Table of Contents
✠ Welcome ✠
Welcome to Comino, in Malti (Maltese language), Kemmuna. This brief guide to the island aims to add value and enjoyment to your visit to this fascinating island noted for its tranquillity and isolation especially out of the peak tourist time.
Worldwide there is increasing concern for small islands which have a particular terrain or habitat for certain species and in themselves are scenically unspoilt and have a certain beauty.
We regard Comino that way but are concerned about protecting its special features for people and for the future. Many more people visit Comino in the high summer months than in the past but because very little has been written about it visitors don’t necessarily realise its special qualities and how fragile they are if not respected.
In recent years visitors to the island leave vast quantities of rubbish behind and some have even vandalised buildings and other structures. Many ignore warnings not to camp and walk on the garigue, whose importance we describe and illustrate as you read and view this website. The island has a number of rare plants and shrubs which are increasingly being destroyed or damaged by inconsiderate individuals or others who just aren’t aware of their significance.
In summer 2015 and 2016 the Blue Lagoon witnessed over 4,500 visitors per day at its height. When you read further on this website and realise how small it is you can imagine what this is like and the likely damage that can be caused.
With the vastly increased numbers of visitors new business and retail activities have taken advantage of their presence. For instance there is an increasing proliferation of catering outlets in the Blue Lagoon and Santa Marija Bays. Their general appearance undermines and obscures the natural beauty in which they have been sited.
Already more vehicles are being conveyed without regulation by boats onto the island and driven around on the paths and tracks that are totally unsuitable for vehicles. The noise and dust created plus the diesel fume pollution from them are spoiling the environment and people’s enjoyment of it. The small beaches are now taken over by deck chairs, recliners and umbrellas supplied by vendors requiring high charges for their services and overwhelming the previously unforced natural environment of the beaches.
There is now a real danger that the special characteristics that define the island will be destroyed by commercial activity. After all the entire island is small and walking distances are minimal. One of the pleasures of walking is seeing the rich landscape of the island from different perspectives. Many commentators including those writing articles in the press are urging that there must be a more sensible balance between the facilities and services for people and their impact on the fragile environment of the island.
We think limitations should be imposed on the number and size of boats that are allowed to visit and moor close to its shores at any one time and that fees should be charged for boat operators to moor and for fixed time periods. Similar regulation over retail services and motorised vehicles on the land should also be introduced. In general, planning permission should play a key role in evaluating any development of fixed or temporary structures.
But there are also positive, ambitious and imaginative ways in which Comino’s special features are ideal for modern, forward looking and exciting developments. Comino provides an ideal environment and setting to become a scientific, astronomical and ornithological centre of excellence in the European Union and this would be a unique resource for the citizens of Malta and visitors alike. It would be great if people started talking about new ideas like these and worked to make them a reality.
In the meantime there is a lot of interest about Comino in the pages of this website. We hope you enjoy this resource and find useful, enlightening and intriguing insights that help you take the best advantage of Comino’s fine qualities.
Although small it has many interesting attractions and features with peace and beauty its main assets. It has no roads and very few cars which is crucial to help sustain its special environment and habitats. The whole island is a wildlife sanctuary and it is the Maltese Islands’ main bird sanctuary. It features cliffs, limestone rocky expanses with typical garigue vegetation and two small sandy beaches, Santa Marija Bay (13) and San Niklaw Bay (4). It has three distinct landscapes and habitats namely Garigue, cliff-side and sand dunes. The main quay for the ferry boats is at the famed Blue Lagoon. Facing the quay is Cominotto (20), in Malti, Kemmunett - a small uninhabited islet. The island is part of the municipality of Ghajnsielem local council in Gozo.
Regular ferry services from Mgarr, Gozo and a number of locations on Malta including Marfa and Cirkewwa. Details of the operators are available on site.
Welcome to Comino!