Menorca is the first place in Spain to see the sunrise each day.
The eastern side of the island either side of Mahon is spoilt for sunrises, where as the western side of the island either side of Ciutadella is spoilt for sunsets. The best of both worlds!
Ciutadella is is closer to neighbouring Mallorca than Maó on the other side of the island!
There is only 43kms between the coast of each island where as there is 47kms between either side of Menorca.
Menorca is practically flat compared to the mountains of Mallorca.
From the western coast of Menorca you can distinctly see the sillouhette of the Mallorcan northern mountains, that on a clear day seem so close you could easily swim there. In contrast from Mallorca, Menorca is not at all visable. The highest point on the island is the small mountain of Monte Toro which is almost in the exact centre of the island and stands at 357km above sea level. From the top you have a privleged uninterrupted 360º view of the entire island.
Everyone in Menorca is bilingual, speaking both the national language of Spanish called Castellano and the dialect of Catalan specific to the island known as Menorquín. They switch between the two languages with ease depending on who they are speaking to. Very impressive! Most young people and workers in the tourist sector are trilingual speaking English as well and in some cases a fourth language. Often there are more similarities between Menorquín and French and Italian than Menorquín and Spanish.
Menorca is a UNESCO biosphere reserve for almost 20 years.
Recognised for the preservation of its natural environment and ecosystems, prehistoric sites and historical buildings from the 17th & 18th centuries. This status prevents the development of most of the island and protects the architectural heritage in the towns.
The prehistoric sites in Menorca date as far back to 2300B.C making the island a popular destination for archeology students. The biosphere reserve also extends to the sea with part of the coast included in a marine reserve making the island an attraction to divers as well.
Menorca has inherited various aspects of the cultures it has been ruled by over the years and has also had its creations adopted abroad. Most notably the English left their legacy bringing Gin to the island, which has since been distilled into its own brands on the island with a distinctive taste.
Mayonnaise is said to have been first created in Mahon (Maó).
The French took Mayonnaise with them back to France in the 1700s, and from there its distribution has expanded globally. Wherever you go people have heard of and probably tasted mayonnaise. But most people have never heard of Menorca or know that the sauce started as ‘Salsa Mahonesa’ in Menorca’s capital Mahon.