One of the prettiest bays in the Mediterranean, Cala Galdana has a gently shelving sandy beach enclosed by a backdrop of pine-clad cliffs - an ideal haven for the many visiting yachts. This popular family resort offers a small selection of shops and supermarkets as well as a choice of restaurants and bars. Evening entertainment is relaxed and mainly based around the resort hotels.
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Seafood is always great in the Balearic islands, it will always be fresh when you are by the sea. Menorca is particularly known for its ‘caldereta de llagosta’, a traditional lobster stew. The capital of Mahon is the origin of Menorca’s famous cheese, a distinctive square shape with an oily rind, with a creamy mild flavour made from cow’s milk. Of course, being in Spain, traditional tapas is widely available and popular as well.
Cala Galdana is quiet by night, as most evenings are spent enjoying a meal, but the nearby resorts of Son Bou or Cala en Porter offer more nightlife options.
If you fancy enjoying a glass of vino from your villa terrace, Menorca has many delicious local vintages for you to choose from, and what better way to take your pick then to see them in the making and sample them first. Vineyards – or bodegas – throughout the island offer guided tours and tastings. Closest to Cala Galdana are Sant Patrici near Ferreries, Ferrer de Muntpalau at Es Mercadal and Bodega Vi de S'Illa in Alaior, while Vine Sa Cudía can be found at S'Albufera des Grau Nature Park and Viñas Binifadet near Sant Lluís, where you can find the island’s first ‘champagne’ - a pink sparkling wine produced from merlot and syrah grapes. Menorcan whites are fruity and fresh, while reds are full bodied, fruity and aromatic, so whatever your palate craves, you’ll find it on villa holidays in Menorca.
Finding that their beloved gin was unavailable, British sailors occupying Menorca in the 18th Century decided to teach the local islanders how to produce it. To this day the enormous copper stills bubble away at the Xoriguer distillery at Mahon harbour, producing this aromatic tipple using traditional methods. Guided tours to this attraction run daily and Gin Xoriguer and other local liqueurs can be sampled and bought. Whether you drink it straight up as a night cap, or mix it with bitter lemon to create the local fiesta drink of choice – Pomada – you’re sure to get in the Menorca spirit.
With over 100 glorious beaches on the island, the coastline of Menorca simply must be enjoyed from a different perspective – the deck of a boat! There is no shortage of boat trips on the island, from short leisure cruises to full day trips. A short drive from Cala Galdana will take you to Ciutadella, from which you can enjoy a day cruise around some of the island’s beautiful yet isolated southern beaches, which are difficult or impossible to visit by land. Catamarans and glass bottom boats also operate around Mahon harbour and provide a historical commentary on the port, as well as fantastic underwater views. To the north at Fornells harbour and Addaya Port you will find trips to discover more of Menorca’s coastline, coves and caverns, as well as great swimming, snorkelling and kayaking spots to relax and cool off from the warm Spanish sun. For something a little out of the ordinary, guided kayak tours are also available, along with yachts and boats to charter yourself, with or without a skipper.
Menorca’s celebrated coastline is one of the island’s great treasures, with beautiful white sand beaches, quiet coves and picturesque horseshoe bays backed by rugged and beautiful scenery. At Cala Galdana itself you will find arguably one of the most beautiful bays on the island – a perfect half crescent of pristine white sand meeting turquoise sea, backed by shady pine trees. To the north of the island you will discover other unspoiled beaches off the tourist trail, as well as the Parc Natural S'Albufera des Grau to the northeast. This beautiful nature reserve is a haven for bird life at its expansive freshwater lagoon, while the lush green landscape rolls down to the untouched coastline.
Lloc de Menorca is a small yet wonderful zoo near to Alaior and home to a wealth of exciting creatures, both native to the island and more exotic! A wonderfully interactive experience, there are animals you can feed and even pet as you get up close to nature.
Three water parks on the island may well provide a fun-filled way of cooling off from the Menorcan sunshine. Two larger parks can be found near Ciutadella at Cala en Banes and Calan Bosch, while there is a smaller park – perfect for younger children – at Son Bou.
Hop in the car and drive to Menorca’s old capital of Ciutadella to discover its many ancient treasures. The medieval cobbled streets of the historic quarter – Es Born – are dotted with antiquities, including a gothic cathedral built from a 14th century mosque and Sant Nicolau Castle, an ancient fortress whose watchtower still stands proud in a defensive position over Ciutadella port. The new capital of Menorca - the bustling port of Mahon - also has its share of fascinating historic treasures.
No holiday to Menorca is complete without a trip to the capital, Mahon. One of the world’s largest natural harbours is the heart and hub of this town, where bars and restaurants provide a pleasant spot to watch the boats sail by or enjoy the Spanish hospitality with a glass of sangria and some tapas. A wonderfully cosmopolitan town, the shopping experience here ranges from the bustling twice weekly market to chic designer stores, while Mahon’s fascinating past still shines through in the narrow cobbled streets, shady plazas and interesting architecture, representing the various eras of occupation throughout its history.
Remnants of Menorca’s fascinating ancient history can be found scattered throughout the island in the form of talaiots – bronze age stone structures, taules – T shaped stone monuments with echos of Stonehenge, and nauvetes – ancient stone burial sites. The most famous and best preserved is the Naveta des Tudons near Cituadella.
In nearby Ciutadella you will find an impressive, 14th century gothic cathedral, which still retains the minaret of the mosque that previously sat the site. On its imposing, fortress-like facade sit numerous gargoyles, while the baroque interior has six chapels with exquisitely carved columns and other remarkable features.
The Parc Natural S'Albufera des Grau found to the northeast of the island is a beautiful nature reserve and a haven for bird life at its expansive freshwater lagoon, while the lush green landscape rolls down to the untouched coastline.
Menorca is scattered with fascinating ancient fortresses to discover - remnants of an era of occupation and defence - which can be found largely around the Mahon area. Fort Marlborough is an 18th century stronghold set into the ground, while the Castle of San Felipe stands above a vast underground network of tunnels and galleries. Perhaps the most impressive however is La Mola, covering the entire headland to the north of Mahon harbour.
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