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When a hotel search on Menorca is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel on Menorca is waiting for you!

Hotels of Menorca

A hotel on Menorca is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger on Menorca hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms on Menorca are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Menorca hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Menorca hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels on Menorca have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels on Menorca
An upscale full service hotel facility on Menorca that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Menorca hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels on Menorca
Full service Menorca hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels on Menorca
Boutique hotels of Menorca are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Menorca boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels on Menorca may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels on Menorca
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Menorca travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Menorca focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels on Menorca
Small to medium-sized Menorca hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Menorca traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Menorca hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs on Menorca
A bed and breakfast on Menorca is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Menorca bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Menorca B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels on Menorca
Menorca hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Menorca hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels on Menorca
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Menorca hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels on Menorca lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs on Menorca
Menorca timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts on Menorca often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Menorca on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels on Menorca
A Menorca motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Menorca for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Menorca motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation on Menorca

For other uses, see Minorca (disambiguation).
Native name: Menorca
Bandera de Menorca.svg
Flag of Minorca
Minorca is located in Balearic Islands
Minorca is located in Spain
Location Mediterranean Sea
Coordinates  / 39.967; 4.083  / 39.967; 4.083
Archipelago Balearic Islands
Area 695.7 km (268.6 sq mi)
Highest elevation 358 m (1,175 ft)
Highest point Monte Toro
Autonomous Community Balearic Islands
Province Balearic Islands
Largest settlement Maó, Spanish Mahón (pop. 29,321)
Population 94,383 (1 January 2010)
Pop. density 135.67 /km (351.38 /sq mi)

Minorca or Menorca (/mɪˈnɔːrkə/; Catalan: Menorca [məˈnɔrkə]; Spanish: Menorca [meˈnorka]; from Latin: Insula Minor, later Minorica "smaller island") is one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to Spain. Its name derives from its size, contrasting it with nearby Majorca.

Minorca has a population of approximately 94,383 (2010). It is located 39°47' to 40°00'N, 3°52' to 4°24'E. Its highest point, called El Toro or Monte Toro, is 358 metres (1,175 feet) above sea level.

Minorca: History

The island is known for its collection of megalithic stone monuments: navetes, taules and talaiots, which speak of a very early prehistoric human activity. Some of the earliest culture on Minorca was influenced by other Mediterranean cultures, including the Greek Minoans of ancient Crete (see also Gymnesian Islands). For example, the use of inverted plastered timber columns at Knossos is thought to have influenced early peoples of Minorca in imitating this practice.

The end of the Punic wars saw an increase in piracy in the western Mediterranean. The Roman occupation of Hispania had meant a growth of maritime trade between the Iberian and Italian peninsulas. Pirates took advantage of the strategic location of the Balearic Islands to raid Roman commerce, using both Minorca and Majorca as bases. In reaction to this, the Romans invaded Minorca. By 121 BC both islands were fully under Roman control, later being incorporated into the province of Hispania Citerior.

In 13 BC Roman emperor Augustus reorganised the provincial system and the Balearic Islands became part of the Tarraconensis imperial province. The ancient town of Mago was transformed from a Carthaginian town to a Roman town.

Minorca: Jews of Minorca

Historic map of Minorca by Piri Reis

The island had a Jewish population. The Letter on the Conversion of the Jews by a 5th-century bishop named Severus tells of the forced conversion of the island's 540 Jewish men and women in AD 418. Several Jews, including Theodore, a rich representative Jew who stood high in the estimation of his coreligionists and of Christians alike, underwent baptism. The act of conversion brought about, within a previously peaceful coexisting community, the expulsion of the ruling Jewish elite into the bleak hinterlands, the burning of synagogues, and the gradual reinstatement of certain Jewish families after the forced acceptance of Christianity, allowing the survival of those Jewish families who had not already perished. Many Jews remained within the Jewish faith while outwardly professing Christian faith. Some of these Jews form part of the Xueta community.

