Culture/Sightseeing

 Tayalot

Talayot
Camp Sarch

Camp Sarch

Lithica

Lithica

La Mola

La Mola

Mahon Fiesta

Mahon Fiesta

 

 

 

 

 

Culture/Sightseeing

Menorca has had a volatile history as a much-fought-over Mediterranean island. Over the centuries, the French, English, Spanish and the Moors have all left their distinctive marks and echoes of their military presence on the island, including Lord Nelson’s garrison in Mahon harbour.

Going further back in history, the island’s countryside is dotted with ancient Bronze Age stone structures called Talayots and Navetas – you can’t miss them.  These are the remains of the Talaiotic culture on the Balearic islands. There are many well-signed sites across Menorca to visit.  For more history, visit the Museo de Menorca in Mahon.

The creative community is well served with many art galleries and exhibition spaces, alongside Mahon’s Theatre and many concerts/dance events around town, especially in Claustre del Carmen in Mahon.  And when the Fiesta comes to each town, everything shuts down in celebration, to drink vast amounts of the local tipple ‘Pomada’ – Mahon Gin and fresh lemonade – whilst gorgeous, sleek black horses are ridden through the town streets.  It’s considered good luck to touch the front of the horses while they rear up, if you dare…


Here are a few other uniquely Menorcan things to do during your trip:

CAMP SARCH – beautiful gardens and pavilions, Sant Lluis (near Mahon)

This family-owned garden was designed by Fernando Caruncho and opened in 2013.  It’s a simple but impressive water garden that is a slice of heavenly calm and tranquility. Check out more info and gorgeous photos here
NB The gardens are only open to the public if they have events, concerts, etc so I hope you are lucky enough to see it during your stay.

LITHICA: PEDRERES DE S’HOSTAL – converted limestone quarry (near Cuitadella)

I never thought I’d recommend visiting a quarry, but this one is so unusual and special.  They excavate limestone ‘mares’ blocks for building in this area (the stuff that Apartamento65 is built from) and this dramatic ex-quarry has been converted into a variety of different zones and is great for kids to explore – a stone labyrinth, a vast cathedral-like concert/theatre space, sculpture park, secret orchards and botanical gardens.  lithica.es

FORTALESA LA MOLA – Mahon Harbour 

After decades of Menorca being occupied by the British, the French and the Spanish, La Mola is now the eastern-most point in modern Spain. It’s a military complex that was built to defend the strategically important entrance into the Port of Mahon and was built by Queen Isabel II of Spain in the mid 1800s. It was never attacked, so is a huge, intact example from the era. Beautiful stonework and detailing; worth a stomp around for the great sea/harbour views and its deep sense of history – and kids love the cannons and all the military garb.  fortalesalamola.com

FIESTAS
Every town has their own Fiesta, celebrating a Saint’s Day.  The whole town shuts down for a day (or days!) and everyone celebrates with live music, dancing and the traditional horse parades through town… and by drinking Pomada, the local version of GnT!

MONTH TOWN SAINT Celebrated
June Ciutadella 23rd and 24th June Sant Joan
July Es Castell 24th, 25th and 26th Sant Jaume
Es Mercadal 3rd weekend Sant Martí
Fornells Last weekend
Es Migjorn Gran 5th weekend in July or 1st weekend in August Sant Cristòfol
August Llucmesanes 1st weekend Sant Gaietà
Alaior 2nd weekend Sant Llorenç
Sant Climent 3rd weekend Sant Climent
Ferreries 23rd, 24th and 25th Sant Bartomeu
Sant Lluís Last weekend Sant Lluís
September
Mahon 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Mare de Deú de Gràcia
Cala’n Porter 3rd weekend