Minorca is a breeding ground for culture, history and a future that people just can’t seem to get enough of. Located within the Balearic Island chain, Minorca means “smaller island.” It gets its name from its location, which is right next to the largest island in the Balearic chain (Majorca). Minorca has seen human activity since prehistoric times; as such, you can find many relics of the past on the island. It is known for its megalithic stone monuments, which are structures built from stone (like the Stonehenge in the United Kingdom). Just like the other islands in the Balearic, Minorca has been conquered over time by the likes of the Romans, the Vandals, the British and so on. The history from the island’s long past are still visible and are popular tourist spots today.
The island is divided into eight municipalities, with its two largest cities being Port Mahon and Ciutadella de Menorca. Within the municipalities, there are small towns and villages that are can’t-miss spots. Minorca is only 10 miles wide, and 35 miles long, which makes it easy to see the entire island via car.
Minorca was designated a “Biosphere Reserve” by UNESCO in 1993. This title is given to areas with diverse wildlife and plants and is designed to protect them. The island is home to over 900 species of wildflowers, many of which are Mediterranean, as well as over 30 species of butterflies. The island also boasts a bird community, as Minorca is on a migration route. Bird watching on the island is a common activity.
Minorca’s location in the Mediterranean has a direct influence on its climate. Hot and dry summers are a common thing, with only a few rainy days each month. Winters tend to be cool and rainy, and the mountains can see some snow. Because of this, the islands popular, local festivals tend to be held in the middle part of the summer. Popular summer festivals include International Opera Week, the International Organ Festival and the Festes de Sant Joan. This festival is full of bonfires, fireworks, music, dance and drinking. The festival is celebrated all across Spain, but Ciutadella (a Minorcan city) is the main place people go to celebrate.
Prior to the 1900s, wine production in Minorca was much more than it is today. The wine has been produced on the island since ancient times but has dwindled down to just several wineries today. Wine is popular in Minorca, as is gin, which is an influence picked up from the short British occupation. Minorca is also known for its cheese production, with its famed Mahon cheese, as well as its honour as the birthplace of mayonnaise.