Part 4: Menorca, Spain
Menorca is a little gem in the Mediterranean within the Balearic Islands in Spain (near Mallorca). If you enjoy nature, hiking, gorgeous turquoise sandy beachs, excellent food, boats and water activities, this island is for you! Menorca was the highlight within our 4-week European adventure.Even at the height of busy season, we could always find space on the beach and solitude on our hikes. We certainly took advantage of the fresh cut pineapple and coconuts served by the locals on the beach. I enjoyed the feeling of ‘earning’ these views by hiking to each location. It was the perfect balance of fun, fitness and relaxation.
Menorca is well known for cheese, gin (featured below), bread and sausages. The gastronomy throughout the Balearic Islands is well regarded amongst locals and tourists alike. If you love bread, baked goods and any type of white carbohydrate you will be in heaven! I’m always amazed that the bread station is such a hot commodity at these European breakfast buffets. Personally, I typically go for the eggs and fresh fruit…although a small morning pastry won’t break your budget.There were certainly plenty of fresh salads, seafood and lighter fare available to balance out the richer dishes. It was somewhat difficult to get a true sense of the local fare as we had “half-board” at our hotel (Artiem Audax; featured above) that covered a western style breakfast and dinner.The only true disappointment was the traditional Lobster Stew.
When I think of stew, I envision a hearty bowl of vegetables, legumes, meat or seafood within a thick broth. Let me tell you, this lobster stew was nothing of the sort! It was a thin, salty broth with lobster in the shell. There wasn’t a vegetable in sight and it took forever to get any meat out of the thing. Not to mention, it cost upwards of $50 Canadian to try this speciality. I would’ve taken a creamy Lobster Bisque over this any day! Since it was the island ‘specialty’, at least we gave it a try.
As I mentioned, the island of Menorca was my favourite spot on our entire European vacation. I would highly recommend exploring this island. Next time I would rent a car as cabs to either end of the island were quite pricey. We stayed in the Cala Galdana area on the south side of the island. This was ideal as it was walking distance to many of the picturesque beaches, hikes and water sports we were looking for. Menorca is easily accessible from Barcelona, London, Rome, Paris and most large European destinations. Hasta Luego!