Menorca is getting more and more attractive. Its historic twin towns, Mahón and Ciutadella, are endearing in two very different ways, and its Neolithic monuments, scattered in great quantity across the land, give the place an air of telluric mystery. The island’s state of conservation, its sensible shunning of motorways and suburban build-up and its beaches… there is nothing in Europe quite like Menorca’s beaches.
Menorca has just one major road, connecting Ciutadella and Mahón, which was busy but not frenetic. The place is quieter, slower and lovelier than you ever expected. The basic palette of grey-green wild olive, dark green pine, stone and whitewash, and the occasional blast of purple bougainvillaea only confirmed the muted modesty of everything else. There are dotted here and there with big, pitched-roofed farmhouses – real working farms, some with signs advertising their homemade cow’s-milk cheese. Fig trees leaned against walls as if they simply couldn’t take the pace.
The island’s hotels have been as low-key as its landscapes. The last genuine novelty, back in the mid-2000s, was a raft of agriturismos whose rusticity carried a hint of contemporary style. But ‘It’s coming into fashion,’. There is a growing market, of people looking to sell their Ibizan farmhouse and snap up a Menorcan one instead. In addition, Menorca has great virgin beaches. The beaches on the northern coast (such as Cala Pilar, Cala Pregonda, Cala Presili) are wild, wide and windswept. Those in the south are sheltered, womb-like coves where the sea has a colour of almost Caribbean intensity and the water looked like turquoise ink.
Nevertheless, take the nightlife, or almost total lack of it. It’s true that the island has no discotecas worth the price of admission, but this only makes you love it all the more. One of the reasons you will discover that Menorca makes less look like a great deal more. A dose of the Mediterranean in its legendary, rare and undiluted form.