As the calmest of the Balearic Islands, Menorca (also spelled Minorca) offers laid-back Spanish vibes to holidaymakers of all ages. Beach getaways are the main attraction of this island, the most Northern of the Balearic cluster. Unspoilt scenery and a plethora of fresh local food make Menorca the ideal Spanish getaway island.
It has also been an interesting place to track the property market in recent years, with property prices almost halving between 2007 and 2013, but now on the rise. Whether you’re looking for a contemporary penthouse overlooking the harbour or a 13th-century converted defence tower, Menorca has a wealth of impressive property to buy, borrow, or even just to admire on your next visit there.
The rich history of the island
Menorca has a rich history. Across the island you’ll find monuments and remains of the Talaiotic period currently being restored and preserved. These include burial chambers and sites used for rituals. The 13th Century was a period of upheaval throughout Southern Spain and Menorca was no exception with the island’s population hit by plague, poverty and fractious rule.
Various parts of the island have been destroyed by invasion and attack over the centuries, but some of its oldest buildings have been saved and remain standing today. Tourism in Menorca was slow to develop compared to neighbouring Ibiza and Majorca; until relatively recently, dairy farming and shoemaking remained the key industries. That said, the island now attracts expats looking for a new life and investors looking for holiday properties.
Properties to buy
The relaxed pace of live on Menorca clearly appeals to the expat community who make up 10% of the island’s population. As such, there are around 6000 British expats at home in Menorca. While many live in contemporary builds, Menorca hosts an impressive array of historical property. One of these is Torre San Nicalau, a 13th-century defence tower with spectacular views of the countryside and the Mediterranean Sea.
Restored but keeping it’s character features, this property as eight fantastic bedrooms across the main tower and three outbuildings. The gardens are divided into fields, landscaped areas, orchards and a football field. There is also a fully equipped outdoor kitchen for both cooking and dining alfresco, a swimming pool, fish pond and terraces. It’s for sale for 2.9 million euros.
At the time of writing, a unique and modern twelve-bed property is available to buy for 10 million euros overlooking the Port of Ciudadela whilst a six-bed villa near Cala Gardana is available for 1.3 million euros with beautiful gardens, olive groves and 200 fruit trees.
If they are a little beyond your budget you can pick up a one-bed apartment for as little as 60,000 euros so if you holiday there regularly you might consider snapping up a second home before the prices creep up.
For more information on visiting the oft-overlooked island of Menorca, check out the travel guides over at The Independent and Holiday Hypermarket, and Jane Horrocks’ travelogue.
Emma Waight is a retail researcher specialising in consumer behaviour. She is known in the blogosphere for her work on ethical fashion and likes all things old, having completed a PhD on second-hand clothing.