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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.

 

Cap d'Artruix, to the south-west of the Spanish Balearic Island of Menorca, is home to the Adults-Only 2-star Apartments Roc Menorca Mar, set on a rocky headland close to the sea, and only 1.5km from the golden sands of Cala'n Bosch. The low-rise self-catering..
This hotel with its pleasant and homely atmosphere is situated beside the picturesque and lively harbour in the charming city of Ciudadela. A hotel with all the comforts you could ask for on your holidays and a venue with a difference for your business..
Location This hotel is located close to the harbour at the heart of Ciudadella. Shopping areas with boutiques, bars and restaurants are to be found in the surrounding area and links to the public transport network are 500 m away. It is 1 km to the inviting..
Offering panoramic views over the harbour of Mahon, the hotel boasts an unrivalled position, close to the historical and other attractions of Menorcas capital city. This modern hotel boasts air conditioning throughout, a restaurant, coffee bar terrace..
With a stay at Nelva Resort & Hotels in Alayor (Cala en Porter), you'll be minutes from Cala Mitjana and Xoroi Caves With a stay at Nelva Resort & Hotels in Alayor (Cala en Porter), you'll be minutes from Cala Mitjana and Xoroi Caves. This aparthotel..
This city hotel is strategically located in the heart of the Ciutadella and is within walking distance from the harbour and the vibrant downtown area. Guests will be able to find- a stone's throw from the hotel- a variety of bars- restaurants and shopping..
The apartments are located 150 m from the sandy Cala Blanca Beach. Public transport can be found 25 m away and the town centre can be reached within 10 minutes. It is about 4 km to Ciutadella and Mahon Airport is 50 km away.Fully refurbished in 2003-..
Platja Gran Hotel is located in Ciutadella- 500 meters from the port and 5 minutes walk from Platja Gran Beach. It offers air conditioning and free Wi-Fi.The rooms are equipped with satellite TV- minibar- safe and a private bathroom with shower. Most..
The Platja Gran Hotel is located in the old historical centre of Ciutadella, the original Menorcan capital, less than 50 metres from Cala Degollador beach. The hotel has a modern architectural style; rooms are well equipped and most enjoy a wonderful..
The Playa Azul Hotel is located in the resort of Cala'n Porter, just 200 meters from the beach and close to the legendary Cova den Xoroi. Located a few meters from the shopping center, the hotel enjoys a privileged location on the southern coast of the..
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