Legend tells that the winds of Menorca modify the personality of people. Maybe that is the reason why those who came here once as tourists mostly return … Menorca certainly has a very strong personality, and a very different one to the rest of the islands. Menorca, the “minor” island, as it was called by Romans, has an almost virginal interior (compared for instance to the “major” island, Mallorca) and shows interesting remains of its old history.
On the other hand, there are beaches and lonely bays around it at a length of 216 kilometers. An ideal resort for all those who are looking for true relaxation. Menorca, sometimes called Minorca, is the next biggest island to Mallorca but far less developed, and as previously mentioned specializes in offering relaxing holidays.
Locals sometimes call it ‘the quiet one’, although the name strictly speaking means ‘the small one’. It is only about 30 miles long by an average of 10 miles wide – and quiet. It’s that too, being the least visited of the three big Balearic islands. It’s also the furthest from mainland Spain.
Menorca’s population is less than a tenth of Mallorca 25 miles to the west, but it is has two surprisingly interesting cities, some great beaches, greener and more gentle countryside plus a treasury of prehistoric sites.
Menorca has no mountains, just a big hill in the middle (Monte Toro) and its coast is dotted with narrow rocky inlets. There are resorts, although nothing as rowdy as Mallorca, and Menorca has preserved its farming and leather-working traditions, making its economy less dependent on tourism.
The capital Mahón (Maó in the local version of Catalan) is a small town on the east coast with many Georgian-style buildings dating back to the periods of British occupation between 1713-1802. The older town of Ciutadella (the former capital) on the opposite side of the island is a charming destination, which also contains the island’s 14th-century cathedral.
The big resorts along the south coast are worth visiting for their nice beaches – try Cala Galdana, Cala en Porter and Binibequer Vell. And take a drive anywhere around Menorca and you’ll soon find prehistoric tombs and houses. Across the island are several sites dating back almost 4,000 years.