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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.

 

This hotel is located directly in the centre of Calan Porter on the Balearic island of Menorca. The beach is only around 200 m away and convenient public transport links- numerous shopping and entertainment opportunities- a park as well as the famous..
Hotel Sa Barrera is situated in the centre of Cala´n Porter, a modern suburb of Alaior, built along a cliff top, 8 kilometres from Minorca airport, and only 200 metres from the beach. From its sunny position, you have a wonderful view of the bay,..
Located in Cala n Porter, only 200 m from the beach. **Hotel for adults only** The Sa Barrera Hotel is located 200 m from the beach, 11 km from the airport, 13 km from Mahon and about 45 km from Ciutadella. The hotel facilities include restaurant, bar,..
PLEASE NOTE: apartment on an undetermined floor. The extra folding bed is only suitable for children. Change of bed linen extra 6 Euros/person and for towels 3 Euros/person. Cosy apartment house "Sa Cala 02", built in 1986, renovated in 2001...
PLEASE NOTE: apartment on an undetermined floor. The extra folding bed is only suitable for children. Change of bed linen extra 6 Euros/person and for towels 3 Euros/person. Comfortable apartment house "Sa Cala 03", built in 1986, renovated..
AVAILABLE MAY TO OCTOBER - The Sa Caleta Apartments are 200 metres from the beach in the quiet Cala Santandria bay area. The centre of Ciutadella is 5 miles away. The town is a maze of narrow Arabic and medieval streets. The horn shaped harbour is long..
This elegant hotel is situated in the heart of Mahón- the capital of the island of Menorca. Restaurants- bars- theatre- cinema- bowling alley- nightclubs and the shopping district with prestigious boutiques are only a few steps away- Punta Prima..
This hotel is located 850m from the city center and 3.5km from the beach. Facilities and services include a restaurant, bar, elevator, wireless Internet access, room service and 24-hour reception. Rooms feature air conditioning, TV, telephone, mini bar,..
The friendly little hotel Santandria Beach is right on the beach of the same name. Restaurants and a supermarket are nearby, and Ciutadella is only 3 km away, also within walking disctance along the coast. Each room has a telephone, TV, bathroom with..
This attractive hotel is located on the small bay of Cala Santandria- right next to the beach. The picturesque old town of Ciudadella offers various shopping facilities and entertainment venues as well as a lively yacht harbour; all situated around 3..
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