When Minorca became a British possession in 1713, they actively encouraged the immigration of foreign non-Catholics, which included Jews who were not accepted by the predominantly Christian inhabitants. When the Jewish community in Mahon requested the use of a room as a synagogue, their request was refused and they were denounced by the clergy. In 1781, when Louis des Balbes de Berton de Crillon, duc de Mahon invaded Minorca, he ordered all Jews to leave in four days. At that time, the Jewish community consisted of about 500 people and they were transported from Minorca in four Spanish ships to the port of Marseilles.

Minorca: Middle Ages

The Vandals easily conquered the island in the 5th century. The Byzantine Empire recovered it in 534. Following the Moorish conquest of peninsular Spain, Minorca was annexed to the Caliphate of Córdoba in 903 and given the Arabicized name of Manûrqa, with many Moors emigrating to the island. In 1231, after Christian forces reconquered Majorca, Minorca chose to become an independent Islamic state, albeit one tributary to King James I of Aragon. The island was ruled first by Abû 'Uthmân Sa'îd Hakam al Qurashi (1234–1282), and following his death by his son, Abû 'Umar ibn Sa'îd (1282–1287). An Aragonese invasion, led by Alfonso III, came on 17 January 1287; its anniversary is now celebrated as Minorca's national day. Some of the Muslim inhabitants of the island were enslaved and sold in the slave markets of Ibiza, Valencia and Barcelona, while others became Christians.

Until 1344 the island was part of the Kingdom of Majorca, a vassal state of the Crown of Aragon. Aragon subsequently annexed the kingdom and was then absorbed itself into the unified Spanish crown. During the 16th century, Turkish naval attacks destroyed Mahon, and the then capital, Ciutadella, before Turkish settlement took place on some of the island. In Mahon, Barbary pirates from North Africa took considerable booty and as many as 6,000 slaves. Various Spanish kings, including Philip III and Philip IV, styled themselves "King of Minorca" as a subsidiary title.

Minorca: 18th century

Battle of Minorca, 1756

Invaded by Britain's Royal Navy in 1708 during the War of the Spanish Succession, Minorca temporarily became a British possession. Great Britain took possession in 1713, under the terms of Article XI of the Treaty of Utrecht. Under the governorship of General Richard Kane, this period saw the island's capital moved to Port Mahon and a naval base established in that town's harbour.

In 1756, during the Seven Years' War, France captured the island after the Siege of Fort St Philip and a failed British relief attempt. Thanks to the Treaty of Paris of 1763, the British returned to the island again following Britain's victory in the Seven Years' War. In 1781, during the American War of Independence, the British were defeated for a second time, in this instance by a combination of French and Spanish forces, and on 5 January 1782 the Spanish regained control of the island, after a long siege of St. Philip's Castle in Port Mahon. On the feast of the Epiphany, as an expression of joy, King Charles III of Spain ordered the viceroys, captains general, governors, and military commanders to bring together the garrisons and to extend his greetings to army commanders on the so-called Pascua Militar. The British ceded the island back to Spain the next year in the Treaty of Versailles. Minorca was invaded by the British once again in 1798, during the French Revolutionary Wars, but it was finally and permanently repossessed by Spain by the terms of the Treaty of Amiens in 1802. The British influence can still be seen in local architecture, with elements such as sash windows.

As with the rest of the Balearic Islands, Minorca was not occupied by the French during the Peninsular War, as it was successfully protected by the Royal Navy, this time allied to Spain.

Minorca: Post-1900

During the Spanish Civil War, Minorca stayed loyal to the Republican Spanish Government, while the rest of the Balearic Islands supported the Nationalists. It did not see combat, except for aerial bombing by the Italians of Corpo Truppe Volontarie Air Force. Many Minorcans were also killed when taking part in a failed invasion of Majorca. Also some Majorcans and a priest were executed in Minorca during the Pedro Marqués Barber era (July–December 1936). After the Nationalist victory in the Battle of Minorca in February 1939, the British Navy assisted in a peaceful transfer of power in Minorca and the evacuation of some political refugees aboard HMS Devonshire.

