A Naveta is a type of burial monument that is only found in Minorca.It was built with the cyclopean technique,that is,with medium sized stones fitted together without the help of mortar.
In the naveta,collective burials were carried out.indeed during excavations,bodies were found in a disorderly manner,though still accompanied by their most personal effects:jewelery,bone buttons,certain weapons etc.Also found were small pots,ceramic urns and decorated bone top.
The shape,that reminds one of an upturned ship,is what gave the name naveta (meaning small ship)to the monument.The entrance takes us into a small corridor that leads to the upper chamber and the second door leads to the lower chamber.The intermediate floor and and the upper deck are built of large flagstones that act as beams.
For safety reasons it is prohibited to enter or climb onto the naveta.
There are two Glass bottom boats that go out of Cala'n Bosc marina,I chose Amigos purely for the fact it had an upper deck,the other boat is Don Pancho,they both go to the same places so either will be good half day out.
They will show the unspoiled beaches around the area and stop off on one for 1hr 30mins,the waters are clear and the sand is a very fine white sand.
first trip mornings is: 10-13:30
second trip aftern is: 14-17:30
At the time we went prices were €18each
We had a good time and I would recommend it for those people who like to see the unspoiled beaches.
WORD OF WARNING The beach you stop off at may have nudist on.
The Boat Trip Video
It's so fun to hire a small motorboat to drive yourself!! This was a fabulous experience, just following the coast at our own pace, stopping where we fancy, there were so many nice spots, beaches, caves....
No license is required. These boats are really easy to drive. They provide you safe jackets and so on. Don't worry, in case the conditions of the sea/weather are not safe, they will not let you go.
You must book in advance, for half or full day. We did a full day and it was so fun we wanted to repeat. So, just upon returning the boat, we asked if they had any vacancies for the next days (and this second time we could book just half day as were no more boats available).
We used the ones in Cala Galdana (south shore), but you can hire boats in all main beach resorts.
Maò (Catalan) or Mahón (Castillian-Spanish) is the capital town of Menorca. It is a pleasant small historic port town. It was a strategic base for centuries, and it's interesting history is rflectd on its architecture, for instance the typical windows of British colonial architecture. The large number of influences result in a old town of eclectic architecture, plenty of interesting corners to discover, with numerous small squares, cobbled narrow streets and of course it's natural harbour.
There are quite a few important historic buildings in Maò, i.e. the church of Santa Maria (second half of the 18th century). Just next door is the Ajuntament (town hall) built in 1789. Interesting as well is Can Mercadal, a large mansion built in 1761, now it is the town library (Plaça de sa Conquesta). Pont de Sant Roc (1359) is the only remaining Medieval gateway to the city.
You should stroll down C/Isabel II, elegant street crammed with 18th century mansions. Many of these have "bow windows" introduced during the British colonial period. Wandering around, you'll see many stairs and alleyways which will take you back down to the port.
Towards 1400 B.C., the native civilization of the island produced various large stone constructions known as talaiots. This word gives the name of this prehistoric period of the island: the Talaiotic period.
Some settlements from this time are Trepucó, Talatí de Dalt, Torre d'en Galmés or Son Catlar. Each one has a monument of worship called a taula and artificial caves. You can see as well a few necropolis, such as Calascovas o Cala Morell.
The pics were taket at the settlement of Talatí de Dalt, situated 4 kilometres from the city of Maó.
Combined with our visit to the Northern beaches, we made sure to visit the beautiful - and hidden fishing village Fornells.
This turned out to be a charming and really atmospheric harbour, which we were glad we drove out to see.
Fornells is especially known for its legendary lobster soup - Caldereta de Llagosta - and the Spanish king is said to regularly visit one of Fornells' restaurants - enjoying this special dish.
Human presence in Minorca is confirmed from the beginning of the Bronze Age (2000 B.C.). This is known as the pre-Talaiotic period and it left important burial monuments such as the collective tombs known as navetas. The best known of these is the Naveta de Tudons. From this period there are also some small settlements made up of apse rooms.
You can enter the Naveta, it has 2 levels and more than 50 corpses were buried here. It’s one of the most ancient buildings in the world (still preserving it’s roof!)
I'd have to say that for me Ciutadella is the jewel in Menorca's crown. Sun, sea and sand are all great, and for many that's all that they want from a holiday, but I like a little more. I love beautiful, historic cities. I like to wander their streets and squares and eat at their cafes.
Ciutadella must be one of the finest cities in all of Europe, teeming with fine squares and lovely buildings, so many of which seem to have a story to tell. I was really surprised by what I found there, after all this is a city of only some 20,000 people. In most places that would rank it as just a small town, and I think that is maybe all I expected. I thought my visit might take an hour or two - it took most of the day! There's something good to see down every street and on every corner, and it's just as well that the shops take a long siesta for most of the afternoon, or we would have taken even longer to see the place.
It may no longer be the capital of Menorca, that having been moved to Mahon, but it still feels like the capital in everything but name. I'll show some of the highlights of Ciutadella in other tips on this page.
