Menorca was formed from a Volcano about 100 million years ago. Since then it has enjoyed a turbulent and colourful history. Around 2000 years BC the Talaiotic period produced the stone burial chambers or Talayots that can be seen around the island.
It was around 100 BC that the Romans invaded and referred to the island as Balearis Minor, from which the current name has been derived. In this period the towns of Mao (Mahon) and Ciutadella where established. It was around the middle ages Menorca suffered a number of Turkish raids from Pirates.
In the 17th century the British gained the right to territory of Mahon and the use of the Port. It was at this stage Mahon became the capital city. British rule continued until 1756, and then between 1763-82 after which it was returned to Spain.
In the late 1930’s Menorca was the last part of Spain to surrender to General Franco in the Spanish Civil war. In the mid 1950’s Menorca saw the first holiday flights from Britain.
Menorca is in fact the second largest Balearic island after Mallorca. The Balearic islands are consisted of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibizia and Formentera. Menorca is just 225km South East of Barcelona. Menorca is 53km wide from East to West and 23km Long from North to South. Menorca has more beaches than the rest of all the other Baleraric islands added together. The highest point on the island of Menorca is Monte Toro at an elevation of 358m.
Temperatures And Climate:
Menorca is the wettest Balearic island and it is this climate that helps to make it the greenest of the islands. The majority of the rainfall happens between the months of October and April. The holiday island has over 300 days of sunshine per year. Average high temperatures range between 14 C in January and 28 C in July.
There are several different forms of transport on the holiday island of Menorca, most people arrive on the island by air at Mahon Airport. From the airport, scheduled and many charter flights depart and arrive. There are also regular inter Balearic island flights.
Other ways of arriving on the island include inter island ferries and ferries that come in from mainland Spain. These ferries depart from both Mahon Port and Ciutadella port. Mahon port also welcomes cruise ships regularly throughout the Summer.
Menorca has a good bus service, with regular links between most resorts and the towns of Mahon and Ciutadella. There are more infrequent buses between smaller resorts. The main bus station is in Mahon. It has buses to almost all locations on the island as well as frequent connections to the airport.
Menorca has a good road network, with both Taxi’s and Hire Cars readily available. Major car hire companies have offices in Menorca airport, however local car hire companies often have special offers to look out for. Driving on the holiday island of Menorca is on the right hand side, like Spain and the majority of mainland Europe. There are no motorways on the island just one main road between Mahon and Ciutadella. There are petrol stations located around the island in most major towns and resorts.
Taxis are available throughout major towns, resorts, hotels as well as at Menorca airport. They are good for short journeys but can prove expensive over shorter distances.
Phone And Electricity:
There are plenty of Public telephones located throughout the island and resorts for those of you less keen to use your mobile phone. Alternatively most hotels have a phone in your room. These usually accept coins, credit cards or phone cards. Phone cards can be bought from post offices and kiosks. All Menorca telephone number start with 0034 for Spain then 971 for the Balearic islands
The electricity supply in Menorca is 220 – 225v. The plugs are the standard two pin European continental style. Travellers from the UK will need to bring converters for any electrical appliances they bring them.
People And Language:
The two languages of the holiday island of Menorca are Spanish and Balearic Catalan. Natives of the island usually have Menorquian Catalan as their first language and Spanish as their second language.
Menorca has an approximate population of 90,000, with 25,000 people living in the Mahon area and 25,000 living in thr Ciutadella area. The population density is 127 per km2
Menorca Tourism And Economy:
Tourism is the driver of Menorca’s economy. In 1950 the island had 200 hotel rooms, today the figure of hotel rooms is closer to 50,000. Today Menorca receives approximately 1 million tourists between April and October. Almost 60 percent of tourists come from Britain, about 15 percent from Germany and the rest from mainland Spain and other European destinations.
The holiday island of Menorca is on Central European time, the same as mainland Spain, this makes it one hour ahead of the UK.