WWN Travel: Our Guide To Malta

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STEPPING off the plane into the humid air at Malta International Airport, the first thing we noticed was all the private jets lined up outside the small hangars that flank the airstrip.

Clearly this Mediterranean island is popular among the super-rich, so our excitement grew as we made our way to the terminal to collect our luggage. If billionaires from all across the world are drawn to this small island off the coast of Sicily, then there must be something truly magical about it.

Our excitement waned as we made our way to our hotel: there’s nothing wrong with Malta, but there’s nothing overly special about it either. It has pretty harbours and scenic views, but it isn’t exactly Monte Carlo. Still, some of Europe’s richest people live here, so what do we know?

Our taxi driver hears our accent, and makes small talk by asking us where we’re from. We tell him Ireland, and he becomes very withdrawn, as if he’s had bad experiences with someone Irish before.

Having left our luggage at the hotel and set out to discover what Malta has to offer. The food here is delicious, and we are thankful that our stay will be a short one: if we lived here, we’d be the size of whales, just grotesquely obese altogether.

The winding streets and alleys are lined with flats and apartments, most of which appear empty. We ask a local, who owns these beautiful apartments, and how come they’re empty.

Barranin, we’re told. Foreigners! They own property in Malta but most only visit once a year, to retain their status as Maltese residents. Seems expensive, we think. Have they not heard of Trivago?

We wander around the coastal towns and villages, remarking on the quaint artisan markets and banks with huge queues of rich-looking white people snaking out the doors and down the street. We’re quite bemused by this: surely if you’re in a beautiful island such as Malta, you could find better things to do rather than set up a bank account and have all your earnings transferred into it from your business interests across the globe so that you don’t pay tax on it. There’s parasailing down at the beach for Christ sake – live a little!

We make our way back to our hotel to rest for the night, having reached our conclusions on Malta:  Overall, the native Maltese people are very friendly. But would we live here? Definitely not. You’d have to pay us a serious amount of money for that, or at the very least not tax us on any money we made for the rest of our lives. Also, it gets pretty nippy in the evenings. No thank you, Malta!

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