I’m back from my first ever trip to Menorca, and I’m truly astonished by the beauty and diversity of this Spanish island. Together with a group of bloggers, Instagrammers and YouTubers. I was invited to Menorca by Visit Spain and Traverse. We had two days of workshops and talks, but there was also time see a little of the island. At around 30 miles long and 10 miles wide, it’s an easy place to travel around. I found it a fascinating destination, and I’d love to go back to explore it further. Here are some of the things which I learnt on my trip.
If you’re looking for beautiful, unspoilt beaches, with pale sand and clear, blue water, Menorca is the place to go – it’s home to more than 100 beaches. We spent a day exploring the southeast of the island, and stopped off at various pristine beaches to take photos. Sadly there was no time to swim, but I did manage a quick paddle at one beach, and the sea was definitely warm enough for swimming.
Pomada is a delicious Menorcan drink which is made by mixing Menorcan gin with cloudy lemonade. Served with ice, it’s very moreish and refreshing.
My first taste of pomada was in the most amazing bar that I’ve ever been to: Cova d’en Xoroi, which is housed in some clifftop caves. It’s a unique place with various terraces and places to sit, and an indoor and an outdoor bar. We went there one evening to watch the sunset and it was a truly spectacular experience.
There are tortoises living in the wild in Menorca – I know this because we saw one when we went for a walk around Parc Naturel de s’Albufera, a beautiful coastal nature reserve. The whole island was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1993, in recognition of its diverse and unspoilt ecology.
There are seven lighthouses dotted around the coast of Menorca. We went to see Favaritx lighthouse, on the windy northeast corner of the island. The coastline around the lighthouse is rugged and rocky and the water is clear and blue and gorgeous.
Binibequer Vell was built in the 1970s as a tourist resort – but it looks like a traditional fishing village. That’s because local architect Antonio Sintes designed it that way, inspired by the whitewashed walls and roofs of the area. It’s a very picturesque place with courtyards, narrow alleys, rooftop turrets and low-level buildings.
Menorca has the most marvellous wooden gates, They’re made from olive wood in a very particular design. I first spotted one on the drive from the airport to our hotel, and then noticed them all over the place, in amongst the miles and miles of drystone walls which enclose the fields. (I really want some of those gates for my house).
Cami de Cavalls
The Cami de Cavalls is a walking route which goes around the island’s coast. It stretches for more than 100 miles and was originally used to connect Menorca’s watch towers and fortresses.
Menorcans claim that mayonnaise comes from Mahon, their capital (mahonnaise – geddit?). The story goes that in the eighteenth century, when Richelieu commanded the French army, he stopped to eat at a tavern in Mahon. There he was served this sauce, and he liked it so much that he took the recipe back to France, where it became known as mayonnaise. (I may be calling it mahonnaise from now on though, just to irritate my kids).
It’s hard to tell when you’ve actually started an electric car. I know this because Nissan lent us some electric cars to use during the trip, and I tried one out. It was a Nissan E-NV200 electric people carrier and it was completely silent to drive. You start it up by pressing a button. The car was an automatic and it was surprisingly powerful and nippy. I liked it.
Jet2 is a great airline. I’d never flown with them before, probably because I live near Gatwick and they don’t fly from there, but for this trip we flew with them from Stansted to Mahon. I was travelling with hand luggage only (I’m evangelical about this since I managed a trip with just 8kgs of luggage) and was delighted to find that Jet2 allow a carry-on bag of up to 10kgs plus a small handbag. Result! Luggage allowances aside, the airline staff were noticeably friendly and helpful, the plane felt spacious and airy, and I could reach into the overhead locker without having to stand on my seat and feel extra short.
I really enjoyed my short trip to Menorca. It’s a charming, unspoilt place with excellent beaches and interesting places to explore, and I’d definitely like to go back there. I’d like to explore the two main towns, Mahon and Ciutadella, as I didn’t have the chance to do that on this trip, and I’d also like to have some time to relax on some of those glorious beaches, and to go snorkelling and kayaking in the sea.
Over to you
If you’ve been to Menorca, how did you find it? If you haven’t been, would you like to go there? Is there anything that you’d like to know about my trip?