What You Need To Know
Minorca or Menorca (official name) is the second largest of the Balearic Islands, located to the northeast of Mallorca and is the least overrun and most tranquil of the Balearics. Due to its unspoilt beauty, it allows the more adventerous the opportunity to discover new charms and experiences. Despite its smaller size among other Spanish islands, the number of beaches that Menorca has equals the number of beaches that can be found in Mallorca and Ibiza combined. The possibility of having a beautiful beach largely to yourself in the summer, combined with alfresco dining and peaceful holiday resorts, makes Minorca a highly desirable place to visit.
Area: 271 mi²
- The currency used in Menorca is Euro (€)
Menorca enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate with long hot summers and short mild winters, with an average of 300 days of sunshine per year. Late spring and early summer are the best times to visit, when the temperatures are high, the chance of rainfall is low and the sunshine hours are at their highest. July and August are the busiest months of the year in Menorca, so if you are able to travel outside of the summer school holidays, it’s definitely worth it.
Summers in Minorca fall between early June and late September, when average temperatures range between 22°C and 25°C. Daily lows fluctuate between 18°C and 21°C, whilst daily highs fluctuate between 26°C and 29°C.
The hottest day ever recorded in Menorca is July 26th 1983, when temperatures as high as 39.6°C were registered on the island. Furthermore, the highest average temperature ever recorded in Menorca also falls within the summer period (28.9°C registered in August 2003) as well as the highest maximum average temperature (33°C, also registered in August 2003).
Minorca is exceptionally windy throughout the year, especially during the summer months. These blustery conditions create the perfect environment from water sports, as well as providing some much-needed relief from the summer heat.
Up to 13 hours of sunshine per day can be expected at the peak of the summer season, with clear skies an everyday thing for most of the months. A great way to cool off from the summer heat is to take a dip in the sea and with average sea water temperatures ranging between 21°C and 26°C in summer, there’s no reason not to hit the beach.
Catalan, not Spanish (Castillian), is the official language of Menorca. The island also has its own dialect, Menorquin, which differs from the Catalan spoken in other Balearic Islands in some vowel sounds and grammar.
Health and security
- If you’re living and working in Spain you’ll likely have access to Spain’s free state healthcare, paid partly by social security payments, which will be deducted from your wage.The Spanish healthcare service is regularly rated among the world’s best, guaranteeing universal coverage and no upfront expenditure from patients apart from paying a proportion of prescription charges. Spain spends about 10 percent of its GDP on healthcare, and is ranked 6th in the EU for the number of doctors with around four doctors per 1,000 people. A 2012 World Health Organisation survey showed that Spanish women outlive all other nationalities (living to 85.1 years) apart from the Japanese, so they must be doing something right.
Spanish healthcare consists of both private and public healthcare, with some hospitals (hospitales) and healthcare centres (centros de salud) offering both private (privado) and state healthcare services (asistencia sanitaria pública). You don’t need to have private health insurance to get medical treatment in Spain but it usually allows you to get faster treatment for non-emergency procedures.
The state health system in Spain
State healthcare is free of charge to anyone living and working in Spain, although in some of the Spanish islands you may have to travel to find a state healthcare provider.
As an expat, you are entitled to free state healthcare if you are:
- resident in Spain and work in employment or self-employment and pay social security contributions
- resident in Spain and receiving certain state benefits
- resident in Spain and recently divorced or separated from a partner registered with social security
- a child resident in Spain
- a pregnant woman who is resident in Spain
- under 26 and studying in Spain
- a state pensioner, or staying temporarily in Spain and have an EHIC card
- Foreigners seem to be the targets of choice for pickpockets and thieves, who operate in hotel lobbies, restaurants, public transit systems, airports, and other areas frequented by tourists. Common tactics include: theft of baggage while visitors check in or out of their hotels, check in at the airport, or while hailing a taxi; criminal distractions (asking for directions, dropping coins/keys and asking for assistance, or “inadvertently” spilling something on the victim and offering to clean it up) to allow a counterpart to pick a victim’s pocket; taking advantage of Americans who hang a purse/backpack on the back of a chair, place their cellphones on a table when at a restaurant, or place their belonging on a bench beside them; and individuals flagging down passing motorists to request assistance for “car trouble,” giving an associate the chance to steal from the good Samaritan.The highest incidence of street crime is during local holiday periods (late November through early January, all of August, and Easter/Semana Santa) and the busy summer tourist season.
Credit card skimming (a form of high-tech financial fraud) has been an issue. Thieves may attach a reader on top of an ATM to read the magnetic strip on the victim’s card or a waiter may read the card into a portable recorder for later use. Many restaurants now bring the credit card reader to the patron and swipe the card in front of them as a result of credit card skimming.
- Visit the Binibèquer Vell, it is a picturesque village at the south-east coast, with white houses and narrow streets. The village belongs to the community St Lluís but actually is a holiday village. It was designed after a fisher village and even has a church steeps but no church!