The Blue Lagoon of Comino

The Disappointing Blue Lagoon of Comino in the Maltese Islands

Another day, another tour. This time I have come to the Blue Lagoon on the tiny island of Comino, famous for its clear turquoise waters. Frankly, I am bored out of my mind. Though others are swimming amongst clumps of jellyfish that are fading from royal blue to blue-gray as they die and wash up on the postage stamp beach, the water is too cold for me.

View of the Blue Hole from the cliff -top trail

View of the Blue Hole from the cliff -top trail

An hour after completing an hour hike along the cliff tops, I have commandeered the only patch of shade in sight, to sit and write while I await the return of my boat back to Malta. Trash is scattered over the sand around my feet: piles of cigarette butts; napkins, plastic cups, and straws from the food trucks that shuttered and drove away at 4:30 p.m. In front of me, a row of green plastic trash bins overflows with the detritus of the day.

The small dock on Comino sees a stead stream of boat traiffic throughout the day

The small dock on Comino sees a stead stream of boat traiffic throughout the day

Earlier, I braved the bathrooms, which were devoid of toilet paper, stepping gingerly around used tampons tossed on the floor. I look up just in time to see a graceful catamaran scud by on the horizon, framed by the rugged rocks and many-hued waters that grace this cove. The Blue Lagoon of Comino could be a beautiful place but it has been ruined by tourists. Sometimes I question what I do for a living; I wonder whether I’m contributing to the destruction of beautiful places like this by bringing them into the public view. I must admit that I have visited a few places of such stunning beauty that I have chosen not to write about them, because to see them destroyed in this fashion would break my heart. Yet my search goes on for the next undiscovered gem.

21 Comments on “The Disappointing Blue Lagoon of Comino in the Maltese Islands

  1. I think that it’s up to people to keep the place clean and beautiful. This can be only a good thing for them because it will bring more tourists to the place.

  2. Now here’s a theme after my own heart just now, though not in Malta. I’ve returned to live for some months in a town I’ve loved and enjoyed over the last ten years or so, but found it simply reeking and filthy. This island (Tenerife) manages to keep on top of the rubbish on the really touristy beaches, but in this small town, used mainly by windsurfers and locals who come down from the hills every summer, they just can’t cope, and it really saddens me, and makes me angry.

    • Hi Linda: It’s so sad that this happens. Tourists should be more aware of their impact and strive to lessen it, but it really comes down to the local government to make sure that the natural resources are protected. Unfortunately, this is not always done, and I just cannot understand why.

  3. It is upto local government as well as the people of this city to keep this place good and beautiful, and if this is done I am sure it will attract lot more tourist…
    Look at the Oludeniz Beach the blue lagoon of Turkey..how it is well maintained.

    • I haven’t visited Oludeniz Beach, the blue lagoon of Turkey. Sounds like some place I need to investigate, especially if the local government takes measures to protect it from overuse.

  4. My sentiments exactly. I’m often unsure of writing about a place in fear of what modern tourism practices may do to it. Still, experiences around the world and in little-known places are important for cultural exchange and self-enrichment, but it’s ethical tourism that should be promoted before anything else. That’s why I was happy to see this post, despite the grim picture it depicts.

    • Thanks Paper Boat Sailor. I never relish the task of writing negative reviews, but feel that it needed to be said. However, like you, I believe that tourism offers more positive than negative, especially when cultural exchange is taken into consideration. It should be left to the local officials to ensure that places like these are not overused and damaged beyond repair.

  5. Too bad and obviously the local government doesn’t provide enough resources for the tourism I’m sure it promotes. I enjoy some international travel but after a lifetime of it for work, I’m enjoying hiking and exploring closer to home. Thought provoking post.

    • Hi Carol: I think you hit the nail on the head. It is up to local governments to protect these places of extreme beauty to ensure that they do not fall victim to overuse and thus become damaged. Good for you for exploring close to home. I’m going to be doing some of that myself soon.

  6. Too bad the infrastructure hasn’t kept up with such a beautiful place … the over-touristed nature of this place is definitely worth keeping in mind!

    • Hi Ian. Yes, it’s always sad when beautiful places like this are so negatively affected by tourism. But I place the blame mostly on the government, which needs to better control access and infrastructure to address the situation.

  7. I’ve just come across your site. Firstly, I like your story and what you’re offering. Secondly, yeah looks like the Blue Lagoon could have been a great place at one point in time. Think it has been destroyed due to tourism and people not taking care of the place.

    • Hi De’Jav. Unfortunately, it has been ruined, in my view. However, one of my readers who has lived in the Maltese Islands commented that the damage is due as much to locals as to tourists, which I thought was interesting.

  8. Before I went to Malta I heard this is a daytrip for parties…so we didn’t book. It looks pretty, though!

    • Hi Corinne: It totally depends upon where you intend to visit in the Maltese Islands. Gozo is not a party destination at all. And only St. Julian’s and Paceville on Malta seem to be the party places. The rest of the island offers great holidays for those of us who are not in search of a raucous good time, as they say 🙂

  9. Though I have never been to Malta, I would quite like to some day. Normally when I travel, I try to avoid high season and go off-peak, especially if I am going to a renowned tourist spot. Nothing worse than being trampled to death by a horde of rabid tourists!

  10. I lived in Malta for three years and my biggest complaint, besides the constant noise, was the pollution. I don’t believe that it’s the tourists that are ruining this island, many locals go there regularly. I don’t know if they’ve cleaned Malta up, but the few tiny beaches there are the same…lot’s of trash. In fact, everywhere I went there was trash.

    I recall visiting Comino island back in 2003, and at that time the jellyfish were too abundant for safe swimming. The island itself is very small and there are always so many people on the tiny stretch of beach. And there’s just no where to get out of the sun.

    I would suggest renting your own boat and that way you can stay or leave as you please.

    • Hi Nancy: I assumed that there had to be much lovelier beaches in the Maltese Islands than the overrated Blue Hole, and I’m not surprised that one needs a boat to find them. Hopefully, being hard to get to, they’ll stay pristine.

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