The Blue Lagoon in Malta is considered one of the most beautiful travel destinations in the world. Yet, even though I was lucky enough to see it with my own eyes I was in doubt whether I should actually write about it.
Why? Because my experience with the Blue Lagoon was less than fun. I actually felt quite embarrassed. Still, I decided to write about this Malta day trip destination regardless, also because I believe that the island of Comino has so much more to offer than just the Blue Lagoon.
Read here what I thought about the Blue Lagoon in Malta, why I think there is still something everybody can take away from the experience and how we can all help fight overcrowding and over-tourism.
Lastly, if you are planning on making the trip to the Blue Lagoon on Comino yourself, you will find plenty of tips and information on the bottom of this post.
(This post may contain affiliate links)
The Dilemma of Travel Blogging: When Everything is Already Said
It took me less than a millisecond upon arrival at the Blue Lagoon to realise that there was no need to write yet another blog post about this beautiful location. As it turned out, the Blue Lagoon was already popular enough. To be honest, it was even too popular for its own good.
When the boat docked at the little pier I was tempted to just stay on board and return to Malta, this is how crowded the place looked. But then I thought that this wasn’t fair to the island of Comino which surely must have so much more to offer than just a tiny bay with azure blue water that is flooded with people.
In fact, as we were soon to find out, Comino, the little island halfway between Malta and Gozo, has so much more to explore. You don’t need to stay in the Blue Lagoon area and pose for your Instagram profile if that’s not your thing.
You also don’t have to drink from a pineapple or show your naked butt cheeks to the public. Let me show you what else is there to discover when you take a boat trip to Comino.
The Blue Lagoon in Malta and Why it is so (Insta-)Famous
The Blue Lagoon is a sheltered bay on the island of Comino. It is well-known for its crystal clear azure blue water which looks great in photos. Most people will want to jump straight in and go for a swim. Some will try their luck with snorkelling, although the crowds probably chase away all fish and you won’t get to see much underwater.
The people of Malta have quickly realised the potential of the site, its natural beauty and easy accessibility. There are a handful of snackbars servicing the beach, and you can also hire deckchairs, lockers, and umbrellas. Water taxis can take you to other parts of the island such as Cominotto or less crowded swimming spots.
Comino is a tiny island between the two main islands of Malta, Malta and Gozo. You will come past it when taking the Gozo ferry. The island is mostly uninhabited and there is just one single hotel where you can spend the night.
It is probably the most remote corner of Malta, if not factoring in the Blue Lagoon mayhem. This is why Comino is such a popular Malta day trip destination. You can easily charter a boat or join a tour for as little as 12 Euros per person.
Even beyond the Blue Lagoon, Comino is a picture-perfect island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. There are many gorgeous bays to discover, as well as grottos, deep gorges and exotic wildflowers. Drywalls cut through this empty landscape, ruins of previous generations are standing abandoned, there is a lot of history in this place.
Why you Should Ignore the Blue Lagoon and Explore Comino Instead
Yes, Comino is indeed beautiful, and so is the Blue Lagoon with its clear waters. But when it comes to reality and truth, a visit to the Blue Lagoon with all its people is sort of a nightmarish experience. As soon as we stepped on land we fled the scene, appalled and in shock. If this was the reality I’d rather have stayed ignorant.
The Blue Lagoon was crowded with people. Kids were playing in the water, every single deckchair on the tiny pier was occupied, every couple of metres a slim girl with broad-rimmed sunhat was posing for the camera.
Don’t get me wrong: Every one of these people deserved to be there and enjoy the moment. But this was way too many people for my taste and it ruined the whole experience for us.
We had two hours to kill on Comino island, so where to start? We joined the human caravan that was trekking along the coast and further inland to explore some other areas of the island. This long queue of wanderers we had already seen when we approached the island by boat: They looked like a curious ant trail.
Now we were joining this trek to flee the Blue Lagoon and see other places around the island. Lucky for us, most people would stop with their exploration after a couple of metres and sit down here and there to enjoy the views.
This soon left us all alone in the Comino wilderness, and it felt fresh and invigorating and awesome. We had decided on a final destination for our little exploration: The watchtower which you could clearly see from Malta island on the other side of the channel. We hiked past an abandoned hospital which was inaccessible, and soon enough we arrived at the St. Mary’s Tower, a historic watchtower built by the Knights of St. John.
Even though the tower was closed we still got to enjoy sweeping views of the island and of the Gozo channel after climbing the original 17th century exterior stairs. And while we are talking about views: Just metres in front of the tower we got to enjoy the most beautiful Comino views, which – if I daresay – I loved much better than any glimpse that we got from the Blue Lagoon on that day.
