We have big plans when it comes to travel in 2021. Like most of you, last year was really supposed to be our year until Coronavirus scuppered our international travel game. With the UK still in lockdown (who knows what’s happening anymore!) and the list of travel corridor countries shrinking little by little every week, we’re taking time to reflect and draw up our hit list, for when we’re good to go.
The Balearic Islands are well known for the beautiful shores of Majorca, and its naughty little sister, Ibiza – but Menorca (the second biggest) rarely gets the airtime it deserves. We were lucky enough to discover the island before lockdown hit, and it has definitely become our favourite hidden Spanish hotspot.
Menorca has surprisingly rich history, from being discovered by the Vandals (violent Germanic explorers) in the 5th Century, to spending much of the 18th Century as a British Colony. Tourism boomed in the 1950s when package holidays became a thing, and the island has been enjoyed by holidayers from all around Europe, and the world, ever since.
The capital city Mahón is a destination in itself. It has one of the largest natural harbours in the world, with a length of almost six kilometres, a width of 1,200 metres and a depth of up to 30 metres – which probably explains the island’s spicy history through trading and invasions, and the city’s unique architecture makes it stand out from other Balearic cities like Palma or Ibiza Town.
The Pierre & Vacances Premium Residence Menorca Binibeca is a 4-star hotel on the cliffside overlooking the little seaside town of Binibeca Vel. Peace and quiet is served up by the bucket (the hotel is adult only which is a huge plus), as are the Pomadas – a very delicious blend of local Mahón gin with lemonade. Enjoy these from your room’s private terrace with the backdrop of those famous Mediterranean sunsets.
By day, catch the Balearic sun chilling poolside, or unwind in the hotel’s on-site spa. Suites come with their own private jacuzzi with a sea-view balcony where you could quite happily spend your whole time, but Menorca has a lot more on the menu than suns, spas and sangria.
Speaking of menu, we should probably mention the local cuisine. Fun fact, Menorca is reportedly the birthplace of one of the world’s most famous sauces – mayonnaise. The story goes that the Duke of Richelieu invented a quick garnish during a siege which ended being called mahonnaise, named after the capital city Mahón. Condiments aside, Menorca is well known for its perfect paellas and other exquisite seafood.
The restaurant Francesca Menorca overlooks the stunning beach at Cala Galdana – a picture perfect spot worthy of ‘wish you were here’ postcards, with turquoise water and pure white sands. The restaurant is known locally for serving up paella in dustbin-lid sized portions as well as fresh locally sourced salad dishes, making for a perfect lunch location. For dinner, check out Bodegas Binifadet, one of the most famous wineries on the island, with a restaurant complete with covered terrace overlooking the vineyards. Here they serve up more traditional dishes like steak tartare or Girona duck confit. It goes without saying that the wine pairing here is second to none.
For more information about Pierre & Vacances call 0870 0267 145 or visit www.pierreetvacances.co.uk
For more information about Jet2 call 0113 243 1355 or visit www.Jet2.com
Accommodation, flights and transfers
Premium Residence Menorca Binibeca holiday package
A seven night holiday with Jet 2 Holidays staying at the 4-star Pierre & Vacances Premium Residence Menorca Binibeca, starts from £499 per person based on two people sharing a double room and with return flights to Menorca from London Stansted. The price includes 22kg baggage allowance and return transfers.
For more information visit www.jet2holidays.com or call 0800 408 0778
Leading leisure airline Jet2.com offers friendly low fares form London Stansted to Menorca, starting from £70 return including taxes.
For more information please visit www.jet2.com or call 0800 408 5599
Boat excursion provided by Menorquina Charter. For more information call +034 677 799610 or visit https://menorquinacharter.com/en/
Francesca Menorca. For more information call +034 611 092 146 or visit http://www.francescamenorca.com/
Bodega Bini Fadet. For more information call +034 971 150 715 or visit https://www.binifadet.com/en/restaurant/
All prices and availability correct at the time of issue.