Menorca

Small but perfectly formed – Menorca

Menorca is one of my favourite islands in the Mediterranean.  It is part of the Balearics, which also encompasses, Majorca, Ibiza and Formentera, but Menorca isn’t known for its party scene like some of the other islands.

I may be biased as I do have a family connection to the island, but in my opinion Menorca is small, quiet, beautiful and full of history.  It’s the perfect place to get away from it all, soak up some sun, swim in gorgeous seas and also get your culture on. There’s enough to keep everyone happy – although if you are looking for a hedonistic, all night club scene, you had better stick to Ibiza for that!

The island is roughly 35 miles in length and it takes about an hour to drive from one end to the other (there’s one main road linking one end with the other).  It’s easy to hire a car at the airport so you are mobile for your stay, or alternatively, if you don’t want that hassle, you will be able to hire a car for a few days wherever you are staying.

I’ve stayed at various different places around Menorca and I have never been very far away from stunning views such as this:

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There are numerous resorts around the coast line, ranging from Cala en Porter with it’s magnificent bay:

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Cala en Porter beach

To Cala en Blanes with it’s small beach and beautiful swimming inlets:

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Cala en Blanes

Whenever I visit the island I never fail to be impressed with the beauty of the coastline; the beaches and the sea are quite stunning.  If you hire a car you are also then able to take yourself off to beaches such as Son Saura, which are not accessible without one (or a boat!). With it’s white sand and blue sea you could be forgiven to thinking that you were somewhere else, such as the Caribbean.

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Son Saura

I am always blown away by the colour of the sea whenever I visit, it’s clear and beautiful and totally mesmerizing.

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Having a car lets you explore the historical sites around the island, of which there are many.  There are lots of prehistoric megalithic stone structures dotted around the island, more than I realised actually (apparently there are over two thousand megalithic monuments in Menorca)! If you like your history of the bronze age variety, there is plenty of it on the island.

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Naveta des Tudons – burial chamber

It’s also worth venturing up Monte Toro which is the highest point on the island, for magnificent views across the entire island.  To get there you have drive up a twisting road, but at the top you are rewarded with the stunning views and a beautiful 17th century church, which is worth a visit as well.

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Views from Monte Toro

The fun part of exploring the island is you don’t know what’s around the next corner and what amazing sight you might see next!

At either end of the island you will find the two main towns – Mahon and Ciutadella, both lovely in their own rights. Mahon is the capital and is therefore larger, but it still retains a charm all of its own and has an amazing harbour (the biggest natural harbour in the Med).  There are numerous boat trips that you can take which I highly recommend.  It’s a lovely way to spend an hour or two!

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Mahon harbour

There are great shops and restaurants in the city centre, and many a happy hour can be spent wandering it’s old streets just taking in the sights. If you are interested in the history of the island check out the museum, which is housed in the remains of an old convent.

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Mahon architecture

Ciutadella, which is located at the west end of the island is similarly charming.  A bit smaller and easier to get around, it will match Mahon for a fun day out – particularly if you visit on a fiesta day!

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Fiesta day in Ciutadella!

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They are big occasions and it’s great fun to mingle amongst the crowds and the processions as they take place.  It pays to do a little bit of research so that you know what’s going on!  One thing that is certain, there will be lots of Menorcan gin drunk!!

Menorca is small but perfectly formed and there is much more to the island than just sun, sea and sand. It’s a great place for a summer break or a weekend getaway and I could happily return there year after year…. if there weren’t so many other places in the world to explore as well!

 

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