Situated between Malta and Gozo, the smaller island of Comino (or Kemmuna in Maltese) is a paradise for snorkelers, divers, windsurfers and ramblers. Named after the plentiful cumin (flowering plant) that grows on the island, Comino is thick with wild herbs and flowers, with the entire island classified as a wildlife sanctuary. Only 3.5 square kilometers, Comino is car-free and apart from one hotel, is virtually uninhabited. The island’s main attraction is the Blue Lagoon. In summer, this sheltered inlet of is very popular with day-trippers. Other beaches on the island include Santa Marija Bay and San Niklaw Bay. Comino was inhabited in the Roman period, but did not have much significance until the Knights arrived. It then had a dual role: hunting grounds and a staging post in the defence of the Maltese Islands against the Ottoman Turks. The island had proved a useful base for pirates operating in the central Mediterranean and, though stark and barren today, it was home to wild boar and hares when the Knights arrived in 1530. Saint Mary’s Tower (Torri ta’ Santa Marija in Maltese), also known as the Comino Tower (Torri ta’ Kemmuna), is a large bastioned watchtower built in 1618, and is one of the six Wignacourt towers. St Mary’s Tower represented the prison Château d’If in the 2002 film The Count of Monte Cristo.
Approximate distance from start: 596nm
Approximate distance to finish: 10nm