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Menorca

Menorca
Spain
Concierge.com's insider take:

Menorca is the second largest of the Balearic Islands, with a peculiarly English heritage left over from when the British ruled the island for 70-odd years beginning in 1708. It has the distinct pull of being the least developed (aside from Formentera). Of the island's two main towns, Maó is the capital and is distinguished by a hard-core yachting community, thanks to its spectacular harbor and its strong military and naval history. It's worth chartering a boat to get the full experience. Menorca Cruising School offers luxury sailing days aboard its 36-foot wooden yachts, with a gourmet lunch and cava thrown in (34-971-354-103; www.menorcasailing.co.uk). The town has a fairly lively nightlife along the Moll de Ponent, which snakes along the curves of the marina and a pretty old town. Ciutadella is a charming town on the opposite side of the island. It has pink-and-champagne-colored villas, bustling plazas filled with the chinking of pomadas (the local cocktail of syrupy Xoriguer gin), a Lilliputian-sized port, and smart fish restaurants. It's worth timing a visit to be here on June 23 for the Festival of Sant Joan, the biggest party of the year. Elsewhere, it's mainly agricultural country with some surprises: Curious Neolithic monuments (talayots) litter the landscape, left by some little-known, supposedly second-millennium B.C. civilization. Clear waters, much of it nature reserve, have made this one of the best places in the Mediterranean for diving (Ulmodiving; Zona Comercial Addaia; 34-971-35-90-05; www.ulmodiving.com/en.htm).

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