Attracting tourists is something that the Balearic Island of Menorca has done consistently since the 1960s. The isle is a bastion of history and also a hot spot for flora and fauna. However, for most people it’s the sunshine and sand that attracts them to the area.
Menorca, though smaller than Majorca, is a large island with plenty to do and a lot going on. Whether it’s a lazy holiday you want or something a little bit more inclined towards the outdoors, the island has it for you. However, not many of us enjoy being told about ‘loads to do’ without anything too specific being pushed to the fore and that’s why we’ve decided to give you some info on the top five tourist attractions in Menorca.
The Town of Mahon
Menorca’s capital Mahon, also known as the Port of Mao, is a historical must see sight for anyone on the island. Saying that there are plenty of reasons you’ll probably end up there in the first place. Mahon offers some of the best restaurants in the area and is also a great place for shopping pursuits – something that will please UK immigrants and those who enjoy shopping.
However, cultural offerings are also everywhere and the town houses the Museum of Menorca, THE Xoriguer Gin Distillery and Military Governor’s house. Gin is a large part of the local’s heritage and its favour is attributed to the British occupation of the town. Mahon is also architecturally very interesting and is mainly 1700s in its nature. Mahon is full of laid out squares and it’s said if you can imagine it without sunshine it’s reminiscent of a British seaside town. There are also some great markets in the morning and the general ethos and atmosphere is very pleasant. The port is also a place of note and perfect for watching the world float by as you bide the time.
Glass Bottom Boat Trip
The marina in Calan Bosch hosts a number of glass bottomed boats. These are fantastic for anyone who wishes to see right around the island and also see the sea and creatures that surround it. You’ll see a wide and varied species of sea creatures below the ship, with barracuda, octopus, perch and garfish not uncommon.
The boat also stops numerous times and allows revellers to stop for the occasional leap into the blue wilderness below, or just to lie on the beach in the sun and chill out.
Fortress of La Mola and Marlborough
Shaving taken over quarter of a century to build, these fortresses are incredible defensive structures and the views on top are even more amazing than the architecture itself. La Mola allows you amazing views of the island and the surround sea and is one of the most visual reminders of the history of the island as a British territory. The fortress is made from sandstone, one of the islands prime exports to this day. It’s a definite place to visit if you enjoy awe inspiring views – then again, who doesn’t enjoy awe inspiring views?
Of course, La Mola is not the only place on the island that allows amazing views of the surrounding area. Monte Toro, even though it’s not exactly a mountain is a very high hill, also provides some very attractive sights. The top of this mountain allows you to see across most of the island and upon its peak is a Franciscan nunnery and church. Interestingly, there is also a statue that bears more than a passing resemblance to the Christ the Redeemer statue in Sao Paulo, Brazil. This of course means devious people can take a photo of them beside it and claim a visit to South America. Silliness aside, it does make for some fantastic sunsets.
The original capital of the island, this town has been inhabited by people for over two millennia. One of the things most visitors note about Cuitadella is that it looks quite like a North African city. The occupation by the Moors is very prevalent still and its colourful winding streets and the texture of materials used still have a tinge of this history about them.
Cuitadella is a fantastic place to visit for its architecture and also its restaurants and markets. There’s also a distinct sense of history here and life under everyone from the Romans to the Christian forces is apparent. It’s probably a more interesting place to take a trip to than any other town on the island for these reasons alone.
Cormac Reynolds writes for UK visa company Global Visas