Overcrowding and Over-Tourism: Why Sites Like the Blue Lagoon are no Longer What They Used to be
This year, at travel fair ITB I watched a panel discussion by experts on over-tourism. One of the panel guests, for example, was the mayoress of Dubrovnik, a city that is incredibly beautiful but also extremely overcrowded. It is just one of many places that is currently suffering the trend of having too many people in the same spot at the same time.
Over-tourism concerns every single traveller these days. It is a trend that is affecting many places around the world at the moment, and everything points to the idea that things will only get worse before they get better.
I think, as a travel blogger I need to factor this in when writing about locations and destinations if I want to stay honest and authentic. But luckily, there are strategies everyone of us can apply when visiting popular places like the Blue Lagoon.
You can walk further than others like we did and explore what else is out there. You can seek out alternative destinations that are not getting the attention they deserve. You can choose different seasons or times to visit a place.
There are many ways how you can escape the pressure of the Great Unwashed.
As a travel blogger, I want to encourage you to look further into a destination and take that extra step to discover new places. Don’t stop where everybody else is putting down their towel to sit on: walk on. And this I don’t just mean in a spatial sense: I hate to see so many people visiting a destination just take a pretty picture for their Instagram profile.
Ask questions, look deeper, experience culture and history and learn something new while you are there.
So is the Day Trip to the Blue Lagoon Malta Worth it?
I am not saying don’t go to see the Blue Lagoon. Truthfully, it is one of the most beautiful places to see not just in Malta but in all of Europe. But adjust your expectations: you will probably not be the only person there.
Think about what you expect to see and if this is realistic in this time and age. If crowds don’t concern you then you will have a marvellous time there. I personally didn’t enjoy seeing all these people overcrowding the space, but everybody else seemed not to have a care in the world. Everybody to their own.
At the end of the day, I am happy we did take that trip to the Blue Lagoon and to the island of Comino. On our short walk to the St. Mary’s Tower we got to see so many other beautiful spots that really warmed my heart.
Take the feature photo on top of the post, for example: It is one of the most scenic spots I have ever seen and it brought me true travel happiness.
How to Organise Your Trip to the Blue Lagoon in Malta
- You can visit the Blue Lagoon with a charter boat or ferry from Gozo (Mgarr) or Malta (Cirkewwa ferry terminal). Boat tours are conducted when the weather is favourable. The trip takes around 20 minutes. Sometimes it also includes a tour of the grottos and coastline of Comino.
- One of the closest hotels to the Blue Lagoon is the Ramla Bay Hotel on the northern tip of Malta. We stayed there ourselves and are happy to recommend it for a relaxing family holiday. The hotel offers tours to Comino and the Blue Lagoon which run twice daily, departing from the hotel garden. Click here to check rates. (Affiliate Link)
- If you are not keen to share your personal space with lots of strangers, consider investing a little bit more money to take a water taxi to Cominotto. Cominotto is the little rock facing the bay which can only be reached by boat from Comino Blue Lagoon.
- Some excursion boats drop off passengers at Crystal Lagoon. This bay does not have a sandy beach but is still very scenic. You can easily walk to the Blue Lagoon from here. However, this spot is also very crowded, with a queue or boats waiting to drop off or pick up passengers.
- There is an option to take a boat to the north side of Comino where you will find another beach which is said to be less crowded, called Santa Maria Bay (Santa Marija).
- You can also stay on Comino! The island has almost no inhabitants but there one single hotel for you to stay. the name of the hotel is – you guessed it! – Comino Hotel. Click here to check rates. (Affiliate Link)
- There are quite a few options around Malta if you are looking for azure water for your perfect Instagram shot. Some people swear by St. Peter’s Pool, for example, which is also a popular swimming spot.
- Beware that there is hardly any natural shade on Comino. The island has pretty much no trees, in particular around the Blue Lagoon. You may get lucky and manage to secure an umbrella, but in general make sure you use plenty of sunscreen, a hat and shades.
- Some people think about snorkelling in the Blue Lagoon. I advise against that if you are just staying near the beach area: too many people, no hiding spots for the fishes. But if you encounter a cruise that specifically mentions snorkelling they will probably take you to a place where this is possible, so go for it.
Looking for more Malta travel tips? Check out my other articles!
- 10 Amazing Things to Do in Valletta
- 11 Best Things to do in Gozo, Malta: Views, Salt Pans and Amazing Culture!
- An Exclusive Look Into the Ħal-Saflieni Hypogeum in Malta
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