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Minorca (Menorca both in Catalan and Spanish and increasingly in English usage; from Latin Balearis Minor, later Minorica "minor island") is one of the Balearic Islands (Illes Balears Catalan official name, Islas Baleares in Spanish), located in the Mediterranean Sea, and belonging to Spain. It takes its name from being smaller than nearby island of Majorca. It was called Nura by the Phoenicians in honoring their god Baal, meaning the "island of fire". Minorca has a population of approximately 82,000. It is located around 39░47' to 40░00'N, 3░52' to 4░24'E. Its highest point is 358 m/1174 ft above sea level. Its highest point is called Monte Toro. The island has a large collection of megalithic stone monuments: navetes, taulas, and talaiots.

The harbour at Maˇ, the island capital, is the second largest natural deep water port in the world - the only larger being Pearl Harbour. The whole island is a European Biological Reserve which means that big hotel building has been kept to a minimum in most of the resorts. It is a relatively quiet, family oriented island although there are some great clubs to visit if you know where to go, but be prepared to travel to them as most resorts don't have much more than a few late bars.

During the 18th Century, Minorca was a bone of contention among the British, French and Spanish powers. And with good reason, the Port of Maˇ, the finest natural harbour in the Mediterranean, and one of the best in the world, could protect, behind its fearsome forts, the largest fleets of the time in their entirety. The Utrecht Treaty, signed in 1713, gave place to the first British presence on Minorca, which lasted until 1755. Richard Kane, the first British Governor, is still fondly remembered for his effective support of agriculture on the island; he introduced the cultivation of the apple, promoted cattle breeding and built roads and reservoirs which are still in use today. There were two later periods of British presence on Minorca, from 1763 till 1781 and 1798 to 1808. The British left more than their earthworks and ramparts behind. Things as varied as the growth of Maˇ, which enthusiastically accepted the opportunities for trade and the abolition of the Inquisition, the sauce we traditionally use on a great many of our dishes, which we still call grevi, the traditional woodworking and boat building techniques and designs and our most popular drink, gin, which we'll talk about in the next section. The Golden Farm, a summer house near Maˇ, is one of the symbols of British presence on Minorca, perhaps as much as the bow and sash windows still to be found in the capital's old part quarter.

This is an ideal island for families with small children or those looking for a relatively more quiet getaway discovering the old villages or walking the coast.

Most western carriers fly directly to Maˇ, including regular scheduled services from easyjet and British Airways and many charter flights during the main Summer season.

Information provided by Wikipedia

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