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When we told a relative that we would be vacationing on the island of Menorca, or Minorca as it is sometimes called, she said that she liked Menorca as it was "small but perfectly formed". Now we are back home I know exactly what she meant.
Menorca is one of the four Spanish Balearic Islands that are situated in the Mediterranean Sea. The other three Islands are Majorca, or Mallorca, Ibiza and Formentera. Majorca is larger and more commercialised. Ibiza is a little smaller but brash at some times of the year when clubbers invade the island. Formentera is the smallest.
Menorca, has the middle ground in more ways than just its size.
Arriving in Menorca and our hotel.
We flew from Robin Hood Airport, near Doncaster in the UK, on 15th October 2010. Our flight time to Menorca was around 2 hours and twenty minutes and we were bang on time. Sadly it was not the same story going home but that is another hub I guess. We flew into Mahon Airport and were told that Menorca time was one hour in front of UK time. It does differ at certain times of the year and sounded more confusing than GMT to me.
The airport which is near to the island's capital, Mahon, is modern and clean. It is an efficient international airport. The Spanish worker who checked my passport gave me a winning smile and greeted me with Hola, Hello.
Our accomdation, the Hotel Del Almirante, was a mere ten minutes from the airport. A small but comfortable mini bus took Hubby and I, and two other couples on our way. The whole travelling experience going was perfect and ran like clockwork. As I have already said there were a few problems going home.
As we approached our hotel one of the couple's said, "Look at that." I said "that is our hotel". I knew it perfectly from the travel brochure. She looked embarrassed as she seemed to think that we were out on a limb. However, nothing was farther from the truth. We bumped into this couple on our second day and they were fed up and moaning. It seemed their hotel in Punta Prima was truly out on a limb. Ha.
We soon settled into our lovely hotel and, as it was only early in the afternoon, decided to stretch our legs. One thing we had not taken into account was the various opening hours due to the Menorcan afternoon siesta. We took in Es Castell, previously known as Georgetown, and Cales Fonts, and were rather impressed.
It was onward and upward from then on in.
The Island of Menorca
The currency in Menorca is the Euro. There are cashpoints in towns which are easy to use.
Many tourists hire a car when holidaying on Menorca. It definitely makes every nook and cranny accessible but is not necessary. We travelled all over the place by bus and on foot. You can take the bus to one cove and mooch along to the next. Bear in mind that some of the paths are rather rugged.
If you want to hire a car you may be as well doing so before you visit. If you opt to book through your hotel it could cost you more. The next time we visit we are going to check out the special bus passes which enable more journeys for the same price. Hiring bicycles is a popular alternative.
Mahon and Ciutadella sit at opposite ends of the island. Both are large cities by Menorcian standards. Ciutadella used to be the island's capital and has shops, small narrow streets, museums, good architecture and a large harbour. Mahon is the island's capital now and has an even deeper harbour where cruise ships dock on a regular basis. Mahon offers good cafes, restaurants, shops, museums, views and more.
The rest of the Island is made up of small villages and coastal coves and beaches. When we visited Menorca the season was almost over. Menorca, in effect closes its tourist doors between the end of October and the end of April each season. Travel earlier in the season if you want better bus services and every attraction to be open.
July and August are the hottest and driest months whilst June and September are slightly cooler. May and October can be wet at times and less hot, though still are usually very pleasant.
Menorca is an island where you will feel save to wander around whenever you want to. The people are warm and friendly especially away from the busy tourist resorts. I cannot recommend this pretty island enough. It must have been great as we have visited twice more and plan to return again.
images (C) ethel smith or eileen kersey