Steve's World Blog Information and articles on cities, towns and villages around the world.

September 16, 2011

Es Castell Menorca

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Facts,Spain — Tags: , , — needahand @ 12:50 pm

Es Castell Menorca – Located at the mouth of Mahon’s port on the east coast of Menorca in the Spanish Balearic Islands, the seaside resort of Es Castell is a popular holiday destination which attracts many thousands of visitors each year especially during the traditional summer months (May to September). In what was previously a strategically important section of Menorca (the Brits overtook the port), it now attracts more attention from holidaymakers, who arrive to enjoy the sunny weather, the sandy beaches, and the friendly atmosphere. Es Castell which literally means “The Castle” has a somewhat English feel with a Georgian twist, harping back to the days of English rule, there is still an old parade ground which was used by troops in days gone by. Es Castell is gathered around two attractive coves and there is a small fishing harbour from which fishermen still operate today as they sail their boats on the waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

Get a map and info for Es Castell here:

And more info on Menorca here:

August 14, 2010

Santo Tomas Hotel Menorca

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Holidays,hotels,Spain — Tags: , , , , — needahand @ 1:51 pm
Santo Tomas Hotel Menorca

Santo Tomas Hotel Menorca

When visiting the beautiful holiday island of Menorca in the Spanish Balearic Islands, you will be looking for a nice resort for your stay. For a peaceful family holiday you might well consider the tranquil Santo Tomas, located between Son Bou and Cala Galdana on the south coast of the island. If you are needing a hotel for your stay you could book the Santo Tomas Hotel which is situated right beside the sea and beach and in an ideal spot for enjoying the sandy beaches, the clear waters, the fine hotel facilities and the wonderful Santo Tomas weather conditions, which should certainly help top up your tan if you visit between May and October. The Santo Tomas Hotel has all the facilities that you would need from a modern hotel including both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, so you can swim even in the cooler winter months when the weather is not so good. You can also relax in the Jacuzzi, or take a steam bath or sauna, afterwards enjoy a meal in the buffet restaurant offering International cuisines. Rooms in the Santo Tomas Hotel are offered from around 83 euros (£70), and the hotel is within a half hours drive of Mahon airport making the hotel easy to access.


April 5, 2010

Mahon Menorca

Filed under: Balearic Islands,History,Spain — Tags: , — needahand @ 4:50 pm

The elegant town of Mahon is the capital of the Balearic Island of Menorca, it is renowned for having one of the best natural harbours in the world, this made it an attractive target for the British Navy, who took the town and the island in 1708, and made Mahon their main port in the Mediterranean. Mahon today is a more peaceful place and is an attractive tourist destination, with many places of interest and a great range of facilities, you are more likely to see a luxury yacht in the harbour these days than a warship although it is still a working port. The town enjoys a wonderful climate and the weather in Mahon is pleasant all year round attracting thousands of visitors both during the hot summer months and also during the agreeable winter months. Mahon Map.

March 26, 2010

Cala Galdana Menorca

Filed under: Balearic Islands,Holidays,Spain — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 11:31 am
Cala Galdana Bay

Cala Galdana Bay

One of the most popular and attractive coastal resorts on the island of Menorca, Cala Galdana is situated on the south coast in the municipal district of Ferreries. Standing around a beautiful horseshoe shaped bay Cala Galdana is probably the most photographed location on the island offering the chance for some delightful shots, worthy of a holiday brochure. With little history to speak of, Cala Galdana has mostly come to prominence with the growth of the tourism industry in Menorca, attracting those visitors who prefer a more laid back holiday away from the hustle and bustle of neighbouring Ibiza and Majorca. The beach is the place to head for in Cala Galdana and most visitors do just this, relaxing in the splendid weather conditions that the resort enjoys, particularly between the months of May and September. The beach is backed by an attractive promenade, a popular place for a stroll and also the location of a little craft market during the busy season, the beach has a good range of facilities and there are opportunities to try out some water sports. The main accommodation in Cala Galdana is hotels and aparthotels and the resort is listed with many of the major tour operators, the best known and only significant hotel is the Sol Gavilanes which overlooks the bay in a great location, if you book through a tour operator like Thomsons, this is no doubt where you will be staying, but you need not worry as this is an excellent hotel with all the facilities that you are likely to need for a great family holiday. Cala Galdana is around forty kilometres from Menorca’s airport at Mahon.

