World Traveller September 2019



These pages, clockwise from

top left: Veranda and terraced

garden in a traditionally styled

home; stuffed buns on sale at a

food market; the 19th century

La Mola fortress; kayaks on the

beach at Cala Macarella

to make new amigos; we grown-ups

sighed, delightfully relaxed, over tapas

and glasses of the local lemonade. It

was early days, but I was starting to

feel a bit swoony about Menorca.

Day three: time to get to know each

other better and take off some clothes.

For the beach, of course. Mahoń’s

almost as far east as you can go on the

island so off we went west, along the

road built by the Brits when they moved

the capital from Ciutadella at Menorca’s

opposite end. And crikey, it was lovely.

Beyond verges nodding with poppies

and daisies, we saw windmills, hay

bales, pines and palms, farms bounded

by dry-stone walls with wooden gates

so wiggly, they looked hand-drawn.

Unlike the other Balearics, Menorca

has cows, which means it has cheese

— salty, paprika-bathed, moreish. We

could only pass so many ‘elaboracio

de formatge’ signs before stopping to

buy some. We had bread and robiol

pastries from a master Mahoń baker’s

— beach picnic complete. But which

beach? Menorca has more than a

hundred. I asked the farmer selling us

her formatge if she had a favourite.

‘It all depends,’ she said, possibly

a little too delightfully relaxed. But

in fact, she had sound advice. ‘If

there’s a southerly wind, we go to

the north coast. If the Tramuntana

is blowing from the north, we go

south.’ What if there’s no wind?

‘Have you seen how many

windmills we have?’

Fingers in the air... south it was to

Cala Mitjana, a clear-water cove of

pale sand carved into pine-topped

limestone cliffs; just one in a

succession of pin-up-phenomenal

beaches we saw on the island. It was

all going so well — even better when

we made it to second base. Hotel

number two was in Ferreries, a snoozy

little hill-cupped town of ochre,

pink and white houses with windowboxes,

cats and residents ready with

a cheery ‘hola’. Inland, it seemed

to be bypassed by most visitors,

but it was brilliantly handy for

exploration — within easy striking

distance of Ciutadella (good for its

gargoyled cathedral, tiled market

and lavish nobles’ mansions), and

both the north and south coasts. 49

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