Do Stuff Before 10:00 AM and Beat the Tourists

It's Really That BlueWe just returned from our brief overnight trip to Comino and our stay at the Comino Hotel. The hotel is a bit old-school and tired–think the hotel from Dirty Dancing, except it’s 1970 and nobody’s done any upgrades since the big dance number. Still, it’s totally adequate for a couple of nights.

Interestingly, the guests seemed to be 80% German. I’m not sure why this was, because that’s certainly not true of the tourists I see on Gozo–the majority of them seem to be British. Happily, the hotel only seemed about half-full, so there were no ugly incidents involving sun loungers.

This morning we got up at 7:30am and walked over to Comino’s famed Blue Lagoon. We had the place entirely to ourselves for about an hour, until a few Maltese folks came by to set up a brigade of sun loungers and umbrellas. It was quite remarkable to be in this beautiful spot alone. The water is as clear and crystal blue as it looks in the photo.

But that’s been the trick on Malta. Get somewhere before 10:00am, and the place is empty. This has proved true at other famous locales like the Azure Window, as well as cultural and historical sites. After 10:00 AM, though, the tour buses and boats start rolling up.

We didn’t stay, but during the rest of the day the Blue Lagoon gets assaulted by tourists–these two photos give you a sense of just how many people and boats turn up.

I’m a travel snob. I like to explore when (and sometimes where) people aren’t. It’s nice to know I can still do that if I’m willing to get up a little early.


  1. Stanley Park’s sea wall behaves the same way, get there before 10AM and only a few locals, get there after 10AM and it starts to pick up, get there after 11AM and you can walk, but not blade the sea wall…

  2. Well i’m just a snob. I tend to go to barely touched corners of the earth ie remote montain ranges in Northern BC or travel tourist routes out of season ie Portugal in September. I do like other people but I like knowing I can get away.

  3. Totally with you on this. If you’re there when the doors open, chances are there’ll only be three or four other people in the queue.

    The other possibility is the way I did the Louvre when I was fifteen: get there 45 minutes prior to closing with a three-item hit list, see three items, get chucked out as they lock the doors.

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