Municipality in Miniature

Sant Lluís Municipality

Situated in the southeast of Menorca the municipality has canyons such as Rafalet, Biniparratx, Binisafúller and Alcaufar caused by river erosion over the centuries.

Sant Lluis was founded during the short French domination (1756-1763) and was designed on a grid basis with streets running parallel and at right angles forming a grid with squares dotted throughout the village. The church was only started in 1761 under the orders of Louis, King of France after whom the village was named.

Originally an agricultural area dating from the 18th century it still has a large number of farmhouses which typify the municipality of Sant Lluís, like Binifadet, ses Barraques, es Pou Nou, es Consell, Torret, s'Ullestrar, Biniali, Caules, Torret de Dalt, Alcaufar Vell and Binissafúller d'en Moysi.

Everywhere you come across medieval rural defense towers built to resist the attacks of the pirates, like Talaia Grossa. There are also defense towers, built right on the coast at Punta Prima and Alcaufar and the remains of prehistoric settlements such as Binisafullet Nou, the Talaiot at es Pujol.

The locals can be seen everwhere playing the local game of "joc de bolla" (similar to boules). Local cafes serve the traditional dish of "oliaigua" a type of soup made with tomato.

Es Castell Municipality

Es Castell is situated at the easternmost part of Menorca, between Cala Fonts and Carbó and as far the Port de Maó.

The English founded this town during the second British domination of the island, between 1771 and 1774 and called it Georgetown after the English King. The development of Es Castell had a strong military influence as it grew around the parade ground at Plaça de s’Esplanada. Nowadays there are still those military buildings now whitewashed, in contrast with the reddish facade of the building of s'Ajuntament.

Tourism now drives the economy of this municipality. The local festival for the patron saint Sant Jaume between the 24th and the 26th of July is well worth visiting .

Its cultural variety include s'Ajuntament with its very British clock tower beside the sQuare where the Museu Militar de Menorca is to be found. Also worth taking in a sightseeing tour are the church of El Roser (neogothic style), the Castle of Sant Felip, Cales Fonts and the Fort Marlborough. The Talaiot de Trebalúger is a one hour walkaway. Follow Camí Vell de Sant Lluís to the junction with Camí de Trepucó which leads you directly to this prehistoric site.

An interesting two hour walk along the coast from Cala Sant Esteve to es Caló de Rafalet will give you a taste of this interesting Municipality.

Maó Municipality (Mahon)

Maó is situated in the south-eastern area of Menorca and includes the municipalities of Sant Climent and Llucmaçane.

The city originated on a small parcel of land, enclosed by cliffs, near the present day Port de Maó. The port is in a spectacular and beautiful inlet which is more than three miles deep. Today it is one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean.

Mahon Harbour

Over the centuries the Greek, Phoenicians, Carthaginians and the Romans used the port for commercial gain but the history of Maó begins after the conquest of Muslim Menorca by the Christian king Alfons III in 1287. A new fortress was built at Castell Sant Felip, city walls and a defence tower were constructed and the Església de Santa Maria was created.

During the Middle Ages the town was enclosed in the several walled areas.

The 18th century is characterized by the British domination, which transferred the capital from Ciutadella, and the short French period of domination famous for the creation and worldwide spread of the mayonnaise! During the 19th century Menorca was returned to the Spanish crown (1802, Treaty of Amiens).

The latter part of the 20th century saw the beginings of mass tourism and the start of the jewellery trade and the mass production and development of mahones cheese.

Tourist attraction include Albufera des Grau, Far de Favàritx, el Llatzeret, la Mola, Trepucó, Camí de Torrelló and Illa del Rei or Hospital Island as it is frequently called.

Alaior Municipality

Alaior in the south of Menorca is the third largest town by population and economic volume.

King Jaime II of Mallorca bought alquería Ihalor in 1304, which gave the town its name and can be regarded as the date of the foundation of the town we see today.

The town has industrial and service sectors within its economy. It is an important menorcan shoe centre and it is also very involved in dairy products such as traditional cheese. There are also still some industry involved in handcraft of the metalwork such as hinge manufacture, furniture, marès quarries and carpenters who makes the wooden accessories for farming.

Alaior Street Cafes

The tourist trade is now leading the economy of Alaior and although it only has access to the sea on the southern coastline Son Bou has the longest sandy beach on the whole of the island. This coastal stretch is very important for the development of tourism in this area.

More Features of Menorca

  • Menorca's Best The Flag of Minorca Menorca

  • Menorca Beaches The Flag of Minorca Menorca

  • Prehistoric Menorca The Flag of Minorca Menorca

  • Tourist attractions also includes Taula de Torralba d'en Salort, the necropolis at Calescoves, the prehistoric settlements at Torre d'en Gaumés and so Na Cassana, the Paleochristian Basilica on Son Bou beach, Església de Santa Eulàlia, built on a hill around which Alaior developed.