December 7, 2009

Megalithic Structures of Menorca

Filed under: Balearic Islands,History,Spain — Tags: , , , , , — needahand @ 1:40 pm

Menorca is beyond a shadow of a doubt the most abundant in megalithic sites of all the Spanish Balearics, having many hundreds of stone structures dating from the Talaiotic period (2000BC – 1000BC) many of these ancient sites are still in a good state of repair and well worth the effort needed to see them. The majority of the finest megalithic sites are situated in the south of the island below the route of the ME-1, Mahon to Ciutadella carraigeway, many are decently signposted, others are much trickier to find and require some exploration and a good map, if you are doing the full tour you will need a decent guide book and a detailed road map of the island. Some of the finest and best known sites on Menorca include Torralba d’en Salort, for a great example of a taula (“T” shaped stone structure), Naveta d’es Tudons for a superb example of a naveta (upturned boat type stone structure) and Son Mercer de Baix for the most ancient settlement on Menorca. To have the required freedom to tour these and many other sites you would be best advised to rent a car hire vehicle for at least a couple of days of your stay, this will give you the opportunity to tour the island without any constraints. While touring the historic sites you can also pop in and see a few of the more “out of the way” coves and beaches, or perhaps take a morning for a game of golf at Son Parc in the north and then visit Monte Toro (Bull mountain), Menorca highest peak.

September 11, 2009

Menorca History

Filed under: Balearic Islands,History,Spain,Travel — Tags: , , , , — needahand @ 12:02 pm

Just 25 miles to the north-east of Mallorca, lies the second largest of the Balearic Islands – Menorca (often called Minorca in the UK). Smaller and quieter than its better known neighbour, Menorca has a resident population of just 88,000 and mostly attracts visitors looking for peace and relaxation. Noted for its rugged coastline, Menorca has over 120 beaches, almost as many as Mallorca and Ibiza combined, many are located in secluded coves, well away from the popular resorts, the other big attraction of course is the climate, with the weather being pleasant all year round, with warm dry summers and mild winters.

The main towns of Menorca are the capital Mahon (Mao) and the former capital Ciutadella, Mahon is an attractive town with one of the best natural harbours in the Mediterranean, Ciutadella also has a busy harbour and is very picturesque, with its narrow, winding streets and grand palaces.

Menorca is particularly rich in megalithic structures, which provide evidence of the earliest inhabitants of the Balearic Islands. Possibly settled as early as 4000 BC, a civilisation known as the Talayotic flourished between 2000 and 1000 BC. The Talayots built many stone structures throughout the island, in the form of three main types – Taulas, consisting of 2 stones making a ‘T’ shape, possibly used as altars, Talayots, square or circular rock buildings which could have been dwellings or tombs, and Navetas, in the shape of upturned boats, again possibly used as dwellings.

Menorca and the Balearic Islands were later to become part of the Carthaginian trading empire, recruiting many of the islands famous ‘stone slingers’ into their armies as war approached with Rome. The islanders skill with sling and stone was legendary and it is likely that the name of the island group is derived from the Greek ballein “to throw”.

After the defeat of the Carthaginians by the Romans in the Punic Wars, the islands became an outpost for the Roman Empire, Menorca was renamed Balearis Minor, but seems to have held little importance for the Empire, which had more interest in the mainland. The Romans were replaced by the Goths, who were in turn replaced by the Vandals and the Visigoths, and there was little stability for the island until the arrival of the Moors in the 9th century. Arab rule continued until the 13th century, when Menorca finally came back under Christian control. Menorca and the other Balearic Islands suffered constant attacks by pirates over the following centuries, the fine harbour of Mahon being one of the main targets, in fact this was one of the priorities of the British when they took Menorca in 1708, during the War of Spanish Succession, in the process obtaining the superb harbour for the continued use of the British Royal Navy. Menorca was finally handed back to Spain in 1802 under the Treaty of Amiens. During the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), Menorca remained Republican while its neighbour Mallorca was held by the Nationalists under General Franco.

Menorca today is a popular holiday destination, which has mostly escaped the ravages of mass tourism, its peaceful family resorts and friendly population clinging to their ancient traditions and customs. Lingering British influence from their time there can be seen in the islanders preference for gin as opposed to wine which is normally favoured by the Spanish. The airport is located to the south of the capital Mahon (Mao) and is within easy driving distance of all of the main resorts and tourist centres, it is certainly worth hiring a car, so that you can locate some of the more out of the way beaches and also take a look at some of the best historical sites. Menorca Map.

September 2, 2009

Ciutadella Menorca

Filed under: Balearic Islands,History,Spain — Tags: , , — needahand @ 1:26 pm

An attractive town with a picturesque port and a charming old quarter, Ciutadella was the former capital of Menorca until the British arrived in 1708. originally founded by the Carthaginians, Ciutadella later became an important trading centre for the Moors until they were ousted by the Christians in the late 13th century. Sacked by the Turks in 1558, all its citizens were sold into slavery in Constantinople. Largely rebuilt during the 17th and 18th centuries, Ciutadella is a typically Spanish town with some beautiful squares and some fine architecture, its 13th century cathedral was all that remained from the Turkish invasion, was built on the former site of an Arab mosque. Ciutadella was replaced as capital by Mahon, as its deepwater harbour was considered superior by the British, it did however remain as the religious capital of the island. Ciutadella Map.

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