At the ungodly hour of 4am our adventure to Minorca was about to start. At least at this time our journey to Gatwick was smooth and the biggest problem wasn’t finding the airport, but our car park! The weather decided to make it as easy as possible for us to leave the UK with rain pouring down so hard that we managed to get soaked between getting out of the transfer bus and into the airport. Nevertheless we made it in good time, and shortly after meeting the airport representative and checking in for our flight we were on our way to the beautiful island of Minorca.
The flight from Gatwick to Mahon was uneventful and we introduced ourselves to our leader for the week, John Dixie, who was luckily easily identifiable by his bright red Ramblers Worldwide Holidays shirt! The group was soon assembled and we all got onto the transfer bus, which was waiting right outside the airport. After a short journey (10 minutes) we arrived at the Hotel Port Mahon, where we had literally 10-15 minutes to put our luggage into our room before meeting with the rest of the group and leader for our first briefing.
Linda from Canada on her first Ramblers Holiday!On our first briefing we introduced ourselves to each other and John provided us with a handout of a suggested itinerary for the week. Since there were a few late bookings he was offering to do an additional walk on the day off, which the group happily accepted. In order to get our bearings John offered to take us on a short walk (we should have known short walks in Ramblers Holidays language are still way too long for wearing any sort of heels – OUCH!). We walked to the Tourist Information Office by the harbour, where we all obtained maps, and then made our way to a local restaurant in town called ‘Pigalle’. We all enjoyed our lunch, though nobody was expecting 3 courses! Nevertheless, we all managed to finish all of our food, and like they say, ‘start as you mean to go on’ – we did just that!
After we had finished, we made our way back to the hotel where we had a couple of hours at our own leisure before dinner at 19.30. The last thing on our mind was to eat again, however, after seeing the selection of food on offer it was very difficult to decline. They had a wide selection of salad, hot food and desserts – it was impossible to say no! It didn’t take us long to realise that Ramblers Worldwide clients aren’t only good walkers, but also appreciate their food and drink! We were only too happy to join in at every aspect of becoming a true Rambler and this particular one suited us to the ground!
Having never visited Menorca we were pleasantly surprised on how much it had to offer. The scenery was simply breathtaking. At no stage did we imagine Minorca to be such a perfect rambling destination; however we could not have been more wrong! Anybody looking for a holiday staying in a 4* hotel, with a great variety of (easy) walks and a huge amounts of excellent food, should visit Minorca. We travelled in early November and it was the perfect winter getaway. The grading of the holiday was D, which was between 5-6 hours of walking a day – with breaks of course! Hot chocolates and treats kept us all going! Although towards the start we had a couple of wet and windy days, it brought fun and laughter to the group, towards the end of the week we were walking along beaches and some clients were taking time out in the sea. Some perfect picture moments!
The walks in themselves were designed to show the wide variety Minorca offers; from walking on the most beautiful sandy beaches without ever encountering a soul, to scrambling up limestone hills to the most spectacular view points; and all along the way being able to learn about history and geology at the same time. Minorca seems to have it all!
Our hotel, right at the port Mahon is a lovely 4* hotel, situated perfectly overlooking the natural harbour. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful and the room is modern with a bath and balcony. They have free maps of the town of Mahon by reception which is only a mere 10 minute walk away. Breakfast was served between 07:30 on weekdays and 08:00 at the weekends, dinner is served from 19:30 every evening. From the cleanliness in your room with fresh white sheets and fresh towels every day, to the hotel’s bars, restaurant and many other areas it was spotless, just like home away from home.
Other benefits the hotel offers is the outdoor Swimming pool, computer access (which was free!), room service, mini-bar, fridge (this is great for the ramblers, as they could keep some food in there fridges for picnic lunches) hairdryers in all rooms, laundry service, Wi-Fi and a television in each room with many international channels. Within a 5 minute walk you could find a bakery, cafe, supermarket, ATM, and many other local facilities. If you walked for a further 5 minutes you would find yourself in the town. In the day it was empty, there really was nobody around, however, in the evening it was buzzing. There are lots of shops, bars, restaurants, bakeries and in the main square with entertainment some evenings, like traditional Flamenco dancers to name just one.
Overall the week on this wonderful island was very enjoyable, spent with inspiring people, and we could not have asked for anymore. Our tour leader was fantastic and extremely well organised. It was a great pleasure to be part of such a fun and welcoming group. Thank you for reading and hopefully Minorca will await you….