Menorca is the easternmost island in the archipelago of the Balearic Islands, declared a Reserve of the Biosphere in 1993.
The solitary bays with crystalline waters and the calm rate of life make it the ideal place to spend some calm days resting. Surrounded by the bridleway, Camí de Cavalls, a route round the whole of its coast, Minorca provides us the possibility of discovering surprising spots through its innumerable country paths.
A witness to the passage of numerous civilisations, Minorca conserves a great number of the buildings left by former inhabitants, from the megalithic and prehistoric monuments to the military forts, through a range of Roman, Islamic and paleo-Christian remains.
Popular festivities take place throughout the summer in the different towns on the island, in which the autochthonous breed of Minorcan horse is the real centrepiece.
The Port of Mahón is the second largest natural port in Europe, being nearly 6 kilometres long from the mouth to the top of the harbour. The Port of Mahón has everything required to fascinate the visitor, with calm waters and green banks dotted with houses, villas and bungalows on the northern coast, and the city of Mahón on the southern coast, providing marvellous views over extremely beautiful landscapes.
Guided boat trips are also available, to the key places, explaining the historic events of this port and the whole island of Minorca, glimpsing at the natural enclaves of the port, as well as the constructions from the different dominations that left their trace on the island. There are 4 islets within the port, all of them used for different purposes at one time or another in history.
At night, you can enjoy the great culinary offer of the Port of Mahón, with more than 50 restaurants, bars, cafeterias, pubs and beer halls. There are also gift and craft shops and a night-time stall market and one may enjoy a stroll by the yachts and sailing boats moored at the docks. We also recommend a visit to Calas Fonts, the small port of Es Castell, also located within the Port of Mahón, where you will find good restaurants and a lovely night-time market.
The town of Es Castell is the easternmost town on the island of Minorca, and also of the whole territory of Spain, so it is the first town in Spain where the sun rises, allowing its visitors to enjoy a spectacular sunrise by the sea.
The town is characterised by its British style of town planning and architecture, with a grid shaped layout, straight streets at right angles to each other and facades with corner bay windows known as "boinders" and sash windows, that are typically English elements. In the centre of Es Castell, there is the Plaza Esplanada, surrounded by former military barracks, one of which has become the Military Museum, overlooked by the Town Hall, pointed in English red.
Located with views over the Port of Mahón, Es Castell charms its visitors with its small port, Cales Fonts, a precious fishers' dock that is bustling with life, with caves that have been turned into restaurants, bars and craft shops, an idyllic place to enjoy a quiet walk by the sea, or the sea breeze, sitting on one of its terraces while tasting typical dishes of fresh fish and lobster. It is a luxury for the senses.
The local festivities of Es Castell honour Saint James (Festes de Sant Jaume), held on the 24th and 25th of July. As in the rest of Minorca, the festivity features the “jaleo”, in which the “caixers” (jockeys) and horses demonstrate the powerfulness to the residents, Minorcans and visitors .
Located at the west end of the island, Ciutadella is the second most important town in Minorca, and until the English domination, it was the capital of the island, a title transferred to Mahón during the 18th Century. It is still the ecclesiastic capital, as the seat of the Cathedral of Minorca and its bishopric.
The narrow stone paved streets of the old centre of Ciutadella are a concentrated place of historic interest. The whitewashed white houses and splendour of the stately homes make this old fortified city an indispensable place for the visitor to see. The stately mansions or palaces of the ancient nobility of Ciutadella are now centrepieces during the most traditional festivities of Sant Joan. These buildings, built of sea fossil speckled sandstone, are a spectacle in themselves, and some of them may be visited.
Within the old town centre of Ciutadella we find the emblematic calle de Ses Voltes, that features porticoes along both sides. This street and the whole old city centre is ideal for a quiet walk and to visit the large number of commercial establishments in the area, from traditional shops to modern boutiques, fully integrated in the noble palaces and old homes of Ciutadella.
The festivities of Sant Joan, held on 23rd and 24th June, are one of the most spectacular in Spain. Horses and jockeys called “cavallers” and “caixers”, are the main protagonists of the most conservative Minorcan festivity with its traditional events, maintaining the rituals through all their acts, such as, for example, the Jocs des Pla, equestrian games inspired by the jousting of Medieval knights.
The port of Ciutadella, is one of the most beautiful and picturesque in the Mediterranean. In summer, their capacity is overwhelmed by luxury yachts and numerous tourists who stroll around the terraces and restaurants during the day and have fun in the pubs an discotheques at night.
Cala'n Porter beach is one of the prettiest on the island of Minorca. Its large shell shaped white sand beach, that is 130 metres long and 110 wide, is ringed in by high cliffs that maintain its crystalline water calm even when the wind is blowing.
On the right, we find a damp area that runs like a small stream through the bay and nearby there is also a turret shaped defensive tower.
Around the Cala'n Porter beach, we find one of the oldest, most important tourist residential areas on the island of Minorca. In it, we may find a large number of hotels, above all apartments and bungalows, accompanied by numerous restaurants and bars that give the complex a lively nightlife, with emphasis above all on the “Cova d’en Xoroi”, a natural cave turned into a discotheque above the cliffs of Cala'n Porter, with spectacular sea views.
The Santo Tomás beach is on the south coast of the island of Minorca, in the municipality of Es Migjorn Gran. The Santo Tomás beach has fine white sand and is 390 metres long and 25 metres wide. From Santo Tomás, one may easily reach the Atalis beach (to the east - left from Santo Tomás) and the Binigaus beach (to the west - to the right), both spectacularly beautiful virgin beaches
The visitor may also enjoy precious excursions in the Santo Tomás area, for example to the “Cova des Coloms”, an impressive natural cave among the autochthonous vegetation, or to the virgin beaches of Cala Fustam or Cala Escorxada, following the Camí de Cavalls, a bridle path that runs right round the coast of Minorca.
Going round the perimeter of Santo Tomás beach and San Adeodato, that is located beside it, we find the sea promenade, an ideal place to enjoy a pleasant walk by the sea, and the Santo Tomás residential neighbourhood, one of the quietest, family friendly on the island of Minorca. At Santo Tomás, you will find a large variety of tourist accommodations, both of hotels, apartments and villas, as well as restaurants, bars, supermarkets and souvenir shops .
Es Migjorn Gran, a town that belongs to Santo Tomás, is the newest, smallest municipality of Menorca, independent since 1989, with 1,400 inhabitants. Strolling through its narrow, enchanting streets, one may breath the calm of a town where time seems to have stopped.
Enjoy its restaurants and tapa bars, were one may enjoy dishes of the typical cuisine in the purest traditional style. Feel the silence and calm that prevails in its streets, a source of inspiration for many artists, among which there are large number of musicians, many of whom are members of the Band of Es Migjorn, famous in Minorca due to its festive, youthful nature.