Page 1 of 2

What’s changed in 15 years?

Posted: September 8th, 2019, 7:27 pm
by Evasmum
Having visited this gorgeous island many times since the age of about 7, now that our kids are grown up, my hubby and I plan to return next year. We were last there in 2005 so I suspect there have been a few changes???
I see from google earth that la menorquina parlour opposite the Esplanada is no longer there. This is somewhere my dad and I loved to visit.

Re: What’s changed in 15 years?

Posted: September 15th, 2019, 7:37 pm
by Sue Adderley
Hi Evasmum

Not sure what resort/town you used to stay in, but there have been a few changes over the last 15 years, some good, others not so :eek:

In general, there are far more good places to eat these days, with a much wider selection of cuisines. I remember my first visit, about 25 years ago, when all pretty-much all you could get was a dried-up lasagne, a tuna salad, burger/chicken and chips or an average paella. The competition to offer quality food is much greater these days, so now there's no shortage of decent restaurants to suit all palates. :grin:

However, things are much more expensive now, especially eating out, car hire and fuel. Most things really then :lol: :shock:

Despite the increase in cost, during high-season the roads are packed with rental cars and it can be virtually impossible to park near most of the more popular beaches. In fact, some beaches (Macarella) and places of interest (Favàritx lighthouse) are now only accessible by buying bus tickets in advance and travelling from Ciutadella/Mahon.

Tourists in search of the 'real Menorca' are spending less time and money in the resorts and, instead, are exploring residential towns, such as Es Mercadal and Sant Lluis, which each have a market and live music nights/dancing throughout the summer months. Consequently, a lot of these towns now have a good selection of decent eating places and bars, as the event nights are a huge draw, due to them offering a more authentic Spanish atmosphere than the resorts.

However, it can be difficult to park in the towns during high season. In fact, parking in general is a huge problem on the island during the summer. Parking spaces along the harbour in Mahon are few and far between, due to the government deciding to put concrete planters in front of the restaurants. Ciutadella is also a nightmare, due to pedestrianisation of some of the town, along with route alterations. There are also now 2 huge, ugly half-finished bridges on the ME1 between Mahon and Alaior, due to the government making a right balls-up of completely unwarranted expansion plans. :evil:

A lot of businesses collapsed following the 'crisis' in 2007/2008. Many popular restaurants/bars that had been trading for years suddenly disappeared, maybe this was the fate of La Menorquina Parlour :sad: All-inclusive hotels also had a negative effect on many establishments. :sad:

The current government seems to have strange views on tourism, only wanting 'quality tourists' (ie. folk who spend a fortune in fancy restaurants and like to visit during the winter, so the beaches and roads don't become too overcrowded). They've also removed tourist attractions, such as pedaloes/banana boats and sea inflatables from some popular resorts, as they want the island to revert to a more natural environment.

On the plus side, the Cami De Cavalls (coastal path) has been fully restored all around the island, so if you enjoy walking/cycling there are many fabulous treks through the woods/along the coast to some beautiful coves and places of interest (great in the Spring, Autumn or Winter). :grin:

We have a place on the island, so will always visit, but our holiday experience has definitely changed over the years. We spend more time in the residential towns these days, and more time walking/visiting beaches off the beaten track than we used to. So, it's different than it used to be, but our preferences have changed as we've got older and we still find it equally as fabulous (if not more so)! :cool:

Sue :toasting:

Re: What’s changed in 15 years?

Posted: September 16th, 2019, 7:57 am
by Evasmum
Hi Sue

Thank you for your great reply! It’s given lots to think about and to plan around.

My parent used to own an apartment in Binibeca so that is where we stayed most times but have also stayed in Es Castell ( always Villacarlos to me!) and CNP.

We are planning on staying in S’Algar out of UK school holidays so hopefully before it gets too busy. We’re hiring a car as we always used to so that we can visit all our old haunts and as many beaches as possible.

We always visit ciudadella and monte toro but tend to spend most of our time in the south.

It sound as though parking might be our biggest problem.

