We have just spent a super-chilled seven days in Menorca and, whilst I don’t have any particular “days out” or “adventure” posts to share, I thought I’d post a few holiday snaps and write a little bit about what we got up to!
Stepping off the plane we were hit by a wall of heat; sun blazing in the clear blue sky.
Our villa was situated in Cala En Bosch around 40 minutes drive from the airport. The street was lined with brilliant white villas, each front yard fitted with a pristine pool, the garden bordered by neat stone walls that lizards basked on in the evening sunshine. Tall palms dominated the skyline and, to one side we were shouldered by glittering sea, to the other an impressive lighthouse. Small supermarkets were just a stones throw away; the beach and the harbour a 15 minute walk. In short, it was the perfect location. We decided to rent a car so that we could explore the island with ease.
Our first day was spent splashing in the pool, exploring our immediate surroundings like the beautiful beach with white sand and clean, aqua sea. Eating at the harbour and drinking at a bar with comfortable outdoor seating and a stage which hosted performers every night. To say I felt relaxed on that first day would be an understatement; with a whole week of sunshine stretching ahead and the greyness of London a distant memory, I felt more at peace than I had in a long time.
On our second day we ventured out to a rural and dusty farm where we rode horses. I have always wanted to ride a horse so felt very excited. When we were introduced to two positively enormous horses pangs of nervousness kicked in as I imagined falling off or, worse yet, not even being able to get on in the first place. A beautiful white horse called Bella and a shiny chestnut called Tintan were to take us on our very first rides. I rode Bella, Gareth rode Tintan, and we were guided for an hour (by wonderful guides) through winding stone roads, past fields and farmland. After a while I quite forgot I was on a horse, the distant clip-clop of hooves and gentle motion combined with the sunshine making me feel quite sleepy. Afterwards, we agreed it had been a wonderful experience, despite the painful thighs it left us with!
Later we found ourselves in Mahon, admiring the traditional pastel buildings with their terracotta flooring and meandering around side streets, stopping every now and then to take a photo or explore a shop. The shops in Menorca were filled with an eclectic mix of gifts, souvenirs and essentials.
On day three we explored the town of Ciutadella, having read many good things about the market there. Ciutadella was a busy, thriving town with market stalls selling everything from the traditional Menorcan sandals to bright fabrics and silver jewellery. We stopped for breakfast in a small bakery tucked in to a side street. The bakeries all sold colourful sweets, hot coffees and delicious buttery pastries. In the afternoon when it was really hot and the locals were napping we returned to the beach armed with snorkels and scuba masks. For the first time ever I swam in the cold sea and with heads under water we watched fish darting about. I have never had an experience like it and I have to say it was one that will always stay with me. There’s a huge sense of freedom gained from swimming amongst the waves and it’s so exciting to discover what lives beneath.
We explored Monte Toro on day four, driving to the very top for the breathtaking views and stopping for a cold drink in the cafe. We spent the rest of the day picking out the perfect pool float (a giant turtle) and swimming in our pool, appreciating our wonderful villa and enjoying our day.
On the fifth day we spent time exploring the beaches and snorkelling once again. A new favourite hobby of ours, we knew we wanted to spend as much time in the sea as possible!
On day six the sun was shining as we drove to Fornells. The harbour was beautiful, with rows of white boats lined up neatly and huge palm trees swaying in the breeze. We paid to hire a small boat out for two hours, and, as the operator talked Gareth through the controls I could hardly believe they would trust us to go out to sea on the thing! Of course, Gareth has had plenty of experience with boats so naturally he did all the driving, whilst I sat and soaked up the sun (and sprays of water!) As we rumbled across the sea I had fun pointing out the sights and craning my neck over the edge attempting to spot fish. We anchored the boat by a tiny beach (more like a patch of sand) that wasn’t accessible by foot. Then we swam in to the sea, scuba goggles in place as we searched for sea creatures. In rock pools we found huge crabs clicking their claws menacingly and small fish darting around. Under the water I found a shell; the perfect souvenir.
When our time was up and the sun had dried our skin we drove to Cova d’en Xoroi in Cala en Porter; a huge, towering cliff with caves tunnelling deep inside and carved in to a stylish bar. Cova d’en Xoroi has a story behind it which is summarised as:
“These rocks, scented by the sea air, guard with their imposing beauty the legend of a love story.”
The legend tells of a man shipwrecked and finding safety in the caves before meeting a local woman who is due to be wed and falling in love with her. Eventually they have children together before being discovered and parted.
Gareth proposed to me here. Of course I said yes!
Day seven was our last day on holiday, but our first full day spent together as fiancés. We shopped in Ciutadella before swimming in the sea one final time.
Each night of our holiday we would walk the 15 minutes or so down to the harbour lined with restaurants and bars. The restaurants sold everything from fresh seafood and delicious stone baked pizzas to skewers of grilled chicken breast and spicy Mexican food. We spent many a happy evening sipping on cava sangrias, cold beers and cocktails and eating wonderful meals (our most favourite being the Mexican restaurant!) Full and happy we would wander down to the outside bar with the comfortable chairs and watch the performers on stage; the Abba tribute act being most memorable. It was a wonderful week and one I will treasure always.