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Minorca's capital town, Mahon, is also the location of the island's airport. It is sometimes known as Mao.

Mahon has been the capital of Minorca since the British moved it from Ciutadella in 1721. Lying at the eastern end of the island, it has one of the largest natural harbours in the world and has been a strategic stronghold for many nations throughout history. Minorca is famous for it's special Mahon Cheese which is made of cows milk, Gin (which was brought by the English) and last but not least, Mayonnaise which was invented in Mahon.

Mahon is relaxing by day and buzzing by night. The bars and restaurants along the portside come alive in the evenings and it is easy to spend many hours down in the port taking in the atmosphere. Most of the shopping is along pedestrian streets with wonderful cake shops, smart boutiques and fresh fish and food stalls in the markets. Mahon pearls, pottery and fabulous shoes make the boutiques irresistible to those sauntering along the cobblestone streets.

Must see in Mahon

The architecture has been influenced by the British occupation and features many classic Georgian townhouses as well as more contemporary apartment blocks.

The mansion house, Golden Farm, overlooks the harbour and was once occupied by Admiral Lord Nelson. The church Esglesia de Santa Maria la Major houses an enormous organ with 3,006 pipes and four keyboards and daily concerts are performed.

Near the church, is the Mercat Claustre del Carmen where you will find a market selling local cheeses, meat, fruit and vegetables. Also not to be missed is the Xoriguer Gin Distillery where famed Minorcan gin is produced in an age-old process.

Minorca is only small and most of the island is within an easy drive. If you wish to travel out of Mahon, a short drive away is the town of Es Castell.

Es Castell has plenty to offer its visitors, with shopping, restaurants and nightlife. A little further away is Fornells, an attractive fishing village on the north of the island at the mouth of a spectacular bay. It is ideal for windsurfing and watersports.

Minorca has one of the greatest concentrations of discovered pre-historic and bronze-age settlements in the world and has been a favoured site for many nations including Romans, Arabs, Turks and Greeks. There are many burial grounds dating from 1500BC which are well worth a visit.

Dates for you Diary

Mahon - An annual music festival is held in July and August.

Es Castell -There are market days twice a week, and the Fiesta de San Jaume, at the end of July.

Mahon - Festes de Gracia ,September 7th to 9th. On both days you can watch the famous Minorcan stallions and their riders displaying their abilities to the crowd.