National Geographic brand Ibiza the world's sleaziest island
National Geographic Traveller Magazine published the results of their annual top island guide this week, in which 522 ‘travel experts’ placed Ibiza second from bottom, out of 111 ‘selected islands and archipelagos’.
“Ibiza is not Spanish anymore. Or Balaeric. It is a colony of Europe and, at times, seems more a colony of British ravers. Half the island is still ‘natural.’ The other half has been lost completely to the party circuit”, one writer complained. “Ibiza cannot get rid of the vicious circle it went through a few years ago,” another added. “Booze, partying, and drugs are a big part of an increasingly sleazy scene.”
The writers ranked ‘cloudy, beach-poor islands’ like the Shetlands and Isle Of Skye at the top of their poll, to the consternation of Pacha chief Danny Whittle. “Who cares what these people think; if your thing is counting sheep then Ibiza probably isn’t the ideal destination, but then if you like nice beaches, cool hotels and great social life then the Shetlands is probably not ideal either,” he pointed out.
“Have they been to Ibiza recently,” Danny continued. “Ibiza is what it is, there is no need for excuses. If people look beyond the clubbing, social element (which is the best in the world) they’ll also find an amazing island with fantastic local people. This island hasn’t become famous because it’s a hell hole but because millions of people love it and enjoy its reality.”
Danny went on to praise Ibiza’s ‘sport, archaeology, museums’ and confirmed that Pacha have no plans in the immediate future to relocate to the Shetlands (‘not unless sheep take up dancing, drinking and enjoying life a little’.) “In a way Ibiza has become like a superstar as a destination and some of the press just look for the negatives to get column inches,” he added. “Then you see the same reporters jumping around the Space terrace having a ball.”
National Geographic’s worst ranked island this year was St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, which one critic described as a ‘totally spoiled and low-quality, high-volume destination’. “The native population is unfriendly,” another travel hack cautioned, “with a coldness that borders on outright hostility.”