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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 Hotel Capri Le Petit Spa is centrally located in Mahon, walking distance from Museum of Menorca and close to Hospital Can Misses. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of Xoriguer Gin Distillery and Mahon Harbour.Rooms Make yourself..
This city hotel, recently refurbished, is superbly located in the capital of Menorca, in Mahón. It is only a 10 minutes' walk to the harbor where guests will be able to enjoy the lively ambience. A selection of shopping and entertainment venues is..
Carema Beach Menorca is the latest hotel by the Carema brand on the island. In the style of a beach house, with direct access to Cala'n Bosch beach, with white sand and crystal-blue water. Its buffet restaurant with sea views is loved by guests for its..
Property Location With a stay at Aparthotel Carema Club Playa in Mercadal Fornells, you'll be within the vicinity of Cavalleria Lighthouse and Golf Son Parc. This 4-star aparthotel is within the vicinity of Cala Pregonda and Monte Toro.Rooms Make yourself..
Carema Club Playas is located in the area of Playa De Fornells and is only 50 metres from the nearest beach and a few minutes from the resort centre with many bars, restaurants, shops and nightlife. The hotel has an excellent range of leisure facilities..
The Rey Carlos III Hotel is located 3 km from Mahon, 8 km from the airport and 15 km from Cala Mesquida. The hotel facilities include 24h reception, restaurant, bar, pool, laundry service and wireless internet. The guestrooms are equipped with bathroom..
This apartment complex is located very close to El Lago Marina- a lively and touristic area not far from Cala'n Bosch beach- which is perfectly reachable on foot. Here guests will find a wide variety of bars and restaurants- and can enjoy a nice walk..
Need some quality time in adult company, in a warm and tranquil place where you can choose to chill or play? And not a million miles away? The 4-star Casas del Lago Hotel & Beach Club is Adult-Only, in south-west Menorca, and close to Cala'n Bosch..
A new concept on the island of Menorca. Enjoy the pool area, everyday, with spectacular views and marellous sun sets opposite the Marina of Cala'n Bosch, together with the best Chill Out music of today. There are Balinese Beds, round beds and hammocks..
The Casas del Lago Apartments are located 100 m from the beach, 10 km from Ciutadella, 54 km from the airport and about 55 km from Mahon centre. The facilities include 24h reception, bar, pool bar, pool, massage, internet (extra charge), luggage room,..
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