COMINO Cruise and Walk – Saturday 17 MAY 2014
The Malta Geographical Society – Website: www.maltageographical.org – E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Time: 9.30am (Meeting and registration)
Departure: 10.00 am
Return: 6.30 pm (approximately)
From: BUGIBBA JETTY
Price: Members: Eur 12.00
Non-members Eur 13.00
Children under 10 yrs Eur 8.00
Booking up to Wednesday 14 May (all day) online (usual website system)
Or SMS 9920 8510 (please include your name).
Payment will be collected at the Bugibba Jetty, but due on booking.
Limited places. Book early. First come first served.
Route: (Depending on the sea conditions):
FOR SAFETY REASONS, the Captain of the boat reserves the right to cancel or alter the cruise due to weather conditions.
We leave Bugibba jetty in the direction of St. Paul’s Island and navigate between the island and Selmun point. Then we cross Ghadira Bay heading for ‘Ahrax’ point, where we visit Smugglers Cave and view ‘Dragunara’ Cave.
In order to circumnavigate Comino, on our way to Comino we pass by Santa Marija Battery, then near the tuna fish farms, to ‘Irqieqa’ point and we turn right under the Comino Tower to visit ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ Cave and the ‘Crystal Lagoon’.
We will proceed to the Blue Lagoon, where we disembark.
We re-embark on the Romantika at approximately 4.45 pm (exact time will be communicated in the morning, depending on the sea conditions). Our return trip will be from the other side of Comino, cruising by the St. Nicholas Bay (San Niklaw) and Santa Marija Bay. We enter Santa Marija Caves and also view the ‘Elephants head’ rock.
Our expected time of arrival at Bugibba Jetty is approximately at 6.30 pm.
We will be travelling on an 80 foot boat called ROMANTIKA (see photos on our website). This is the same boat that we used last year for our tour to St. Paul’s Island and Ahrax point. There will be a bar on board the Romantika boat. Toilets are also available on board.
On Comino you may wish to either relax or join in the Walk. The organized walk on Comino will include a visit to the Santa Marija Tower and the Redoubt (The Gun Battery). Those who prefer to relax by the sea, have a swim or explore the island independently are welcome to do so.
Please remember to bring a packed lunch and water. We also recommend a wide-brimmed hat and good walking shoes for those who wish to join the walk. As usual we recommend backpacks and definitely no handbags! Sun protection cream is also recommended.
Walk Notes for Comino:
Comino and Cominetto administratively form part of Gozo and are attached to the Local Council of Ghajnsielem. The highest point on Comino is 75 metres above sea level on the eastern part of the island. All the bays are to be found along the northern shore. These are Santa Marija Bay, San Niklaw and the Ghar Ghana inlet. Comino has an area of approximately 3.5 sq kms (2 x 1.5 km). The island is mainly composed of upper coralline limestone.
Comino takes its name either from the Cumin crop which was grown widely and exported to Europe, or from the Greek word keimenos (close). The main settlement on Comino is in the area around the tower: Il-Palazz’ (used in the past as a hospital, a quarantine station and now partly used as home by two of the four or so residents of Comino; bird-life and ring birds. A cemetery, no longer in use, is situated not far from the Santa Marija Tower. In the past the island was often used as a refuge by corsairs who threatened the crossing between Malta and Gozo.
The Comino Hotel and Bungalows are to be found on the northern coast of Comino. However the main attraction on Comino is without doubt the Blue Lagoon that attracts so many thousands of visitors to this lovely island.
Our boat will take us to the Blue Lagoon where we walk across the garigue to the Santa Marija Tower, built by Grand Master Wignacourt in 1618. The architect of the tower was Vittorio Cassar. There are ruins of an earlier fortification (around 1419) above the present Redoubt (the Gun Battery) which was built in 1715 during the reign of Grand Master Perellos. This tower, together with Mellieha’s Torri l-Ahmar (Red Tower) became part of the ring of warning towers set up around the Maltese Islands by Grand Masters Lascaris and De Redin in the middle of the 17th century. The idea was to give early warning of approaching raids from the sea and to be able to deploy defensive troops to defeat them. Both properties have now been given in trust to Din l-Art Helwa who completed their restoration in 2004.
The Tower will be opened for us by Din L-Art Helwa so we can look around inside and to experience the spectacular views from the roof. However, please note that there are several flights of very steep stairs leading to the roof as well as to the ‘lower’ ground floor. Entrance is free of charge, but a donation to Din l-Art Helwa will be appreciated.
We then walk along a footpath towards the Santa Marija Gun Battery, a redoubt on the eastern part of the island, facing Malta. This was built between 1714 and 1716 to catch enemy vessels attempting to disembark troops on to the shore of the island.
We follow a rough track uphill alongside the old pig farm just above the Redoubt towards the semi-derelict houses now used by Nature Trust Malta and then proceed to the Chapel and Santa Marija Bay where we stop for lunch and a swim (weather permitting). There is a possibility for some walkers to continue along the coastline, but this is on a rather trough terrain.
We continue our walk back to the Blue Lagoon for our return journey to Bugibba.
A walk or event may be changed at the discretion of the Society at anytime.
When attending this event please say that you saw it mentioned on www.maltababyandkids.com