Mallorca may be a hugely popular tourist destination with British holiday sun seekers, but little sister Menorca is a great destination for those who like a more laid back pace. The turquoise waters of its 135-mile coastline draw outdoor sports enthusiasts, with kayaking and snorkelling high on their list.
And if you’re just looking to chill out and re-energize, the island’s unspoilt beaches and picturesque coves are a great place for a little RR. Visit the Parc Natural S’Albufera des Grau, the reason for the island’s Unesco Biosphere Reserve status. It contains the largest freshwater lagoon in the Balearics.
For those who like to arrange their own accommodation, there are plenty of options for Menorca/Minorca hotels. One of our favourites is the small, friendly Hotel del Almirante Collingwood House (www.hoteldelalmirante.com), the former home of Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, Nelson’s commander-at-sea. This legacy of British colonial rule (1713-1802), is decorated with maritime memorabilia and ship’s paintings that will make you feel right at home.
The hotel has 39 rooms, a swimming pool, garden, tennis court and Wi Fi and is a 10 minute taxi ride from the airport and a 15 minute walk from both Mahón and Es Castell. Double rooms start at just €75 per night.
If you want to base yourself in the capital, stay at Casa Alberti (Carrer d’Isabel II 9, Mahón 00 34 971 354210, open from Easter to October) for a typical Menorcan experience. Housed in an 18th-century mansion, this small hotel is decorated with traditional Menorcan furniture and its six spacious rooms have whitewashed walls and comfortable bathrooms. Rooms start at £80 per night.
Alternatively, stay in Ciutadella, the original capital of Menorca on the islands unspoilt north-west coast. A good cheap option is the Residencia Oasis (Carrer de Sant Isidre 33, Ciutadella 00 34 971 382197), which is located in the beautiful historic quarter and has a charming courtyard. Rooms from £50.
For further Menorca/Minorca hotels, check www.lastminute.com or www.latehotels.com, where you’ll find options on last minute deals. EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) flies to Menorcan capital Mahón during summer (May to October) from London Gatwick, Manchester and Liverpool.