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Pour a glass of pomada, breathe in the fresh Minorca air, and bask in the peace and quiet of this diverse island

A holiday to Minorca is all about the little things. Enjoying breakfast in the sunshine while birds twitter, a surprising smile from a stranger and the joy of tasting new flavours. Stepping out of your hotel and then finding a peaceful spot to relax and unwind is easy on this Balearic Island. It’s simply not a place you’d wish to be indoors.

The island’s status as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve has helped to protect the island, preserve its natural beauty and keep historic buildings intact. Explore the elegant harbour of Ciutadella, and discover the intriguing legend of Monte Toro. Then soak up the sun on the beautiful beaches of Cala en Blanes, Cala Blanca or Alaior, and you’ll quickly fall in love with Minorca’s diversity. Add a walk around one of Minorca’s other fine cities, Mahón, and you’ll soon see that a holiday here is easily the best decision you’ve made all year.

 

The attractive harbour town of Es Castell

Relax at the Hotel Agamenon in Minorca

If you are looking for an excellent hotel in a beautiful location, the Hotel Agamenon is the perfect choice. We have chosen this hotel because it is a haven of peace and relaxation close to the charming town of Es Castell with its quiet fishing harbour. Enjoy a half board stay at the hotel with a free bar open eight hours daily.

Culture and history

Most Minorcans are part of the Roman Catholic church and regular religious celebrations take place throughout the year. These events are celebrated with a glorious feast and fiesta music, plus processions in which horses and their elaborately dressed riders are major protagonists.

One of the most anticipated events is the Sant Joan festival, which takes place on the 23rd of June and marks the beginning of the summer festivals. The biggest festivities happen in Ciutadella, where residents gather to celebrate the life of their patron saint. Hazelnut battles are a particularly unusual tradition of the Sant Joan festival and their origin is unknown. During these battles, people throw hazelnut shells at each other because it’s believed to be a sign of love and affection. 

It’s not just hazelnuts that Minorcans love, though. The course of history saw Minorca inherit the British love of gin when local tradespeople begun to distil the drink to quench the thirst of British sailors and soldiers stationed here in the 18th century. From then on, the spirit gradually established itself as a popular drink and in the early 20th century, the Pons family created the brand Xoriguer Gin, a distinctively Minorcan gin distilled in Mahón. Today, the ‘pomada’ – Xoriguer gin with lemonade – is now the unofficial drink of the island and a quintessential part of any Minorca holiday.

Things to do

Sunshine, sands, cities, culture, history and a drop of gin: Minorca is an island to savour, lending itself superbly to relaxation and exploration. All the while, the harbours of the island instil it with that extra sense of sophistication.

Ciutadella

Ciutadella is one of the island’s two main cities. Commonly known as ‘vella i bella’ – old and beautiful – Ciutadella is a city full of charm. Overlooking the harbour are the fortified walls of the old city, infusing the area with a real sense of history.

Be sure to walk down to the water’s edge to see Castell de Sant Nicolau. From the site of this 17th-century watchtower, you can see all the way across the sea to neighbouring island Majorca. Set aside an afternoon to explore the harbour fully and call in at one of the picturesque waterside restaurants for a special treat. 

Mahón

The capital city of Minorca, Mahón is built around one of the finest natural harbours in the world. To capture a real sense of the scale of the port, you can go on a boat tour of the five-kilometre harbour.

Saturdays are the day to catch the local fish markets, and tapas stalls and live music bands are set up from noon so you can sample the best of Spanish food and music. Gin lovers can pop into the Xoriguer Gin distillery to sample the best Minorcan gins and choose a bottle or two to take home!

Alaior

Organise a trip to Alaior to make the most of the two-and-a-half kilometre long stretch of sand at Playa de Son Bou. This beach truly has it all: clear sea, white sand and plenty of space for everyone. In addition, the sea has a large, shallow section perfect for anyone who isn’t a confident swimmer to go for a paddle and be at ease. Feeling adventurous? Hire a pedalo and take it out on the calm sea for further fun on the Minorcan waters. 

Monte Toro

There are different versions of the story of Monte Toro, but local legend has it that in the 13th century, a group of friars set about climbing the mountain after seeing a light shining at the top. They followed a bull up the mountain, a bull which led them to a statue of the Virgin Mary, and in honour of their discovery they built a church and monastery. You can visit this sanctuary today.

At 357 metres tall, Monte Toro is the highest point on the island and if you take a coach trip the summit of Monte Toro, you can admire the panoramic views across Minorca and the island’s coast. Monte Toro’s peak is recognised as sacred, and the views are enough to make you feel a little emotional. Remember to take your camera and snap some spectacular photos of the island’s natural beauty.

Flight time

You can fly directly to Minorca from London in approximately two and a half hours or just under. Pack a newspaper or some magazines, or the latest best-selling novel, in your carry-on luggage and time will fly by.

Currency

Euro

Passports and visas

British citizens need a valid passport to travel to Spain, but no visa is required. This includes the Balearic Islands and, therefore, Minorca.

Visit GOV.UK for more advice on passports and visas.

Timezone

Minorca is on Central European Time (CET) and the island is only an hour ahead of the UK. Towards the end of March, the Minorcans wind the clock forward a further hour, but then back again after summer.

Electricity

Minorca uses EU two-pin plugs as standard. Remember to pack enough Europe-friendly plug adapters for any electronics you want to use during your holiday.

Language

Spanish; Castilian

Tipping

When it comes to tipping, the custom in bars and restaurants is to round up the bill. The percentage of the bill is up to you, but 10% would be a respectable reward for good service in Minorca.

To show your appreciation for the maids who tend to your room during your holiday, you can also leave a small amount of money in an envelope addressed to the cleaning staff. Taxi drivers don’t expect tips, but rounding up your fare to the nearest euro is a kind gesture and won’t go unappreciated.

Climate

For sun seekers, the best time to visit Minorca is in summer. During July, Minorca basks in a wondrous 12 hours of sunshine a day and average temperatures of 25°C. July and August also see high temperatures of up to 29°C.

Prefer the weather to be a little cooler? April and May benefit from dry days and lower average temperatures of around 15 to 18°C. Throughout the year, the sea temperatures hover around 15°C or above, so there’s never an excuse not to have a paddle!

Health

Health information can change at any time, so we’d advise you to consult your GP at least 12 weeks before departure.

Country-specific information and advice on possible health risks is also published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre, and The British Foreign and Commonwealth Travel Advice Unit provides important health and safety information for British nationals travelling abroad.

Population and size

Minorca’s name derives from ‘smaller island’ and directly contrasts with its much larger neighbour, Majorca. The island itself is 668 square kilometres in area – all English counties but one are bigger – and is the second smallest of the Balearics. It has a population of around 95,000 people.

Smoking

Minorca follows Spain’s smoking ban policy. Smoking is restricted in public areas such as bars and restaurants, but smokers are catered for with outside areas where they can smoke freely. Smoking is permitted in some hotels, but you should check with the hotel before you light up.



Climate