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Holidays on Minorca
"Golden sands slope gently into blue lapping waves, sheltering in secluded coves. Untouched by the hustle and bustle of the Balearics, Minorca truly is an oasis of calm."
Minorca is a place as relaxed as its people. The quietest and calmest of the Balearics, Minorca's rolling green countryside and picturesque resorts remain unphased and unspoilt by its popularity. Surrounded by warm clear seas and fringed with golden sand, Minorca is a little slice of Spanish heaven.
The boomerang shaped coast of Minorca boasts around 120 beaches of softly shelving sand caressed by warm waves and sunshine. Seek out secluded sandy shores and lie back on outstanding beaches tucked away in coves. Ciutadella has some beautiful bays within reach, including the Cala en Turqueta, arguably Minorca's best beach. Son Bou is the longest stretch of sand, and Cala Galdana is also popular, with its arching golden shore. Wherever you find to sunbathe, you're assured of gold sands, and with watersports such as scuba diving and snorkelling on offer, there's a variety of ways to get wet.
Aside from boutiques and souvenir shops, Minorca's real prizes are its markets. Mahon has a fresh food market in a converted cloister and an early morning fish market, while Ciutadella's marketplace has an Art Nouveau design. Look out for leather, suede, sweets and biscuits. For cheeses, try Alaior's market and shops.
The laid back atmosphere of Minorca continues on as dusk turns to night. Meals are long and leisurely, wine and coffee are lingered over. The majority of the resorts keep the nightlife relaxed and low key, a refreshing change from other Spanish destinations. Having said that, Mahon's harbour hosts lively bars and a few nightclubs, and resorts such as Calan Porter have plenty of bars. For a unique night out, go to the Cova de'n Xuray, a natural cave that is transformed into an incredible club at night.
From red sandstone and rugged cliffs, to deep valleys, olive groves and orchards, Minorca has a rich and varied landscape, littered with intriguing prehistoric remains as well idyllic fishing villages and pretty resorts. View the whole island in one go by heading up its highest peak, Mont Toro. To the east is the island's capital, Mahon (or Mao), home to one of the best harbours in the Mediterranean. Georgian town houses sit alongside Spanish apartments, thanks to the one time British rule. To the west, the old capital of Ciutadella sits above its harbour, with the streets of its well preserved old town hiding impressive palaces. Throughout Minorca, classically pretty fishing villages, such as Fornells, sit beside busier resorts such as Cala 'n Forcat and Cala 'n Bosch, but thanks to Minorca's restrained attitude to its success as a holiday destination, it has managed to maintain the perfect balance between local life and tourist trade, leaving smiles on everyone's faces.
Minorca's cuisine is a mixture of Spanish, Catalonian and Italian tastes, and all the resorts have these on offer. Mayonnaise originated in Mahon and is a must when dining there, while Fornells attracts tourists on the strength of the seafood restaurants which line it's harbour - try the tasty caldereta de llagosta. Other local specialities include tumbet, layers of peppers, potato and tomatoes baked in an earthenware pot, or the unusual huevos a al sollerica, a dish of fried eggs on top of sliced sausage, with a pea sauce. Harbours are fringed with restaurants and cafes, and Ciutadella is particularly known for its excellent selection. Sample the lasting British influence on the island, its well-loved gins, Xoriguer, Baltran and Nelson, or Palo, a spirit flavoured with crushed almond husks. Though Minorca doesn't produce wines, light whites from Majorca are popular here.
North and South Take a bird's eye view of Minorca from the peak of Monte Toro before heading north to the quaint Bay of Fornells and then relax on the beach at Cala Galdana.
Dances with Horses A fantastic equestrian show with a variety of spectacular and colourful performances including a train ride for the younger ones during the interval.
Sailing Catamaran Soak up the sun's rays, breathe in the sea air and let your thoughts drift, aboard our Sailing Catamaran. There is plenty of time for swimming and snorkelling, before tucking into an ample buffet, washed down with a glass of fruit punch!
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