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OTHER ITA SITES:
A Menorca Holiday Destination In The Rain
We were both huddled around a tiny electric fire. Outside, the sky was the same turbulent mixture of greys that it had been since a short interval of unconvincing sunshine, had awakened us and offered false promises through the bedroom blinds. More rain blew almost horizontally across the sea and our view deteriorated as the window pane became laced with wet streaks outside and misted over on the inside. Yesterday was being repeated and yesterday had been pretty much a copy of the day before. That had been the day we had arrived.
Weather like this was not what we had expected in June in Menorca. We were totally unprepared for it. No rainwear, no sweaters and nothing warmer than very light jackets had been included in the packing for our one week holiday. We hadn't bothered to hire a car because Son Bou, the resort at which we stayed, has the longest beach on the island. Our plan had been to spend every day enjoying the three kilometres of golden sand, sunbathing, swimming and taking a few beach walks.
Normally, June in Menorca is fairly typical of the Mediterranean climate, with 24 degrees Celsius being the average maximum and 16 being the average minimum. Throughout the year, the island averages 300 days of sunshine, so considering that the other 65 days are most likely to be during the winter months, the odds were clearly stacked in our favour. However, Menorca does experience more changeable weather than the other Balearic islands and it is the coolest and wettest island of the group. Menorca is also subjected to no less than eight prevailing winds, causing it to be referred to locally as "The Windy Island".
Son Bou, is a purpose built holiday resort on the west coast of Menorca. It is situated less than thirty minutes drive from the island's international airport at Mahon. It is a very pretty, hilly resort with many luxury villas and apartments. Our one bedroom apartment was not amongst the most luxurious but it was extremely well furnished and catered for all our needs - except the sunshine, that is!
The resort of Son Bou could do with more restaurants but those that it has provided us with reasonably good meals at a price that was slightly above typical Spanish prices. Our walks to the restaurant every evening were usually accompanied by another short interval of dry weather with a watery sun poking through the clouds and creating patches of blue. Each time this happened we fell for the trick all over again. "Its clearing up for tomorrow" is what we would say to each other; but it wasn't and our seven day holiday remained constantly unsettled to the end.
We did manage to grab the odd hour between showers to bravely try out the beach. It lived up to our expectations of being one of the most beautiful in the Balearic islands. Its sand is golden for most of the three kilometres but there are several spots where the colour becomes almost a tropical white. We would have loved to have enjoyed it in the normal summer climate but it wasn't to be. Each time our clothes came off, the clouds came back. On one occasion, we sat huddled under our beach parasol, using it as a rain umbrella and refusing to dress again in a fruitless act of defiance that left us both shivering.
As we waited at our apartment for the taxi to take us back to the airport, we reflected on the week. Weather-wise we might as well have spent the time at home in England. But despite the disappointment of a washed-out holiday, we had seen enough of Son Bou to know that under normal circumstances this beautiful part of Menorca is a holiday destination worth visiting. It is also one of the nearest to the U.K. with cheap flights taking only two hours to get there and being available from every U.K. airport.
As the taxi pulled up we stepped out into the pouring rain which was being blasted by a swirling wind that seemed to blow from every direction at once. We had regretted not hiring a car but on reflection, driving around Menorca in these conditions would not have increased our enjoyment of this Mediterranean holiday destination.
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