Every day, tour boats drop off hundreds of sunbathers onto the little island of Comino in Malta Home to only four permanent residents and a small hotel, the beach fills up quickly with tourists lounging under umbrellas and swimming in the shockingly clear water. I’ve been to Malta twice, and on both trips, I just had to make my way to the Blue Lagoon. No trip to Malta is complete without one! This is a paradise. And if you want to come to spend a day in the paradise that is the Blue Lagoon in Malta, here’s how to do it!
How to Get to the Blue Lagoon
A visit to the Blue Lagoon, assuming you’re not staying at the Comino Hotel, starts on a boat leaving from Mġarr on Gozo or from Marfa and Ċirkewwa on the main island. Tour boats are packed and leave frequently.
There are also many tours and boats that will take you on a trip around the island, but I suggest to do both if you can. If you can only do one, though, I highly recommend getting dropped off on Comino and going for a swim. You can check prices and schedules for Comino Ferries here
I highly suggest taking the first ferry over. When the weather is nice, the lagoon fills up quickly. If you leave on the first ferry, you have the best selection of deck chairs and you can grab some photographs before the water is full of swimmers.
Pro Tip: Get there early before the beach is full and the best deck chairs are taken!
Arriving at the Blue Lagoon
Coming up to the island by boat, Comino looks like an empty rock. The little St. Mary’s Tower is visible fairly early when approaching from the island of Malta.
After getting dropped off on the island, grab a chair and umbrella. There’s no shade anywhere to be had otherwise. These can be rented at a reasonable rate and you’ll be grateful for an escape from the sun after an hour or two. I highly suggest renting a chair with an umbrella, but there are less expensive chairs available without umbrellas. Alternatively, you can also throw your beach towel down on the rocks above the water.
Swimming at the Blue Lagoon
The water is perfection! And because this is a little lagoon, there are no real waves to contend with.
If you have swim shoes, I would suggest wearing them. The bottom can get rocky closer to the far island of Cominotto. On my first visit, I tried walking across to this little islet, but I had to turn back before I made it to the shore because my feet couldn’t take it. On my second visit a few years later, I came back prepared with my favorite Travel Jellies and was able to make it all the way across.
You can swim in the lagoon–it’s roped off from boats. There are private boats and yachts around as well. You can see people jumping on them and into the water. Besides crossing to Cominotto, swimmers can also adventure into a cave in the swimming area.
What Else is there To Do at the Blue Lagoon?
When you need a break from swimming, you can retreat to your chair and umbrella and people watch. When I was there, there was a man taking pictures of his topless girlfriend. The couple from New Jersey next to me found this endlessly amusing. Note that the Blue Lagoon is not a nude or topless beach. Malta is a very Catholic nation, and this is a big no-no!
When you get hungry, don’t worry! There are food trucks serving simple food, soda, beer, wine, and ice cream. They are reasonably priced for how popular the place is and considering that everything has to be brought in by boat. My suggestion is to have ten to twenty euros available for food and drinks, but you also have the option to bring your own.
The cliffs above the lagoon are a nice spot to visit for a stretch. I would have been too hot staying up there all day, but for the budget traveler who wants to avoid the chair rental fee, you can take your towel up on the rocks and make that your home base.
For those who want to do water sports, there are companies offering water activities on the docks. Bring extra cash if you want to participate in any of these.
Things to Do on Comino
Even though the island is small, there are a few other popular activities to do on the island. You can walk the island and explore. A popular spot to walk to is St. Mary’s Tower, which is one of the sweet little chess-piece-looking buildings in the country.
Another option is to walk or hire a boat to go to swimming or diving at Santa Marija Bay on the other side of Comino. You are even allowed to camp there if you wish.
If you’re staying at the island’s one hotel, you can also retreat to your hotel when the sun gets too hot and then come back and enjoy the sunset. Unfortunately for people just making a day trip, the last ferries leave far before sunset during the high season.
