ADVERTORIAL • April 2018
A haven for those who prefer gastronomy over a glow rave, a low-key beach bar over a bass-pumping boozer, Menorca shows the true essence of the Balearic isles lies to the east
Home to more natural beaches than Majorca and Ibiza put together, no visit to Menorca is complete without a dip in its invitingly blue waters. Whether it's snorkeling in the transparant shallows of Cala Macarella (pictured above), or exploring the lost paradise vibes of Cala Mitjana, Menorca's cerulean charm makes it one of the Meditterean's most attractive diving, kayaking and sailing spots.
Don’t miss: The Malakoff shipwreck, once the carrier of 7,000 tonnes of cargo, now a prime diving destination, bustling with marine activity.
Across the island, restaurants, producers and artisan chefs have collaborated to develop a unified culture of healthy eating. Visitors will be hard-pressed to find an eatery that doesn’t adhere to these freshly-farmed standards. Must-try traditional delights include newly-squeezed gin and lemon pomada (above), juicy botifarra sausage and Menorca’s world-famous Mahón cheese, available from the island’s local markets.
Don’t miss: A chance to learn how to make an authentic paella at one of Cuk Cuk's creative cooking workshops.
From charming capitals to sleepy coastal towns, pretty backstreets to buzzy harbours, Menorca is a Balearic blend of idyllic resting spots. Check out Mahón (above), the island’s cosy capital, for pavement-side tapas, serene boat trips and mouth-watering Menorcan markets. On the opposite side of the island, Ciutadella is more than worth the trip. It’s nickname, Vella I Bella, or the ‘old and beautiful’, is no more apparent then when strolling the medieval streets of its delightful Old Quarter, home to the rose-gold hues of the Santa Maria Cathedral.
Don’t miss: A Menorcan summer fiesta, held in various locations across the island throughout the year, and home to much pomada-drinking, unique horse parades and some serious firework displays.
Without doubt, one of Menorca’s key draws is its 70,000 hectares of UNESCO-preserved wildlife. These shimmering shallows and cragged cliffs play host to an amazing variety of habitats; astute birdwatchers can expect to spot a rare range of seabirds, while willing wanderers will mosey through meadows blooming with plant life. Head to the S'Albufera des Grau Natural Park (pictured above), home to glassy waters and soaring red kites, to see the ecology of the land at its most diverse.
Don’t miss: The Camí de Cavalls trek, a rambling route that’ll take you across the island through deep ravines, forests and open fields.
Did you know Menorca has the most sites of archaeological interest out of any Mediterranean island? One wondrous, walkable museum, the island is scattered with Megalithic monuments harking back to the ancient cultures that once called Menorca home. For some of the most spectacular, try Torre d'en Galmes, the Stonehenge like structures spanning back to the 12th century BC.
Don’t miss: The Calescoves Necropolis, an ocean-side prehistoric burial site with its ancient inscriptions still intact.
Words by Alexander Chau
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