Malta’s Blue Lagoon is one of the country’s most popular attractions, and for good reason. It’s one of the most beautiful places in the area – maybe even the world – and is conveniently located right between Malta’s two biggest islands. Read on for top tips on how to get to the Blue Lagoon, what to see and do around there, and how to make the most out of your once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Why is Malta’s Blue Lagoon a must-see?
If a picture says a thousand words, this one would be yelling “I’m beautiful, come visit me” 200 times in a row. The Blue Lagoon is the kind of place you see when you close your eyes and try to imagine something resembling paradise. With crystal-clear water tinted various shades of blue and spectacular rugged cliffs located right in the middle of the Mediterranean, there’s a reason that the Blue Lagoon is found on bucket lists around the world. If you’re lucky enough to be anywhere near here, it’s well worth a visit.
Where is the Blue Lagoon?
The Blue Lagoon is located on the island of Comino, the middle of Malta’s three main islands. Comino is significantly smaller than the other two islands (Malta and Gozo), and is considered a nature reserve as well as a local bird sanctuary. If you’re into movies, it might look a little bit familiar – it’s been used as a backdrop in films like Troy, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Swept Away.
What can you do at the Blue Lagoon?
You can visit the Blue Lagoon and do absolutely nothing except admire one of the most beautiful places you’ll see in your life. And that’s totally fine! To really make the most of your visit though, it’s recommended to try some aquatic activities.
One of the most popular things to do at the Blue Lagoon is snorkelling – it’s a relatively easy and low-intensity way to see some of the local marine life and take advantage of the clear and pristine water found here.
You can also enjoy some peaceful kayaking (a great way to get some exercise as well as escape from other tourists), swim inside some of the Mediterranean’s most spectacular caves, go scuba diving, and more. There are plenty of options available, depending on what your personal idea of fun or relaxation is.
Wildlife around the Blue Lagoon
There are plenty of wonderful animals that call Malta home, many of which can be seen around the Blue Lagoon. While there’s no guarantee that you’ll see all of these, there’s a chance you’ll be able to spot dolphins and seals as well as various types of marine wildlife like fish and birds. Comino is home to a large colony of yelkouan shearwaters (pictured above), so there’s a good chance you’ll come across one of these feathery little friends.
Malta also has some unique creatures that can’t be found anywhere else. Keep an eye (and ear) out for the Maltese ruby tiger moth – because even the moths here are beautiful. Similarly, if you hear the buzzing of a bee, try not to swat it away – there’s a chance it could be a Maltese honeybee, a unique subspecies that can only be found in Malta. It’s very important to the local ecosystem and has to compete with invading bee species as well.
There are also jellyfish at the Blue Lagoon, so be careful when stepping into the water or while you’re snorkelling around. The jellyfish varieties here aren’t deadly like the ones you’ll find in Australia and other places, but their sting is still something that’s best to avoid if possible.
How to get to the Blue Lagoon
You can get to the Blue Lagoon in a number of ways, but there’s one thing you can’t get around: you’re going to need a boat! From Malta (the island), you can take a ferry to the Blue Lagoon from the Cirkewwa Ferry Terminal, which has a direct connection to Valletta. If you’re heading there from Gozo, take a ferry from the Gozo Ferry Terminal. The ride either way is incredibly scenic – even if you weren’t going to the Blue Lagoon, cruising along the calm waters would be a notable trip in itself.
To reduce your reliance on public transport and make the most of the sights along the way, it’s recommended to book a private trip. These are generally quite affordable (though luxury options are available) and give you the flexibility to make stops along the way, explore the local sights at your leisure, and avoid getting stuck in queues alongside other travelers. Coming by private boat also means you have a safe place to store any items and a ‘base’ to return to.
Best time to visit the Blue Lagoon
Malta’s Blue Lagoon shares a reality that many of the world’s most exceptional places have to deal with: everyone wants to see them. This can lead to crowds. The summer months will be the busiest, so if you’d like to avoid the peak season but still enjoy some sunny weather, try to visit between March and May. You might also be able to catch some good weather in October and November – it is the middle of the Mediterranean, after all.
Try to go early in the morning. During peak times, it will be busy. It’s still very possible to enjoy some peace and quiet at the Blue Lagoon though. Wake up before everyone else and enjoy hours of this natural wonder to yourself – or book a private boat and float around the lagoon away from the crowd. Taking the private boat approach might cost slightly more, but for a once-in-a-lifetime memory it’s more than worth it.
What else is there to do around Comino?
Comino is small, but has plenty of things to see and do. Here are some other highlights on the island that you might want to check out while you’re there.
The Crystal Lagoon is located just south of the Blue Lagoon, and features (as you might have guessed) crystal-clear water that you can see straight through. Swimming here is a real treat, and it’s generally a bit quieter than its blue counterpart.
You’ll also see another local landmark a bit further south: Saint Mary’s Tower. This historic watchtower has some stunning views over the sea – which is partially the reason why it was built. Back in the 1600s, however, it was meant more for warning against potential invasions and pirate attacks rather than being able to spot seals and dolphins.
Just across from Comino (directly across from the Blue Lagoon) lies an even smaller island: Cominotto. A visit here will let you appreciate the Blue Lagoon from a different angle, and give you access to some really great diving spots on the Cominotto Reef. There’s also a beach with some impressive rock formations, and – if this persuades you at all – a great burger place.
