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Menorcan Archaeological Treasures

5 nights starting from
£1085

  • Cala Morell Necropolis

  • Megalithic villages such as Torre d’en Galmés, Naveta des Tudons and many more

  • Cornia Nou, the most amazing talayot in the world!

  • Hosted and led by local resident, archaeologist and author Elena Sintes Olives, who has worked on many of the excavations

Visiting a host of archaeological sites throughout Menorca with Elena Sintes Olives, who has worked on many of the sites personally. Menorca boasts some of the best archaeology in Europe with some 1, 574 sites throughout the island. Of particular interest are the distinctive “Talayotic” villages dating back to the Iron Age from the end of the second millennium BC, often including distinctive “talayots” which were thought to be defensive and lookout towers. This wonderful new tour takes you to some of the best, as well as more recent sites that reflect periods of Roman and British occupation. A delightful climate and an historic old town as our base adds to the pleasure.

Available Departures

From

14 - October - 2019 £ 1085.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

London Gatwick

Departing: 14th October 2019 at 06:35

Returning: 19th October 2019 at 21:00

27 - April - 2020 £ 1085.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

London Gatwick

Departing: 27th April 2020 at 06:35

Returning: 02nd May 2020 at 21:00

ITINERARY

Day 1: Fly from Gatwick to Menorca, afternoon visit to the Talati de Dalt
Fly from London Gatwick to Mahón (regional flights may be available - these are on request and subject to a supplement.) On arrival transfer to the Port Mahón Hotel. Afternoon visit (time permitting) to our first Talayotic site, the Talati de Dalt, set in beautiful natural surroundings. Welcome drink and talk from Elena “The Talayotic Culture'', followed by dinner with wine at the hotel.

Day 2: Son Mercer de Baix, Cala Morell and Navetas des Tudons
A day packed with archaeological treasures starts with the village of Son Mercer de Baix: is the best-known naviform (prehistoric boat-shaped houses) settlement on Menorca. The spectacular Es Moro cave, which still retains its stone roof underpinned by three columns, is a magnet for people interested in archaeology and scholars who have been visiting it for almost two centuries. The location of the settlement above the Son Fideu ravine, in a natural setting of great beauty, makes it doubly interesting.  Next  to the Ciutadella Museum, a work in progress that  presents temporary exhibitions about the history of Menorca.  Afternoon visit to the Necropolis of Cala Morell, a key site in the understanding of Menorcan prehistory. The caves were carved out of the walls of a small gorge, some of which may date back to 2100BC, with many still in use well into Roman times.  Finally to the funerary chamber of Navetas des Tudons, the most iconic and most visited landmark on the island. It is and always has been the main attraction used to promote the island as a tourist destination and throughout most of the 20th century, featured in history and social science textbooks in Spanish schools.

Day 3: Torre d’en Galmes, Comerma de Sa Garita Monument and Navetas of Rafal Rubí
The Talayotic village of Torre d’en Galmés is the best-preserved  talayotic settlement on the Balearic Islands and the most widely studied on Menorca. It is particularly noted for its cercles or posttalayotic houses. The Comerma de Sa Garita Monument is the great enigma of prehistoric Menorcan architecture, unique in Balearic prehistory, but which historians can only guess at its function and chronology.  Finally, to the Navetas of Rafal Rubí, built on a monumental scale,  with huge blocks of stone. Talk from Elena “Menorca, an island with HISTORY” followed by dinner with wine at the hotel.

Day 4: Trepuco, Trebaluger Talayot, Marlborough Fort and Es Castell
Today we learn something about the period of British rule in the 18th century, as well as some more ancient sites. We start with the Talayotic village and 18th Century military camp of Trepucó. It was the military headquarters during the Franco-Spanish attack on the castle of Sant Felip (1781-1782) and was the first Menorcan prehistoric site to be excavated (1932), making it a long-standing destination for local scholars and  travellers.  Then to the talayot Trebaluger, an impressive monument that was one of the first built on Menorca. Then to Marlborough Fort, built by the British from 1720-26 and named after John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough and an ancestor of  Winston Churchill. Finally to the pretty town of Es Castell, the most easterly town in Spain and the most British of them all and formerly known as Georgetown. Its town hall now houses a military museum.

Day 5: The Talyots of Cornia, Torello, Es Fornas, Torralba de’n Salort and Sant Agusti
A day to see a host of ancient sites,  and the most impressive “talayots” on the island, starting with Cornia Nou. Next up is Torello, said to be the tallest and certainly one of the best preserved on the island.  Next to the Palaeo-Christian Basilica of Es Fornàs and then to Taula de Torralba de’n Salort, one of the best-known and most visited sites on the island. Finally to the Talayotic village of Sant Agustí, well known because of its unique collection of talayots.

Day 6: Cap des Port, Tower of Fornells, Sa Nitja, el Toro Mountain and stone quarry of Santa Ponça before return flight to London Gatwick
A varied  final day of visits includes Roman, British and natural splendour as we head to the Palaeo-Christian Basilica of Cap des Port, the British Tower of Fornells, the Roman remains of Sa Nitja, the scenic majesty of El Toro Mountain and the old stone quarry of Santa Ponça. We then head to the airport for the return flight to London Gatwick.


NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 25 passengers. 

Please note: The itinerary will include some walking, occasionally rough, in order to fully experience the historic sites. Decent footwear is essential. Please note nothing too strenuous will be undertaken however, walking shoes with ankle support and sturdy soles are highly recommended.

INCLUDED

  • Return flights from London Gatwick to Menorca (regional flights may be available at a supplement)
  • Five nights' accommodation on bed and breakfast basis at the four-star Port Mahón Hotel, Mahón
  • Two dinners at the hotel
  • Full touring itinerary as detailed
  • Return transfers from airport to hotel
  • Tour Manager and local expert guide throughout

 

NOT INCLUDED

  • Single room supplement
  • Balcony/sea view supplement
  • Regional flight supplement (subject to availability)
  • Holiday insurance
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls
  • Porterage and gratuities

HOTELS

Port Mahón Hotel
The Port Mahón Hotel occupies a magnificent position overlooking the Port of Mahón. We have chosen this hotel for its close proximity to the town and the many restaurants along the water’s edge reached either by a few ‘Spanish Steps’ or the convenience of a public lift. The hotel is a classic Anglo-Menorcan building painted in the traditional dark red Menorcan style of all important buildings on the island, and offers a buffet and à la carte restaurant, piano bar, cafe, pool, and a splendid terrace-sun deck with exclusive views over the Port. Rooms include en-suite bathrooms, telephone, air-conditioning, TV, mini bar, rental safety deposit box, Wi-Fi and hairdryer. It is possible to upgrade your room to include a balcony or a balcony and sea view - prices on request.

Port Mahón Hotel Website

Mahón
The base for this tour is Mahón (known as Mao in Catalan). A picturesque and historical city, Mahón became the capital of the island in 1721 when the British moved the capital from Cuitadella to Mahón. This was done predominantly because of the size and depth of the town’s natural harbour, which meant the entire British Mediterranean fleet could be housed here. Today the town remains an attractive place with lots of elegant 18th-century mansions dotted between the many churches and the town’s Gothic cathedral. It is a place best explored on foot especially the narrow and atmospheric pedestrianised streets with their shady squares and choice of outdoor cafes and restaurants.

MORE INFO 

Our Guide - Elena Sintes Olives

Local resident Elena Sintes Olives was raised on a farm in Menorca, before studying archaeology at Barcelona University. She is one of the authors of a beautiful book, “Talayotic Menorca, The pre- history of the Island. " and has worked on the excavation of many of the sites visited on this tour.

 

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