Menorca - The Island

Menorca is the second largest, and most eastern, of the Balaeric Islands. It is the greenest of the group, but enjoys similarly wonderful summer weather to the others and mainland Spain. It is approximately 35 miles long and 9 miles wide, and is explored easily by car. The current capital, Mahon, has one of the world’s largest natural ports, and Cuitadella, at the other end of the island, was the island’s former capital. Both towns have lively and varied waterfront restaurants so that you can dine and “people-watch” at the same time.

There are over 100 beautiful beaches and coves (some only accessible by boat or via difficult tracks), and many of these provide safe bathing for children.

Menorca has the greatest concentration of discovered pre-historic and bronze-age settlements in the world and has been a favoured site for many nations including Romans, Arabs, Turks and Greeks. The Romans gave the island its present name which means 'little one' in contrast to Majorca which means 'large one'. The island is covered with evidence of settlements and are well worth a visit.

Over the past 200 years, Menorca has alternated under British, French and Spanish rule, and was finally ceded to Spain in 1802. However, there is still a strong British influence on the island.

In general the nightlife on the island is pretty much low-key with few discos and clubs. Warm evenings are more often spent in the street cafes and bars. The local menu is predominantly seafood or cheese based especially in Fornells where lobster is of the highest quality. Mahon is reputedly where mayonnaise originated.

Throughout the summer, each town and most villages have a local fiesta. The shops shut and the people celebrate. There is often a “jaleo” – a parade of dancing horses – which is unique, very exciting and great fun, and the evening is finished off with a firework display.

The Villa
Menorca - The Island
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