Menorca (Balearic Islands)
Menorca is certainly not as well known as Mallorca, but it has a wide range of picturesque attractions, untouched nature and Menorcan joie de vivre.
In Menorca you should go for a walk in Ciutadella Harborgo along, visit the old town and the cathedral. There are also a multitude of beautiful little places, bathing bays and sights. Alaior, for example, with an archaeological site (Fundació Illes Balears Torralba) or Maó. In Maó, the visit should be divided into two stages between the city center and the port. Also Mahon, a magical city with picturesque panorama, is worth the trip. The second largest natural harbor in the world is best enjoyed on a catamaran tour.
Menorcans are people who are not upset so easily and who know how to celebrate. It is therefore not surprising that there are so many “fiestas”. Almost every weekend is honored another village saint and is a spectacular festival gefeiert.Ein great feast is celebrated on January 17th: Festa de Sant Antoni, the day of the patron saint of the islands of Saint Anthony also a truly spectacular nightclub can be found in Menorca: a rock cave 50 meters above the sea. From there you can enjoy a romantic sunset and an indescribable view of the sea.
For the vacationer, Menorca offers a variety of leisure activities. Those who love it contemplative and quiet will get their money’s worth here. But above all all kinds of water sports are very important on this Balearic island. Anyone who would like to try something new, such as diving, is of course at the right place here.
Menorca has a lot to offer. People have great joie de vivre, no wonder. The clean air and water certainly contribute to this. Menorcans are always helpful and friendly, but also calm and reserved and they take everything calmly. Stress or hectic is a foreign word for the islanders.
The history of the island of Menorca is quite eventful. As early as 4,000 – 1,600 BC, there were indications in the Vortalaiot period that the island was inhabited. The first buildings in the form of stone box tombs and horseshoe shaped living quarters were built from 2,500 BC.
After that, in the Talaiot culture (1,600 – 124 BC), a large number of underground colonnades, water collection systems, stone buildings and settlements emerged.
Some settlement remains of the indigenous people are mainly in the south of the island. For archeology fans, the “Naveta des Tudons” near Ciutadella and the “Taula of Torralba d en Salort” belong, which is south of Alaior, is a must on a vacation in Menorca.
In the years 123 BC to 500 AD Menorca was settled by the Romans, then in the 5th – 9th centuries the Balearic island experiences the influence of Christians, Vandals and Byzantines. Menorca becomes independent in 624 AD.
The Moors conquer the island in 902 AD. In 1287, King Alfonso III of Aragón recaptured and resettled the island. It becomes part of the Kingdom of Mallorca from 1293.
The island suffered devastation from pirate attacks in the 16th – 17th centuries. During this time, in 1554, the construction of the Castell de Sant Felip began, a fortress to protect the port and the city.
Then came the so-called “British Century”. The British first landed on the island in 1708. It was not until 1802 that the Amiens peace treaty sealed its return to the Spanish crown.
An economic crisis followed (from 1802 to 1840) with a large wave of emigration and the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939, which ravaged the island.
The foundation stone for modern Menorca, as we actually know it today, was laid in 1953. A large part of the island was placed under nature protection in 1991 and in 1993 UNESCO added it Menorca even declared a Biosphere Reserve (Reserva de la Biosfera).
Menorca belongs to the archipelago of the Balearic Islands, which in turn is part of the 17 autonomous communities of the Kingdom of Spain. Menorca is the easternmost island of the Balearic Islands, which are off the southeast coast of Spain. The total area of Menorca is about 712 square kilometers; This means that the island is only about a fifth the size of the neighboring island of Mallorca and the second largest Balearic island.
The bean-shaped island stretches from east to west for less than 50 kilometers and from north to south for less than 20 kilometers. The total coastline of Menorca amounts to around 285 kilometers. Maó is the capital of Menorca.
The landscape of Menorca is characterized by two regions named after the north and south wind: the mountainous Tramuntana in the north and the hilly Migjorn in the south. In the interior of the island, a gently undulating hilly landscape dominates, which is mainly used as pastureland. Only the 357 meter high Monte Toro rises lonely from the plain and offers an impressive panoramic view of the entire island.
The north of the island or Tramuntana consists of rock that is over 400 million years old, which, through folding processes, produced craggy rock formations made of slate, Jurassic and red sandstone. The north coast is rugged fjord-like; here the rocky coast drops steeply into the sea. The beaches are mostly covered with coarse-grained red sand and gravel. Some natural harbors have formed in the fjords. Flat wetlands were created around the lagoons in this area, which are rich in flora and fauna.
The south of the island or Migjorn consists of much younger limestone, which was formed around 20 million years ago. In contrast to the north, the south is extremely rich in water. Fertile fields and lush Mediterranean vegetation shape the image of the south of Menorca. The limestone formations are interrupted by deep and fertile gorges that lead to beautiful bays towards the coast. The coastline of the Migjorn is also characterized by cliffs, but these are less indented and not as high as those in the north of the island. Some beaches are covered with fine golden sand that slopes gently into the sea. The sheltered location of the south coast keeps the almost constant north wind off and is therefore a popular bathing area.
From northeast to southwest the landscape becomes increasingly flatter and criss-crossed by many fertile valleys and depressions. The southwest of Menorca is exclusively sprawling Flat land covered.