Cala en Bosch
After a cross-country move from California to Virginia, a trans-Atlantic move from Virginia to Madrid and finishing an intense TEFL course in July, it was time for a relaxing island vacation to decompress from all of that moving. Spain, and Europe in general, have a ton of beautiful beach options. Initially, I debated going to Greece, Portugal or Italy, but decided to stay closer to home and check out the beaches of Spain...specifically, the Balearic Islands, a group of islands located off of eastern Spain. I was looking for a place that was relaxing, less crowded and touristy, and not a party island. I chose Menorca and mostly got what I was looking for minus the less crowded part. In August, everyone flocks to the beaches and Menorca was far more crowded than I had anticipated. Lesson learned...never go to European beaches in August! Despite the crowds, the island of Menorca and its beaches are stunningly beautiful even if it does take a little extra legwork to actually get to those beautiful beaches. Since 1993, Menorca has been a protected UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which has helped keep the island in such pristine condition. Most access to the beaches requires thirty minutes or sometimes more of hiking to reach them and there are essentially no facilities once you get there, so you have to make sure to take water, food and anything else you'd need for a day on the beach.
Hotel Son Triay
After a quick flight from Madrid, I made my way over to Hotel Son Triay, an agroturismo located a few minutes drive from Cala Galdana. I decided to ditch the over-crowded hotels on the island and try something a little different. Son Triay is a colonial-style house surrounded by farm fields, forests and adorable cows. Its a working farm and is run by the lovely Antonia and her husband. The number of rooms are limited, which keeps the atmosphere at the hotel quiet and crowd-free and its in a perfect location for exploring the rest of Menorca. There are plenty of spots around the hotel to veg out, read a book or wander around the pretty gardens. I enjoyed my stay at Son Triay, but if you're looking for luxury or drinks with little umbrellas in them, then it probably isn't for you. If you want a peaceful stay where the staff remembers your name each day and it feels more like you're staying at someone's house than some mega resort, then definitely try the agroturismo experience at Son Triay.
After getting unpacked, I headed out to do some island exploring. Since I can't read a map, I didn't make it to my original destination, but ended up at Cala Morell instead and caught the last bit of the sunset. Not too bad!
The rest of my time in Menorca was spent relaxing at the hotel or driving around the island checking out the different beaches. One of the more popular beaches on the island is Cala Mitjana. After about a thirty minute walk to get to it, the payoff was well worth it. It was definitely the most crowded beach I went to, but the views more than made up for it.
On the last day, I drove to the town of Fornells for lunch. I'm a sucker for little villages by the ocean and Fornells fit the bill. It had an adorable main road full of cute shops and restaurants and was a nice place to spend an afternoon eating yummy seafood and watching the world go by.
Menorca really is a stunning island, but being there in August with the hordes of people took a bit away from the overall experience.. Next up, a wrap-up of my visit to Binifadet winery, which was one of my favorite things I did while in Menorca. Until then, one final sunset before I flew back to Madrid.