Malta is one of the most beautiful archipelagos of the Mediterranean Sea. A spectacular place surrounded by beaches and steep cliffs which would not be possible to access in any other way than walking. The Maltese Islands not only has several beaches which invite you to go for a swim especially in the warm summer months but various attractions and fortifications.
One of the Islands of the Maltese Archipelago is Comino. Being one of the smaller islands after the much larger Malta and the sister Island of Gozo.
The Blue Lagoon is one of the most popular spots in Comino and is a favourite among tourists. During peak summer months the lagoon is completely packed. The small bay has shallow waters with crystal waters which is suitable for children. The white-sand seabed and clear waters makes it also a perfect spot to snorkel especially around the swim zone area which is closed off to boats. Cominotto is on the other end of the bay where you can swim or snorkel as well. This is not advised, as there are strong underwater currents between Comino and Cominotto. Lifeguards are sometimes kept busy when swimmers venture too far off and found themselves in difficult, water gets deep from the shallow bay quite abruptly.
Santa Marija Tower
Santa Marija Tower is a larger tower than the usual found across the island. The Knights of St John sought to fortify its coast with a network of towers to defend the areas and coast. The Santa Marija Tower overlooks the South Comino Channel between Malta and Gozo. It was key to communicate between Malta and Gozo while as well be a stronghold of the channel between the two major islands.
The tower was built in 1618 and has four corner turrets which were armed with cannons and guns. It is claimed that during the Maltese uprising against the French in 1799, the cannons of the tower were used in Valletta to bombard the French. In the 1980s it was used by the Armed Forced of Malta as a one of their lookout posts and then later passed to an NGO which restored in 2004.
The tower is now open for visitors during the schedule listed here.
Hiking around Comino
This small island, being just 3km2 is a natural reserve without cars. A place that inspires hikers to go around the Island which is covered a lot with garigue, a typical Mediterranean sight. The Blue Lagoon is one of the perfect points to start the hike. Here the lagoon especially during summer months is full of tourists, packed with people swimming, sun baiting and boats. Following the trail, you can see limestone cliffs, passing through Santa Marija Tower, a battery, valley, natural formations, the old Comino chapel and other beaches; taking you at least 2 hours to go through. On the island, there is a building referred to as “The Palace”, which looks far from the palace we all know off. This was an army barracks built by the Knights of St. John in the 20th Century but is also referred to as an isolation hospital. The British then used this building to quarantine soldiers that were sick with the plague. For further detail and a map take read this leaflet.
Remember, to take all safety precautions and to go out and adventure under suitable weather conditions. It is also important, to keep a safe distance from the shoreline and cliffs. Heat exhaustion should also be avoided especially in the hot summer months, some of the places like Comino offer few spots to shelter under the shade.