Menorca Travel Guide
Minorca is a surprise. It is the second largest of the Balearic Islands, the first corner of Spain to see the sunrise and it has nearly the same number of beaches as Mallorca and Ibiza put together. It is the calmest and most well preserved of the archipelago, maintaining a sense of tranquillity in its villages and on its beaches even during high season.
Tread the same beaten tracks that the Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Moors, French, English and Spanish trod before you. Notice how the landscape varies, with red earth and houses built of sandstone diffusing into cliffs covered in pine forests. The more explored south offers miles of sandy beaches in sheltered bays while the north is spotted with quiet fishing villages on rolling hills with a rocky coastline. A great way to explore this stunning island is on horseback or by bicycle, whilst golf-lovers will also appreciate its beauty on the green courses. The island’s coves cannot be missed, so hire a boat and discover underwater life by snorkelling or scuba diving.
Minorca (or Menorca as it is called in Spanish and Catalan) has a much higher concentration of prehistoric monuments than the other Balearic Islands, endowing the surrounding countryside with a curiously mysterious air. The two most important cities, Ciutadella in the west and Maó (or Mahón in Castilian) in the east, offer a diverse cultural heritage for you to discover, with numerous museums and historical buildings of great significance. An interesting fact about Mahón, the capital, is that it has the largest natural harbour in the Mediterranean, which has made it a highly desirable strategic location throughout the ages, especially for the French, Spanish and English navies during the 18th Century which resulted in many alternating occupations. These different cultures brought in many new influences: the English were responsible for the creation of the well-known Mahón gin and the French took this city’s name out into the world and brought it fame for its local salsa mahonesa, which the French court later called mayonnaise. And these influences are still apparent today.
Minorca is known as the tranquil island, but if Minorcans have a fiesta, they know how to party. The locals thoroughly enjoy every festivity, coming out onto the streets and celebrating the same customs they have upheld for centuries. True to their traditions, Minorcans celebrate with pomada, a mixture of local gin and lemonade. Served in a shot glass and with a bitter taste, this drink should be taken seriously.
The whole island holds plenty of surprises, from its food and its rituals to its unbeatable natural beauty! Discover Minorca and be surprised!