In 1993 Menorca was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, mainly due to the island’s exceptional environment. The island displays typical Mediterranean characteristics, including gorges, dense woodland, sand dune systems, wet grass and marshlands, and superb soil that fosters growth from wild herbs, mushrooms, fruit trees and a variety of native flora.
Ciutadella is the old capital of Menorca, dating back to 73 AD when it was called Roman Lamo. It has a beautiful port and historic quarter, known as Es Born, an area interwoven with medieval streets lined with palaces, churches and a fortress. In the Middle Ages, Ciutadella was the political and administrative centre of all the islands, until the 18th century when it was transferred to Mahón.
There is something for everyone when holidaying on the Balearic Islands. Ibiza, Mallorca, Majorca and Formentera are the main tourist destinations and all have individual characteristics and cultures that keep people flocking to them each year. If you want that feeling of escape from the grind of everyday work, then a Spanish island in the sun is the ideal solution!
Spain’s Balearic Islands provide a wonderful feeling of escape from everyday life. All have their different character, culture and landscapes, from the hedonistic clubs of Ibiza, to the great beaches of Mallorca or the peace and quiet of secluded Formentera.
Mallorca has superb beaches, from the thirteen-kilometre-long Ca’n Picafort, to small tucked away coves, inlets and sweeping bays, all of which generally have calm waters and lovely golden sand. There are numerous child-friendly beaches and lots of activities for kids of all ages on the wonderfully diverse island of Mallorca.
Platja de Muro has a long beach of golden sand that has Blue Flag status, its shallow water is perfect for small children who can paddle in safety. Away from the coast there are gorgeous pine forests, old traditional villages and majestic mountain peaks.
Ibiza is known for its club scene, and attracts the young to an almost continuous beach party. The island’s main centre San Antonio, hosts some of the most famous dance venues. However, the island is big enough to cater for all ages and tastes, and the northern part is a very different story. The countryside around Puerto San Miguel is ideal for walking trails, exploring hidden caves and meandering through wonderful pine forests.
Menorca functions on a much slower rhythm. Families seek its quiet beaches like Son Bou and Cala’n Forcat. It does have its tourist spots, but nothing is as pushy as its bigger neighbours. You will find pleasant low key restaurants, some that have been in one family for generations, pretty marinas and interesting villages on the traditional island of Menorca.
By far the most secluded of the Balearic Islands, Formentera has wonderful beaches of white sand. It has in parts been compared favourably with the Caribbean. Take your snorkel and mask, kick off those flip-flops and explore the many delights of this tranquil and beautiful Spanish island.
It could be argued that Menorca is the most authentic of the Balearic Islands and is also the most unspoilt and least visited. It is a different world, full of coves and clear turquoise water. There are over 700 square kilometres of beach to choose from on the island and 216 kilometres of coastline. Who can complain at 300 days of sun per year, and on any one day an average of 12 hours of sunshine, in the summertime?
Nestled on the east coast of the island is the city of Mahon, the capital of Menorca. This vibrant town is buzzing with life, energy and attractions. With many elegant mansions from the 18th century, a Gothic cathedral and a scattering of churches, Mahon possesses a sophisticated and stylish presence.
Whilst barely a week goes by without some kind of spectacular and unique festival being held in various Menorcan towns and villages, the Virgin del Carmen Festival in the town of Mahon has to be one of the most outstanding.
Unlike Ibiza and Mallorca, Menorca is void of the notorious resorts, famed for their 24/7 nightclubs and legendary foam parties. By contrast, Menorca is better known as a quieter, family-friendly island.
If you are taking the kids to Menorca this summer have a look at the following three great family activities on Menorca that can be enjoyed and remembered by all the family.
Club Sant Jaime Waterpark
A family holiday to Spain simply wouldn’t be complete without spending a day at a waterpark. On Menorca, Club Sant Jaime Waterpark provides a tremendously fun day for all the family. Unlike most waterparks in which you pay an entrance fee, at Club Sant Jaime the water chutes are used on a pay as you go basis.
There is however much more to this popular resort than water chutes. Inside games room will keep older children entertained and a large shaded bar and restaurant area serves ice-cold drinks and quality local food. Live acts also provide entertainment in the evenings.
You can enjoy both shopping and playing at Castillo Menorca meaning it’s the perfect place for children and adults. With an extensive collection of jewellery, ceramics, gifts, leather goods and designer brands, you’ll be able to do all your holiday shopping in one go!
As for the kids, they’ve got the choice of playing in the swimming pool with a waterslide, go karting, playing mini golf, bouncing on trampolines, and much, much more.
Visit the Castillo Menorca website to find out more about this fabulous family day out in the sun.
