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Menorca

Alaior

The municipality of Alaior has for many years been famous for its historic university and a strong artisan presence. It has a great archaeological patrimony from the talayotic period: stone villages, like Toore d'en Galmés or necropolis, like Cales coves are one of the most important and most visited locations in the island. The town of Alaior was developed around a hill where the church of Santa Eulàlia was built during the 14th century. From the 1950's, Alaior lives an economic boom with the industrialization of the production of footwear, jewellery and cheese. Currently, Alaior is the third municipality of the island by volume of population with some 9,500 inhabitants who work mainly in the industrial sector and in services.

Ciutadella

Located in the west of the island, Ciutadella is the municipality with the largest number of inhabitants in Menorca. Ciudadella continues to arouse a great interest, nationally and internationally, both for its history and heritage and for its privileged environment. It has a very traditional natural harbour connected to a historic centre famous for its narrow streets and curios names. Luxury villas in Ciutadella all respect the traditional architecture and minimalistic aesthetics present in this elegant municipality. Each June 23 the city celebrates the Fiestas de Sant Joan, an unavoidable event for the menorquins and thousands of tourists, where the Menorcan horse is the great protagonist.

Ferreries

The coast of the municipality of Ferreries is one of the most beautiful in the island. Cala Galdana, which has a prestigious residential area, with its white cliff and a small torrent, has a unique small boat port. Between Ferreries and Ciudadela, there is also the Camino Real, an ancient route that crosses Menorca from side to side, whose origin could be traced back to Roman times. It crosses an impressive landscape: the barranco de Algendar, whic carries water all the year, with a length of 7km and that empties in Cala Galdana, running between walls of up to 80 meters of height. Another interesting sight in this municipality is in the mountain of Santa Águeda where one can find one of the most important defence complexes of Al-Andalus, built between the 10th and 13th century. From the top, you can enjoy an impressive scenery of almost all Ciutadella's municipalities as well as Es Mercadal and Ferreries.

Mahón

Mahón is the most eastern point in the whole of Spain and has the largest port in the Mediterranean. It has been the envy of all the civilizations and empires that have crossed this sea. Mahon has many nearby beaches, sa Mesquida or Es Grau, for example, with their typical villages of charming white houses.La Mola's fortress, near the port's entrance is also a must see as a vestige of the defensive military presence for centuries. Having your second home or settling down to live all year round is an option that more and more people are starting to choose. While you are visiting, the city has beautiful and distinguished hotels to welcome you and make your stay an unforgettable experience, of peace and tranquillity.

Mercadal

Mercadal is the geographical centre of the island, where the main roads that go from east to west and from north to south are crossed, and at the foot of Monte Toro (358 m.), the highest point of Menorca, which is where you can find the sanctuary of the Virgin of Monte Toro, patron of the island, still run by a community of Franciscan nuns. On a clear day, from the top you can see the entire island's coastline. In this town you will find an “aljibe”, a large reservoir that collects rainwater and stores it in an inner cistern, of unusual dimensions and features, still in use up to this day and preserved in very good condition. Sir Richard Kane, the English governor present on the island in the eighteenth century had commanded to build it to be able to supply the troops between Mahon and Ciutadella and improve the quality of life in the town of Mercadal providing drinking water. Today, most of the municipality's territory is declared a natural area protected by the Parliament of the Balearic Islands.

Es Migjorn Gran

The independent municipality of Es Migjorn Gran, created in 1989, has some 1500 inhabitants, friendly and cordial people, whose calm and leisurely pace is maintained despite the passage of time and of the numerous celebrations organized in the locality. During the months of July and August there is an evening market and the great MIGJORNALE in which some houses of the town and other public buildings open their doors to become showrooms for artists who live in Es Migjorn and neighbouring towns.

San Lluis

San Lluis was founded during the brief stay of the French in Menorca during the eighteenth century in the Southeast of the island area, it is named in honour of the French King Louis IX (and to leave record of his domination) Agriculture and livestock were the main activities of the town and its surroundings. For two centuries, the people of Sant Lluís lived off their three windmills, farmers from the whole area came to grind the grain of their crops. The Molí de Dalt is the only one still standing, painted in white and celestial, it currently hosts an ethnological museum where we can find a fantastic collection of tools and instruments of the field and some trades that have already disappeared. San Luis celebrates its festivities on the last weekend of the month of August. In addition to the typical “jaleo” with horses, several events are organized during the four days celebration.

Es Castell

Es Castell is a small municipality on Menorca's east coast. It was founded in 1711 by a British colonel and was originally named Georgetown in honour of King Goerge III; Its contemporary name, however, was inspired by the nearby fort, Castillo de San Felipe, located in the Cala de Sant Esteve, on the shore South of Mahon's port entrance, which together with the Fort Marlborough served to protect the entrance of the coveted port of Mahon. Today, in Es Castell, there are vestiges of the English era, such as the guillotine windows or the intense red coloured façades in the village, "English red" for the menorquins. From the highest points of the area we can see the enormous fortress of La Mola that dominates the entrance to the north coast of the port of Mahon. From them we can also contemplate the two emblematic islets of the port of Mahon, the island of Rei and the Llatzaret.

Municipalities

Menorca's name derives from the Latin insula minor and, later, Menorica (Nura or “island of the fires” for the Phoenicians and Melusa for the Greeks). In Menorca the Carthaginians founded the city called Magonis, currently Mahón, capital of Menorca.

On the other side of the island is Ciudadela (Ciutadella) the ecclesiastical capital (with a Gothic cathedral from the 13th century), and former capital of the island.

It is distinguished from the rest of the Mediterranean islands because is not a mountainous island. Given its low altitude throughout, the sky and stars become one of the main attractions at night.

In the past Menorca was colonised on several occasions by Romans, Carthaginians, Muslims, English, French and finally by the King of Aragon James I in 1287.

In 1970, it began to become a tourist destination, twenty years later than the other islands. This is because Menorca was economically prosperous thanks to the footwear, clothing, jewellery, milk and cheese industries. This delay in tourism development, however, is nowadays one of the main values of the island of Menorca that has opted for the conservation of the environment which has translated into a more restrictive general regulation and higher valued properties. It also differs from the other islands, therefore, in the large number of natural beaches and coves that the natives of the island have always protected.

A definite boost to this characteristic of Menorca is the recognition of the island as a Biosphere Reserve approved by UNESCO in 1985. It has an incredible density of unique archaeological sites that places the island as one of the strongest candidates for declaration of World Heritage. The whole island is populated by ancient Talaiots, Taulas and Navetas built with huge and imposing stones and prehistoric caves worth to visit and study.

It is very difficult to find a tourist destination two or three hour from the main European cities that brings together all that Menorca offers, and its beautiful nature.

It has a typically Mediterranean climate, with high temperatures in summer (above 30 ° C) and moderately low in winter (rarely below 5 ° C).

The main sector of the economy today is the tourism. The visitor will feel welcomed by native population, residents and excellent infrastructure. Highlight new roads, the extension of the airport, hospitals, the adaptation of one of the largest natural harbours (the port of Mahon) on the world to receive cruises and ships along its 5 kilometres…

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