Comino Hotel and Bungalows: $50-$82 per person per day, including breakfast and dinner. An extra $18 per person per day covers lunch, Maltese wine, and use of canoes and kayaks. 011-356-2152-9821, www.cominohotels.com
COMINO HOTEL AND BUNGALOWS
Comino Island, Malta
The minute you step off the ferry from the northwestern edge of Malta and onto Comino Island, you'll feel that shipwrecked sense of isolation. This craggy, two-square-mile member of the Maltese archipelago might be home to four farmers and a lodge, the Comino Hotel and Bungalows, but the sea reigns here. A swirl of turquoise and sapphire Mediterranean wraps around the island, luring you back offshore to explore the coastline's hidden caves.
Room & Board: The 95-room limestone hotel features an expansive terrace, a seaside pool, and two small sandy beaches. The 45 bungalows, each with a balcony overlooking the sea and some large enough to sleep five people, are perched atop an adjacent bay just beyond the hotel, with their own pool and restaurant. The menu changes daily and includes fishlike baked acciola (a Mediterranean version of amberjack) and the steak-like grilled denticias well as Maltese rabbit stew.
Out the Back Door: Scuba-dive in the underwater caves of Santa Maria Bay or check out the coral reef off Cominotto, an even smaller neighboring island, with certified instructors from the hotel's PADI Dive Center. Sea-kayak less than a mile to Rabbit's Nest, a protected bay with 100-foot limestone cliffs; a secret staircase set into the cliffs takes you to a 17th-century watchtower constructed by the Knights of St. John to monitor seafaring invaders.