Menorca in Winter
Menorca is one of the more preferred destinations of Europeans in the summertime. Its marvelous beaches of clear waters and white, fine-grain sand invite all to enjoy holidays on the island. However, there are some who do not like the island as much during the summer season.
Many travellers prefer to come to Menorca during low season in order to avoid the big groups found in beaches, high traffic on the road and difficulty of making a reservation in a good restaurant. The Menorca of Wintertime is the Menorca of the Minorcans. The Menorca of calmness and peacefulness, and more definitively, the more authentic Menorca. Visiting the island during the winter does not mean that there is not anything to do; Menorca is not only sun and beach. There is much more to discover. For this reason, we are going to recommend some plans that will allow you to enjoy the Menorcan ground during the winter season.
El Camí de Cavalls (GR-223)
The Camí de Cavalls is a route whose origin can be traced back to the 18th century when the English ruled the island. Initially, this path served as a defense line for the island, but nowadays it has become a well-established route bordering all of the Menorcan coastline. The path is approximately 185 km and is divided into 20 phases. Being that it is a circular route, the path may be started from any given point.
However, KM 0 is located at la Culàrsega in the puerto de Majon, from where the first phrase may begin. It has been named GR-223 and is marked with square posts every 50-100 meters. Information signs are found at the beginning of the phases. The more than 100 fences that must be crossed are a reflection of traditional activities, such as livestock, that continue to take place alongside the path. It is very common for Minorcans to hike some stretch of the path during the winter weekends, which means you will always find a local to help you should you need some information.
The Camí de Cavalls passes through the most beautiful coves of the island. You might even be lucky to find yourself alone in beachs such as Cavalleria, Pregonda or Macarella and take in untouched surrounding landscapes while you hear the murmurs of sea waves. It is but a privilege that is not afforded to those who come to the island in August.
Menorca as well as Mallorca is home to Talayotic culture, which originated in the II millennium B.C . The island is covered in old prehistoric settlements whose most important and renowned structures were the Talayots, a set of old watchtowers.
Among the many prehistoric remains that you can visit in Menorca, we recommend that you visit the Naveta des Tudons. It is one of the oldest buildings in Europe and is emblematic of the prehistoric culture engrained in the Balearic Islands. It is a funerary building constructed in 1000 B.C., which means no type of cement was used. Rather it was erected with only fitted rocks.
With respect to prehistoric settlements, we recommend to visit the Torre den Galmés, Trepucó or Talatí de Dalt.
La Albufera des Grau
With only 5100 hectares, the Natural Park of Albufera des Grau is the core reason for Menorca being declared Biosphere Reserve. Its space entails a well-conserved rendering of the diverse natural habitats in the island of Menorca: humid zones, wild olive tree forests, seasonal ponds, sand dunes, meadows of marine phanerogam and offshore islets. Habitats which are home to great biodiversity with numerous endemisms and species as remarkable as ospreys or Balearic lizard. There are different routes to roam Albufera des Grau. In all such routes, there are many birdwatching spots.
Standing at a height of 358 meters, and with a magnificent viewpoint overlooking Menorca, El Monte Toro is the highest mountain on the island. Apart from such spectacular views, there lies at the peak the sanctuary of the Virgin of Monte Toro, patron of the island.
Constructed during the reign of Isabel II in the 19th century, La Fortaleza de la Mola is located at the mouth of the Port of Mahón.
The visit to the fortress will leave a lasting impression on all visitors. On one side one can admire the impressive building with its great walls, underground galleries and spectacular views of the sea. On the other side, the natural enclave in which the fortress was built is one of its main assets.
In winter, the main city centres of Menorca preserve all of their traditional and authentic flavour. For the tourist who chooses wintertime to visit Menorca, it is but a pleasure to get lost in the alleyways of Ciutadella, buy native products in the Mercado del Claustre de Mahón or take in the ambience that fills the fishermen’s market in the capital every Saturday. One must not also forget the family-oriented atmosphere that the inland villages boast: there is always some organised activity.
The Port of Mahón
The Port of Mahón is one of the biggest and most beautiful natural ports in the word. Visiting the location is a must for all those who come to Menorca. In the south bank of the port, there are the towns of Mahón and Es Castell and in the north bank, the estates of Cala Rata, Sant Antoni, Venècia, Cala Llonga and la Fortaleza de la Mola. Apart from the towns, the port has various islands to visit, such as las Islas del Lazareto or la Isla del Rey.
This precious port bears the legacy of the troubling 18th century of Menorca and observes British, French and Spanish heritage in the majority of its most representative buildings.
The Museums of Menorca
Despite the small size of Menorca, the island has many museums opened throughout the year for visitors to enjoy. In continuation, we will mention some that we believe are recommendable for getting to know more about the island culture:
- Museo de Menorca in Mahón.
- Can Oliver, Centro de Arte e Historia de Hernández Sanz in Mahón.
- Museo Diocesano de Menorca in Ciutadella.
- Museo Municipal de Ciutadella (Bastió de sa Font) in Ciutadella.
- Museo Militar de Menorca in Es Castell.
Theatre and Opera
Menora posesses another of the cultural jewels of the country–the Teatro Principal de Mahón, the oldest opera theatre in Spain.
The Teatro Principal is a very active theatre with theatre plays and concerts occurring every week. If it stands out though in something, it is the opera. If you come to Menora during opera season, do not miss the opportunity to see this emblematic building. It is very difficult to get a ticket for the opera, but do not become disheartened if you are left not being able to enter. The opera is projected in the theatre vicinity for free.