Thursday, July 26, 2012

Comino: Malta's Desert Island

We arrived on Comino early one morning in July, and were lucky to enjoy a couple of hours of almost complete desertion before the teeny shorelines of this famous little island became packed with tourists. It was a breezy day, so we took a hike across half of this 1.4m2/3.5km2 rock, through the brown, dusty landscape, to Santa Marija Tower. We didn't see a single person along the way - a refreshing change to the densely populated villages on the main island.

Look familiar? Santa Marija Tower was the filming location of Chateau d'If in the film adaption of The Count of Monte Cristo! It was built in 1618 by Grand Master Wignacourt of the Knights of St. John/Malta as part of a defensive line of towers between Gozo's Citadella and the ancient capital city of Mdina. Today, the Din L-Art Helwa National Trust opens the tower to the public on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10:30am to 3:00pm. It is also available to book for private functions - what a romantic location for a destination wedding, or an unforgettable corporate function!

This island has been inhabited since Roman times, but did you know only four people live here now? They operate the charming little Comino hotel. We've always wanted to stay here (you get the whole island to yourself! pool! tennis courts! scuba diving!) but haven't gotten around to it yet. Someday!

- Jess

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