Mahon the Capital of Menorca
Menorca is one of the Spanish Balearic Islands, situated in the Mediterranean sea. It is less brash, noisy or large than its close neighbour Majorca and is a beautiful Island. Having fallen in love with Menorca in 2010, I am returning for a vacation in September 2011.
As I try to patiently wait for vacation time to come around, Menorca teases me in the distance. One of the largest towns on Menorca is Mahon the Island's capital so I will enjoy a virtual visit with you, until I can walk its streets again.
Menorca was once home to the British military. As a Menorcan resident said to us "we do not mind you visiting these days, as long as you go home at the end of your vacation". That said many UK tourists eventually move to Menorca, as its climate is kind and its pace of life relaxing.
At the opposite end of the Island, to Mahon, is Ciutadella. This was once the island's capital and has much to offer the visitor.
These days though Mahon is the capital of Menorca. The British invasion of bygone years meant that Mahon's deep waters warranted a change of capital. Mahon is the deepest natural harbour in the world.
These days it is just the cruise ships that benefit from the deep waters. However, tourist boats offer trips around the harbour and beyond. The waters of Mahon contain many interesting sites such as:
- The British naval base founded in XVIII
- The bathing houses used by the ladies in the X!X century
- Little Venice, a very special and unusual house
- Lazereto Island which was used as a hospital for people with such diseases as Yellow Fever, Cholera and The Plague
- Isla Del Rey or Bloody Island a British hospital from XVIII Century
- The English Cemetery used by the American navy in the XIX Century
Catamaran boats and glass bottom boats offer a chance to get a closer look at these sites plus others on the mainland, such as La Mola a huge defensive fortress built by the Spanish in XIX Century.
Mahon is a great place to explore. Its narrow streets have the charm of a bygone life. The people are warm and friendly and you will feel at ease be it day or night. It is hilly in parts so if you have mobility issues plan your visit well.
On a Saturday night the local people mingle with tourists as they enjoy the end of their working week. The cafes, bars and restaurants offer something for everyone.
We visited Menorca in October 2010, a little before the end of the tourist season. Menorca closes its doors to visitors on the last day of October. Until May the next year the only flights available are not direct.
Take a flight to Barcelona and a boat trip to visit Menorca.
Mahon has an interesting fish market and a traditional market held in what used to be a monastery, Spectacular views over the Bay of Mahon, shops, museums, a small gin factory and so much more.
Mahon Fact: Mayonnaise may have been invented by Duke de Richelieu in France, in 1756 but it was first conceived, created or what you will in Menorca. According to many sources, during the siege of Mahon, there was a shortage of food supplies. The chef decided to whip eggs and oil together, without adding any seasoning. This dressing was then served at a dinner party hosted by Duke de Richelieu. Mayonnaise was named after a battle against the British which was fought and won in Mahon. The name Mayonnaise was therefore from the word Mahon.
The currency at time of writing is the Euro.
The airport is on the suburbs of Mahon.
A bus station located in Mahon offers transport around the island. The times and places visited vary according to the time of year.
Most visiotrs hire a car for ease of getting around the Island.
You can hire bucycles also.
As you will have realised by now I loved Mahon and so did my Hubby. Now this is saying something, as he does not usually like capital cities. I have added a few of my photographs taken in and around Mahon, but not too many. To enjoy your first visit you really need to still have lots to discover.
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