Friday, October 23, 2015


The next stop on our Malta adventure was the small island of Comino (Maltese: Kemmuna), which lies between the islands of Malta and Gozo in the Mediterranean Sea. It is tiny and sparsely populated, measuring only 3.5 square kilometres (1.4 sq mi) in area. It was named for the cumin plant that once was prolific on the Maltese islands.

A small ferry boat from Mellieha harbor took us across on a choppy, blustery day, but we were all in good spirits and looking forward to some rest and relaxation time at the only hotel on the island. This little video gives you a taste of the experience--I had more fun than I do riding a roller coaster!

Blue Lagoon looking towards Gozo

Cave on Cominotto

As we approached the island, we marveled at the deep blue and cyan colors of the waters, and the rugged limestone cliffs dotted with coves and caves.

Blue Lagoon

Tour boats can take you closer to the caves, especially between Comino and the small islet of Cominotto (Kemmunett in Maltese), in the waters of the Blue Lagoon (Bejn il-Kmiemen, literally "Between the Cominos"). Here there is a sandy bay, rich with marine life, where you can dive, swim or snorkel.  Daily, chairs are transported to the island by boat, and you can walk to the lagoon from the hotel in a few minutes.

Hotel on Comino

We were so enchanted by the small Comino Hotel with the lovely bay view, pool, and terraces, that most of us decided to plop right down on a beach chair and enjoy the brilliant sunshine!  There's a small beach front at the hotel, beside the docking area for the ferries.  The water was a bit chilly when we were there, in May, but I'm sure this area is very popular in the summertime!

By the pool

Seating for lunch or drinks

We wished we'd booked more time just to relax here.  Seems like a great place to stay for a retreat!  There's a small chapel on the island and one of the old towers, St. Mary's Tower can be seen by ship, or you can walk.  Comino has been popular over the years with filmmakers, with St. Mary's tower appearing in Count of Monte Cristo as Chateau d'If, and other films such as Swept Away and Troy using the island as backdrop.

View over channel to Gozo

The beachfront near the hotel

The island does have the feel of adventure. Pirates and marauders used the channel and caves to attack ships over the centuries. During the age of the Knights of Malta, the island served as a place of exile for errant knights who were given the task of manning St. Mary's Tower.

You can bring your deck chairs to the water's edge

It is also pleasantly calm and visually stunning. I imagine myself here taking a sabbatical here for a season to write. That also, is not new. In the 1200's exiled prophet and cabbalist Abraham Abulafia used his time on Comino to write "Imre Shefer" ("Words of Beauty").

Early morning looking toward Cominotto

So many blues!

The hotel wasn't fancy, but serviceable with a good buffet-style breakfast, lunch and dinner available. There was also a lobby bar that doubled as cafe, and a gift shop with some very nice goddessy clothes. But, once here, it's hard to stay inside. You are drawn out into nature, even if it's just to sit in the sun by the pool.

You can get closer to the land, and sea and sky here, and leave the work-a-day world behind.

Many ships come sailing by

Afternoon is a great time for a walk

Our group took advantage of the beach to connect to the sea with a small women's circle ceremony. It was easy on Comino to imagine a group of priestesses living a simple life in harmony with the elements and the seasons, honoring the Mother Goddess, to whom I presume, the many temples on the Maltese islands were dedicated.

Everything's in walking distance!

And, we weren't alone in this musing. As we were packing to leave the next morning, we ran into another group of women arriving to do a goddess retreat.

Pavilion for gatherings or meetings