Introducing you to Menorca, having to sum it up in such a small space, is not easy. Many of you will know it for its fine white sandy beaches; others for being peaceful and safe; others still for its characteristic hospitality. For its network of paths that lead you through nature in the wild, in its purest state; and for its crystal clear blue waters, which let you discover the island from the sea. For its rich cuisine, packed with flavours that satisfy even the most demanding palate; for the fiestas of its patron saints, and for its noble black horses.
Saying that it is difficult to describe is to state the obvious. When you think that Menorca covers a mere 700 km2, never has so small a land produced such a huge concentration of megalithic monuments. Urban routes and rural paths for you to walk, cycle or even ride along. A huge range of nautical sports, including sailing, kayaking, scuba diving, surfing and many more. In short, it is a veritable paradise.
The eastern-most of the Balearic archipelago islands, Menorca has always opted for balance. A balance between development and conservation, innovation and authenticity, tourism and the traditional sectors. There was no other way to go: after it was declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1993 and the setting up of the S’Albufera des Grau Natural Park, with Illa d’en Colom and Cap de Favàritx as its focal points, Menorca aimed for and has achieved its own harmony, a combination of modernity and sustainability. And how could it not need protection, when so many people love it? Love its present (its beaches, its coves, its virgin spaces, its fiestas, its traditions, its gastronomy, its people) and its past idylls, stretching back to a pre-history whose magic traces can be discovered through its monuments.
As it can easily be appreciated when on the island, UNESCO declared Menorca to be a Biosphere Reserve in recognition of the high rate of compatibility between the development of economic activity, use of resources and the exceptional quality of the historical heritage and landscape preserved to this day. The Menorcan territory has an intense human imprint enjoying rich rural traditional landscape. It houses a great diversity of Mediterranean habitats where animal and plant species live – some of them are exclusive to the island and some of them are endangered species.
The Menorcan Island Council (Consell Insular de Menorca), the institution responsible for the reserve, has opted for sustainability so that future generations of residents and visitors will be able to enjoy the natural resources and beauty we enjoy today. For this reason we take special care over the whole territory so as to maintain in the long term the values of good quality of life and environmental values that promoted the declaration from UNESCO.
With the collaboration of the people of Menorca and some NGOs and island companies, Menorca is employing development strategies to take the best advantage of the rich natural habitat while preserving it for the future. To be able to continue transforming challenges into reality we also need the support of our visitors because together we can contribute to development which is truly respectful to the environment. We would like to invite you to get to know Menorca hoping to be able to welcome you to our island soon.
By Fundacio Desti Menorca