Happy New Year!
Comino it would seem although impromptu was out ﬁrst trip of 2020.
Technically, it is winter but we have been lucky enough to experience some unseasonably warm days.
I woke up to a bright day with the sun high in the sky having risen hours before me.
Malcolm suggested a trip to Comino and I didn’t need much persuading. Even with 30 minutes notice!
Comino is the (smaller) sister island of Malta and Gozo and is nicely sandwiched between the two.
The smallest island houses the crystal clearest of azure waters the Mediterranean has to offer and is home to the breathtaking Blue Lagoon.
Comino is a top natural attraction for locals and tourists alike, and at the height of summer gets crowded. Despite this, I am always up for a visit. But, I had never taken a trip during winter before, and I was just as excited to go.
Getting to Comino
Comino is accessible by boat only so we headed to Riviera Hotel, (Marfa the pier opposite) to catch a ferry. Comino Co-op Ferries depart hourly until 15:45 and a return ticket costs 13:00 EUR each. Journey time is around 20 minutes.
Travelling to an island which can only be reached by boat sends my sense of adventure into overdrive.
It ties in with the saying: all good things comes to those who wait.
And it’s true.
We hopped on our ferry bound for paradisaical island Comino or Kemmuna as it is known in Maltese.
I’ve traveled there a few times as a passenger on a friend’s boat and by ferry. It’s much more personal traveling with friends, but I do love hearing the gasps of wonder from people as we enter Comino and are greeted by the awe-inspiring caves.
And today is no exception.
The captain takes us deeper into the caves today. He switches off the engine pausing for a moment before navigating the boat around the caves. He stops long enough for each passenger to see before powering on.
The waters surrounding Comino are just as captivating in winter as it is summer. If not more so. I love the sea in general and can just sit marveling at it for hours. It’s therapeutic, and I always feel lighter mentally than when I arrived.
Comino is a remote and tranquil island with a population of 3 people. (Yes 3!) The island is 3.5 sq km, so once the boat set us down… off we went to explore this wondrous limestone.
The remoteness of the island carries its own stories and once was a hiding place for pirates. After the Knights of Malta inhabited Malta, this became a recreational island and was mainly used for agriculture. And then, following the outbreak of Cholera during the 19th century… Comino was used to isolate people with the disease.
Being low season, Comino is less crowded now than it is during the summer months. And, the conditions are perfect for hiking and taking in the beautiful scenery.
With fewer people around, there were hardly any distractions. So, the overall vibe of the island felt noticeably calmer. We became more present and able to take in all of what Comino had to offer. Walking off the beaten track, we took steps that felt unspoiled by recent footprints.
We were very lucky with the weather on the day. Although jumpers were packed and jackets worn the temperature rose to 19°C/ 20°C
There are a few kiosks on Comino that sell drinks and fast food etc. But how often do you have an island to yourself? Thankfully, we – or Malcolm managed to organise a packed lunch. We found a lovely spot to stop for a picnic overlooking Comino, with views of Cominotto (an islet), and Gozo in the distance.
(Another plus for a visit during winter).
Just the two of us
There are no cars/traffic in Comino and even at the highest point, could hear the waves crashing against the rocks beneath us. As we enjoyed our picnic it felt as if we were the only two humans on the island.
Then just like that, it was time to go. We headed back to the pier to catch the next ferry back to Malta. There was a 30 minute wait until the next ferry.
Swimming in January?
Malcolm decided to make the most of the last half hour by taking a dip in the azure waters.
Surprisingly he wasn’t alone. There were a few others enjoying themselves. In the sea. In January.
Usually, when people ask me when is Maltas’ swimming season. My answer is:
between June and October…
but it seems I was wrong! 😀