Since 1993, Minorca has been a UNESCO-designated Biosphere Reserve, and this easternmost of the glowing Balearic islands is a tranquil paradise after the heady delights of Ibiza or Majorca. See the gorgeous whitewashed architecture of the Old Ciutadella, with its old world charm, baroque churches, and quirky museums. Gourmet travellers won’t be disappointed, either: renowned seafood restuarant Jàgaro’s signature dish, caldereta de llangosta, is almost worth coming for alone (the restaurant has its own boat).
Minorca lives up to its reputation as a sunny idyll with its fabulous collection of relaxing boutique hotels. For a fresh and modern take on rustic chic, stay at Jardí de Ses Bruixes Boutique. Just 5 minutes from the harbour, this restored nineteenth century building in central Mahón is all sunlit windows, whitewashed walls, and tiled courtyards.
For something in the historic Ciutadella, the 5* Hotel Can Faustino is the last word in restful luxury on Minorca. Complete with pool and terraces in the heart of town, each room has an iPod dock and some of the elegant rooms come with slate bathrooms and sea views. Set in a lovingly restored seventeeth century building right by the harbour, the vaulted ceilings and a la carte restaurant will keep even the most fastidious traveller happy.
The point of getting away from it all might be to stay out of the towns, in which case you’ll definitely want to consider Alcaufar Vell Hotel Rural & Restaurant. Built as an impressive family home in the fourteenth century, the hotel and restaurant are set in acres of verdant parkland. With exposed wooden beams, whitewashed stone, and sunny outdoor pool, this boutique hotel lacks nothing when it comes to style. Book a suite and dine on your own private terrace in the balmy Minorcan air in the evening- bliss.