A Travel and Lifestyle Blog
This post is part of a paid campaign to promote the Balearic and Canary Islands, as part of their #SpanishIslands Campaign. Although all views and experiences are my own and I have not been instructed what to include.
Pulling back the curtains one morning last week, an involuntary shudder passed through me. Despite the warmth of the central heating, the sparkle of the frost settled over the garden made me shiver. The wintery scene looked beautiful, but the freezing temperature was not so much! Hugging my morning mug of tea, my mind began to dream of warmer climes. In my imagination, I was not looking out over my garden Jack Frost had visited in the night. I was on a short winter break somewhere warm.
My mind wandered back to the time when Nik and I would escape to the sun for at least part of the colder months. I remembered the watered down, but still warm temperatures, recalling our many time’s chasing the sun to The Canary Islands or The Balearics. Read on, let me share some winter warmth with you….
The Balearics are a collection of Spanish islands, in the western part of the Mediterranean Sea. The four largest are Ibiza, Menorca, Mallorca and Formentera. All are popular holiday destinations, but all have their unique charm. I know The Balearics well. Two of the four islands….I know very well. Ibiza was the reliable destination my girlfriends and I would head to for long weekends in our younger years. Sometimes to soak up and the sun and relax. Sometimes to get our party on. But aways for the Spanish hospitality and welcome that is guaranteed.
Then there is Menorca, (or Minorca), the island Nik and I fell in love with once our boys came along. The beautiful island that we have made so many family memories. The place our boys swam in the sea for the first time. The place they first felt sand on their little feet. Menorca is our happy place, and a wonderful destination in the summer. But, let me tell you why it is also just perfect for a short winter break.
One of the reasons why Menorca is a popular winter destination, is its temperature. It never really gets any colder than around 15 degrees. When you have UK temperatures averaging out around 3 degrees, those extra numbers are welcome!
Menorca, one of the prettiest Balearic islands, is a beauty in the winter also. The Autumn rains rinse away the summer dust from the trees. The low winter sunlight brings a softness to the buildings, replacing the summers glare with a more muted hue. Even the landscape gets a warmer tone to it, the colours deepening.
The winter months are considered low season in Menorca. Some of the restaurant and shop owners do close for a well earned break, but there is still plenty open. Many of the eateries stay open for the people that live in Menorca. Everything is a little calmer, a little slower paced. A stark contrast to the high season of the summer months. This turn down of the dial makes for a wonderful, low key short winter break.
Menorca has beautiful beaches. In fact, it has more beaches than Ibiza and Mallorca put together! If you are lovers of the ocean, you will enjoy a walk along the soft sands in any season. Cala Pregonda is one of our favourites. The powder soft sand, turquoise waters and amazing snorkelling appeal to any beach lover. The additional bonus of being in Menorca in the winter months, is that you can explore these beaches with very little company. You might not get the weather hot enough to sun bathe in, but you will get to see the true beauty of Menorca’s beaches.
Sustainable, eco friendly travel has become something that I have a growing passion about. As a travel lover, it is so important to me to that my travels have as little impact as possible, and I love to research how a destination is working towards sustainability. Well, Menorca was ahead of the game with this! It has always closely guarded and protected the island industries, (dairy and footwear production) which are very important to the economy of Menorca. The people of Menorca also realised in the early days of the islands growing tourism industry, that it had to conserve its nature and landscape. Many areas of the Menorca coastline remain undeveloped and naturally beautiful.
Hotels and resorts all work hard on keeping waste low, with many coming away from single use plastics already. The island is committed to utilising green energy, and has plans in place to omit all fossil fuels by 2030. Menorca has in fact, been declared a Biospehere Reserve for almost 25 years. This means that the island has been recognised by UNESCO for “its perfect territorial balance between the coexistence of economic activities, the conservation of heritage and its landscape” This is why Menorca has been touted as the “sustainable gem of the Med”
Another great thing about travelling to the Balearics in the winter months, is the quietness of the roads. Hiring a car and going on a road trip around the island is a less busy affair! In a short break, (3-4 days), you could probably explore Menorca end to end. The island is only about 10 miles wide! There is an ancient coastal path, about 116 miles long, that wraps around the island. Following this will take you past hidden beaches, breathtaking cliff views and gorgeous natural beauty. Some of the path may not be ideal if it is raining, but much of it is accessible and so worth the walk or bike ride.
If you love a harbour, then Menorca can boast about that too! In the islands capital, Mahon, is Europe’s second largest natural harbour. Impressive yachts are often moored here, and its a great way to imagine spending your lottery winnings….
You could also take a boat tour around this pretty harbour. A great way to get a different perspective of the capital. Perhaps afterwards, pop into one of the many cafe’s and enjoy some of Menorca’s famous cheese. Accompanied by a beautiful glass of wine of course….
I hope I have planted the seed in your mind for considering The Balearics for a short winter break? Nik and I have enjoyed many November and December breaks to both here and the Canary Islands. While the sea may be a little chilly for the not so brave, the temperatures are welcome from the UK’s frosty mornings. Just a 2.5 hour flight from London, that winter sun is easily reached from the UK. What’s not to love?
Are you a fan of a winter getaway? Have you visited The Balearics or Canaries in low season? I would love to hear where your favoured destinations are in the colder months!