"Comino" Comino Island by Amazonka

Comino Island Travel Guide: 45 reviews and 149 photos

The tiny isle of Comino, only 3.5 km2, is the perfect hideaway. Romantically named after the cumin herb once grown here, Comino is the perfect retreat. Carefree and a water sports paradise.

Here, the colours of Malta are at their most vivid. The Islands’ main attraction is the Blue Lagoon, a sheltered inlet of shimmering aquamarine water over white sand and a popular day trip by pleasure and sail boat. The Lagoon is excellent for snorkelling. Linger on Comino once the day trippers leave, and you’ll find yourself on the ultimate in secluded islands. As the sun sets, Comino will seem your notion of a typical desert island.

Comino is worth a visit all year round. In winter, it is ideal for walkers and photographers. Without urban areas, or cars, you can pick up the scent of wild thyme and other herbs. Cumin still grows here, self-seeded from the time it was cultivated. With the clear warm seas, water sports enthusiasts will find Comino paradise. The isle has some excellent dive sites.

History

Comino has been put to different uses over the centuries by the various rulers of the Maltese Islands. It was inhabited in the Roman period, but did not have much significance until the Knights arrived. It then had a dual role: of hunting and recreational grounds; and as staging post in the defence of the Islands against the Ottoman Turks.

The Knights built the imposing St Mary’s Fort in 1618, a landmark for miles around. The Island had proved a useful base for pirates operating in the central Mediterranean. The fort was slow in arriving though, some 200 years late in fact. Back in the middle ages, the Islanders had petitioned their ruler, then the Viceroy of Sicily, to have Comino defended. The Knights also built a small chapel on Comino, at St Mary’s Bay.

The Knights were more interested in Comino as a hunting ground. Though stark and barren today, it seems the Island was home to wild boar and hares when the Knights arrived in 1530. The Grand Masters went to great lengths to ensure their game on Comino was protected: anyone found breaking the embargo on hunting could expect to serve three years as a galley slave.

After the Second World War, Comino remained a backwater until its fortunes revived with tourism in the mid-1960s.

  • Last visit to Comino Island: Sep 2004
  • Intro Updated Oct 20, 2004
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