In October 1993, Minorca was designated by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve. In July 2005, the island's application to become the 25th member of the International Island Games Association was approved.

Minorca: Climate

As the rest of the Balearics, Minorca has a mediterranean climate (Köppen: Csa), with mild winters and long, hot summers.

Climate data for Mahón – Menorca Airport 91m (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 14.1
Daily mean °C (°F) 10.8
Average low °C (°F) 7.5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 52
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 7 7 6 6 4 2 1 2 5 7 8 9 64
Mean monthly sunshine hours 144 146 202 222 270 311 347 312 225 183 142 130 2,632
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología

Minorca: Culture

Port de Maó (Mahón)

The location of Minorca in the middle of the western Mediterranean was a staging point for the different cultures since prehistoric times. This Balearic Island has a mix of colonial and local architecture.

The festes take place throughout the summer in different towns around the island, and have their origins in the early 14th century. The international opera week and international organ festival in Mahon, and the summer music festival and Capella Davidica concerts in Ciutadella are the main events of the island.

Minorca’s cuisine is dominated by the Mediterranean diet which is known to be very healthy. While many of the locals have adopted modern attitudes they still uphold certain old traditions.

Minorca: Traditional celebrations

Menorquín horse ridden by caixer at festes

Minorca is especially well known for its traditional summer fiestas, which intrigue many visitors. The 'Festes de Sant Joan' are held annually in Ciutadella, during 23–25 June. The festes last for three days. On the first day, a man bears a well-groomed sheep upon his shoulders and parades around the local streets. In the late evening, main streets are closed and bonfires held upon them.

On the second day, locally bred black horses are the star of the show, dressed up for the occasion with ribbons and rosettes. The riders, or "caixers", ride the horses through the streets and, along with a tumultuous crowd of people, encourage them to rear up on their hind legs. The brave can be found running underneath them in an attempt to touch the horses hearts for good luck.

The third day sees intense competition between the riders in a harmless form of jousting that involves spearing a suspended ring with a lance at considerable speed. The festes are brought to a close with a firework display.

Minorca: Sports

As a small island, it is very seldom that there is a chance to see top level sport competitions in Minorca. In football, CF Sporting Mahonés managed to play in Segunda División B, the third level of the Spanish football league system, between 1987–1993 and between 2009–2012. In basketball, Menorca Bàsquet played in the Liga ACB, the first tier level men's professional basketball league in Spain, between 2005–2009 and in 2010–2011. Incidentally, both clubs dissolved in 2012 due to financial problems.

In the last years, some sport events that gather hundreds of participants are successfully held on a yearly basis, such as the triathlon race Extreme Man Menorca or the single-staged ultramarathon race Trail Menorca Camí de Cavalls. In 2014 it was announced that the island would host the 18th editions of the Island Games in 2019, however Menorca later pulled out of hosting the event, citing a change of government as the main reason.

Minorca: Language

The two official languages are Catalan and Spanish. Natives to the island speak the variety of Catalan called Menorquí, and they typically speak Spanish fluently as a second language; many immigrants are monolingual in Spanish.

Between Menorquí and standard Catalan proper, as with most Balearic dialects, the most distinctive difference is the different word used for the article "the", where Menorquí uses "es" for masculine and "sa" for feminine. Menorquí thus shares the source of its article with many Sardinian varieties (masc. sing. su, fem sing. sa), rather than the standard Catalan "el" and "la", common to other Romance languages (e.g. Spanish el, la, Italian il, la), corresponding to a form which was historically used along the Costa Brava of Catalonia, from where it is supposed that the islands were repopulated after being conquered from the Moors. Menorquí also has a few English loan words dating back to the British occupation such as "grevi", "xumaquer", "boinder" and "xoc" taken from "gravy", "shoemaker", "bow window" and "chalk", respectively.

