Menorca, or Minorca, is the "minor island" of the Balearics, smaller than its neighbor Mallorca, less touristed than Ibiza, and a tad cooler than both. It is famously an island of sand and stone, notable for its profusion of prehistoric, Stonehenge-type megalithic stone monuments – navetes, taules and talaiots. These mysterious stone formations are especially common in the southern part of the island, and continue to mesmerize onlookers.
The Balearic Islands of Spain
Menorca has its share of seaside resorts, to be sure, but unlike the tourist-overrun islands of Mallorca and Ibiza, there are numerous secluded beach coves to be discovered here, along with unhurried coastal villages, thoroughly atmospheric, that reflect their British and Spanish heritage in their colonial façades and whitewashed walls. The landscape, too, is different here from the other islands, with pine-covered hills in the center and north and tall cliffs, in a sharp contrast, in the south of the island. The island's capital town, Mahón, or Maó, dates from the 9th century BC and sits near the eastern tip of the island, at the head of a deep, narrow harbor that has the distinction of being the largest natural harbor on the Mediterranean.
Menorca's most famous drink is Pomada, a concoction of gin and bitter lime. Its most famous cheese is Fromage de Maó. Its most famous condiment is mayonnaise, which it claims to have invented and exported to France. And its most famous butterfly is the Cleopatra.
Menorca lies to the east of Mallorca and Valencia, approximately 30 miles (48 km) and 140 miles (228 km), respectively. It has a resident population of just over 94,000.
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