Culture and Wildlife On The Island of Menorca
Offering fantastic weather, a breath-taking coastline and a relaxed atmosphere, a holiday to the island of Menorca is the perfect antidote to the stress and strain of everyday life at home. The beautiful capital city of Mahon with its comfortable charm is the perfect welcome and a great base from which to explore, but the appeal of the island doesn’t end there. Classified as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 1993 in celebration of the pristine beauty, the islands boasts plenty of natural wonders, so rest assured that if you explore further afield, you will only find many more sights that will set your love affair with the island alight.
Start on your doorstep; stretching 5km inland Mahon’s harbour is the second deepest natural harbour in the world. The gorgeous blue hue of the Balearic Sea and captivating charm of the historic and sophisticated port area will win you over.
Having had your fill here, one of the most important areas to visit is S’Albufera des Grau Natural Park. Dominating the east coast of the island and just a stone’s throw from Mahon, the park encompasses a wide variety of habitats. The wetlands are a haven for a multitude of birdlife and are surrounded by rolling farmland and some of the coastline is protected too. In the late 80’s a large part of the park was set to be turned into luxury villas and holiday resorts but the fact this was overturned proves the locals’ love of their island. The variety of flora and fauna always deliver a surprise from turtles to wild olive trees. Armed with some comfortable shoes and an all-important camera to preserve your memories, it will be a day well spent exploring the natural park.
Algendar Gorge should be next on the list. The entrance to this natural gorge is found at Cala Galdana which is around 35km away from Mahon so perhaps your best bet is to arrange car hire in Mahon. Not only is this the easiest way to travel, it will also give you the flexibility to stop and explore other places of interest en route. The deep limestone gorge lies where the river meets the sea and stretches for 6km, with wild and diverse vegetation and wildlife, it is particularly impressive. Keep your eyes peeled for lizards basking in the sun atop rocky crevices, kites and kestrels soaring overheard and turtles wading in the surrounding marshes. Be wary however that the ground underfoot can be tough going so don’t get too distracted whilst you are walking.
Another beautiful area that is worthy of a visit is Binigaus Valley. Offering varied and enchanting countryside, it’s the ideal place for an afternoon walk with a number of unique and interesting sights to be seen along the route too such as Cova des Coloms, a giant complex of caves. The near perfect beach at the entrance to the walk won’t fail to impress either and you may well be tempted to head for a swim, particularly in the heat of the day.
It’s clear to see how Menorca has gained its reputation as one of the most naturally beautiful islands in the western Mediterranean. Words don’t do it justice though; you’ll have to go there and see it for yourself to truly believe it.
Kerri Ware is a travel blogger and writes for Economy Car Hire, a car hire broker offering great deals for car hire across Menorca and beyond. Follow her on Twitter @economycarhire.