Minorca: Food and drink

Bottle of Gin Xoriguer, the typical gin from Minorca. It is very often mixed with lemonade.

Wine production has been known on the island since ancient times, but it went into a heavy decline over the last century. Now, several new, small wineries have started up, producing wines locally.

Lingering British influence is seen in the Minorcans' taste for gin, which during local festes honoring towns' patron saints is mixed with lemonade (or bitter lemon) to make a golden liquid known as Pomada. Gin from Menorca is not derived from grain alcohol but from wine alcohol (eau de vie de vin), making it more akin to brandy. It has the distinction to have geographical identity protection. Probably the best known gin is Gin Xoriguer which is named after the typical Menorcan windmill which was used to make the first gin. One of the reasons it is also known as Gin de Menorca or Gin de Mahón.

Also famous is Mahón cheese, a cheese typical of the island.

One origin story of mayonnaise is that it was brought back to France from Mahon, Minorca, after Louis-François-Armand du Plessis de Richelieu's victory over the British at the city's port in 1756.

Sweets known as flaons are one of the typical gastronomic products of Minorca.

Minorca: Wildlife

Minorca: Flowers

Minorca is rich in wild flowers with over 900 species of flowering plants recorded. Many are those typical of the Mediterranean but some are endemic. There are 24 or 25 species of orchid found and of these most flower early in the year in late March, April and May.

Minorca: Insects

Cleopatra, Algendar gorge.

30 species of butterflies have been recorded on Minorca and most are on the wing from March to late September. The species that occur include the Cleopatra, Lang's short tailed blue and the two-tailed pasha.
Despite not having many large wetlands dragonflies abound on Minorca. Seventeen species have been recorded including the emperor dragonfly.

  • List of butterflies of Minorca
  • List of dragonflies of Minorca

Minorca: Reptiles and amphibians

There are three species of amphibia: green toad (Bufo viridis), marsh frog and stripeless tree frog (Hyla meridionalis). The common lizard seen all over the island is the Italian wall lizard (Podarcis siculus) although the Moroccan rock lizard (Scelaris perspicillata) also occurs. The Balearic endemic Lilford's wall lizard (Podarcis lilfordi) can be found on many of the offshore islands. Two species of gecko can be found on Minorca, the Moorish (Tarentola mauritanica) and the Turkish (Hemidactylus turcicus) also called the Mediterranean house gecko. Four species of snake occur: the viperine snake (Natrix maura), grass snake, false smooth snake (Macroprotodon cucullatus) and the ladder snake (Rhinechis scalaris).

Hermann's tortoise (Testudo hermanni) is quite common and can be found all over the island. Two terrapin species are also found, the native European pond terrapin (Emys orbicularis) and the introduced American red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta).

Minorca: Birds

The birdlife of Minorca is very well known. Menorca is a well watched island which is on the migration route of many species and good number of passage migrants can be seen in spring. Residents include Audouin's gull, blue rock thrush and Thekla lark. booted eagle and red kite are easy to see as is Egyptian vulture in the right habitat. In summer there are bee-eaters and Minorca has major colonies of Cory's shearwater and Balearic shearwater.

Minorca: Mammals

Minorca has no large native mammals. There are some small mammals including rabbits, rats, mice, pine martens and a subspecies of North African hedgehog.

Minorca: Municipalities

Municipal boundaries in Minorca

The major towns are Port Mahon and Ciutadella de Menorca. The island is administratively divided into eight municipalities (from west to east):

  • Ciutadella de Menorca (or just Ciutadella locally) – the ancient capital of Minorca until 1722
  • Ferreries
  • Es Mercadal
    • Fornells, which belongs to the municipality of Es Mercadal. Famous for its lobster stew.
  • Es Migjorn Gran (or Es Mitjorn Gran) – hometown of Joan Riudavets.
  • Alaior
    • Cala En Porter – a tourist and residential area
  • Port Mahon (officially Maó in Catalan, Mahón in Spanish) – became the capital in 1722 during the British domination, thanks to its strategic natural harbour.
    • Llucmassanes – a small hamlet which belongs to the municipality of Maó.
    • Sant Climent, which belongs to the municipality of Maó.
  • Es Castell – Founded by the British and originally named as Georgetown.
  • Sant Lluís – Founded by the French and originally named Saint-Louis.

