Menorca

Menorca

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About Menorca

Crystal clear water and hidden beaches on this relatively untouched isle

The great Spanish beach holiday has never been so good as on the relatively untouched island of Menorca. Thanks to a lack of excessive industrial development, crystal clear water and hidden beaches can still be found in abundance. Like all Spanish islands the range of cuisine available on the many restaurants and cafes throughout the islands is always creative and delicious, while the outstanding architecture and interesting cultural history will be sure to keep you busy.

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Most of the retail action happens in the capital Mahon and the former capital Ciutadella. Along with branches of the ubiquitous Zara, Mahon is home to some seriously upscale boutiques as well as numerous souvenir and craft shops selling pottery and other handmade goods. Shoes were once big business and it’s still possible to buy a pair of locally made leather avarques (flat, unisex, slingback shoes) in most towns on the island. Also worth a try is the local moonshine – a spirit made from grape juice and juniper berries called Gin Xoriguer.

Menorca is a fabulous place to eat and there’s no shortage of restaurants in which to try local favourites such as caldereta de llagosta (fragrant lobster stew) and mayonnaise, which was invented in the capital. In Mahon, head to Restaurant S'espigó (267 Moll de Llevant), which offers a huge array of seafood in chic surroundings, or Marivent (314 Moll de Llevant). Elsewhere, Ciutadella’s cosy La Guitarra (1 Carrer Dolors) is the place to go for hearty meat dishes and lashings of cheese and wine. For cheap and cheerful tapas, try Aurora (3 Plaça Ses Palmeres).

Thanks to Franco, Menorca, or Minorca as it’s also known, remains relatively undeveloped outside the main cities of Mahon and Ciutadella. Most of the big resorts are along the south and east coasts, although the rugged north offers plenty of scope for those after peace. One property that offers the best of both worlds is Hotel Rural Sant Ignasi (Ronda Norte), a fantastically pretty country pile just outside Ciutadella. Head to the Sol Gavilanes (Urbanización Santa Galdana) for a beach break. Cheaper but just as convenient for sea and sand fans is the Prinsotel La Caleta (Signe Lleó) in Cala Santandria.

Revelta i Beneides de Sant Antoni Abat

January

A particularly entertaining way of shaking off the post-Christmas blues, San Antoni celebrations see locals dust off their glad rags for two days of bonfires, street parties and fireworks.

Menorca Jazz Festival

April-May

A six-week celebration of all things jazz and blues, Menorca’s headline musical event sees concerts staged in venues across the island, although the biggest gigs happen in Mahon and Ciutadella.

Passejada dies Bou i Carro Triunfal

July

It’s not quite as spectacular as Pamplona but Valldemossa’s annual festivities do include a convoy of snorting bulls – some angrier than others. After you’ve enjoyed the bovine parade, head to one of the many street parties for a slab of excellent local steak.

Festa des Vermar

September

Binissalem is the scene of Bacchanalian festivities celebrating the local wine industry and not surprisingly, there are plenty of opportunities to try a glass or two.

Dilous Bo

November

Celebrating all things gastronomic, the traditional festival of Dilous Bo is a feast for the senses in more ways than one. The little town of Inca is the hub for celebrations and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to taste local favourites such as ensaimada pastries and fennel-fragranced cuixot sausages.

Useful Information

Key facts

Language:Spanish
Currency:Euro
Time zone:GMT +1 hour
Flight time:2 hours 40 mins
Airport code:MAH
Holiday type:Beach / Sightseeing / Summer Sun / Watersports

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