5 nights starting from
Cala Morell Necropolis - a key site in the understanding of Menorcan prehistory
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 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 the village of Es Castell and the town of Ciutadella adds to the pleasure.
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Departing: 26th April 2021 at 12:50
Returning: 01st May 2021 at 21:00
Day 1: Fly from Gatwick to Menorca
Fly from London Gatwick to Mahon (regional flights may be available - these are on request and subject to a supplement.) On arrival transfer to the village of Es Castell and check-in to the Hotel Agamenon for a three-night stay. The village of Es Castell is full of history and charm and provides a good base for our first few days of the tour. Welcome drink and talk from Elena “The Talayotic Culture'', followed by dinner with wine at the hotel.
Day 2: Torre d’en Galmes, Comerma de Sa Garita Monument and Menorca Museum, Mahon
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 post talayotic houses. Next, we visit the Comerma de Sa Garita Monument, a great enigma of prehistoric Menorcan architecture, unique in Balearic prehistory, but which historians can only guess at its function and chronology. After free time for lunch (not included) in Mahon we visit the Menorca Museum which houses many unique objects that describe the whole of Menorca’s history under one roof.
Day 3: Trepuco, The Talyots of Cornia, Torello, Es Fornas, Marlborough Fort and Sant Felip Castle
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 pre-historic site to be excavated (1932), making it a long-standing destination for local scholars and travellers. Next we visit some of the most impressive “talayots” on the island, starting with Cornia Nou and onto Torello, said to be the tallest and certainly one of the best preserved on the island, with a final visit of the morning to the Palaeo-Christian Basilica of Es Fornàs. After free time for lunch (not included) in Sant Climent we will visit 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, we head back 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 where we will visit the remains of Sant Felip Castle. This evening we enjoy another talk from Elena “Menorca, an island with HISTORY” followed by dinner with wine at the hotel.
Day 4: Talayotic village of Talati, Rafal Rubí, Torralba de’n Salort and Ciutadella
Our first visit this morning is to the Talayotic village of Talati de Dalt, set in beautiful natural surroundings and memorable for the column that leans against the horizontal stone of the taula. Next onto the Navetas of Rafal Rubí, built on a monumental scale, with huge blocks of stone and finally to Taula de Torralba de’n Salort, one of the best-known and most visited sites on the island. After some free time and lunch (not included) in Alaior we transfer to Ciutadella and check-in to the Hotel Port Ciutadella for a two-night stay. Rest of the afternoon and evening is free to spend at your leisure.
Day 5: Navetas des Tudons, Son Mercer de Baix and Sant Agusti
A day packed with archaeological treasures starts with 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. We continue onto the village of Son Mercer de Baix, 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. After free time for lunch in Es Migjorn (not included) we visit the Talayotic village of Sant Agustí, well known because of its unique collection of talayots
Day 6: Cala Morell, village of Torrellafuda, El Toro Mountain, Basilica of Cap des Port, Cape of Cavalleria and stone quarry of Santa Ponça before return flight to London Gatwick
We start our final day with a 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. Next, onto the Talaiotic village of Torrellafuda which was inhabited until the end of the Roman occupation and stands in a shady old wild-olive grove. Our final visits of the day will be to the Palaeo-Christian Basilica of Cap des Port, the scenic Cape of Cavalleria and the abandoned old stone quarry of Santa Ponça. Late afternoon transfer 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 24 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.
Hotel Agamenon, Es Castell
The four-star Hotel Agamenon is located at the edge of the sea in the quiet town of Es Castell, located just 2km outside the capital of Mahon. Offering excellent views over the port the hotel is ideally located for the first selection of sites on our itinerary. The hotel has a restaurant, bar and outdoor swimming pool while bedrooms provide all amenities including air-conditioning, minibar, safe, phone, TV, wifi, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities. All rooms provide a balcony and a side-sea view.
Hotel Port Ciutadella, Ciutadella
The four-star Hotel Port Ciutadella is located in the charming port city of Ciutadella on the west coast of the island, famous for its old town and medieval streets. Situated by the sea in a quiet area and only a 10-minute walk to the centre of the city. The hotel has a restaurant, bar, spa, gym plus an indoor and outdoor swimming pool. All bedrooms have a balcony and provide all amenities including air-conditioning, minibar, safe, phone, TV, wifi, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities.
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.
The tour was excellent, not least because of the high quality of the local archaeologist who conducted us around the many sites.
Review by Anonymous who travelled 14-October-2019
Hotel would have received excellent, but evening buffet was not very good. Terry Regan our tour manager was friendly efficient and could not have been more helpful. Elena Sintes Olives was amazing, her knowledge of her subject was infinite and her charm and enthusiasm overcame any linguistic shortfalls. We ha a wonderful time and learned a huge amount.
Review by Crouch who travelled 14-October-2019
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