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Menorca, an Island of Contrasts

Menorca is the second largest of the Balearic islands, and is ideal for the family seaside holiday, with a climate that offers 315 days of sunshine a year.  Life is slower and more peaceful on Menorca, compared to the highlife offered by the entertainment bars and clubs of Majorca and Ibiza.  Not many people know that Menorca has almost as many beaches as the two combined combined, so visitors are spoilt for choice.  The south coast offers a number of peaceful resorts, whilst if you favour a more rugged coastline, the little fishing villages of the north coast are likely to prove a greater attraction.

On the Beach offer all inclusive Menorca holidays with a wide range of choice, from hotels based in some of the livelier resorts like Cala Santandria, one of Menorca’s most popular areas,  to the relatively unknown little town of Binibeca, with its old and new towns, and narrow winding cobbled streets.  In contrast, Cala Santandria, with its golden beach at the end of a winding bay, offers lots of evening entertainment, and a great choice of restaurants and cafes, as well as efficient transport links to the old capital of the island, Ciutadella.

Some top tips for things to do and places to go on your Menorcan holiday :

·         Getting Around: as the island is largely flat, cycling is a great way to explore Menorca, not only for the dedicated cyclist, but also for families enjoying a day out together.  Not only do you get fit, but you save the expense of taxis or car hire! Cycling tracks traverse the island, and offer the opportunity to visit some beautiful little hidden bays, or to enjoy the spectacular views from the cliff tops of the north coast.

·         Eating out: of course you can expect that fish and seafood is a speciality of most Menorcan restaurants, and culinary treats not to miss during your visit include the  local dish, “caldereta de llagosta”, a delicious lobster stew.  In even the smallest villages you are likely to find a bar serving delicious salads with fresh prawns, but for the most popular bars and restaurants you need to visit the Placa d’Espanya in Mahon, or explore the eateries lining the harbor and waterfront.  For a more unusual dining experience, chose one of the trogolodyte restaurants carved into the cliffs of Ciutadella.

·         Places to visit: the town of Ciutadella is one of oldest towns in Menorca, first established by the Romans.  Wander the attractive narrow winding streets of the old town, visit the cathedral, and the Palace Torre Saura.  Mahon, still a busy and thriving port, is the walled capital of the island, situated in a dramatic position at the end of a large natural harbor.   It is crammed with interesting architecture, from gracious streets of bow-windowed 18th century houses and the remains of early Christian basilicas, to a military prison used by the British when they occupied the island.  Amongst the earliest tourists to Menorca were Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton.