Menorca: four plans to discover the secret neighbor
The sea has the same color here as in the other Balearic Islands and the Mediterranean postcard of cove with golden sands and pine trees hanging on the emerald water is fulfilled throughout its coastline. However, something made it go unnoticed, that it turned its back on large-scale tourism and remained relatively secret for longer than its neighbors. Fortune wanted Menorca to continue sewing shoes and making cheese while the world took time to learn about its benefits.
Thanks to that, its coasts they have kept a halo of calm and the interior continues to be flat, both in mountains and buildings, still rural and somewhat rugged. That Menorcan tendency to follow its own path was forged perhaps already in the Bronze Age, when its inhabitants were unmarked from prehistoric fashions by raising the taulas, unique, strange and imposing megalithic monuments, of which the exact meaning is still unknown today , and that add to the talaiots, necropolis and navigations like those that can be found in other places of the Mediterranean. The character of this island is like its stones: mysterious, captivating, particular ... here we give you some tips to discover it a little more thoroughly.
In the words of those responsible, the objective of Sa Parareta d'en Doro It's not just that diners enjoy gastronomy, but that they "connect with the environment." Impossible not to do it in this traditional country house, with whitewashed walls and dark woods, bougainvillea clinging to the beams, garden with rockery and terraces under canopy. The hand of Doro Biurrún has updated the cheese, stew or sobrasada in recipes that take the Menorcan tradition to a balanced sophistication. To finish, gin from the island, brought by the English in the 18th century.
Sa Parareta d'en Doro: good surroundings, better gastronomy © Sa Parareta d'en Doro
As Menorca is to enjoy it outdoors, we have chosen a section of the Camí de Cavalls, a long-distance path that follows the perimeter of the island along the coast. One of the most beautiful and simple stages of this road is the one that goes from the beach from Punta Prima to Es Castell, which overlooks the long natural harbor of Mahón, with good views of the islets and the Mola fortress. There are 11.3 kilometers of walk between holm oaks and quite flat terrain through the town of Alcalfar, Cala Rafalet and Cala Sant Esteve, flanked by a bastion built by the British in the eighteenth century, Fort Marlborough.
Cala Mitjana, Menorca © Corbis
Menorca is always beautiful, also from the sea. Sailboat sail profiling the coast is the best way to enjoy the coves in the greatest privacy and discovering what is not seen from the sand. There are several companies that offer boat trips of one or several days, with all services on board. Antiga Meloussa organizes day trips (about 8 hours, 90 per person in high season) to navigate the south coast from the port of Mahón, returns to the island in 6 days and packages for groups on private yachts.
Cala Morell © Corbis
In the southwest of the island a 16th-century Menorcan mansion It was saved from ruin in order to create an ideal resting place for couples. Its owners, Lindsay Mullen and Sheelagh Ratliff, a post-impressionist painter and a clothing designer, made it well in the Biniarroca Hotel, after a careful restoration. The exposed wood and stone in arches and walls put the rustic mark, while the garden, invaded by lavender, roses and bougainvillea, is one of its strengths. Of its 18 rooms, the suites face the garden and have a bed king size. In the hotel there are two swimming pools that seem brought from an Italian villa, one of them exclusive for clients staying in the suites. The breakfasts are they stock homemade cakes, fruit and local cheeses, and are served on the terrace to start the day with a good dose of sun. But it does not end there: the restaurant, with island dishes and ingredients from its own garden, offers a refined cuisine that has earned a considerable reputation in its 15 years of activity.
The Biniarroca Hotel and its Italian villa swimming pools © Nigel Roberson / Hotel Biniarroca