Escape the grey weather and rain of the UK and take a tennis holiday abroad so your game doesn't drop during the winter. We have put together a collection of some of the best destinations abroad to play tennis and visit unique countries.
With our favorite players lining up for the greatest tennis spectacle on earth, Wimbledon, one might think where can we find the best holiday destinations for playing tennis and enjoying local culture combined. Each country has something to offer culturally and esthetically but when add quality tennis coaching tailor made to your specific needs to that, it might not be so easy to find such a place. This is especially the case when you would like to travel to different destinations within the country you would be staying in. Generally it would be easier to find these holidays in countries with a good tennis infrastructure, as in high quality coaches and well maintained/ surfaced tennis courts. You might be surprised that these types of holidays are possible in the Far East too.
In the following paragraphs I will discuss the countries where such holidays can be booked and where I've enjoyed joining them.
Spain would be one of the more straightforward choices for great tennis holidays. There is no shortage of famous Spanish tennis players, with of course Rafael Nadal the one that stands out most. Spain with its Mediterranean climate and clay tennis courts, is a superb destination for a memorable tennis holiday. There are a wide variety of choices of where to book your accommodation with quality courts, players and coaches. When I had put my trip together I looked for a beach/island destination, yet I wanted to visit cultural sights also like museums and was looking for some nights out too. The choice which I had made for my holiday four years ago was the Island of Mallorca, mainly because The Nadal academy is present there and always wanted to visit this beautiful island. The island has beautiful limestone mountains and Roman and Moorish archeological remains are to be found all over this Balearic part of Spain. The second place I picked in Spain was Barcelona with its museums, great restaurants and night life. Spending 4 nights at the Nadal academy, where the coaching was of good standard, all just a little impersonal, but I guess that was expected when pay for a famous name. The next stop was Barcelona where I've played tennis at the Cataluña tennis academy for another couple of days and loved every minute there. Very informal and was able to improve my game tactically great deal. The coaches were speaking good English and the courts were in good shape. Exploring Barcelona was just amazing with its architecture, tasty tapas and vibrant night life. If you are looking for a tennis holiday in Europe this would be my first bet.
The trip which we had booked with a company called Active Away to the Greek Islands of Corfu and Crete was also a memorable one. I have read many good reviews about this company, so I wanted to give it a go. Because I didn't want to stay on just one island/location, booking the trip with the same organisation on two islands seemed a more fun choice for me. The first Island was Corfu and stayed at Daphnila Bay Grecohotel looking over the Dassia Bay. The location itself was nice with great views over the Mediterranean Sea from my hotel room. The hotel was above standard and the coaches were entertaining and knowledgeable. I Felt it was a bit difficult to leave the resort in my free time since I didn't have any booked transport for myself. The day that I did manage to leave the resort, I had booked a private driver to show me around the island, which was great. Couldn't help me thinking a week in the same place was too long, luckily I that I did book another week at the Island of Crete. The transfer from Corfu to Crete was relatively easy by a cheap domestic flight. The company didn't offer the transfer though, so it was kind of a hassle to join the group at arrival on the island of Crete. I had to take a taxi myself from the airport to the resort where we were staying at, called the Lyttos Beach Hotel which wasn't too far from the airport. Here I had an absolute great week of tennis, nightlife and adventure combined. I had been to Crete before when I was in my teenage years and wanted to take a small trip down memory lane. The nightlife beach town called Chersonisos was on my list again and once I visited it I felt I had grown older (not sure wiser) and only spent 1 night out there. Luckily I had rented my own car for a week and was able to see all the nice island sights, like the archeological site of Knossos or the happening capital Heraklion. Overall it was a great experience joining Active Away, but if you're an above level tennis player, like me, or do not like being in relatively big groups, or prefer more time on your own and not drinking; this might not be the trip for you.
Thailand & Asia
The reason why we have decided to write this article is because of our latest tennis adventure. When we were searching once more for tennis packages and holidays we came across a company called Tennis Tours Asia which is a company that organizes tennis holidays in South East Asia and specifically in Thailand. They also run holidays in other Asian countries too. This was by far the best tennis trip we could have ever wished for. The principle of this tour company is to take people all over the country to different destinations, beach, cities, mountains etc. and have coaches traveling with the group and present for sessions at 5 star hotels which they have booked for you. Each morning there is an extensive two hour tennis session guided by at least two professional coaches and an hour of game play after.
They provide all transport, airport pickups and guidance for touristic bookings in your spare time. Since it's a real tour, you wouldn't have make or plan a difficult itinerary yourself. We chose their city beach tour, named after a Thai fruit, which consisted of a city, Bangkok and a beach destination; Hua Hin. Upon arrival we were picked up by a friendly British guide from the airport with a luxury sedan with driver (a private driver is always present during the tour, so you never have to worry about finding transport to and from places).
We stayed in an impeccable 5 star hotel in Bangkok for 2 nights with great tennis courts. Each morning we had a tennis session and once we were done by 11 am, the rest of the day was off, so we were able to visit some great sights in Bangkok. On the third day we were picked up by a luxury minivan and were driven to the next destination two hours south of Bangkok at the seaside resort town, called Hua Hin. Again we stayed at a 5 star hotel; The Dusit Thani Hua Hin right on the beach. Each morning Tennis Tours Asia organised and run tennis sessions by the same coaches and just before lunch the small group was free to do as everyone pleases. They aim for groups not bigger than 8 people to give the best service as possible. A few lunches and a dinner at the end of the week was included in the tour, but there was enough time for making your own choices, so not having to be with people you not like spending time with. At the end of the week a tournament was organized for the people in the group, which one of us won haha. The first price, which was a spa package, we were happy to give it to the cutest girl in the group. Can't wait to book the next tour with this company.