Menorca

Aaah Menorca!

This small but perfectly formed island holds a very special place in my heart. I have a family connection to the island and I also have precious memories from a particular holiday taken there long ago.

The few trips I had there initially when I was younger were very much about sun, sea and sand and fun for us kids! I have returned there on and off over the years, but it’s only since I have been visiting with my partner have I started to learn and see more about the island. We have started a campaign to explore as much of the island as possible!

‘It’s such a small island, this could all be done during one holiday surely,’ I hear you cry!

But we like to take our time, our holidays there have been a mixture of relaxation, sun worshipping, bbq-ing and also culture and history searching!

P1090930
The view from our villa towards Son Bou beach and beyond!

Due to my partner’s fascination with ancient history, I have learnt that there is so much more to this island than just the sunshine and the beaches (which are darn beautiful by the way!).  He’s opened up my eyes to its history (and wow, is there a lot of history there to explore!) and how much there is to see around the island.

Our trip there this year was no different, we had our sights set on seeing parts of the island that we had not yet explored. However, this does rely on me driving (my partner doesn’t drive), which is something that I’m not too keen on!

P1090700
Son Bou beach

Things didn’t quite go to plan on this holiday either, the weather didn’t really play ball a lot of the time and we both managed to succumb to a nasty cold, the remnants of which I was still trying to shake a week after returning.

P1090920
Thunderstorms roll in over Son Bou beach!

Having said that, in between the thunderstorms (oh wow, they have serious storms out there!) and torrential rain, when the sun did come out it was hot, hot, hot and we managed to make use of the pool that we had at our villa (we had treated ourselves!) and visit the beach.

P1090751
Our lovely pool – in the rain!  Can you see the sea just beyond it??

We were staying at Son Bou, which is a resort about halfway down the south coast of the island.  Son Bou has a magnificient beach and at 3km in length it holds the crown for being the longest on the island!

P1090832
Son Bou – that hotel would be in all my photos!
dsc_1225
A view across the resort of Son Bou looking towards Santo Tomas.

Behind the beach you will find a large area of wetlands, which is a protected nature reserve. With sand dunes and large reeds flanking the area, it provides a unique spot for all sorts of birds and insects to make it their home.

dsc_1341
The VERY tall reeds of the wetlands!
P1090704
Ducks on the beach??  The wetlands behind Son Bou beach house many species of birds.

One end of Son Bou beach is dominated by a large hotel, but as you wander down the beach, you will find it gets quieter the further down you get.  You will find that the far end is also a hangout for nudists, a fact that I had forgotten until we got there!

You can also find a bit of history right on your doorstep at the beach.  There are the remains of a Roman Basilica at one end, which you can visit for free. I would recommend checking this out and then keep going for a short walk further up the cliffs for great views down across Son Bou itself.

P1090814
The Son Bou Basilica – dating from between 300-400AD
P1090825
The view across Son Bou – on a bit of a gloomy day!

Talking of walking, Menorca has restored the Cami de Cavalls, which is an ancient coastal path that ran around the island, initially used for defence, but now revived for hikers and those who would like to see more of the island on foot.

It can be done as individuals walks, or one long hike if you are so inclined.  In my opinion it is a great addition to the island and offers an opportunity to see more than you would if just touring around in your car.

From Son Bou, there was a short walk of about an hour each way to Santo Tomas, which is another gorgeous beach (aren’t they all!). I regret that we didn’t manage to do this…but it gives us a reason to return!

You can also walk to Cala n Porter in the other direction, although this is a longer hike.  And knowing what we are like, we can probably double the time they say it takes to do these walks, as we always get distracted by the views or the plant life we are passing!

More information about the walks can be found here if you are interested.

Despite not doing any of the major walks, I still feel like we managed to see as much as we could on this trip.  We had a very fleeting visit into the capital, Mahon, to visit the museum, but the weather was terrible and I wasn’t feeling well so we didn’t stay too long.

P1090883
The Museu de Menorca which is based in the building which was the Convent of San Francisco, built in the 17th century.
dsc_1366
The cloisters inside the museum – the building is beautiful!

We spent a good hour or so exploring the museum until we got kicked out as they were closing for the afternoon.  It was pouring down with rain when we left the building, so we had a little look around, before deciding to make a run for the bus. If I had been feeling better then an afternoon exploring the streets of Mahon would have been perfect, but instead, a nap was calling me!

P1090911
The rainy streets of Mahon!
P1090901
I do love the streets of Mahon – and look an apartment for sale…very tempting!!

We spent our last day on the island touring around, taking in the prehistoric settlement of Torre d’en Galmes, before working our way slowly down the coast towards the airport.

As I’ve mentioned before, my younger self would have scoffed at the idea of returning somewhere I had already visited.  But I am now enjoying doing just that!

I am enjoying the challenge to find new things to see and do, and exploring and learning more on every visit.  It’s interesting to be able to dig a little deeper every time and discover more of what a country has to offer. I know I will definitely be returning to Menorca again to do just that!

P1100031
Sunset view from our villa – you can just about see what I believe is the Artrutx lighthouse which sits on the headland at the far southwest of the island. The sunsets were spectacular – they probably deserve a post all of their own!

6 thoughts on “Aaah Menorca!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s