Lloc de Menorca Zoo
What began as a small ‘farm house project’ now includes a comprehensive range of native and exotic animals, Lloc de Menorca Zoo provides an entertaining and educational family day out. Set in beautiful surroundings, Lloc de Menorca features several walk through enclosures where animals roam freely and visitors can really get up close to the creatures. In the farm goats’ area, the keepers bring out the animals so children can have physical contact with them.
There is plenty to do on the island of Menorca for all the family, the difficult part is fitting it all in.
Situated on the rural outskirts of Menorca’s Calla Morell, within easy walking distance of a lovely coved beach and a great local restaurant, Sa Tanca sits in a stunningly picturesque spot. Set on top of a small hill, this plush, modern villa boasts incredible views of the surrounding wooden countryside and the nearby Mediterranean Sea.
The gardens quaintly slope away from the villa but are so impeccably kept they look like they could grace any upmarket hotel. Pretty, exquisite and quality are three words which immediately come to mind when describing Sa Tanca.
Sa Tanca can sleep up to six guests in three stylish bedrooms. This spacious house is also equipped with three bathrooms, meaning there would be no morning rush to get in the bathroom first! Sa Tanca is intrinsically modern yet there is the inescapable Spanish feel. The beams are still wooden but are a modern CNC machined wood, treated and varnished in a smooth slick and neo way.
From a distance this sleek and impeccable villa looks like it could be the clubhouse of a classy golf course, the lawns being the well-kept fairway leading to the next hole. The abundance and variety of trees in the garden create a wonderfully rural feel, as does the rest of this highly-manicured garden. At night guests can sit out on the huge covered veranda, its subtle lighting complementing the atmospheric lights of the pool down below. The twinkling lights of the distant fishing boats bobbing up and down on the Mediterranean make for an interesting night time vista.
Sa Tanca is tucked away in the North-West corner of Menorca. Calla Morell is an unspoilt tiny village, which has a small coved beach and a quality cliff-side restaurant. The white houses that dominate the village tend to be single storey. In fact all the buildings of this cute Menorcan village do not cause any type of blot on the surrounding seascape. There are terrific cliff walks along the coastal path where you gain interesting changing aspects of the rocky coastline. The water in calm weather is transparent enabling you to see every rock on the ocean floor. Wild flowers bloom along the cliff path from May onwards adding to the beauty of this unspoilt little jewel. Unusual rock formations and famous old caves dating back eleven centuries before Christ add further interest and should appear at the top of everyone’s ‘to do’ list.
If you feel compelled to escape the tranquillity of this stunning corner of Menorca, a visit to Castillo Menorca, which is only 7 km away from Sa Tanca, is certainly recommended. This out of town entertainment area is especially great for families with children, as the entertainment park will keep all the family entertained.
For further information and to book a slot to stay at the stunning Sa Tanca, visit: https://www.vintagetravel.co.uk/villa_details.cfm?p_id=1238
Surrounded by palm trees and lush green plants, boasting magnificent coastal views and being just 300 metres from great seaside restaurants and enticing sands, Casa Suenos certainly lives up to its name, the ‘house of dreams’. This attractive detached whitewashed luxury villa in Menorca is an archetypal holiday house with its idyllic leafy location, private grounds and crystal clear swimming pool.
The town of Binibeca and this stunning southeastern corner of Menorca is a relatively undiscovered part of island, perfect for holidaymakers seeking tranquility and an authentic Spanish break.
With four spacious bedrooms and three bathrooms spaced out over three floors, Casa Suenos sleeps eight people comfortably. The house cleverly blends a contemporary style with authentic elements, with smart brown beams starkly contrasting to the crisp white ceilings and walls. Glimpses of the sea sparkling in the distance are visible through this stylish and contemporary villa’s large windows.
The double bedroom on the upper floor has doors to a covered terrace. With a barbecue and large dining table and pretty lanterns adorning the walls, this typically Menorcan terrace is designed for eating outdoors and enjoying the magnificent coastal views.
The modern furniture and stylish décor of this luxury villa in Menorca compliments the property’s light, airy and clutter-free interior. The comfortableness and convenience of this elegant villa is augmented by its inclusion of all the mod cons, including Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, an ipod dock, DVD player and even a Play Station 3 and a Nintendo Wii – you’ll never be short of entertainment at Casa Suenos.
Although with a pristine private pool encircled by imposing palm trees, pretty and colourful Mediterranean flower beds contrasting vibrantly to azure sky and whitewashed walls and shaded terracotta terraces providing some much-needed shade from the sun, Casa Suenos exterior is as welcoming as its interior.
The town of Binibeca is only a few minutes’ walk away. With trees and foliage, rocks and clean fine white sand, the beach at Binibeca is rivalled by little where else. The sea is as clear as glass and provides great bathing for all the family. With its maze of lovingly-kept narrow streets meandering through this interesting town is a delight in itself. The terracotta roof tiles are painted in dazzling white, an effect that amplifies the well-kept beauty of Binibeca.
For further information, photos and availability for the “House of dreams” click HERE.