If you want to get a feel for Menorca's past, this trip to the island's former capital is ideal. Ciutadella's cobbled lanes, churches and palaces make it a joy to explore by foot. Helen, one of our guides, says, ‘I've lived in Ciutadella for over 30 years and know every single corner, every secret.' And you'll also visit El Toro, Menorca's highest point. The views over the island are unrivalled.
We kick off with a guided tour. There's palm-shaded Plaça d'es Born, considered one of Spain's most beautiful squares. Plus, there are the lavish palaces tucked down the surrounding alleys. You'll visit one of these aristocratic mansions, the 17th-century Casa Olivar, which is stacked with antiques and tapestries, and boasts lavish ceiling frescoes. ‘The old town is a maze of narrow, winding streets fringed by honey-coloured buildings bathed in sunlight, while the tiny fishing port is pretty as a picture,' says Helen.
You'll have a couple of hours to wander around at your own pace, so you can browse the market – a discount card is offered for purchases here – visit a museum or two, or head to one of the atmospheric harbour cafés. Make sure to check out the baroque cathedral, too. And then it's on to El Toro in the heart of the island. Enjoy views of the coast and countryside, and pop into the lovely chapel on the summit. All purchases help local craftspeople, while admission fees support conservation efforts.