Mahon is the capital of the Island of Menorca. It is located on the eastern coast and there are around 30,000 people living there. Covering an area of 109,000 square kilometres you will be delighted to see many sights of history and tradition such as the picturesque harbour, which in times gone by was protected by the two strongholds; the stunning architecture of the buildings and the typically Spanish shops and eateries.
The city was given its name by the Carthaginensis General Mago Barca (the brother of the more well known battle leader, Hannibal Barca) who, rumour has it took refuge in Mahon in the year 205BC and in fact, Mahon plays an important role in the history of the island as a whole.
When you pay a visit to Mahon and the surrounding area you will spot the beautiful Georgian architecture, evidence of the island of Menorca being occupied by the British over the past centuries. Admiral Nelson is supposed to have tucked himself away with his mistress, Emma Hamilton in one of these stunning buildings known as the Golden Farm which is a manor house, overlooking the harbour in the north of the Mahon and this is also the place he chose to write Sketches of My Life, his autobiography.
The local government has taken steps to enhance the city and lots of new buildings such as hotels, restaurants and shops have appeared in recent years, offering the increasing number of tourists even more reasons to make sure Mahon is on their itinerary of places to go whilst holidaying on this beautiful island.
If you decide to make Mahon the base place for your holiday, you will find the accommodation choices cover a wide spectrum. For those who are planning their holiday on a tight budget there are plenty of more than adequate apartments to rent on a weekly basis at very reasonable rates but if you want to have the luxury of a good quality hotel, there are several four stars for you to chose from and although you will have to pay a little more for this type of accommodation, you will find you get excellent value for money.
Once you have settled in to your accommodation and you are ready to take a good look around Mahon there are several ways you can do this. Firstly, if you are interested in walking, you will find a great deal of the whole island, and in particular, Mahon has many pedestrian only lanes for those wishing to take the healthy option.
The single-decker (more often than not orange coloured) bus service which operates from Mahon central bus station is clean, efficient and an excellent way of having a look around the city centre. You can also catch a bus from here to many other parts of the island. The busiest route is from Mahon to Ciutadela which is the town which preceded Mahon as the capital city of the island. This is a popular journey during the summer and winter months alike.
When it comes to eating out in Mahon, you really must try the tapas bars. Tapas is a selection of local food produce which gives you the opportunity of trying something new without having to have a full meal of it. It’s a great way to experience the fabulous Spanish gastronomic delights on offer whilst you are on holiday. There are many seafood and fish restaurants and an all time favourite is, of course, the famous dish of paella. Another speciality of the island is bread flavoured with salt and olive oil and rubbed with fresh tomato, which is often served prior to your starters just to get your taste buds tingling. The choice of meats is also quite varied – you will find anything from lamb, pork, and even ostrich steak cooked in a super sauce on the menu. For dessert or “postre” in Spanish, try borrachitos al gin de Menorca, which are small Menorcan cakes soaked in gin and served with strawberries.
As far as night life in Mahon is concerned, although it is not as busy as the neighbouring islands, there are still plenty of places to go to enjoy the rest of the evening after your dining experience. You really should not miss Nou de Copes which is a trendy music bar designed as a cave within the old walls of the harbour. Mambo des Part is a popular drinking place as is Akelarre where the younger crowds all tend to hang out until the early hours.