A Day at Malta’s Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon, Comino, Malta

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.

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.

St. Mary's Tower on Comino, Malta. Built in 1618.
St. Mary’s Tower on Comino, Malta. Built in 1618.

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.

View from the dock at the Blue Lagoon
View from the dock at the Blue Lagoon

The water is perfection!  And because this is a little lagoon, there are no real waves to contend with.

The water in October was a beautiful clear turquoise and the temperature was just right.
The water in October was a beautiful clear turquoise and the temperature was just right.

If you have swim shoes, I would suggest wearing them.  The bottom can get rocky closer to the far island of Cominotto.  When I tried walking across to this little islet, I had to turn back before I made it to the shore because my feet couldn’t take it.

Bathers in the Lagoon
Bathers in the Lagoon

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.

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View from my Beach Chair

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  There are also food trucks serving simple food, soda, beer, wine, and ice cream.

A sunbather on the cliff above the Blue Lagoon
A sunbather on the cliff above the Blue Lagoon

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 traveller who wants to avoid the chair rental fee, you can take your towel up on the rocks and make that your home base.

A lizard on the cliffs above the Blue Lagoon

The last departure of my tour company crept up on me a bit.  I could have stayed for much longer.  If I make my way back, I would make sure to take my sunglasses (I left mine in my car and ended up having to buy a pair for 5 euros).  I also would grab my swim shoes so I can see the lagoon from the other side.  I was pretty bummed when I had to turn back.

View sailing away from the Blue Lagoon
View sailing away from 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.

The beach at the Blue Lagoon
The beach at the Blue Lagoon

A note about swimming at European beaches:  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!

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4 Comments

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