11 Outdoor Group Activities in Malta and Gozo You Have to Try
Time to plan some adventure-packed weekends
I know what you’re all thinking… "xiż-żorb jaħbat żorb?" Well, basically you’re placed in a giant plastic ball with nothing but your legs, hands and head sticking out. Organisers of such events normally try and get people to play a game of football or capture the flag in this suit. However as you might assume, players care more about rolling over everyone in their team than scoring a goal. I would recommend this activity to all ages. Just make sure you’re not the scrawniest person there!
2. Outdoor Laser Tag
Think paintball and archery tag, without the pain, and with a wider area to play in. Sure, laser tag may not be as adrenaline pumping as paintball, and you tend to play riskier as you run out of cover, but it's still great fun to get into. This is where all those hiding and camo skills you learnt in scouts can come in handy, or you could just use human shields as protection.
This outdoor sport has been on the islands for quite a while now. For all you guys who are not familiar with kayaking, you will certainly be familiar with canoeing. Unfortunately many people (especially in Malta) don’t know the difference. Basically, the simplest difference is that a canoe paddle has a blade on one end, while a kayak paddle is bladed at both ends. Kayaking is great for exploring those hard to reach caves and bumping into each other when the instructor isn’t looking. My favourite route is probably round Comino, however here are some great spots in Malta and Gozo too. Disclaimer: If you're like me, and your gym membership expired before the millennium, you will get a little sore after this activity.
4. Badger karting
The age old classic. I still remember having Confirmation parties at badger karting as a kid (Yes those were a thing, anything for a party I guess). This sport however, is turned up a notch once you reach the tender age of 18 and can legally sign your life away. The track is still pretty much the same, but you can go faster and show your a-hole friends who's boss. You never know, if you’re pro enough, you might even qualify for the Red Bull event.
The idea of paintball is simple, you have a gun, full of paint balls and you must shoot at your opponent. Malta currently has an arena in Ta’ Qali, which features a carcass of an old airplane, which is pretty awesome. If you're fine with spending a bit more, you can ask the attendant to buy more paintballs and then unleash hell. A word of advice - try to avoid the harshest summer months as it can get very hot in overalls and a mask.
What’s the best way to get from one cliff face to another? Probably walking around. But what’s the most fun way? Zip lining across of course. A zip line is a steel cable anchored to a cliff face and set at a downward angle, so that you can use pulleys to whiz across like Superman. It's definitely worth trying but since most of the time you will be travelling up to 200m above ground it's not for the fainthearted.
A wise man once said: "Quad bikes are motorbikes for pussies", but that's not entirely true. Gozo is an ideal location for this sport, just grab a couple of buddies with driving licences (also check the age limit, as new drivers are not allowed to drive quadbikes) and explore the beautiful island of Gozo. This activity costs a little more than the rest, but it’s understandable seeing as you cover a lot more ground.
8. Archery Tag
What happens when you mix the relaxing Zen sport of stationary archery with the adrenaline hit of paintball? Archery Tag . Players are split into two teams and basically you must loose arrows at your enemies, fun huh? Oh yeah, I forgot to mention (as I predict a lawsuit coming along) the arrows are covered in foam, hence it being suitable for kids too. Prices for this game are pretty low, however it helps to have a big group of friends and a couple of lessons of archery if you wanna nail those shots.
9. Treasure hunts
This activity is not as common as the rest mentioned is this article, however when one pops up, it totally makes up for it. Treasure hunts have evolved over time, becoming super dynamic. One example was a treasure hunt in Valletta, however the organisers were hunting players down and docking a shitload of points if you’re caught. Keep your eyes out for hunts organised by University, there are at least 4 per year, and the prizes range from weekend breaks to expensive Chablis.
Ah yes, the art of going up, breaking Newton’s favourite law. Currently in Malta there are two major climbing clubs, and they are filled with foreigners. To many, Malta seems like a pretty boring place to climb, especially since we have no mountains, however Malta’s cliffs are simply spectacular and this, coupled with our climate, makes it a pretty fantastic location.
Spelunking aka the best word in the dictionary. Spelunking is the art of exploring caves. Due to Malta's limestone rock layers, it's easy to find a large array of natural caves to explore and many man made ones too. Be sure to take an instructor for the larger spelunks, as its super easy to get lost in the dark!