If you are looking for a relaxing vacation which combines the benefits of learning too, this panoramic island of Menorca situated amidst the azure Mediterranean Sea is the perfect choice. This Balearic Island which is known for its megalithic stone monuments will fill your vacation with a new lease of life.
Location and how to reach there
Menorca which is also known as Minorca is a small island in Spain which is close to another beautiful island Majorca in the archipelago of Balearic Islands. The name Minorca was given to show the contrast with the adjoining island Majorca. This rocky island measures 50 km across at its widest. To reach this beautiful place, you will have to catch a flight to Menorca international airport which is about 4.5 KMs from the capital city of Mahon.
Things to do when in Menorca
Apart from relaxing on the beach and enjoying the locally caught fishes and sea fishes in the exotic restaurants here, there are many places of historic importance which one can visit. The unspoilt beauty of the landscape will take your breath away and the idyllic pace of the city will set the mood for your vacation.
There are numerous megalithic stone monuments spread across the island which talk about prehistoric human activities. There are various evidences of Talayotic settlements scattered across the island. There are three types of architecture which are distinctly available in these areas which are believed to be dated back to 2000 BC.
One can see the T-shaped altars known as ”taluas,” which are unique to the island of Menorca. “Taulas,” mean ”tables” in the Catalan language which is spoken on this island. Many of these ”taulas” were buried long ago and they are made up of two huge slabs of stones. The ”taula” of ”Torralba d’en Salort” which is one of the thirteen preserved ”taluas” was found in an intact condition after unearthing the area.
The Menorcan ”taulas” are set in a horseshoe enclosure and are made up of two huge slabs of stone. They face the southern direction, and the entrance lies opposite the front face.
It is believed that these ”taluas” were built for religious or astronomical purposes. Spanish archaeologist J. Mascaro Pasarius suggested that the ”taula” possibly was a representation of some form of the “Bull God.” Archaeologist Michael Hoskin suggested that the ”taulas” may signify some form of ancient healing cult. Whatever may be the case, since they were built between 1000 BC and 300 BC by the natives of the Talaiotic culture, and no written records have been found for that era, we have to hugely depend on the speculations of the archaeologists.
”Navetas” are burial chambers which are again uniquely found only on this island of Menorca. They look like an upturned boat and got the name from Dr Juan Ramis which means the same in the local language. ”Naveta d’Es Tudons” is the most famous ”naveta” which is located in the western part of the island.
These structures have two vertical walls and a bell shaped wall in the middle. It is believed that they were built in the bronze age prior to the Talaiotic age and the lower chamber was used for storing the disarticulated bones of the dead after the flesh was removed from the carcass. The upper chamber possibly was used for drying the flesh of the dead bodies.
The talaiots, or talayots, are found on the islands of Menorca and Majorca and are believed to be used as watch towers or weather forecast towers. They date back to Bronze Age and till now about 274 of them have been found/excavated in this area. It is also believed that some of these monuments might have been used to safeguard the natives from foreign invasions, using them like forts.
This mysterious island has to offer a lot for a productive vacation. The gentle landscapes invite you to walk, cycle or ride while exploring the megalithic monuments. There are no sharp inclines and hence they are safe for everyone for a bike ride. You can think about getting into the water and swim. Diving, sailing, kayaking and paddle-boarding too are extremely popular sports on the island. On the whole, this island is full of so many activities and mysteries, that it surely has all the ingredients to make your vacation a memorable one.