The capital of Menorca is a bustling and beautiful port town. Relaxing by day, Mahon comes alive in the evening where you can sit down by the pretty waterfront absorbing the atmosphere of the restaurants and admiring the view. Stroll along the harbour, or around the beautiful Plaça Esplanada, and you will notice the impressive buildings which offer a glimpse of Mahon’s rich and varied history. The town is famous for one of the largest natural harbours in the world, and also for being the birthplace of Mayonnaise – which takes its name from ‘Mahon’. Don’t forget to visit the Mahon gin distillery located by the port, to sample the island’s other well-known produce. Here you can find out more about the distilling process, or purchase one of the unusually-shaped bottles of gin as the perfect souvenir of the island.
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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.
Mahon has a great firendly atmosphere, with many quaint bars and restaurants lining the 6km around the port. There is something to suit all tastes and preferences, including local dishes, fine dining and live music. Finish your evening with a relaxing stroll along the harbour. Mahon, being the capital, is busy but very pleasant.
If you fancy enjoying a glass of vino from you 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 Mahon is Viñas Binifadet near Sant Lluís, where you can find the island’s first ‘champagne’ - a pink sparkling wine produced from merlot and syrah grapes. Also on the island are Bodega Vi de S'Illa in Alaior, Sant Patrici near Ferreries, Ferrer de Muntpalau at Es Mercadal and Vine Sa Cudía at S'Albufera des Grau Nature Park. 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. In Mahon harbour you can find catamarans and glass bottom boat trips, providing a historical commentary on the port, as well as fantastic underwater views.
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.
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.
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.
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