Menorca's Historically Rich Western Coast

The western shores of Menorca are known for their picturesque beaches, however, Menorca offers much more. On this side of the island we will discover the noble city of Ciutadella, scenes of unforgettable sunsets and the importance of the limestone rocks, known here as “marés”, which characterise the Menorcan landscape.

Ciutadella

The former capital, Ciutadella, is a town which was originally influenced by nobility and the church. Tracks of narrow streets and lanes streak around the town, dotted with stately homes, convents, churches, squares and markets.

Palau des Bisbe

It´s easy to get lost in this intricate network of narrow streets, enclosed by medieval walls where two bastions stand - one in Plaça des Born, behind the Town Hall (from which there are great views of the harbour) and the second is now home to the Municipal Museum.

Plaça des Born, the town's main square, can be easily reached by bus or taxi. The markets held there on Friday and Saturday mornings are a treat and are surrounded by beautiful buildings such as the Town Hall, Casa Salort, the House of Count Torre-Saura, the San Francisco church and the Theater des Born.

Ayuntamiento de Ciutadella

The obelisk that sits in the middle of the square was built in the memory of citizens who fought during the Turkish siege of 1558. From here, you can go down to the port or immerse yourself in the historical town centre.

Outside the restaurant ‘Ses Voltes’ you can enjoy a lovely view of the gothic style Cathedral. Built on top of the ruins of a mosque on the orders of Alfonso XII after the re-conquest of Menorca, the Arab structure still retains the original square bell tower. 

Catedral de Ciutadella

The El Roser church is the perfect example of Menorcan baroque style. Today it houses a municipal exhibition hall with a lovely arts program.

Plaza del mercado

The convent of Saint Augustí is certainly a beautiful sight. Feeling peckish? Why not stroll through the fish market and the Molí des Comte (the Count's Mill) that now houses a popular restaurant. On this street also lies the Ses Voltes restaurant (named for the arches of the veranda) and is perfect for buying souvenirs or sampling tapas.

Ses Voltes

From June to September the port hosts evening craft markets with over 20 stalls selling Menorcan products, jewellery, handbags and leather goods and holding musical performances. On the road leading down to the port, there are many quaint establishments to stop and have a drink. There are also plenty of live music venues such as Sa Clau, Vaporet, Es Cau and Mustassa.

Lighthouses

On the western side of Menorca you will also find three of the seven lighthouses.

Often considered the most interesting lighthouse in the bunch, Punta Nati is located on the northwestern tip of the island. It was built as a result of pressure from the French government after the steamship ‘General Chanzy’ crashed and sank here in 1910. The lighthouse is surrounded by a rocky area which is completely devoid of vegetation. The sunsets that may be viewed from here are among some of the best this island has to offer. 

Punta Nati

Sa Farola is the "urban" beacon of Menorca and it lies just 1km from Ciutadella. There is a barrier built on the side facing the sea to protect the lighthouse from the erosive force of the waves. After a visit to the lighthouse, take a stroll along the promenade. From there you can admire the entrance to the port of Ciutadella, which appears to be dominated by San Nicolau Castle, a seventeenth century watchtower.

Artrutx lighthouse

Artrutx is the lighthouse that marks the southwest coast of the island on the Menorca to Majorca channel. Like its counterpart, Punta Nati, the landscape here is also dominated by rocks which have been eroded over the years by wind and salty sea spray. Just outside the entrance of the lively ‘Cala'n Bosch’ marina, there is a lovely restaurant with live music and evening shows, where you can stop for a drink before dinner.

Líthica

Laberinto del Totem

A few kilometers from Ciutadella are the quarries of S'Hostal. These are ancient quarries constructed from "marés" - a sedimentary limestone rock typical of the buildings of Menorca. The quarries were active until 1994 when plans were released to fill the quarries in, but thankfully that same year, a non-profit organisation decided to lovingly restore the area and it is now known as Líthica

Jardín Medieval

The quarry landscape is contrasted and is divided into two zones.

In the older of the two zones the stone was extracted by hand and transported by the mills. As a result of its abandonment in recent years, the vegetation in the Líthica has taken over and today there are some beautiful gardens. The trustees of the site planted fruit trees and vines, thus creating a diverse garden full of herbs, fruits and vegetables.

Cultivo de parras

During the 1960s and 1970s, the use of machinery was introduced to extract the rock. This took place in the second zone which is now bare and the stone walls are marked with gouges. Here, there are some areas which are still being used for rock extraction today.

This site also features two man-made, stone labyrinths which you can stroll through at your leisure. The flora and foliage has been allowed to take over the walls creating a tranquil and calming environment, softening the harsh edges of the quarry. 

The larger of the two labyrinths is the Totem labyrinth. It occupies most of the space at this quarry and you can also purchase blocks of limestone here for about 10€, if you so wish. 

Laberinto del Totem

The second labyrinth is much more beautiful. It is green and circular, filled with grasses and herbs which make it look like an enchanted, medieval garden.

Laberinto del Jardín Medieval

Guided tours of the labyrinths are available as well as sculpture workshops, concerts, dance performances and an outdoor summer cinema.

Guided Tours: 

Winter: Every second Sunday (November 1st to April 30th) 

Summer: Every Tuesday (May 1st to October 31st)

Entry Fee: 

Summer: 5€

Winter: Free

Opening Hours: 

Winter: Monday - Sunday 9:30am to 14:30pm 

Summer: Monday - Sunday 9:30am to 14:30pm and 16:30pm until sunset 

 Map

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