Escaping the winter chill..
The second week of January as snow began to fall here in Ireland I boarded a plane for Malta and some winter sunshine paddling.
January is a great time of year to go away. You have something to look forward to after Christmas and it kick starts the New Year. Last year I was lucky enough to get to go skiing for 2 weeks in Chamonix but this year I am training and I thought it would be more appropriate to go somewhere for a week's paddling.
Malta offers a perfect location for European paddlers to escape the harsh winter and enjoy some sunshine and Mediterranean culture. During January the weather can be mixed but it was above 15 deg C every day during my stay and hit 19 deg C on the weekend. Night time and mornings were cold but fresh.
I can definitely see now why most top athletes try to spend a few weeks or more every winter training in the sun.
Surf Ski Malta are a new company offering packages that include ski hire, accommodation and food at a beautiful location on the north of the island.
During my trip I was staying with a friend in the south, so I trained daily in the Msida Marina where the local Canoe club train. Chris from Surf Ski Malta was kind enough to invite me to train with the club and give me access to a K1 and skis for the week which was great as I was travelling alone.
Cost-wise Malta is a bit cheaper than Ireland in general. A coffee in a cafe usually costs about €1 and lunch about €5, but like everywhere the busier tourist areas are more expensive. After training there is loads to do with many historical sites to visit and beautiful coastline to explore around Malta. I would definitely recommend a trip to Malta at any time of year for training or just to go sea kayaking and sightseeing. I am already thinking about my next visit..
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Kayak instructor, athlete, business owner and outdoor enthusiast from the west coast of Ireland.
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