In Ciutadella, located on the island of Menorca, you can find many things to see and experience. Such an inspiration for your senses will be in fact the smell of the sea, the sound of waves crashing on the rocks and sand under bare feet, and do not forget the taste of the typical foods here such as fresh fish.
The island of Menorca is the wildest of the four main Balearic islands and thus is also the least crowded. Ciutadella is located in the northwestern part of the island and can be reached by ferry. In the past, up to XVIII century, it was the capital of Menorca, but the British who ruled the island at that time moved the capital to Mahon.
Photo CC-BY by Ian Kirk
From the historical point of view, there are remains that date back up to 2000 B.C., like the megalithic monuments Taulas, Talayots and Navetas; only 5 km from Ciutadella you can admire the NAVETA des TUDONS.
The Arab domination instead lasted until King Alfonso III. There are still some witnesses of the Arab rule as, for example the MINARET of the mosque that was transformed into the “Torre Campanara” of the current CATHEDRAL that, under the orders of King Alfonso III, replaced the mosque in the XIV century. The style is Gothic Catalan and you must definitely visit the Chapel of Souls inside.
All the old town is gathered around the SQUARE ES BORN who is a former parade ground; you will reach it by climbing a stairway and at its center there is an obelisk dedicated to people killed by the Moors; all the ancient part of the town can be explored on foot, for example, starting from the small Plaça de ses Palmeres, or Piazza Alfonso III, and keeping on walking towards the arcades (ses Voltes) on Joseph Maria Quadrado street.
Near the Cathedral there are many mansions with magnificent facades: just opposite the Cathedral we find PALAZZO OLIVES with inside interesting frescoes and archaeological finds on the site of Pujol; SALORT PALAZZO PALAZZO DE VIVO in neo-classical style and PALAZZO EARL SAURA boasting a XVII century style.
The Town Hall was built over the Arab “alcazar” and, from the Mirador, which is located behind the Town Hall, you can admire the harbour area.
At the entrance of the port there is the octagonal tower of SANT NICOLAU CASTLE. The ancient walls are built around 5 bastions, as these fortifications remained intact; one of these is the Bastió DE SA FONT; inside there is the Municipal Museum with prehistoric, Roman and Arab civilizations’ remains.
Then there are several churches to visit, besides the cathedral: the church of SANT FRANCESC is one of the oldest; SANT CRIST is very small, while the former Church of ROSER hosts various exhibitions. To visit also the convent of Santa Clara and the Cloister of the old monastery that also deserve to be seen.
Events in Ciutadella
In Ciutadella, especially in summer, there are many cultural and musical events, as well as various celebrations in honour of the patron saints. The most important of these festivals is without a doubt the one that takes place in June in honor of SAN JUAN. On that occasion, there are real tournaments and horse racing happening in the town centre. Besides, throughout the island of Menorca horses they are very popular and numerous: several riding schools are up and running all around the area. Here you can book lessons for beginners and advanced level, and thus participate in walks and excursions in the various paths located in the surroundings of the city. Taking a ride on horseback on scented paths or down to the beach is truly priceless!
The FESTIVAL MUSIC of Ciutadella Summer is another fab event. You can enjoy during this occasion also the International JAZZ FESTIVAL of Menorca where fans of this music genre can listen to their favorite music in one of the strangest places in the world, meaning a cave which was previously used to repair the boats during the winter.
The port area is very picturesque: clubs and various restaurants with a terrace you can also see the typical fishing boats, ILAUTS, which do not disfigure at all in the harbour near the yachts of the rich tourists. Fishermen play here a big role, since, as in all the islands of the world, fish is the main food in almost every menu, as well as crustaceans that are abundant in the sea close to the island and are highly appreciated by tourists.
On the coast, moving away slightly from Ciutadella, we will meet cute little fishing villages that still resist to mass tourism, and where you can experience deeply the island’s culture and the villages’ respect for nature.
Beaches in Ciutadella
The BEACHES are obviously very important for a relaxing holiday; Cala Morrell beach is just 7 km from the town: it is a sandy beach in the middle of the rocks – the water depth is perfect for diving, since you can find here also underwater caves.
Another very pretty beach is Algaiarens, surrounded by huge red rocks, and it is very pleasant to get here asthe beach is not too crowded.
In its surroundings you will find also the beach of Son Saura, Cala en Bosc, Cala Blanca and Cala Santandria. All these listed beaches have received the EU blue flag.
Starting from Bastio De Sa Font, just go to the North-East and get to PUNTA NATI where there is also a lighthouse. From there you will enjoy a magnificent sunset!
Photo CC-BY-SA 3.0 J.Braun
Besides, Menorca Island is famous for its beautiful landscapes, where nature has not been overwhelmed by the ugliness of the resorts and modern buildings. Here a city like Ciutadella offer a very high quality of life both to locals and tourists.
So hurry up, book your holiday and discover Ciutadella!