Minorca Travel Guide
With the striking cliffs along the northern coastline, white arcs of sandy beaches on the south coast, the rolling fields and woody ravines of the interior, it is certainly one of the most picturesque of the islands. Minorca has a reputation for being laid back, and as such has become a favourite with young families and those looking for a relaxing holiday.
Minorca has several resorts, the busiest of which is Cala’n Forcat. Situated on the west coast it has three small sandy inlets and several small attractive coves where you can dive from the rocks and snorkel, exploring the clear warm waters. The waterfront is a favourite place to walk and enjoy the friendly ambience or shopping for souvenirs. Here you will find countless open-air cafes and restaurants serving delicious local dishes. As the cool of the evening begins things begin to liven up as people head for the many bars scattered throughout the town. Here you can listen to music, drink and make merry through the night.
A more peaceful resort and a favourite amongst families with young children is Cala Blanca. Nestled in a rocky stretch of coastline below pined topped cliffs the white sandy beach is completely safe for swimming and paddling. With pedalo rides available for children and adults alike. The little square in the centre surrounded by bars and restaurants that serve delicious charcoal grilled meats and other specialities. If you want some evening entertainment the town of Cala Santandria is only a mile and a half up the coast.
On the southwestern coast lies the resort of S’Algar a virtual Mecca for energetic visitors like to mix their favourite spot with plenty of sunshine and good living. The town consists mainly of holiday villas and complexes and has the best sports facilities Minorca has to offer. Although there is no beach as such you can windsurf, parasail, play tennis and even horse ride. There is an excellent pool and a scuba diving school. If you don’t want to sunbathe on the rocks there are plenty of sandy beaches and coves at nearby Punta Prima and for nightlife Mahon with its narrow street and lively bars and discos is just a short distance away.
Minorcans have a strong tradition for cooking simple but delicious food, most dishes prepared from locally produced ingredients, seafood, Minorcan Cheese and fresh fruit and vegetables. They also produce their own gin, distilled from grape wine and flavoured with juniper. Near to Cala’n Forcat is the islands old capital, Ciudadela, where once a year, in June, they hold a feast, during which there are jousting tournaments, daring horseback riding and much merrymaking.
The water around Minorca is amongst the purest in the world making of the most popular places for year round snorkelling and scuba diving. There are over forty-five official diving areas around the island offering an amazing range of opportunities. Besides a wealth of intriguing marine life you can visit submerged caverns of the glacial era with striking stalagmite and stalactite formations or follow an underground river inland to the point where cold fresh water merges with the warm, salty ocean.
Wherever you go on Minorca you come across Tayalots. These strange stone monuments date back to the Bronze Age and like Stonehenge in England their origins and purpose are unknown. The island has several museums, the most notable being Museu de Mallorca, which is basically a history museum with art gallery and exhibits from more recent times. The Nature Museum in Ferreries is a great place to take the kids, offering an insight into Minorca’s unique natural phenomena and environment through an interesting range of media and exhibitions.
At first glance Minorca may look like a place with little to do. But a few days on this idyllic island will reveal a wealth of interesting and varied activities and opportunities for even the most demanding holidaymaker. The nicest part of being there is, that unlike the more commercial islands, the pace is far more relaxed, so even if you indulge in everything there is on offer you still get a genuine feeling of getting away from it all.
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