Mahón: Local Tips, Things to Do, Restaurants & Places to Stay
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Menorca was declared as a “Biosphere Reserve” in 1993, meaning that the Balearic island can boast being one of the best preserved of the Mediterranean islands, and also one of the most beautiful. Untouched coves, ravines and cliffs offer a visual spectacle of the first degree for anyone who decides to go its coast; especially sailors! For a comprehensive guide to match all tastes, visit the official website for tourism in Menorca.
Local Cuisine: Rich in variety with international influences. Try “Caldereta de Llagosta”, a delicious and succulent lobster stew served on fine slices of toast; “Escopinyes”, clams eaten raw with lemon or baked with a mixture of breadcrumbs, parsley and garlic; Mahon cheese; or “Sobrasada”, a spreadable pork sausage-meat made with paprika.
Local Wines: Binifadet Chardonnay (white), Hort de Sant Patrici Merlot (red).
Things to Do in Menorca
1. Visit a sandy cove
There are so many unbelievable beaches on the beautiful island of Menorca, that there is really no point in singling one out. Instead, here are the top 10 beaches as listed on Condé Nast Traveller: Cala Macarelleta (West), Cala Turqueta (West), Cala des Talaier (West), Platges Son Saura (West), Cala d’Algaiarens (North), Cala Pregonda (North), Platja de Cavalleria (North), Cala Presili (East), Platja d’en Tortuga (East), Caló Blanc (South).
2. Visit the Xoriguer Gin Distillery
At this showroom, you can taste and buy the distinctively aromatic Menorcan gin. From the range of sample liqueurs, try a shot of chamomile-based “Hierbas de Menorca”, “Palo” with its bitter gentian flavour or “Calent”, which is cinnamon-scented and traditionally served hot.
Address: Andén de Poniente 91
07701, Mahón, Menorca
3. Explore the Ciutadella de Menorca
On the far western end of Minorca lays the city of Ciutadella, the old capital of the island. Its remote origins have left an important archaeological heritage in the area, in the form of megaliths such as the “Taulas”, the “Talaiot” and the “Navetas”. This beautiful port city’s historic quarter, called Es Born, is surrounded by medieval streets filled with palaces, churches and fortresses.
4. Experience the ultimate sundowner
Cova d’en Xoroi at Cala’n Porter is a spectacular bar with outside terraces is set within natural caves 25 metres above sea level. Watching the sunset while sipping a cool drink, accompanied by ambient music and breathtaking sea views, is one of the most memorable pleasures on the island that can’t fail to impress.
Address: Carrer de Sa Cova 2, 07730, Cala en Porter, Alaior, Menorca
5. Cave Kayaking
Menorca kayaking offers you a chance to view and explore Menorca from the water, which is a special treat as much of Menorca’s beaches can only be accessed from the sea. Visit secluded beaches and some truly amazing aquatic caves.
Restaurants in Mahón
1. La Minerva
La Minerva, in the port of Mahón, is one of the most famous in Menorca, a floating pontoon where you can eat the very best fish. Be careful not to drop your credit card in the sea!
Address: Moll de Llevant 87, 07701 Mahón, Menorca
2. Bodegas Binifadet
Menorcan cuisine, with an innovative twist that goes very well with their great selection of wines. Enjoy cheeses from the island, salads, croquettes or even fish & chips if you have the hankering. For something more sophisticated, try the monkfish carpaccio, rack of lamb, duck confit, tuna tartare or fresh, local prawns.
Address: Cami De Ses Barraques, S/N, 07710 Sant Lluis, Menorca
3. Restaurante Santa Rita
The place that keeps serving until midnight. If you’re in need to late night grub, here’s your place. It’s a surprising little restaurant that opened up in the centre of Mahón for all budgets based on typical tapas. Enjoy “Grandma’s Croquetes” or their sweet potato bravas. Why not try their tasting menu, with 9 courses for only €27?
Address: Santa Rita Mahón, Plaça Bastió, 07701 Mahón
4. Hotel Rural Biniarroca
For almost twenty years, the Restaurant at Biniarroca has established itself as one of the finest on the island. At night, the à la carte restaurant opens onto beautiful Mediterranean inspired gardens from Monday to Saturday. Guests can enjoy French-inspired international cuisine with an innovative twist. The soft music, candlelight and scent of the garden roses combine to transform dinner into a sophisticated dining experience.
Address: Camí Vell de Biniarroca, 57, 07711 Sant Lluis, Menorca
5. Restaurante Pan y Vino
A secluded and truly inventive offering just outside of Mahón. Pan y Vino pride themselves on their creativity, generosity and quality of their food. Go there to enjoy French-Menorcan fusion cooking with international chefs to boot. A 30-year-old restaurant based in a 200 year old converted farmhouse – unique charm not to be missed.
Address: Camí de la Coixa, 3 – Torret – Sant Lluis – Menorca
Hotels in Mahón
In the south-east – handy for Maó and the southern beaches – is one of the original hotels rurals, Biniarroca. Run by two English women (a painter and a former fashion designer), it is still a bijou charmer, with its colonnaded swimming pool, verdant gardens and warren of bedrooms, each a unique assemblage of antiques, sunny floral fabrics and artworks.
Address: Camí Vell 57, Sant Lluís
2. Sant Joan de Binissaida
Not far away, Sant Joan de Binissaida is decorated in a rather attractive Med-Scandi style, and run along professional-hotel lines. Not rural, but well-polished.
Address: Camí de Binissaida 108, Es Castell
3. Alcaufar Vell
Of all the south-eastern retreats, the one that hits the balance between style, comfort and country charm most successfully is Alcaufar Vell. Centred on a handsome and impressive big house, this 21-room hotel has a rambling, aristocratic feel to it.
Address: Carretera Alcalfar Km 8, Sant Lluís
4. Jardi de ses Bruixes
This picture perfect blue and white fronted town house is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. Its traditional exterior houses chic, magnolia rooms and spacious bathrooms with modern fittings. Breakfast is served daily and Mao town, with plenty of sights and eateries, is a short walk.
Address: Carrer de San Fernando, 26, 07702 Maó
5. Hotel Petit Mao
Unassuming from the outside, on the inside this petit hotel is a homely haven. Rooms are all individually decorated: white walls contrasting with retro fabrics and furnishings. Its pool and garden are small but perfectly formed. Only breakfast is served but town is but an e-bike ride away!
Address: Carrer Infanta, 17, 07702 Mahon
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