We arrived into Menorca from London late at night… due to which, I never actually got to see any of the island on the drive to our hotel and so, with very little expectations (or ideas of what to expected) we just went straight for dinner at our hotel (the brilliant Hotel Artiem Audax) and pretty much just fell asleep shortly after.
The next morning we woke up to something of a surprising yet amazing view – that light blue water Menorca is known for, made even more beautiful by steep cliffs! All of which, kicked my excited several notched higher and hinted at how fantastic and beautiful the island truly was.
After an amazing breakfast (I really stockpiled the food on this one), we headed down to Es Grau where we grabbed a tandem kayak (over at Menorca en Kayak) where our plans for the morning would be to weave in and out of coves around the island and a get a unique view of this amazing island.
We got to see these caves the people used to live in back in the hippie days of the island and could call home. In addition to this you get to see lots of carvings within the rocks on the island and it’s just generally a different side to this Balearic island that you don’t typically get to see. It was so much fun!
Lloyd, by the way, is pretty awful at rowing tandem with… though I’m pretty sure he would say exactly the same thing about me! There were so many times we almost went overboard but thankfully we managed to do the entire session without falling into the water (though we did knock off one of our guides into the water due to our clumsy rowing and tandem bickering). 🙂
For lunch we headed over to Es Moli des Raco a fantastic restaurant (set in a windmill) in Es Mercadal.
This restaurant is one of the best on the island and serves delicious local Spanish food. It’s all tapas here so roll your sleeves up and get stuck in.
Lunch over and done with, we headed off to Monte Toro for something of a different view of the island. See, Monte Toro is the highest mountain on the island and comes with a requisite fantastic view over the Menorcan countryside.
Up on Monte Toro, you’ll also find the Sanctuary of the Verge del Toro – a gothic church that is almost 350 years old!
We wandered aimlessly around the Sanctuary of the Verge del Toro stop off to play with local cats (okay, fine – I didn’t Monica did, I’m strange with other people’s pets when we travel – I only really feel comfortable with pets I already know) and soaked up that brilliant island sunshine.
Leaving the Sanctuary, we headed off to an amazing site on the island and one the most visitors never get to see. This site is the Naveta d’es Tudons, which are tombs on the island there are over 3,000 years old!
These tombs look like something out of ancient Egypt (albeit smaller) but the most fascinating thing about them is the fact that nobody knows who put them there or where they’ve come from. They did however find bones in them (which is how the explored knew they were tombs) and radio carbon dating of the bones is how they know these are over 3,000 years old.
There are loads of them dotted around the island and they are such an amazing sight to see.
We left the tombs and headed over to Ciutadella de Menorca – a delightfully Spanish town perched atop a hill on the island.
The town is absolutely beautiful and filled with lots of amazing little spots. We weaved in and out of beautiful Spanish alleyways, churches and pretty little shops.
It was the kind of lazy ambling that makes islands like this so perfect to visit on holidays – you wander armed with a sense of having nowhere you need to be and yet manage to stumble on some amazing sights the entire way through.
As you wander through the towns you’re very aware of the fact that this is the place that exists simply to show off – this is a place where the local live, thrive and just go about their daily business, all the while making the most of that island sunshine that we all want (and have travelled to enjoy).
All this walking around of course doesn’t work quite the appetite and so before we knew it was time to go for dinner. (*Okay, fine it was a bit too early for dinner but if we did it like the Spanish did and ate slowly, we’d certainly be able to get away with it).
For dinner, we stuck to Ciutadella and headed down to a really special place at the harbour but for fear of filling this post with far too many photos, I’ll have to leave that till the next post!
Till then, what do you think of Menorca so far? It’s pretty cute right?