    Es Mercadal Municipality

    Es Mercadal is in the geographic centre of Menorca. The town grew as a result of its proximity to Monte Toro. At 358 metres high Monte Toro is the highest mountain of the island. On the summit is a defence tower built in 1558 and Santuari de la Verge del Toro dating from 1670 and dedicated to the patron saint of Menorca.

    The Moorish legacy can be seen in the names of the rural settlements that begin with bini or al. The Moors were defeated in 1287 by the Christian king Alfons III d'Aragó . About this time a group of settlers from Girona, in Italy, established a settlement next to Monte Toro and raised a chapel for the patron saint of their town, Sant Narcís. In 1301 King Jaume II established three menorcan markets in this area which is the origin of the name Es Mercadal.

    Es Mercadal,menorca,minorca, market
    View of Es Mercadal

    Agricultural and farming lead the municipal economy guaranteeing the production of cheese with its own "denomination of origin". Farming and agriculture have preserved the local interior landscape of this island. The land is green in the wintertime and reminiscent of the south of England. The Menorcan stone walls and wooden barriers still remain to give the countryside a unique imagery.

    There is also remains a little industry. The abarcas, the typical sandals of the farmers, are now very popular with tourists for their design and simplicity.

    The tourists can sample the local dishes, especially the handcraft pastries (amargos, carquinyolis and guirlache) and visit the Renaissance church of Església de Sant Martín.

    Visitors can stroll the quiet streets with traditional white houses, or walk to the bridge over the rivers and the public water reservoir, built by the English governor Richard Kane, and still in use today.

    Es Migjorn Gran Municipality

    Es Migjorn Gran occupies the centre and southern area of Menorca. The word “migjorn” indicates the cardinal point (“south” or “noon”). It is also a reference to several menorcan areas, around the village of Sant Climent in the south of Ciutadella Municipality , where the water flows into the sea on the south coast.

    The village was created in the second half of the 18th century around the church of (1769-1775) in the interior of the rural settlement of Binicodrellet. This village was officially called Sant Cristòfol after the chapel. In 1989 it became independent from the municipality of es Mercadal, and changed its name to es Migjorn Gran.

    The village has preserved the traditional flavour of Menorca and it has retained its old beauty. It is very calm and quiet as you will feel walking through the narrow streets or looking at the beautiful houses.

    Es Migjorn Gran is the richest area of the Balearic Island for megalithic monuments with five prehistoric sites per square kilometre. Amongst the most important sites there is the very large Cova des Coloms, sala hipóstila de Binigaus and the enormous talaiot of Sant Agustí Vell.

    Joan Riudavets Moll (1889-2004) was born and died in the municipality. This migjorner was regarded as the oldest person in the world in 2003, after his 114th birthday.

    Ferreries Municipality

    The municipality of Ferreries is situated in the middle of Menorca. It comprises a narrow strip of land stretching from north to south coast, an area of just 67,39 square kilometres. The highest point is Puig de Santa Àgueda 260 metres above sea level, Menorcas third highest peak. The Municipality is predominantly a natural landscape with pine woods, holm oaks, and mediterranean bushes.

    Dating from the 13th century the Municipality is said to have acquired its name from the forges in this area which were established to support the Military as they travelled across the Island.

    Farming, milk products and production of cheese as the brand "Formatge de Maó" are economically important, there is also a shoe, furniture and jewellery indurstry which cotributes to the local economy.

    Although only recently turning its attention to tourism it is getting more and more important for Ferreries economy.

    Tourist attraction in this area include Castell de Santa Àgueda, Naveta de Cova des Moro, the prehistoric site Son Mercer de Baix and the 18th century Església de Sant Bartomeu. There are also the gorges of Trebalúger and d'Algendrar which are fascinated to explore.

    Ciutadella Municipality

    The municipality of Ciutadella de Menorca is situated at the western end of the Island. Its population is much greater than that of Mahon and, many say its port is more picturesque. Its importance remains high as the cathedral of |Menorca remains in Ciutadella along with the bishop see. The City's name was given by the Christian King Alfons III d'Aragó after the conquest of Menorca. Ciutadella comes from the Latin word civitatella, from civitas, meaning civilisation. The formerly it was called Jamma, Iamo, Iamona, Municipium Flavium Iamontarum or Medina Minurka.

    Cuitadella Marina

    In 1301 King Alfons III d'Aragó started to establish a defence system and a system of parishes. The 16th and 17th centuries were plagued by violent Turkish pirate attacks. Ciutadella was Island's the capital until the English occupation. In 1722 the capital was moved to Maó. The 19th century was adifficult time economically but the later half of the 20th century established tourism as the leading the economy, although the traditional handcraft of shoes and jewellery are still important.

    The festival of the patron saint, Sant Joan on the 23rd and 24th of June is the highspot of the Ciutadella Calendar. Internationally renowned for the show of riders and horses it is a special time to visit the old town, with narrow streets and intriguing buildings that preserve the features of different civilizations. The prehistoric ruins, the defence tower and other features make Ciutadella a must visit City.

    Leave Menorca by Municipality