Thanks again Sue

Re: What’s changed in 15 years?

Posted: September 17th, 2019, 4:58 pm
by Sue Adderley
No problem! :grin:

To be honest, the parking situation should be fine if you avoid July and August. Although parking at Cala Galdana seems to be dicey most of the year, for some reason, but I don't think you should have a problem at the other Southern beach resorts.

And you can navigate through Ciutadella centre to parking spaces not far from the harbourside (there just seems more traffic lights in town now, so it can take a while). But we now sometimes park in spaces on the edge of the Poligon estate (by the horse statue) and walk into the centre instead.

Also, not sure if the lift in Mahon (down the Casino end) was there when you last visited. It's useful to know that you can park in 'upper town' not far from the Hotel Port Mahon (there are a couple of car parks and roadside spaces) and use the free lift to descend into the harbour, which is particularly good during the evening, when it can get quite busy.

Anyway, I'm sure you'll have a fab time and no doubt find some exciting new places to visit!

Sue :toasting:

Re: What’s changed in 15 years?

Posted: September 17th, 2019, 9:27 pm
by Evasmum
Thanks again Sue!

The lift in Mahon is a total surprise to us. We will have to try that. We always used to park up the hill and walk down.

We’re really excited about coming back and will definitely enjoy visiting old and new places.

:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Re: What’s changed in 15 years?

Posted: September 17th, 2019, 11:35 pm
by Euroboss
There is always parking by the lift in Mahon a real God send. I feel the island has definitely updated itself as it was a bit stuck in the past. Personally I used to like that as it totally removed you from the hustle and bustle of modern life. It's now a lot dearer than 15 years ago along with the flights/accommodation; I really fail to understand what the local councils government want to achieve. One thing that hasn't changed is the people there they're still mainly very pleasant and welcoming.

Re: What’s changed in 15 years?

Posted: September 20th, 2019, 7:23 am
by Evasmum
Looking forward to trying the lift and seeing how what has changed.

Flights and hotel now booked! :grin:

Re: What’s changed in 15 years?

Posted: October 23rd, 2019, 10:58 am
by Meisme123
Ever since our first visit to Menorca , we had always planned on revisiting our first ever holiday venue - Binibecca . For one reason or another that has not happened and while we contemplated walking from Salgar the last time we were there , we never got to do so . As we have booked a holiday for June next year in Salgar I decided to look at Binibecca on Google Earth ... having had enjoyed our first family holiday there it was disapointing to see that places such as the Binicuda and The Palamino resturaunt seem to have gone ... The Palimino for breakfast was always good and the evening entertainment at the Binicuda was great for families and we have some great memories of that first holiday and particular nice memories of a member of staff who joined us on her time off to practice her English .
I noticed that the Beach villas we stayed at have been revamped and that is nice to see, as I know they were in decline for a few years . The Smugglers is still showing on Google Earth but I have read a lot of conflicting things about whether it is still operating or not , The Vell seems very much as it was alough I do see a lot of new builds have gone up a little bit up from it .
Like everywhere else Binibecca has changed and I look forward to June next year and making it a point to travel from Salgar to revisit the place that holds so many great first time memories .....Monte Toro also another must do - been up there several times - and though (unlike the first time ) I won't be pushing a laden down pushchair with child on board and carrying another on my back , the memory of seeing a large crowd at the top and hearing them applaud our walk up the steep road on a day when the temperature was 34 degrees is one I my wife and 3 children can recall with a smile....

Re: What’s changed in 15 years?

Posted: October 23rd, 2019, 6:15 pm
by Sunseaker
:grin: Binibeca is our favourite too as it was the first place we stayed at on our first holiday abroad in 1985, yes things have changed but doesn't everything, Smugglers is still open run by the same couple but it has been up for sale for many years but until it sells they will continue to open.

Re: What’s changed in 15 years?

Posted: October 24th, 2019, 3:26 pm
by Slartibartfast
The Binicuda apartments are still there although they may be using a different name now, the Palamino again is still running but now called Delaney's I believe and IMO is better that the Palamino ever was.