The Blue Lagoon: A slice of Paradise in Malta
The Blue Lagoon is a part of the Maltese islands most often photographed because it just looks like a little slice of paradise.
It’s a small bay with shallow, azure-coloured water that’s located on the West coast of Comino, between the main island and Cominotto (a rock-sized island).
The Blue Lagoon provides one of the most spectacular sights of the Maltese archipelago, attracting hundreds of tourists every day during the busy summer months. It’s without a doubt the biggest attraction that brings people to Comino during this time of year.
It’s a great place to spend a day to relax, swim and snorkel and the views never tire.
Be warned however: This place gets BUSY in summer (July-September) and your best bet during that period is taking a boat trip there or going early in the morning. (More on that further below!)
Blue Lagoon Quick facts
- The Blue Lagoon is one of the most beautiful spots around the Maltese islands
- Shallow bay in between two islands with crystal clear, azure water
- Major tourist attraction, very popular and busy in summer
- Great place for snorkelling, also for scuba diving
- Popularised in blockbuster films
How to get to The Blue Lagoon
There are three popular ways of getting to the Blue Lagoon:
- Boat ferry – The cheapest method (usually €10 for a round trip, per person), where you get on at Cirkewwa (far Northern tip of the main island Malta) and get dropped off at The Blue Lagoon. They run according to a regular schedule but last trips back to Malta are between 5 and 7pm, depending on the operator. Trips take around 20-25 mins.
- Boat day trip – The most popular option, with people choosing to take one of these boats from near Cirkewwa or one of the tourist hotspots (usually Sliema and Buġibba, Qawra and St. Paul’s Bay) and spending a day at the Blue Lagoon. Food and drinks are usually part of the package and cost is somewhere between €25-35 per person for the day. You get a bit of a tour of a few other pretty places around Comino (and sometimes stopovers in different bays on the way to the Blue Lagoon, depending on the operator/cruise chosen)
- Cruise – The Blue Lagoon is a stop as part of a cruise, where a couple of hours are spent.
Although the regular boat ferries operate year round (weather permitting), the day trips and cruises usually only run between April and October, in line with demand.
Ferry and Boat Tours to the Blue Lagoon
Recommendation for those staying at Buġibba (or the nearby towns of St. Paul’s Bay and Qawra):
- Hornblower Boat Cruises – Full day boat trip to the Blue Lagoon
Reputable operator for trips from/to Sliema:
- Captain Morgan – Full day boat trip to the Blue Lagoon
- Spirit of Malta Adventure tour – Swim at the Blue Lagoon from the boat and get a half day jeep tour of Gozo
(If you’re staying in or near Valletta: You can easily take a ferry over to Sliema and get the above boat trips. A ferry ride takes 5-10 minutes across Marsamxett Harbour)
These are my suggestions for operators that cross between Cirkewwa and Comino:
(Disclaimer: None of these companies paid to be mentioned, my recommendations are based on personal and friends’ experiences.)
When’s the best time to go?
The Blue Lagoon is hugely popular among tourists and locals alike, and your best bet is to choose a weekday, although in July and August every day is a busy day.
In fact, if you’re staying in Malta during these months you should carefully consider whether it’s worth going, especially if you’re in Malta for a limited time.
- If you’re travelling with children or absolutely hate crowded places, pay a visit to Gozo instead. It’ll be much more worth your time, and a lot less hassle.
- If you’re very much into sun and sea and don’t fit the above criteria, definitely consider paying a visit but know what to expect and go early. (More on that below, in the tips section).
Why? Space is limited. All slots for boats to berth will be occupied, the small patch of sandy beach is filled in no time and the limited space available for sunbathers is cluttered with sunbeds and umbrellas. You can rent those for a modest fee for the day, but they’ll be taken up pretty quickly as you can imagine.
That’s also why the day trips by boat are popular: They’ll just berth and drop their anchor for the day and you’ll be able to just jump in and buy lunch and drinks on the boat itself (or they’re included as part of the fee), unless you prefer to bring your own food and drinks with you.
- If you’re spending the day at the Blue Lagoon, it’s always wise to bring a large bottle of water with you, particularly in summer. Although the (single) hotel on the island offers food and drink it’s not located close to the Blue Lagoon. It’s within walking distance, but in the hot summer sun, a hike will be the last thing on your mind.
- If you’re taking the ferry rather than an organised boat trip for the day, make sure you go early. Past 9am your chances of being able to rent sunbeds and an umbrella at the Blue Lagoon are slim to none. There is little to no shade to be had without an umbrella, so trust me on this one.
- Speaking of shade, this is your “must get” checklist for the day: Drink/food, sunglasses (and/or hat), sunblock and cash money.
- Even if you decide to go for a day trip by boat, it pays to be on board early to get a good seat for the day. With the huge popularity of its destination, these trips tend to be sold out to capacity on most occasions in peak season.
- Drinks and food can usually be bought from a nearby kiosk, on boats or (if you’re set on a short hike) from the nearby hotel. You will be charged a premium and choice will be limited. So if you want to be frugal or you’re picky with food, make sure to bring your own food and drink with you. The benefit of buying drinks on location is that they’ll be nice and cold. Definitely a BIG plus in summer.
- The ferries to the Blue Lagoon have set prices and a straightforward schedule, but day trip and cruise operators charge different rates. Don’t be afraid to shop around and always make sure you get a clear explanation of what’s included in the price. As friendly and welcoming as the Maltese are, you will come across people trying to make a quick buck off tourists, unfortunately, as with most popular tourist destinations.
- The same rule of timing applies here as it does for the rest of Malta: If sun and sea are important to you, June, September and often even October are better (and sometimes cheaper) months to visit the Blue Lagoon in. Great sunny and warm weather, less busy.
- Although getting a ferry or boat trip from Cirkewwa will be cheaper, get on board either at Sliema or Bugibba if you’re staying around those areas. it’s worth avoiding the drive all the way to Cirkewwa, to get to Comino. You can find decent deals in Sliema and Bugibba for day tours and it’s usually worth paying extra for.
- If you’re on a short holiday, you haven’t visited Gozo yet and you have to choose between the two, Gozo is the better choice to explore for most travellers.
- Dare-devils tend to want to dive off one of the high cliffs opposite main part of the bay. It might impress your friends, but why risk permanent disability or worse? Bad accidents happen here far too often, unfortunately, all unnecessary.
- If you decide to go for a swim at the Blue Lagoon, avoid crossing over to Cominotto (a small islet next to Comino). Although it’s definitely safe to swim at the Blue Lagoon between June and August (peak summer), sometimes strong undercurrents in this straight between the main island and its islet can bring even experienced swimmers in difficulty. Although a lifeguard is present during the summer months, it’s best to avoid swimming that stretch altogether.
- It doesn’t usually pose a problem, though there have been times where jellyfish caused a nuisance to bathers. If you want to know whether any jellyfish are around, ask the locals before you decide to visit. It’s usually common knowledge if jellyfish are around. In any case, generally speaking, the species of jellyfish found in Maltese waters aren’t lethal.