Things to do in Minorca

Minorca offers a few historic sightseeing opportunities, but the most noteworthy places worth visiting are the exquisite, unspoilt beaches with soft, white sand and crystalline waters, and the fantastic old villages, which are attractions in themselves.

In Mahon,travellers can explore the waterfront, take a tour of the 3.5 mile-long (5.6km) natural harbour on a glass-bottom boat, visit the Xoriguer Gin Distillery and admire the beautiful architecture. They can also head out to Fornells on the north coast for the day to enjoy a lazy lunch and spot of shopping in this sleepy fishing village, and organise a scuba dive in the marine reserve while there.

Other places of interest include Arenal D'en Castell, a peaceful, pretty beach resort on the north coast, with a lovely beach in a protected bay; Calan Porter (also called Cala'n Porter), one of the most popular and picturesque towns on Minorca, set in a rugged cove; the 13th-century town of Ferreries, set in lush hills, which is the highest town on the island and is close to some historical remains, including a ruined Moorish castle; and Ciutadella, a charming port city with a rich history. The Naveta des Tudons, found on Minorca, are remarkable, prehistoric archaeological sites that are thought to be ancient burial sites and are definitely worth seeing.

Mahon photo

Mahon

Most visitors head straight for the string of restaurants and cafes lining the harbour of Mahon, Minorca's capital town. The town itself is sedate and conservative, featuring class…

Mahon

Most visitors head straight for the string of restaurants and cafes lining the harbour of Mahon, Minorca's capital town. The town itself is sedate and conservative, featuring classic Georgian townhouses (bearing testimony to the British occupation of bygone days) and tall apartment blocks. Mahon does have some worthwhile attractions for those interested in making more of their holiday than dashing off to the beach. The mansion house of Golden Farm overlooks the harbour, and was once occupied by Admiral Lord Nelson. Also on the sightseeing list is the Xoriguer Gin Distillery, where famed Minorcan gin is produced in an age-old process. The celebrated organ (with more than 3,000 pipes) in the church of Esglesia de Santa Maria la Major is also a draw for some visitors.

Naveta des Tudons photo

Naveta des Tudons

Regarded as the cathedral of prehistoric monuments, the Naveta des Tudons is the best-known archaeological site on Minorca. One of numerous navetas on the island, it is situated ju…

Naveta des Tudons

Regarded as the cathedral of prehistoric monuments, the Naveta des Tudons is the best-known archaeological site on Minorca. One of numerous navetas on the island, it is situated just outside Ciutadella on the road from Mahon and stands two stories high, shaped like the upturned bow of a ship. It is accepted that navetas were funereal structures, but they remain surrounded by mystery and legends. The Naveta des Tudons is Minorca's most remarkable megalithic chamber tomb as it is the largest and the best preserved. The structure was used as a collective ossuary between 1200 and 750 BC, and held the remains of more than 100 skeletons. The interior is not accessible to the public but it is still well worth visiting the site.

Ferreries photo

Ferreries

Surrounded by rolling green hills, the 13th-century town of Ferreries lies nestled in the centre of Minorca next to the island's second highest mountain. Travellers are attracted t…

Ferreries

Surrounded by rolling green hills, the 13th-century town of Ferreries lies nestled in the centre of Minorca next to the island's second highest mountain. Travellers are attracted to the area by the Castell de Santa Agueda, the ruin of a Moorish castle built atop an ancient Roman stronghold. It exists as the last site of resistance for Arab inhabitants when the island was conquered by King Alfonso III of Aragon. The ruined fortress is accessed via an ancient Roman road and there is a chapel dedicated to Saint Agatha next to the castle. Ferreries itself is a sleepy little place, with a character typical of the island. It's a great place to buy local produce as the region is particularly celebrated for its cheeses.