Things to do in Mahon, Menorca

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The origins of the capital of Menorca are somewhat cloudy but tradition attributes the foundation of the first settlement to the Carthaginian general, Magón, brother of Hannibal.

Mahón lies at the innermost end of one of the world’s largest natural harbours. With its three-mile long channel and a width that ranges from 780 to 2,600 feet, it is one of the key strategic points on the Mediterranean. As with Mallorca, the Mahón city tour should be conducted on foot: all points lie close to one another and can be seen during the course of a leisurely stroll.

A sight not to be missed is the Church of Santa María, with its splendid organ. This is Mahón’s largest church and its sturdy bell tower is a distinctive silhouette on the city’s skyline. Inside, one of its outstanding features is the 19th-century organ, which has been roundly praised for the power and quality of its sound.

The noble edifice of the City Hall (Ayuntamiento) lies adjacent to the church. It is also known by the name, Sa Sala, and on its façade still conserves the clock brought to Menorca at the behest of Kane, the then British Governor. During office hours, visitors are allowed into certain parts of the building; be sure to try and see the Great Hall that is reserved for plenary sessions, its walls hung with portraits of Mahón’s most illustrious sons.

The Carrer Nou pedestrian precinct, to which one gets from the City Hall, is one of the city’s busiest sections. Of special tourist interest here are the shops selling traditional Menorcan produce and wares, such as cheese, gin, costume jewellery and footwear.

Great part of Mahón’s daily life revolves around the Colón, Bastió, Sant Francesc, Reial, Miranda and Conquesta squares (plazas), with their elegant bourgeois mansions and historic buildings.

In the port area be sure to visit the distilleries that make Menorcan gin, using the very same methods followed under British rule. Also in this area are some of the island’s best restaurants, plus a score of nightspots, open-air cafés and bars where one can have a drink at any time of the day or night.

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Category: Balearic Islands, Menorca, Spain tourist attractions, Spain travel destinations

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