Katie, one of our operations specialists and netball connoisseur has recently come back from an inspection visit to Malta. I caught up with her to find out why she wanted to explore Malta further, and how it is becoming an up and coming destination for sports tours.
Have you been to Malta before what were your first impressions?
Prior to travelling to Malta, I had never visited the country before and I was pleasantly surprised. There are stunning coastlines and beautiful scenery wherever you travel on the island. Being an ex British colony most people on the island speak English and children are taught the language at school from a young age.
With interest in touring to Malta constantly on the increase, what drew you there as a destination to host more of our sports tours?
There are very few destinations within Europe that can offer netball to a good standard and that is one thing that drew me to the country. However, there are fantastic facilities not only for netball but also for hockey (boys), rugby, swimming and football too! There are a variety of destinations on the island where each sport can be played, some within walking distance of our chosen hotels, others that require a short bus journey but all journeys encompass beautiful views.
As a netball player and enthusiast myself, the facilities are just perfect, especially at the Kirkop Sports Complex where the courts are quite new and offer a great base to play netball. What is also great about Malta for netball are the various options for training. You are not just limited to one court to play and train, you can fit in different training venues with your trip, dependent on where you are that day.
All in all, I think for a low-cost netball tour in Europe, Malta is definitely the place to go. It is particularly great for first-time tourers!
What is there to see and do in Malta?
There is plenty to see and do in Malta, it just depends on what you are travelling for. My must-do excursion is a half day tour of Valetta, the Capital of Malta. Valletta is the southernmost capital of Europe and is stunning. A half-day tour encompasses a walking tour of the city, alongside a 5D Malta Experience. The 5D Malta Experience gives groups the opportunity to learn about the history of Malta in a fun and exciting way. It all takes place in a theatre whereby you see the history of Malta through 3D glasses and on moving seats.
Alongside a trip to Valletta, groups can also enjoy a boat cruise to the neighbouring island of Comino, a trip to the National Aquarium, see a variety of marine life at Marine World or if in the correct season, have a splash at the local waterpark.
What are your hotel recommendations?
Our chosen hotels in Malta are perfect for groups and we can offer a variety of hotel to suit different budgets. For school groups, I would highly recommend staying in the resort of Qawra, located in St Paul’s Bay and a maximum 1-hour transfer from the airport (traffic dependant.) There is plenty to see and do in Qawra, with the National Aquarium being just a 10-minute walk from our chosen hotels, The Qawra Palance and the Sunflower Hotel.
For adult groups, we would suggest the resort of St Julian’s. In the day this seaside town is bustling and is known for its beaches like Balluta Bay, Spinola Bay and Portomaso Bay. In the evenings this resort has the best of the island’s nightlife and holds many bars and nightclubs. For accommodation, we would recommend the Alexandra Palace which has a fantastic location in the heart of the resort.
What was your favourite part of the Inspection visit?
It is hard to choose just one part of the trip but I would have to say the visit to Valletta. It is an absolutely stunning city which took my breath away. I would definitely go back there to visit on my own travels.
Can you sum up your visit in 3 words?
Culture, fun and beauty.
So that seemed like a very successful inspection visit for our Katie – if you are feeling inspired and would like to find out more about sports tours to Malta please send us an enquiry here.