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TMA446 Son Bou shared pool

Apartment & villa discounts in Son Bou

There’s still time to take advantage of early-booking off-peak discounts on selected Son Bou villas and apartments.

If you book any of these lovely Son Bou properties before the end of January, you will benefit from the following handy booking bonuses:

Los Leones 3-bed villa: £100 off in early/late seasons

Villa Carolina with three bedrooms: up to £90 off

Three-bed apartments Maritim: £50 off early/late seasons

Villas Sur Special with three beds: discounts of £80-£100 depending on departure date

Plenty more Son Bou discounts here…

These early-booker discounts disappear at the end of January, so get booking! Please note, no discounts available for Peak Season stays (12 July-22 August).

 

Red Arrows RAF display team

Red Arrows return to Menorca

The world-famous Red Arrows, the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, is to return to Menorca to give one of its breathtaking displays over the island’s south coast. The Red Arrows will be Balearics-bound on September 18.

The squad last visited Menorca in 2014, when they thrilled crowds in and around the south-east of the island. It’s the Red Arrows 54th season of displaying flying and also the RAF’s centenary year.

Red Arrows CO Wing Commander Andrew Keith said: “Preparations continue for the Red Arrows’ 2018 season, when the team will play its part in marking the Royal Air Force’s centenary year and aims to inspire all those who see our displays.”

The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, is one of the world’s premier aerobatic display teams.

Representing the speed, agility and precision of the Royal Air Force, the team is the public face of the service. They assist in recruiting to the Armed Forces, act as ambassadors for the United Kingdom at home and overseas and promote the best of British.

Flying distinctive Hawk fast-jets, the team is made up of pilots, engineers and essential support staff with frontline, operational experience. Together, they demonstrate the excellence and capabilities of the Royal Air Force and the Service’s skilled, talented people.

With their trademark Diamond Nine shape and combination of close formations and precision flying, the Red Arrows have been displaying since 1965. Based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, the Red Arrows had flown almost 4900 displays in 57 countries, by the beginning of 2018.

The full list of Red Arrows 2018 displays

VisitMenorca.co.uk

New island guide from Visit Menorca

Anew internet guide to Menorca has just launched. Created with care by people who have been visiting the island for a quarter-century, VisitMenorca.co.uk shares their love of the best Balearic island with those looking to visit.

There are sections about Menorca’s beaches, its great cities, shopping, activities and sightseeing, as well as some useful restaurants tips, an accommodation guide, details about flights to the island and about walking the Menorca Cami de Cavalls.

Visit VisitMenorca.co.uk

 

Henry Blofeld

Blowers goes into bat for Menorca

British Airways

BA announces Gatwick-Mahon summer service

British Airways has announced its first flights from London Gatwick to Menorca, taking over some of the slots vacated by the defunct Monarch airline.

BA will operate two or three flights weekly from LGW to MAH during the months of June, July and August, complementing its London Heathrow and London City to Mahon services, introduced a few seasons ago.

BA chairman and CEO Alex Cruz said: “We are delighted to be able to further grow our presence at Gatwick by adding extra frequencies and improving our timetable. We are also introducing several new destinations to the Gatwick programme, including Palma and Gibraltar.”

Gatwick is one of the best-served British airports in terms of Menorca flights, with services operated additionally by easyJet, Thomas Cook and Tui.

Travel Menorca’s flight page

easyJet

easyJet launches off-season Menorca flights

EasyJet has stepped in to take advantage of slots made available by Monarch’s demise to offer a weekly off-season direct flight service between London Gatwick and Menorca. The Tuesday flights will begin operating on 6 February and will continue through March.

From early April easyJet will operate the LGW-MAH route four times a week, with daily services starting from 23 April onwards until the end of October.

EasyJet UK country director Sophie Dekkers said: “By extending our summer season between London Gatwick and Mahon we are reaffirming our commitment to sustained growth at London Gatwick. We are always looking for new opportunities and to de-seasonalise tourism where we can meet demand for our customers.

“By adding flights to this route, we will provide our UK customers with even more opportunity to visit Menorca and improved connectivity for Menorca’s British expat community.”

Travel Menorca’s flight page

Fine dining in Menorca

One thing can certainly be said about Menorca: there is no shortage of fine dining establishments. Below are listed some of the restaurants we have sampled and enjoyed; it’s by no means a comprehensive selection, and we invite you to let us know if you’ve had a great meal somewhere on the island…

Es Castell
Calas Fonts (pictured above) is a magical setting for an evening meal, and there’s a dozen or more restaurants from which to choose, to match every budget and taste. Our favourite for a three-course meal is the wonderful Nou Siroco (Moll de Cales Fonts 39). If a stylish spot for a little informal tapas is what you seek, try the splendid Es Llenegall (Moll de Cales Fonts 10-11).

