You know how every city or country has one major attraction that everyone wants to see? The Blue Lagoon is one of Malta’s, and it’s heavenly. But like any major attraction, it can get crazy busy.
The clear turquoise waters found by the Maltese island of Comino are hard to resist, and any online search you make of this tiny country in the Mediterranean Sea will bring up photos of its inviting hues.
It’s fair to say that our trip to the Blue Lagoon was the day we were looking forward to the most, which we’d arranged as a laid back tour alongside three full days of sightseeing in Malta. We left our Airbnb early in the morning feeling ready to soak up the blazing sunshine which could already be felt against my skin, and drove our little banger of a rental car to Bugibba Pier to join the tour.
I decided to book with Hornblower Cruises who are a local family-run company, as they offered tours which seemed better than those big, garish boats you see piling people on to like sardines. We were supposed to get there 15 minutes before departure at 10:30am, but in true holiday pace, we arrived a little late and ended up sprinting towards their big white boat.
We were given some wristbands to wear for the tour, and then stepped onboard to find a seat on the boat’s spacious main deck.
The crossing to the Blue Lagoon is pretty short, so before we get there, we’re treated to a guided tour around St. Paul’s Island, and the beautiful caves in the area first.
Having spent the last few days admiring the views from atop the cliffs in Malta, it was great to now see them from a different perspective from the water. The formations are really stunning, and you’re able to get a great view as the boat takes you right up to it.
I stood at the front of the deck to make the most of the scenic coastline, and eventually caught my first glimpse of sapphire coloured water shining in the distance – the Blue Lagoon was ahead, and we were not the first ones there.
“Make the Hornblower your base for the day, and you’ll have a good time”, the captain recommended to us over the speakers – and you’d be a fool not to listen. Comino is quite a big island, but the actual entrance into the best of the water is a relatively small section of the bay. There were literally hundreds of people crammed into the water and surrounding rocks here, as more and more tour boats arrived throughout the day, and unloaded their customers onto the island to fend for themselves.
Meanwhile, the Hornblower anchored around the corner from the huge crowds, folded out their free deck chairs onto the roof of the boat, and pulled out their built-in waterslide into the sea.
Before going for a swim, we placed our bags into the lockers provided below deck, and borrowed some snorkelling goggles from the shop. I’m too much of a wuss to jump in from the boat, so climbed into the refreshingly cold water using the stepladder instead. There wasn’t any fish to spot below, but you could see straight through the water to the seabed.
Surprisingly, the waves were quite strong, and I had to be careful not to get pushed up against the rocks by the shore. I grabbed a swimming float from the boat so I could be lazy and relax instead, and watched as everyone took turns to jump or slide down from the top of the boat.
I was swimming in the water waiting to film Dave’s jump, when I suddenly felt a sharp pain in my left elbow. I thought I’d accidentally knocked myself against a rock or something, but turned my head to see a small pink jellyfish bobbing by – disaster! The pain started to intensify as I replayed that episode of Friends in my head, where Monica gets stung on the beach and has to get peed on to stop the pain in her foot – luckily though, the boat carried some cream which I applied to myself instead.
Depending on how long you have in Malta, you can combine your trip to the Blue Lagoon with a tour of Gozo too – I’d recommend dedicating a whole other day to it though, if you can. The boat leaves at around 1pm to transport those who have opted for this across, but you can sit on board for the ride even if you haven’t.
With around four hours on Comino, we spent the rest of the afternoon sunbathing on the boat, taking the water slide into the sea, and swimming in the cooling water – more cautiously now than before I was stung by the jellyfish!
When the time came to leave, we crossed over to Gozo to pick up the other tour group, before taking a detoured trip back to mainland Malta.
We passed a beautiful coastline of rock formations to see ‘the only elephant in Malta’…
Followed by the ‘door and the window’ in the ocean….
…and past the Comino Hotel, an exclusive resort area which is the only one of its kind on the island, and has access to its very own beach. Oh how the other half live.
I really enjoyed my time at the Blue Lagoon, but had I been grouped with the swarms of visitors I saw, it would have been a completely different story. The sheer volume of people at this spot was unlike anything I’d seen before, and I’ve been to Koh Phi Phi in Thailand which didn’t even compare.
It’s not hard to see why everyone is so attracted to this spot, because it really is beautiful. But if you want to see it yourself, just make sure you do your research and choose your tour operator carefully.
Other Malta reading:
6 things to do in Gozo
Need to know
- Hornblower Cruises depart from Bugibba Pier everyday
- The Blue Lagoon and Caves tour costs only €20 each
- You can add a tour of Gozo for an extra x, but I’d recommend dedicating a whole day there if you have the time
- Lockers and snorkelling equipment is available to hire from the boat for a refundable deposit
- The boat takes cash only so make sure to bring change