gozo Island.
Travelers also have a broad variety of accommodation types, from 5-star resorts to traditional terraced boutique hotels. To save you time searching, below are the four best accommodation picks for Malta, based on location, reviews, and my personal experience.
- St Julian’s & Sliema Area: The Hilton
This is Malta’s premiere resort, located at the heart of the picturesque Portomaso Marina. This is a great pick if you’re trying to balance great location with utmost luxury.
- Valletta: Iniala Harbour House
Perched atop Valletta’s stunning St Barbara Bastion, this incredible boutique experience is well-regarded as one of the best accommodation options in Malta. The experience offers stunning views of the Grand Harbour and the Three Cities from traditional Maltese balconies.
- Mellieħa – db Seabank Resort
The db Seabank is well-regarded as the best resort in the calmer Mellieħa area. Situated just feet from the white sandy shores of Malta’s longest beach, this complete all-inclusive hotel offers features five restaurants, a fitness center, a spa, multiple pools, and even a bowling alley!
- Gozo – Quaint Boutique Hotel (Nadur)
Accommodation on Malta’s quieter sister island should reflect its more peaceful and traditional ambiance. This beautifully renovated boutique hotel is situated directly beside the Nadur Parish Church, with spacious balcony terraces looking over the town square.
Travel tip: Accommodation in Malta sells out quickly, especially for the summer vacation period. This is a location where you do not want to book at the last minute!
Comino Malta Travel Faqs
In terms of seasons, the best time to visit Comino is during the summer months (peak season), or during the shoulder season of late spring and early autumn. During this time, weather conditions are fair, temperatures are warm, and the sea is calmer, making Comino ideal for swimming and exploring.
There are only two people living on Comino Island. These are members of the Vella family, who are quite well-known in Malta and even around the world.
There is one primary hotel on the island called the Comino Hotel.
The island is owned by the country and Republic of Malta
To get to Comino from Malta or Gozo, take a private tour, jump on one of the many shared boat tours, or take the private small ferry transfer from Ċirkewwa (the main island of Malta), or Mġarr Port (Gozo). Read above for tour recommendations.
More Malta Travel Guides & Adventure Inspiration
And, that’s a wrap for this comprehensive travel guide unveiling all the fun things to do on Comino Island, Malta.
While you’re here on my blog, make sure to check out some of my other Malta travel guides!