St Joan de Binissaida diningJust out of the town on the road to Sant Lluis are two hotels with great restaurant reputations: Biniarroca and St Joan de Binissaida (pictured).

Mahon
You’ll need to book well in advance, it’s that popular, but Sesforquilles in the heart of the city (Rovellada de Dalt 20) is well worth a wait; delicious food but pricey. Down on the Port, it’s hard to beat the relaxed atmosphere and good bar food on offer at Latitud 40 (Moll de Llevant 265).

Sant Lluis
Es Moli de Foc (Carrer Sant Llorenc 65) is long-established gourmet hang-out with a deserved reputation. In the nearby village of Torret are the divine Pan y Vino, where the French chef and his Menorquin wife make an unbeatable team and provide some memorable dining, and also the stylish and excellent Sa Pedrera d’en Pujol, which offers some really exciting and different dishes.

BinibecaSa Cova diing Binibeca
Down by the waterside at Cala Torret you’ll find the wonderful Bar Paupa, which has a great evening alfresco atmosphere and some excellent sea food. If you are looking for a pre-dinner cocktail, just up the hill, on the main road through Cala Torret, is Sa Cova Grill and Lounge (pictured), with a chill-out terrace and some great tapas too.

Binisafua
If you love Thai food, then La Boyera (Carrer Llevant 40) is the place for you; you can even get a Thai massage…

Ciutadella
For a great harbourside position from which to watch the world go by, and in which to devour some superb seafood, there’s nowhere better than S’Amarador (Pere Capllonch 42).

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Menorca: beach paradise

Menorca’s amazing fiestas

Historical Menorca

Menorca is steeped in history – much of it very surprising and tied very closely to the colonial past of Britain and France.

It is believed that Menorca was first inhabited as early as 4000 BC: the island can claim the greatest concentration of prehistoric sites found anywhere in the world. The island is dotted with the remains of the Talaiotic period; these include navetas (burial chambers), as well as rock-monument talaiots and taulas. One of the most visited sites is Naveta des Tudons, a bronze age burial chamber.

The Museu de Menorca in Mahon hosts an important collection of coins, pottery and funerary objects from the period.

In 123 BC Quintus Caecilius Metellus conquered the island for Rome and the province of Balearis Minor was formed; the Romans renamed the island Minorica and embarked on a programme of road building and the establishment of Iammona (Ciutadella) and Mago (Mahon).

In 903AD the island was captured by the Moors, renamed Minurka, and entered the Caliphate of Córdoba under Islamic rule. Ciutadella (Medina Minurka) was established as the island’s capital. Little remains of this period although many place names still begin with bini, meaning ‘son of’ in Moorish. Alfons III of Aragón conquered the island in 1287 and restored Christianity and the Moors were thrown into slavery or ransomed. Catalan became the official language and the island began its years of Spanish domination.

In 1535 Turkish pirate Barbarossa attacked Maó, razing it to the ground and killing or enslaving half the population. A second raid by the Turks on Ciutadella in 1558 had a similar outcome: most of the city was destroyed, its archive of historical documents was lost and 3000 people were taken as slaves to Constantinople.

In 1706 Menorca was split by civil war during the Spanish War of Succession, with violence between supporters of Felipe de Borbón and Archduke Charles of Austria (pretender to the Spanish throne). In 1708, Anglo-Dutch forces landed and took the island without a shot fired, starting a period of British rule, officially cemented in 1713 by the Treaty of Utrecht.

The British domination of 1708-1756 has been described by many as golden age of Menorca. Richard Kane, the first governor, improved farming, built a road across the island – the Cami d’en Kane – built schools and abolished the Inquisition. He also moved the capital to Maó.

In 1756 the Duke of Richelieu was welcomed into Ciutadella when he landed with 20,000 French troops. There was a brief naval skirmish but the British withdrew. This failure to defend the island caused the public disgrace and execution of Admiral Byng on the deck of HMS Monarch. The French ruled for the next seven years, founding the village of Sant Lluis and inventing mayonnaise during their stay, until the Treaty of Paris returned Menorca to the British in 1763. In 1782, a Franco-Spanish force captured the island for Carlos III of Spain after a six-month siege.

In 1798 Britain retook the island for the final time. Four years later, Menorca was returned to the Spanish crown by the Treaty of Amiens.

Among the many historical attractions well worth a visit are Fort Marlborough, near Es Castell, a brilliantly preserved glimpse of the 18th century British soldier’s life, the Military Museum in the town square of Es Castell, and the Isla del Rey, the former ‘hospital island’ in Mahon harbour.

The Balearic tourist authority’s downloadable audio guides to the island are well worth a listen.

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