Family-friendly resorts, lush green mountains, secluded coves and undoubtedly Spain’s best beaches; if it’s rest and relaxation you’re after then Menorca is just the ticket. It might not be as famous as its noisier Balearic sisters Majorca and Ibiza, but Menorca packs just as big a punch in the perfect holiday destination stakes. For one thing it has more beaches than the two of them put together. If you like your sand fine, your waters crystal clear and warm and some beautiful deserted coves, bays and rocky inlets, then this is the place for you. Menorca really is beach heaven! Tempted yet? Well you will be when we tell you that the island has also remained relatively untouched by tourism despite tempting thousands of visitors back year after year. You don’t get any neon lit high-rises here.
Menorca is a slice of traditional Spain at its best and once you’ve veered away from those beaches, if you can, you’ll find another world completely. One of small hillside villages and rolling countryside complete with smatterings of ancient Talayotic and Roman ruins – perfect walking country, if you’re up for it. Or how about visiting the dunes and wetlands of the UNESCO bioreserve of S’Albufera d’Es Grau that stretches 8 kilometres along Menorca’s east coast?
You could easily linger for a day in the beautiful city of Ciutadella, Menorca's former capital. There's a pretty port, a mazy historic centre and a 14th-century Catalan-Gothic cathedral to explore, as well as a liberal sprinkling of fine restaurants.
As October comes to an end, pop in to any of Menorca's cemeteries. Morbid as it may sound, they come alive with elaborate bouquets of fresh flowers, as islanders remember their loved ones ahead of All Saints' Day on 1 November.
Much of the island falls into a deep slumber in winter, which makes it a delight to explore on foot. The Parc Natural S'Albufera d'es Grau, a Unesco Biosphere Reserve, is a fine place for a stroll. Keep an eye out for birdlife (fish eagles, kites and the like) and Hermann's tortoises among the wetlands.
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