Going bronze in Menorca

Visitors flock in their droves every year to the wonderful Island of Mallorca, just one of the Balearic Islands of Spain.
But sitting pretty just next door, you'll find a real beauty, and a visit to Menorca will leave you in no doubt that this island is anything but minor in its array of attractions, not least the rich amount of prehistoric remains.
Literally hundreds of Bronze Age villages and remains are to be discovered on this island of sunshine  - so let´s look at who once lived in a place like this!

Menorca, Cala Tortuga

Menorca is Green Spain

A countryside with cattle roaming the lush green fields, open spaces of largely unspoilt farmland and a stunning coastline, is Menorca best described.
This little island is the farthest of the Balearics from the mainland of Spain, and it's quite different in lots of ways.  Whether you choose to come in springtime for the flowers, or to while away lazy summer days - Menorca won't disappoint.

Cala Trebaluger, Menorca

A Menorcan fiesta for January

Why not visit next month for the January fiesta of Sant Antoni Abat?  That's the one where all of the animals are blessed each year on the same day on both Mallorca and Menorca- parades of elegant Spanish horses help to form the colourful processions.

The capital of Menorca -  Maó - also lends its name to the salad dressing we all use, Mayonnaise, taken from the Spanish translation of Mahon. Maó is an elegant town: from the bobbing boats in the harbour – just the place for a plate of freshly landed and cooked fish – to the serene streets and shuttered houses with all of the woodwork painted in the traditional Menorcan colour of dark green.

Ciutadella, Menorca, the harbour

Where can I view art in Menorca?

For Menorcan art follow the route to the high town and you'll find the Colleccío Hernández Mora, which is stuffed with local art and antiquities. Then afterwards have a browse around the permanent fruit and vegetable market which is close by in the cloisters of the Esglesía del Carme, and choose fresh colourful produce for lunch.

For more museum pieces head down to the Museo de Menorca.  You´ll find it on Calle Doctor Guardia in Maó, and inside you can discover an Aladdin's Cave of artefacts retelling the history of the Talayotic culture of Menorca.

There's also a history of the Franciscan convent in which the museum is located and a good selection of 20th century art, so something for everyone.

*Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 to 14:00 & 18:00 to 20:30 
Public holidays and Sundays 10:00 to 14:00. Closed Mondays 

Menorca - Cala Turqueta

What archaeological finds are there on Menorca?

Menorca might as well be one big open air museum judging by the amount of finds there.  What makes it more interesting is the fact that sites from the Talayotics – 2000BC– can be found all over the island.  Literally hundreds  – actually said to be more than 1500 – sites of remains of Bronze Age settlements are there for discovery, and almost all of them are open to the public.

The different structures that you can expect to spot are:

Navetas: Looking like upside down boats and were used as burial chambers in the past.
Taulas: A T-shaped formation of 2 rocks possibly used as altars.
Talaiots: Circular stone buildings that would have been domestic dwellings in the past. 


The Hippy Trail

Travel to the Cales Coves to see the Neolithic caves hollowed out of the rock face.  Previously inhabited by cavemen and these days you might spot a hairy bloke or two, as New Age travellers have taken over the site and transformed the caves into their homes and a community enjoying an alternative lifestyle.  Lots of modern sculpture now decorates the front of the caves which these days have front doors.

Cave home

What else can I see on Menorca?

When you´re done digging the past you might like to explore the other places on the island.

Ciutadella offers you the chance to discover impressive architecture and graceful squares, as well as the Església Catedral de Menorca. 

Mercadal in the centre of the island is host to the highest mountain – El Toro  – at 1122 ft. At the peak is the Virgen del Toro sanctuary, here since the 13th century - today you can get a decent meal in the restaurant and admire the view. 
Ferreries is a pretty little village with white painted houses, and don´t miss the bay at Santa Galdana with its sandy beach and picture perfect location.

Monte Toro Monastery, Menorca

Best beaches

For the best beaches try Cala del Pilar or Cala Pregonda which are a little difficult to reach but worth the clamber for the views and the unspoilt locations. You can even go Kayaking if you´re feeling a little more energetic.  

Walk to the lighthouse at Cap de Cavallería (6 kms from Fornells) for uninterrupted 360 degree views. This is the northernmost point of the island. There's a small museum there too if the views are not enough, with Roman artefacts.

Fornells which is about 10 km north of Es Mercadal is set on the western side of the island and is built around a castle. This is the place to be if you like messing about on the water – every summer sees the jet-set on their yachts, and coming ashore in their designer gear to order the famous local dish of Caldereta de Llagosta or Lobster Casserole.

Discover a place to stay on Menorca: a little island that's fast becoming a big destination.

Lighthouse at Cap de Cavalleria, Menorca