Mahon Yellow Catamaran, a Banana boat it aint
The Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain
The Balearic Island's of Spain are situated of the Spanish coast in the Mediterranean Sea. Menorca is furthest east and is the second largest. Its western neighbour Majorca is larger and more brash. Travel a little further west and you will hit the Island of Ibiza a loud dance and clubbers, lovers paradise. Finally the tiny Island of Formentera completes the Balearics.
Whether you visit Mahon the capital of Menorca just once or on many occasions you may find that a trip on The Yellow Catamaran floats your boat.
The boat leaves Mahon harbour on the half hour throughout the day between May 1 and October 31 each year.
Each trip lasts an hour and for 2011 the cost was 10 euros for an adult, 5 euros for children aged 5-12 and free of charge for kids who are aged under 5.
Included in the price of your ticket you will get a leaflet with useful information plus a map of Mahon and one of the island of Menorca.
(c) ethel smith
The boat has an upper desk where you can take in the sun and get a great view of what is on offer. The lower deck has toilet facilities, a bar and offers shade. If you do not fare well on boats you may find this level best for you. However, there is nothing to stop you chopping and changing.
We took the top deck out and the lower deck on the return journey. This fits well with the itinerary. As you reach the mouth of the estuary the catamaran moves out and near to the coast. This is the time the workers on board offer you the chance to go below decks to vies the sea bed and its flora and fauna.
The boat is not the glass bottomed boat it claims to be but rather has glass sides in, I think, four chambers. Each of these will comfortably seat a fair few people. Be warned though it gets hot down here. However, it makes for fascinating viewing.
As the Yellow Catamaran leaves the harbour a guide gives a commentary in ate least Spanish, English and German.
The main highlights detailed are:
The 18th century British naval base
Golden Farm reputed to have once been the home of Lord Nelson.
The huge fortress of La Mola. You can book a boat trip here via the Yellow Catamaran company.
Sant Felip, which is open to visitors on Thursdays.
Llatzeret, which housed the quarantine hospital in the early 20th Century.
Georgetown, the home of British troops, now called Es Castell.
Illa Del Rei, Bloody Island, once home of the British army’s hospital.
Collingwood House, former house of Admiral Collingwood, now the Hotel del Almirante, and our accommodation for two weeks.
Back in the harbour your yellow catamaran will be dwarfed by one of the many cruise ships that moor for a day or more.
The old gin factory, which you will be able to visit when you disembark, is along the harbour front. It is a working, if small, distillery with a good selection of Menorca gin.
Apart from the items detailed above you will see the homes of the wealthy across from the main side of the estuary. Here Richard Branson opts to spend his vacation in the old customs house also known as Little Venice.
Recommended: This trip represents great value for money and is a lovely way to spend an hour.