There are several companies in the harbour of Mao, Cuitadella and other places as Cala Galdana that offer sailing boats, motorboats, etc. for hire. You can do a complete day trip, including lunch, in a shared boat, or hire a small motorboat to drive yourself (see my other tip for this second option).
We did one daytrip in a shared small sailing boat (total 8 people). It was nice and fun. Really worth it. I would recommend you a small one rather than the huge catamarans with too many people. In a small one, you can do your 'a la carte' trip, and stop in small secluded beaches.
Ciutadella is the second biggest town of Menorca. We went there as daytrip from Mao, including dinner at the old town, but we could not explore it as much as we would like due to time pressure. Well, we have a excuse to return!
The old town is surrounded by the "Contramurada": street where originally stood the walls of the old city. It is a maze of narrow streets (Arabic and medieval origins). It has a main pedestrian area: the street which runs between the "Plaza del Borne" and the "Plaza de Alfonso III" (the old Mahón entrance). Here you'll find the arcades, popularly known as "Ses Voltes", starting at the Plaza de la Catedral (commercial center of the old city). The harbour area, even quit touristy is very nice and plenty of bars, restaurants and clubs.
I think I'm correct in saying that La Mola was once the largest fortress in Europe - certainly it's far and away the largest thing I've ever looked around. We were there for two hours and we'd be lucky if we saw more than a third of it. It is simply vast and there's even a bus to take you to different parts of it should the walking prove too much.
It's a fascinating place. It was built at just the wrong time in history - just as advances in artillery made this sort of fort obsolete and as such it never saw action. It guards the mouth of Mahon harbour and stands on the most easterly point in all of Spain.
We enjoyed a look around its ramparts and gun emplacements, and loved the views that you can get from its highest points. But most of all we loved wandering around in the spooky dark tunnels underground! (next tip).
Entry to La Mola is 7 euro and a personal audio guide an extra 1.50.
Son Parc lies a little right-of-centre on Menorca's north coast. It's not a place that might appeal to those who want only "unspoiled wildernesses", being home to a medium-sized resort as well as a golf course, but you shouldn't let that put you off. The beach and sea are absulutely sublime. Pure white sand and crystal clear turquoise waters, and the beach is big enough that you don't need to feel crammed in, except during the busiest of times.
The sea is the most wonderful place to paddle and swim. It shelves gently out and then rises up again till you're almost back at ankle depth! That makes it quite safe for kids and unconfident swimmers, and the resident lifeguards make it even safer. The warm waters were quite full of fish too, shoals of small ones and one or two individual larger ones. I had a fun filled few minutes trying to catch one that seemed to be just teasing me.
There's a beach bar there too, to one side of the beach, serving stuff from sandwiches to pizzas and a good range of ice creams.
We had a nice day at Son Parc, and we didn't even venture up into the resort to see what delights it has to offer (more bars and cafes, I read).
Cala Mitjana is about a 15 minute walk away from Cala Santa Galdana. There are two bays, a very small one and a larger one. The small one is apparently popular with nudists, though there were at least as many on the main beach too. At the end of the main beach is a rocky promentory and jumping off it into the sea seems to be a popular passtime. Some even jump from the higher rocks further round. Just beyond this area are some sea caves and I took a swim out around to them (avoiding the jumpers) for a look inside.
There's no facilities at the beach so take your own picnic etc if you want, and remember to take all your rubbish back with you.
Being so close to and such an easy walk from Cala Galdana, Mitjana is hardly what you'd call an "undiscovered corner", as you can see from the pictures it was quite busy when we arrived there. It's a lovely place though, and well worth the effort.
Described as "one of the finest squares in Spain" and that's no exageration. You could probably extend the compliment to "one if the finest squares in Europe" and still be close to the truth. It is lined on all sides by fine fine buildings all built of a warm, pastel coloured stone and has an obelisk at its centre which commemorates those lost to a Turkish raid long ago. The only thing that really detracts from this square is that it doubles as a car park. Traffic itself is not too much of a problem, but the cars parked everywhere do take away from the charm and the grace of the place. The local council would do well to take measures.
Fornells is described by phrases such as “an unspoiled fishing village” and “everyone’s idea of a Mediterranean fishing village”. I think that’s over-glamorising the place a little, I’ve been to much prettier harbours, but it is undoubtedly a pleasant and pretty place. The bay that it stands on is not unlike a Scottish loch, even as far as the heather-strewn moorland you cross to get to Fornells and the small forts that dot the area. All that’s missing is clouds and rain.
Fornells was a very quiet place when we visited, with almost empty streets and the only signs of life being at the various cafes and restaurants there. That seemed like a good idea and we joined the throng at one of the places in the main square.
After a cooling drink and a bit of a rest we set off for a walk through the town and to find the Torre de Fornells and enjoy the views from up there (next tip). The streets were filled with very nice (and expensive) looking houses, often with nicely decorated exteriors and often with balconies. It had the air of a very well to do place
Fornells: definitely a place I’d go back to.