Water, fire and stone: Spain’s beguiling island of Menorca

By , on September 12, 2017


Cales Coves of Menorca. Note the hand-hewn entrances to the caves. (Photo By en:User:ZenTrowel - Own work, Public Domain)
Cales Coves of Menorca. Note the hand-hewn entrances to the caves. (Photo By en:User:ZenTrowel – Own work, Public Domain)

MENORCA, Spain — Summer is peak tourist season on the beguiling Spanish island of Menorca. But sunny weather and warm waters prevail well into autumn, when crowds and prices dip.

The entire island is a UNESCO biosphere reserve so many of its 125 beaches have little development, though there are several vibrant cities.

Locals say Menorca can be summed up in three words: water, fire and stone. According to legend, sailors passing by centuries ago saw bonfires built by early inhabitants. Today stone temples and monuments built by those ancient people can be found throughout the island.

You can fly to Menorca but in nice weather, overnight ferries from Barcelona are the way to go. Spanish and a dialect of Catalan called Menorquin are local languages, but many people speak some English.