Ciutadella Spain is Menorcas "second city" although in reality it is little bigger than
a small town. What it lacks up for in size it more than makes up for in beauty, culture and history!
Located at the western end of the island of Menorca Ciutadella is the prime port for services to Mallorca whilst Mao (at the other end of the island) connects to mainland Spain and serves the cruise ship market. There are however extensive water works just outside of Ciutadella to creata a deep water port capable
of handling 300m plus cruise ships in the future.
Old town Ciutadella Spain dates back to times BC and this is much evidenced in the number of neolithic monuments
located nearby. Unfortunately these days the monuments in the city are buried beneath either the old quarter from the 1700's or the more modern developments of the last century. For the visitor however the old town within
the medieval city walls offers a wide range of attractions.
Ciutadella itself is set on both sides of a wide ravine and inlet that narrows to form natural harbour and later the lower "Espla" where the towns fiestas take place. This natural harbour is home both to the well
kept luxury yachts and the remnants of the towns fishing industry. About halfway along the cove the modern
ferry terminal sits beneath the city walls that once served to protect the city from Seaborne invasion.
The continuing development of the tourism industry has seen Ciutadella Spain expand well beyond its original
confines and now encapsulates a series of inlets and sandy beaches known as "Calas". It is possible to go
to the beach without having left the town!
Some say that island life is slower than that of mainland Spain and if that is true then the old town Ciutadella
is slower again! Reflecting its medieval heritage the city center is a winding maze of narrow streets, arches and whitewashed buildings mixed with older sandstone and granite constructions. As with many towns of its time the maze like appearance had a practical purpose in potentially forcing any invader to constantly lose time and momentum in
any attempt to sack or conquer the city.
Whilst the visitor wanders these narrow streets at a leisurely pace one can't help but succumb to a sense of intimacy
with the town as the buildings close around you. Without warning the tourist can find oneself in an alleyway by oneself or staring up at the ornate cavings on a buildings facade left behind by masons of 200 years previous. Of course the reverse
is also true and what was a sedate ramble suddenly sees a cachophany of noise erupts from the terraza of the restraunt that
was hidden around the corner.
For a tourist visiting the town for a day then the following can be considered the principal attractions in Ciutadella Spain:
- The old town
- The port
- The Cathedral
- The city walls
- and the central park and commemeration of throwing off English and French occupation
Getting to Ciutadella
Ciutadella is at the "other end" of the Me-1, Menorcas main highway, and is signposted from just about
everywhere on the Island. Being a small port and Marina there is also the possibility of visiting via boat. Finally the Cami de Chavells (the island public footpath / bridleway) also takes in the town.
From everywhere else
With Menorca being an island the only means of transport permitting the visitor to reach Ciutadella are either by aeroplane to the airport at Mahon (then 40 minutes driving) or Ferry to Mao from mainland Spain. There is also a direct ferry service between the Northern Mallorcan port of Alcudia and Ciutadella.
If visiting Menorca on the 24th June
then the annual fiesta of Sant Juan
takes place in the Espla of Ciutadella. This is one of the biggest and most unique of Spanish fiestas and sees the town population multiply to seven or eight times its normal number!
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