I can’t relax. I can sit for England, but relaxing is another matter. An hour on the beach and I’m bored, not to mention highly irritated by the amount of sand that has already taken refuge in my flip flops. So Menorca wasn’t my first choice, however I decided to give it ago and explore ‘beyond the beach’.
With it’s bleach white sands, and popular resort-ridden neighbours, you could (as I was) be mistaken for thinking that Menorca is cut from the same cloth. And whilst, yes Menorca does have some excellent beaches, and great bars in which to soothe your sun burn with Sangria, there is much more to Mallorca, and Ibiza’s little sister.
Hire a car. The Island is scattered with megalithic stone monuments, and caves to explore, and without a vehicle these can be hard to access. Menorca- unlike the UK, is a pleasure to see by car, potholes are few, scenery is plentiful, and a good sound track is essential. The island is like Stone Henge on steroids- there’s over 2,000 of the things!
The biggest, Naveta d’Es Tudons, is situated a few miles outside of Ciutadella– my base for the duration of my stay. This place was originally a tomb, housing over 100 bodies-morbid I know, but I possess a perfectly normal (ish) fascination with everything calamitous so expect much more dark tourism, in future posts. Entry to the monument costs around 2 euros, and opening hours are between 9.00 and 20.30 daily.
If you prefer some rocks, that are a bit more participatory, Lithica Pedreres de s’Hostal is the perfect place to get lost for an afternoon. The lovingly restored quarry, features stunning views of the sandstone amphitheater, where outdoor events are held throughout the year , sprawling medieval gardens and a large (highly frustrating) maze.
The site is open from 9.00 until the sun sets, daily, and at 5 euros entry is a total steal. There Is a fair bit of walking so if you’re as unfit as me, and the sun is blazing- REMEMBER WATER!
No, this isn’t a scene from another Star Wars film (my boyfriends joke. Nerd), it’s the “Taula” at Torralba d’en Salord, talaiotic village about 4.5km from Alaior, just off the Ciutadella-Mahon Road. Entry to the village costs 4 euros, however should you visit between November and March you can see the site for free, whilst still enjoying relatively mild temperatures, and extremely reasonable flights if you look hard enough. Off peak= super cheap.
Ok, a break from the hardcore history now. Dust your shoes off, (guys-shove a shirt on) and head to pretty posh, and plenty impressive bar and club, Cova d’en Xoroi in Cala en Porter for a sunset cocktail. Of all the bars (and there’s been a few) I’ve visited,and all the gins I’ve enjoyed, sitting with a Mahon G & T, watching the sun go down over the Mediterranean, was definitely top of the list.
The cliff top, carved cave opens for visitors from 15.00, for those wishing to enjoy a quiet drink, then closes a couple of hours later in preparation for the 23.00 until late, club experience.
Feeling flush? If, unlike me you’re not a super broke student and have some cash to splash, VIP tables are available and will save you fighting for a balcony seat. To reserve, contact details can be found at the bottom of their webpage.
I can undoubtedly say, that after my 4 day break, I am a Menorca convert. Non of my fears were realised, and although there is still a lot of tourists it’s more fine-wines than fish bowls. The gin is unmeasured, the water is clear, and the sights are unreal!