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Minorca

Minorca

Menorca was named after the Spanish word 'menor' which means smaller. As the name already suggests Menorca is smaller than its neigbouring islands. While the majority of holidaymakers flock to the more publicity-prone islands of Mallorca and Ibiza, Menorca attracts those who want the best of the Balearics, but without the crowds. The stunning coves with white sand beaches are enough of a draw by themselves, but the historic remains of the Brisith occupation, the countryside and tranquillity of this quieter isle all add to its charm.

Just 48 kilometres long and 20 kilometres wide, Menorca, the most eastern of Spain’s Balearic Islands, manages to pack in over 100 beaches along its coastline – more than Ibiza and Mallorca combined. Consequently, unfurling a towel and soaking up the rays are the most prevalent thoughts of the thousands of holidaymakers who touch down at Mahón Airport during the six-month season. Menorca is a perfect place to go snorkelling and discover hidden caves. Get spectacular views of the stunning coastline and explore the island's marvelous nature by either hiking on Monte Toro, its highest peak, or a going on a horseback excursion. The reward is a breathtaking view and on a clear day you can see all the way to Mallorca.

However, Menorca has a lot more to offer than just sandy beaches, amazing landscape and coastline. Take a stroll to historic cities to see the architectural heritage of the British occupation or the medieval era. Fort Marlborough with its gloomy tunnels, La Mola or Cathedral Ciudadella, a beautiful church with lovely stonework and stained glass windows, the possibilities to delve into local history are endless. On top of that, you can sample one of the best legacies of the British ruling: locally distilled gin.

Many immediately head east, through the flower-freckled meadowland of the interior, to the resort of Cala en Forcat, Cala en Bosch and Cala Galdana. Most only return west when it is time to trundle up the airplane steps, having never visited the capital, Mao, which is a shame. Not only does it have the second deepest natural harbour in the world (after Pearl Harbour), it also boasts a colourful and turbulent history due to the many seaborne conflicts between the Spanish, British and French to gain control of this strategically positioned naval base.

With so many coves to choose from you are spoilt for choice. Some are only accessible by private road where a small toll is often charged during the summer months.

The island’s signature dish is (unsurprisingly) seafood – caldereta de llagosta, or lobster stew, to be precise. Also, look out for pork with apples or plums and dozens of variations of oliaigues, or garlic soup. Unless you are of a robust constitution, do not be tempted by a Minorcan breakfast – neat gin!

Coffee ‘time outs’ are obligatory in the Minorcan culture. Thankfully, there are plenty of venues to satisfy the craving, many with spectacular ocean views.

A word of advice: do not come to Minorca if you are a nocturnal neon-seeker with a penchant for high decibels. That is not to say the lights go out at bed time. Maó, Ciutadella and most resort areas have a profusion of bars and a handful of clubs – just do not expect A-list DJ’s and dancing till breakfast.

For sheer diversity of shops, you should head for Maó or Ciutadella. In Maó, the area around Carrer Ses Moreres and Carrer Nou are home to the high-street labels. For stores of more individual character you’ll need to stroll down Moll de Ponent in the port area.

Ciutadella’s ground zero for shopaholics is Ses Voltes and its numerous offshoots, where you will find plenty of opportunities to replenish your wardrobe.

Talking of which, you cannot visit the island and not buy a pair of avarques – Minorcan leather sandals soled with old car tires. To purchase at the point of origin, try S’Avarca de Menorca on Carrer Angel, Maó. Not only does it have the widest choice, it is also the oldest factory on the island.

Xoriguer Gin and the famous Minorcan cheese should also be on the shopping list. Try the Xoriguer Distillery on Anden de Poniente in Maó for the former, La Bodega on Carrer Santissim in Ciutadella for the best wedge of cheese.

Lovers of bric-a-brac have numerous artisan markets to choose from including Es Migjorn Gran on Tuesday evening, Maó on Friday evening and Ciutadella on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.

 

Property Location Located in Ciudadela de Menorca Cala Blanca, Aparthotel Club Andria is close to Cathedral of Menorca and Plaza de Alfonso III. This aparthotel is within the vicinity of Macarelleta Beach and Naveta d'Es Tudons.Rooms Make yourself at..
The Club Andria Aparthotel offers simple self-catering accommodation in a quiet location just a short distance from the beach in Cala Santandria. There are various facilities available for all the family to enjoy during their stay including an outdoor..
The Cales de Ponent Apartments offer all you need for a great holiday. The Apartments are comfortable and bright: all have balcony- private bathroom- kitchenette- ceiling fan and satellite TV. The complex is built around a central pool and childrens pool..
This charming apartments lie in the much sought-after and quiet area of Son Xoriguer, Calan Bosch, approximately 300 m from the beaches on the southwest coast of Menorca. To the south and the east, the complex is bordered by the beautiful coastline of..
The Club Hotel Aguamarina is situated on a gradual rise- overlooking the Bay of Arenal den Castell; it is a super hotel for families as it offers a wealth of facilities and activities so you can choose to just relax by one of the pools or on the beach-..
Offering everything for a great family holiday the Club Hotel Sur Menorca is superbly situated and has a wealth of activities for everyone - all set in spacious gardens. All rooms are air conditioned with bathroom- TV- safety deposit box and balcony or..
Located in the quiet and attractive resort of Playa de Fornells on Menorca's northern coast, villas Playa de Fornells is a selection of two and three-bedroom villas that are ideally suited to families. The traditional whitewashed villas contain everything..
This hotel is situated in Biniancolla's tourist centre around 250 m away from the sea. The nearest public transport links are right by the hotel, while restaurants and bars are 800 m away. The nearest beach, Punta Prima, is around 1.5 km away (easily..
Property Location With a stay at Confortel Menorca in Ciudadela de Menorca Cala Galdana, you'll be convenient to Cala Mitjana Beach. This family-friendly aparthotel is within the vicinity of Son Saura Beach and Santa Agueda Castle.Rooms Make yourself..
This recently refurbished apartment complex, very nicely secluded by pinetrees, is located 200m from Cala Galdana, renowned as one of the most amazing bays of the south of the island. Within walking distance guests will find the unspoilt beaches of Macarella..
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