Leaving the Blue Lagoon
The first time I went, the last departure of my tour company crept up on me a bit. I could have stayed for much longer. On my return to the Blue Lagoon, I really made sure to savor the time. I was also there with a friend the second time, so the day seemed to fly by since we were talking and enjoying ourselves.
The ferry back takes a few minutes longer than the one to the island, and they leave regularly. When you buy your roundtrip ticket in the morning, they will give you a schedule. Just make sure you don’t get left behind!
Is it Worth It to Visit the Blue Lagoon?
For anyone thinking that this place should be skipped as too touristy, I would suggest going anyway. Even though it was crowded, the tourists were all lazily doing their own thing, the lines weren’t long, and everyone was so happy and relaxed. Prices weren’t too high compared to how amazing the place is. I highly recommend spending a day here. So much so that I would gladly go back a third time!
A Note about Swimming
If you’re an American or Canadian you may be used to going to beaches where anyone without a perfect body is self-conscious. And you may be prone to being self-conscious as well. If this has deterred you from swimming in public, please take a chance and swim here! Beaches in Europe and Latin America are full of all kinds of people of all shapes and sizes who swim without the same body shame. Try to embrace the opportunity and enjoy yourself!
What to Pack for a Trip to the Blue Lagoon
You won’t need to bring a ton of stuff with you, but there are a few items that are necessary for you to have a good time.
- Beach Bag: You can throw everything in a canvas tote bag or a multi-purpose day bag like this large Longchamp that I use as a purse on the road and a beach bag when needed.
- Cash: If you want to enjoy buy food, drinks, or souvenirs, you’ll need to have some cash with you. You’ll also need cash for renting a deck chair and umbrella. I would bring forty euros, knowing that this will cover almost anything you’d want to eat and rent. Bring more if you want to do activities.
- Small Ziplock Bags: handy for throwing anything small and wet and/or covered in lotion into without ruining the rest of your stuff on the ride home.
- Sunglasses: There’s not a lot of shade except under an umbrella. My first trip I forgot my sunglasses, and it was a nightmare.
- Mask and Snorkel: There’s not a ton to see here, but if you’re bringing these to go scuba diving or snorkeling at one of Malta’s amazing dive sites, then you might as well bring them!
- Fins: Same as above.
- Go Pro: If you have one, bring it here. There’s not a ton to look at underneath the water, but you’ll appreciate being able to take some cool photos from the water of the surrounding area any selfies and pics of friends you want.
- Full Sized Travel Towel: This towel is the perfect travel towel to have for both using at your hotel/hostel but also taking to the beach since it’s so big and beautiful. Rolls up small and comes with its own pouch so it takes up almost no room in your beach bag. Seriously, I’m obsessed with my travel towel.
- Hand Sanitizer
- Seabands: for those who get motion sickness easily. The ferry ride is twenty-five minutes there and thirty-five minutes back.
- Vaseline: Great for an impromptu chub rub and also to slather on any early signs of sunburn.
- A smartphone in an even smarter case: I use a Samsung8 and an OtterBox.
- Headphones: Come prepared with music or history podcasts or travel podcasts already downloaded.
- Something to Read
- Drinks and Snacks unless you plan on buying them there.
- Water shoes or sandals that can handle rocks. I use these Travel Jellies.
- Your Travel Insurance Policy Information: Between driving the golf cart and being far out of town, I would make sure to have your travel insurance policy info handy in case of emergency since you won’t want to have to go all the way back to your hotel or hostel for the info. Keep it on your cell phone at all times. I pay for World Nomads, and I happily recommend them. I always get the higher level so that I have coverage for more of my technology in case anything gets lost or stolen. Have your travel insurance available in a soft copy, and forward your policy info to your primary emergency contact.
I have been a paying customer of World Nomads for travel insurance for two years, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance if you’re going to be doing any driving, water sports, like scuba diving, sailing, or snorkeling, while in Malta.
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