Comino Island is the “younger brother” of Malta and Gozo. It is located in the strait between them – north of Malta and south of Gozo. The Maltese name of the island, “Kemmuna”, is related to the word “zira”, “cumin” (Cuminum cyminum). This spicy plant was cultivated on the island many centuries ago. Comino is inhabited – 4 people permanently live on it, not counting the employees and guests of the only island hotel.
How to get there
From Malta – from the town of Marfa, from where ferries leave for Comino. In the summer months, they run every hour from 9.00 to 17.00, in April-May and September-October – from 10.00 to 16.00. For Malta climate and geography, please check TopPharmacySchools.
It is never superfluous to ask the captain what time the last ferry leaves. This is especially true during the off-season!
From Gozo – by boat from Hondoq ir-Rummien Bay in the vicinity of the village of Ala (Qala).
The local hotel also organizes a shuttle service for its guests.
History of the island
Comino has never been involved in the eventful history of Malta, but it has been inhabited since prehistoric times. This is hinted at by the burials found near Santa Maria Bay. Fragments of pottery, lamps, amphoras, as well as coins from the Roman period were also found on the island. From the bottom of the bays of St. Nicholas and Santa Maria understood the wreckage of anchors from Roman ships.
Even in the Middle Ages, the rulers of Malta understood that Comino needed to be strengthened, however, the fortifications were built only by the Knights of St. John: a tower (with a garrison and 5 cannons) and a battery of St. Mary. In a short but very dramatic “French period” for the country, the small island turned into a kind of concentration camp, where sympathizers with Napoleonic ideas and collaborators were exiled. The British, having settled in Malta, built an infectious diseases hospital on Comino – it was easier to observe quarantine for those soldiers who fought abroad. From the tower of St. Mary was monitoring the South Strait (between Malta and Comino): is anyone carrying smuggling?
Despite the fact that the rocky soil of the island is not suitable for agriculture, people have tried several times to cultivate the local land. To this day, crumbling stone fences, an abandoned bakery, as well as a church, and a functioning one, remain on Comino.
The legend about St. corrote
In Maltese, his name sounds like Qorrot, and in translated English sources there are both Kurrau and Kerreu… This legendary (and most likely never actually existed) man was a hermit and settled on Comino after how evil people expelled him from the Maltese city of Mosta: with his exemplary behavior, he prevented them from living the way they want (read: sinning). Since Korrot was known for his responsiveness, a woman of easy virtue, so to speak, had to play a decisive role in the expulsion of the hermit. She had to throw off her clothes at the entrance to his dwelling, a cave in the Assel valley. The conspirators reasoned as follows: if Korrot came out to help her, they would accuse him of immodest encroachments, and if not, they would say that he was proud and did not help people.
Comino has never been involved in Malta’s eventful history, but the island has been inhabited since prehistoric times.
At first, everything went according to plan: the hermit went out to meet the woman and fell under a hail of not only stones, but also ridicule and insults. The conspirators, expecting an easy victory, drove him to the sea in order to drown him in it, but, having reached the shore, he suddenly… spread his cloak on the water and rushed on it, like on a raft, through the South Strait separating Malta from Comino. He lived on a small island for a while, and then moved to the neighboring island of Gozo, and in the same way that he fled from Malta. The bay in the west of Gozo, where his raincoat-steamer delivered, is called Daħlet Qorrot, and his many admirers (he still touched the hearts of the inhabitants with his holy life!) Since then pray to him like this: “Saint Korrot who did not wet his feet on the way from Malta to Gozo, be our intercessor before the Lord!
The only option is Comino Hotel & Bungalows 4*. There is also a campsite near Santa Maria Bay.
Cuisine and restaurants in Comino
The website of a local hotel lists as many as 6 places where you can eat in Comino: Blue Lagoon Restaurant, Rotunda, The Terrace, Club Nautico (in a bungalow), The Tower (in an old tower, for guests only), hotel lobby and Internet cafe. Traditionally, everyone who comes to Comino for the day either takes sandwiches and drinks with them, or buys them at the kiosks at the pier on the Blue Lagoon.
The beaches of Comino
Blue Lagoon, St. Nicholas Bay, St. Mary Bay
Attractions and attractions in Comino
- Watchtower of St. Mary (Mary Tower) (17th century). It was built by the Grand Master of the Order of St. John Wignacourt. It was an important link in the chain of protective and signal structures between the ancient fortified cities of Mdina (Malta) and the Citadel (Gozo). In 2002, it was restored by the non-profit organization for the protection of ancient monuments Din L-Art Ħelwa.
The tower is open to the public on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from April to October from 10.30 to 15.00. If a flag is hung on it, it means that Din L-Art Ħelwa volunteers are waiting for you. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. Be sure to go up to the roof, it offers a magnificent panorama of the Blue Lagoon and the island of Gozo.
- Battery St. Mary (St. Mary Battery) (18th century). It was also restored by the non-profit organization for the protection of ancient monuments Din L-Art Ħelwa and is open to the public.
Churches and chapels
- Chapel of St. Mary (St. Mary chapel). It houses the only iconostasis in all of Malta.
Things to do
Traditional beach holidays, hiking, diving, sea cruises, water sports
During the summer months, there is nowhere for an apple to fall on the beach in the Blue Lagoon, but the other two beaches are not crowded. Stock up on a map of the island (can be downloaded on the Internet) to understand how to get to them from the Blue Lagoon in the shortest way.
You can slowly walk around the perimeter of Comino in 4-5 hours and see all the main attractions. It is best to get to the island in the middle of spring, when everything around is blooming, the air is warm and the chances of getting caught in the rain are minimal. If time does not allow you to devote a whole day to exploring Comino, it is best to explore in detail Wied Skalanova – the valley-continuation of the Blue Lagoon – and the tower of St. Mary.