We had three days to discover the little sister of Mallorca. We were on Mallorca for almost 100 times, but never on Minorca. Therefore it was time to explore this island as well. More and more cruise ships travel to Minorca and we wanted to discover the hidden treasures of the island.
About 700 square kilometers make up the island of Minorca, which is only a fifth of the area of Mallorca. Minorca has around 93,000 inhabitants and offers fantastic and colorful landscapes. Idyllic, romantic and historical. These are the words we connected with Minorca until our trip. Many told us that Minorca is a quiet island with little going on and a strong wind.
After our trip from Barcelona to Minorca with Baleària, we were happy to spend three relaxing days on this small Mediterranean island. We traveled by car and were able to drive around the island. We had two pocket guides in the bag: one from Dumont and one from Marco Polo to discover the most beautiful spots on the island. You will find a review of the two travel guides in a following blog post.
Ciutadella is the second largest city in Menorca. Until 1722 it was the capital of the island. We arrived early in the harbor with our ferry. We were tired and still shaky on our feet. But the beautiful palm trees and buildings aroused us. We wanted to eat something delicious. So we looked for a small bakery with the help of our guide from Marco Polo. We opted for the Panadería es Born at the Placa des Born. From this square you can explore the old town. You can find out more about the old town of Ciutadella in the third part of our travel guide for Minorca.
The bakery Panadería es Born is almost hidden in the building opposite the town hall. We passed the bakery two times before we spotted the small clay sign on the inside of the door arch. There were different pastries filled with meat and vegetables as well as bread with ham or cheese or omelette. We chose a baguette with omelette and a pastry filled with meat. We had a delicious breakfast. Outside it was windy, but the sun glittered on the palace buildings. No one was around us and we enjoyed the silence.
We booked a hotel in the capital Maó in the east of the island with a view of the harbor and the sea. We stayed for two nights in our hotel Artiem Carlos III. From the outside, the hotel gives a modern, creative impression with colorful balconies. At the end of April is still low season, so the hotel was not really crowded. When we got to our room, we were overwhelmed. The room was very bright and pleasantly large. The view led us directly to the balcony and the view of the sea. Simply fantastic.
After unpacking our luggage, we wanted to explore the inner part and the north of the island. The sun was shining and the sky was bright blue. Wonderful weather to explore the island. Our next stop was Es Mercadal.
After half an hour drive we were in Es Mercadal. We stopped at a parking lot near the center. Here we discovered the first beautiful gate made of olive wood. You can discover these gates all over the island.
From here we walked along the alleys. The houses shone in bright colors. They were mostly painted white and the window shutters were green.
We immediately felt welcome and strolled to the Placa Constitució. There are some nice shops and the famous pastry shop Cas Sucrer. Our Dumont guide called this pastry shop “the sweet temptation”. The city Es Mercadal is famous for sweet and also salty pastries. In the sugar bakery Cas Sucrer you can try not only the famous almond cookies Amargos and Caquinyols, but also delicious ensaimades (yeast dough pastries with or without filling) and super coffee.
Our insider tip: Right next to Cas Sucrer there is the shop El Paladar. This shop offers a wide selection of ham, sausages and cheese. Here you can buy a delicious sandwich with ham and a bottle of water for only 2. The ham is fresh and the sandwich will be prepared right in front of your eyes.
Then we went for a walk along the shops and through the small town center. Afterwards we went to the parish church of Sant Martí and went back to the car. Es Mercadal is very small and you can walk around the city in only an hour. The visit is worthwhile because the white buildings and small streets are simply charming.
The Torre de Fornells is a powerful defensive tower on the north coast of the island. It lies on a 40 meter high cape above the wide bay of Fornells. The tower has the shape of a cylinder and was built of stone and mortar. In the past the tower was used to report enemy ships in advance. Nowadays the tower is a museum, but unfortunately it was closed on that day.
Below the tower is a parking lot. From here the cobbled path leads up to the defensive tower. We were lucky again that only we were out here. We noticed that the island is quite lonely at this time of the year. Already in Es Mercadal, there was hardly a human soul. At the defensive tower there was also a stone bench on which one could linger. We used the quiet moments to take photos and enjoy the breathtaking view. You could see the coast, the sea and the white houses at the port.
As soon as the sun began to set and the wind grew colder, we headed back to Maó to get some rest. We had a wonderful day and were quite exhausted from all the new impressions.