📍 L-Għar ta’ Bla Saqaf/It-Tieqa/Taħt il-Ħnejja
In case you’re having any problems with that pronunciation, this is also referred to as ‘the Blue Grotto’. Just a stone’s throw away from the Crystal Lagoon are a number of hidden sea caverns only accessible by boat. When the sunlight hits the water just right, the cave walls are lit up with various shades of blue, from luminous hues to rich darker tones. It’s a magical experience.
The above locations are all located on the western and south-western part of Comino, not far from the Blue Lagoon itself. If you want a very different experience on the island (one that’s a bit quieter and more reflective), a trip to Saint Mary’s Battery on the eastern side of Comino might be the way to go. This centuries-old fortress looks out over the sea and still features the original cannons used to defend the island hundreds of years ago.
Another one of Comino’s top natural wonders can be found in the north-eastern corner of the island. The Santa Maria Cliffs are rugged limestone formations featuring incredible views and – of course – some spectacular hidden caves. The cliffs overlook the Santa Maria Bay, featuring some of the best beaches on the island.
To really make the most of your trip, it’s best to take a tour. These aren’t the standard ‘’follow your flag-holding guide while they drag you through the crowds’’ tours – Malta’s excursions are a bit more adventurous. You’ll cruise across the water (visiting spectacular caves and spotting the local wildlife), speed along the hills on an ATV, walk along medieval fortifications, and get the benefit of an expert local guide along the way.
Tips for visiting the Blue Lagoon
So far you’ve learned where Malta’s Blue Lagoon is, what you can see and do there, and why you should visit – but how about some real local insights? To get some insider tips on visiting the Blue Lagoon, we spoke to Jordan Bonello Gauci – a born-and-bred resident of Malta who gave us some great tips on how to make the most of your trip to this beautiful area (as well as a quick Maltese language lesson).
1) Come prepared and bring your own supplies
“If you can, make sure you bring something for shade. There is nowhere to protect yourself from the sun. Take plenty of sunblock, because the water is so clear that you’re not protected at all! Most people jump in the sea to protect themselves from the sun, but that doesn’t work – the rays just go straight through.
I would also recommend bringing your own food. There are food trucks at the Blue Lagoon, but there’s only so many hygienic practices they can follow with virtually no electricity and no running water.
Something that Maltese locals do regularly when we go to the beach is we make something called a ftira – ftira is a type of Maltese bread, and we make Ftira biz-Zejt. It’s basically a tuna sandwich with olive oil and beans. It’s one of the most famous sandwiches we eat on a daily basis, and very loved locally. I feel like there’s nothing tastier to eat on a sunny beach than a ftira!”
2) Arrive early if you can
“If you’d like to find a place to sit, definitely get there early as early as possible! I believe the earliest boat leaves at 6 AM, which should let you find a comfortable spot. Usually at the Blue Lagoon, the beach is packed with locals and tourists alike.
It’s often so packed that you’re almost walking over people when you’re walking to the beach! But apart from that minor inconvenience, when you’re in the sea you forget everything – and you’re in pure bliss.”
3) Take some time to explore Comino
“Comino is still virtually untouched, and there are still parts of the island that no one really frequents. One of the things I like to do when I go to Comino, apart from visiting the Blue Lagoon, is walk around the island. There are a lot of parts with some really long and interesting history there that you can see. The old bungalows of the hotel, old farms from back in the day, and more.
Comino is a great place to walk around. It’s not too hilly, which is nice, and you can get around the whole island in 40-60 minutes. One of the main things I always notice when passing – I always pass it when I go to Gozo – is the tower that’s famous for being in The Count of Monte Cristo, in the escape scene!”
4) Try some of the local lingo
“Maltese is a combination of Arabic, French, Italian, and English. I’d say 60% Arabic, 30% Italian, the rest is English and then maybe 2% French at the end. Quite a mix!”
How are you?
Bongu (like bonjour)
Caw (pronounced ciao)
5) Don’t miss other amazing things to do in Malta
“The Blue Lagoon is famous around the world, at least in Europe. I don’t mind that many people know the Blue Lagoon first, and then Malta second. At the end of the day it puts us on the map, and once you’re here, you’re exposed to so many amazing things about Malta. We’re in the middle of the Mediterranean and this tiny island, a speck of land in the middle of a vast sea, has so much history. We absorbed so many different cultures and became our own identity, our own people.
If you’re coming to Malta, I would 100% recommend visiting the temples; there’s the Mnajdra and the Ħaġar Qim temples, one in Malta and one in Gozo. They are older than the pyramids themselves – some of the oldest manmade structures. If you’re coming here for a weekend that’s what I would recommend! If you want a top three, I would recommend those and the Blue Lagoon. But even though you can get a lot done in three days or so, you could easily come for a month – there’s so much to do.”
How to be a good tourist at the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon has made Comino a popular tourist destination. While it’s still a ‘hidden gem’ compared to other major sites around the world, it can get crowded very quickly. Don’t take the beauty of this area for granted. In recent years, the effects of tourism have really shown. There are plenty of positives, like a serious boost to the local economy and more income for locals, but there are also detrimental effects: tourists smoking and throwing their cigarette butts on the sand, leaving their trash behind, or drinking too much and becoming a nuisance.
When visiting Malta’s Blue Lagoon, remember that you’re a guest here. Treat it like you would treat someone’s home, or how you would like others to treat your own home. Support the locals and don’t try to haggle down the prices of their pineapple cocktails, make sure you take your trash with you, and try not to drink too much – especially if you’re going snorkelling!
Malta’s Blue Lagoon is amazing, but it’s not the only spectacular thing you can see during your vacation. Make the most of your trip by visiting all three of the main islands – they’re closer and easier to get to than you might think! Check out the full list of fantastic things to do in Malta right here.