Peaceful and beautiful, with a coastline of contrasts, home to some of the finest coves in the whole Mediterranean. This is Minorca, an island that is a designated Biosphere Reserve. A place where you will breathe peace, quiet and nature. Valleys, small hills and gorges make up a beautiful landscape which will captivate you from the moment you set eyes on it. Small villages, prehistoric monuments, country houses, huge meadowlands and a rich historic heritage can be found along the tracks and trails that crisscross the island, perfect for excursions, walks, and biking routes. Minorca is, all in all, a place to get away from it all, surrounded by incomparable natural surroundings.
Albufera Es Grau
Not only is it exceptional because it has become an excellent habitat for many bird species, but also its morphology means visitors can observe them. In a stunning beautiful setting, to the north of the city of Mahón, stands Cap de Favaritx and, opposite, a short way away, l'Illa d'en Colomi. The ensemble shapes a coastline of gentle beaches, with several low rocky sections. Bird watching and the area's tourist attraction, make it one of the favourite places of visitors to the island. Their main biological importance is the presence of over 100 bird species. The ensemble is made up of very old geological materials. (Devonian) and highly eroded, that are not permeable. On the coastline the beaches alternate with rocky sections, without them forming significant structures.
The spectacular Algendar Gorge, which runs for 6km, is on the south coast of Menorca and reaches the sea at Cala Santa Galdana. The gorge has high limestone cliffs (80 meters height) and a small stream flows through the densely vegetated valley bottom. Lizards sun themselves on the rocks and tortoises wade through the marshes. The combination of rainfall, humidity and protection from the wind produces a richness of vegetation rarely seen elsewhere.
Basilica de Son Bou
Situated on the far eastern part of the beach of the same name, it is a rectangular building positioned from east to west. There is a porch on the western part with three entrances leading to the area reserved for catechumens. In this area one can visit the early Christian basilica of Son Bou that was built between the 5th and 6th centuries A.D.
Binibeca has become one of the most popular resorts on the island. This was one of Minorca's earliest coastal developments and features Poblat de Pescadors, a development built to resemble a traditional "fishing village". It was designed in 1972 by Antonio Sintes Mercadal. The design may be artificial but the maze of narrow streets, whitewashed dwellings and Moorish arches are authentically Minorcan. It has divided opinion on the island but is highly popular with tourists.
Apart from the beautiful bay at Cales Coves on the South East coast of Menorca you'll also discover a few fascinating burial caves. There's about 100 caves in all around Cales Coves, carved into the cliffs. Some you can reach some not. If you're there early in the morning check out Cales Coves smaller second bay by clambering over the rock head, then go for a dip in the bay's other fork. For a cave with a bit of a myth have a look in on Cova d'en Xoroi. A onetime notorious pirate haunt, with wackaday myth attached of stolen virgins and so forth. Today it's a superb cliff carved bar, where you can sit peacefully sipping your chosen apperatif looking out to see. Wish you were here, most definitely!
Cova d'en Xoroi, Cala en Porter, Tel: 971 37 72 36. Open from 10.30am to 9pm daily, disco 11pm to 5am daily, but the disco is closed out of season from October to May.
Cova d┤es Coloms
"Sa Cova d┤es Coloms" is a enormous natural cavern at the eastern cliff of "Es Barranc de Binigaus". The Cavern is 24 metres in height, 110 metres in length and 15 metres in width, like an enormous natural Cathedral. A person becomes an insignificant element inside it. The name of this cavern is due to a special kind of pigeons inside it, called "palomas torcaces". Nowadays they are being killed by hunters. In the past, people from Menorca came here to capture these birds.There is an important number of bats and with moss and lichen which is covering the cavern, makes a mysterious screen. In this place a Prehistorical objec was found, it looked like a bull horn. It was used to worship the fertility. The bull is still viewed as the animal which accompany the souls to the world of the dead. It isn┤t strange that the first people in Menorca used this place like a sacred place. The prehistoric people worshiped a lot of things related to the underground world. The cavern had a double mean, the fecundity of the motherly uterus and the cavern like a metaphor of the trip to the death world. In this culture they couldn┤t think of life without death and death without life.
Naveta des Tudons
A short distance from Ciutadella and right beside the main road - making it impossible to miss - stands this unique and spectacular megalithic construction. It was used as a collective burial chamber (able to contain one hundred bodies) and an ossuary, and its size is irrefutable proof of the importance given by its constructors to the rituals relating to life and death. You can visit the inside, where the space is divided into two overlapping areas that appear after the entrance corridor or anteroom. Dated around 1400 BC, it is clearly pre-Talayotic, from the beginning of the Bronze Age. The large blocks of stone used gave rise to the local legend that told of the work of giants.
The top of the mountain, at 357m, is the highest point of the island. It is a steep 3.2-km climb along a serpentine road. The views from the summit are fabulous, when the weather is clear you can see practically the whole of the island. Monte Toro has been a place of pilgrimage since medieval times. In the 17th century the Augustinians built a monastery and remains of the of the original building can still be seen. Today you will the site has been shared between a convent and an army outpost. You will find a church, gift shops, and a lovely café near the part of the convent open to the public.
Ses Pedreres de S┤Hostal
The s'Hostal quarries of sandstone were exploited until 1994. Líthica, a cultural association constituted with the main objective of preserving, restoring and rehabilitating the sandstone quarries, rented them in 1995 and, with the support of the Menorcan Council, has cleaned them and conditioned them to receive visits. Visitors are able to observe the manual quarries, which are over 200 years old, and the mechanical quarries, that started working at the middle of the XX century with circular saws. The space also includes a botanic garden dedicated to the production of autochthonous plants. Visiting times from April to October are from 9.30 a.m. until sunset, and in July and August from 9.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 5 to 9 p.m.
Taula de Torre Trencada
The singular taula of this excavation is one of the most interesting, although none of the surrounding sanctuary area has been preserved. It has the peculiarity of having a third stone attached at the side to ensure its stability. Excavated burial grounds and a talayot can also be seen. There is a picnic area and a path, flanked by the wood that leaves the main road at kilometre 39.
Castell de Santa └gueda
This well-preserved Islamic castle may be accessed via an ancient Roman road. Here we find the remains of a protective surrounding wall, and several towers, as well as a splendid panoramic view of Minorca.