Menorca is the first of Spain to see the sunrise – this ancient island has a great past for such a small place, and this is one of the things that has led it to its current day stature as one of the places to go in the Mediterranean Sea. The island, which measures just 270 square miles lies about 250 miles east of Barcelona and offers something that its close neighbor, Majorca, does not – a profound sense of history and that which comes with it – tranquility.
Much of the island is designated as a Unesco Biosphere; this is in large part the thing that has allowed this tiny little island its authentic, unaltered appeal – due to the to the Biosphere designation, the island has not seen the intense seaside development in hotel and other tourist attractions and offers huge amounts of unspoiled vistas and nature preserves.
The long and storied history of the island has resulted in ruins which show just how long this island has been desired – whatever people conquered Spain almost always included this jewel of an island in their conquests, resulting in ruins such as the Taula in Talati de Dalt and other megalithic stone monuments. From the Minoans of ancient Crete to the Romans and the Vandals and Moors, they all found this island worth the trouble of coming to – and you will too, once you set foot on this jewel of the Mediterranean.
But it is the pristine environments unspoiled by modern architecture which make this place truly astounding – there are over 900 varieties of flowers alone, and no large mammals at all. A sense of modernity has been kept at bay in the larger cities; in Ciutadella it is possible to see at least a glimpse of what a rich history this place has. The city is filled with great shops, and it is possible to buy a pastry that is as similar as it could get to the flaky, delicious Balearic pastries, a powdered sugar treat that cannot be properly explained without having one!
Port Mahon is the current capital, and the actual population of this island numbers just under 100,000 full time residents. Of all the festivals, the most widely known and celebrated is the Festes de Saint Joan in Ciutadella, which lasts for three days. The history, the local food and festivals, the lack of over development so common on other Mediterranean islands, the unspoiled natural wonders of the island and the beautiful, pristine beaches are all the reasons you need to come – then you will have to find a reason to leave!