The areas and populations of the municipalities (according to the Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Spain) are:

Municipality Area
Census Population
1 November 2001
Actual Population
1 January 2010
Ciutadella de Menorca 186.3 23,103 29,247
Ferreries 66.1 4,048 4,620
Es Mercadal 138.3 3,089 5,398
Es Migjorn Gran 31.4 1,167 1,539
Alaior 109.9 7,108 9,399
Port Mahon (Maó) 117.2 23,315 29,050
Es Castell 11.7 6,424 7,926
Sant Lluís 34.8 3,270 7,204
Totals 695.7 71,524 94,383

Minorca: See also

  • Gymnesian Islands
  • Isla del Aire
  • List of butterflies of Menorca
  • List of dragonflies of Menorca
  • Manûrqa
  • Menorca Airport
  • Menorca Sun
  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Menorca

Minorca: References

  1. C. Michael Hogan (2007) Knossos fieldnotes, The Modern Antiquarian
  2. Henry Christmas, The Shores and Islands of the Mediterranean, Published 1851, R. Bentley
  3. Elukin, Jonathan M. Living Together, Living Apart : Rethinking Jewish-Christian Relations in the Middle Ages. Vol. Jews, Christians, and Muslims from the ancient to the modern world. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2007.
  4. Bradbury, Scott, ed. trans. (1996). Severus of Minorca: Letter on the Conversion of the Jews (Oxford Early Christian Texts). Oxford University Press. p. 154. ISBN 978-0-19-826764-5.
  5. Gregory, Desmond (1990). Minorca, the Illusory Prize: A History of the British Occupations of Minorca between 1708 and 1802. Cranbury, NJ, USA: Associated University Presses, Inc. p. 132. ISBN 0-8386-3389-7.
  6. "Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy, 1500–1800". Robert Davis (2004). Buy book ISBN 1-4039-4551-9.
  7. "Valores Climatológicos Normales. Menorca / Aeropuerto". November 2015.
  8. Website Oficial Menorca
  9. Minorca Culture Information
  11. [1]
  12. Article 4, Statute of Autonomy of the Balearic Islands, 2007: "The Catalan language, typical of the Balearic Islands, will have official consideration, together with Spanish."
  13. Miquel Hudin (2013), Vinologue Menorca, Leavenworth Press, p. 75, ISBN 978-0-983-77187-6
  14. Trager, James (1995). The Food Chronology. New York: Henry Hold and Company. p. 163.

Minorca: Further reading

  • Burns, Robert I., (1990) "Muslims in the Thirteenth Century Realms of Aragon: Interaction and Reaction", p. 67, In: Powell, J.M. (ed.) Muslims under Latin Rule, 1100–1300, p. 57–102, Princeton University Press. Buy book ISBN 0-691-05586-6.
  • Hearl, G., (1996). A Birdwatchers guide to Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera. Arlequin Press. pp56. Buy book ISBN 1-900159-20-1
  • Pons, G., (2000). Les papallones diurnes de les balears., pp87. Edicions Documenta Balear, Palma de Mallorca.
  • Carlo Ginzburg, "The Conversion of the Jews of Minorca (A.D. 417–418)," in Idem, Threads and Traces: True False Fictive (Berkeley, University of California Press, 2011)
  • Taylor, David Wilson (1975). Minorca. Buy book ISBN 0 7153 6787 0 (Great Britain) Buy book ISBN 0 8117 1032 7 (United States) First full account of Minorca in English since John Armstrong's memoirs of 1740. [2]
  • UNESCO's Menorca Biosphere Reserve
Source of information: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. We're not responsible for the content of this article and your use of this information. Disclaimer
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