Our dear friends in England, Dan and Marian, said “I do” in the Lakes District in Northwestern England, and invited us to go on holiday with them to Menorca, Spain afterward. Summer is the height of tourist season here, but it never felt overly-crowded to me. The beaches, the pathways through the city, restaurants, and stores – there was always plenty of space.
We stayed at the Blanc Palace in Sa Caleta in cozy casita-like rooms. This sprawling resort had a couple of pools, a kids’ club, nightly entertainment, and excursions. The restaurant at the resort itself was a little meh, but it honestly didn’t matter to us. There were dozens of great little cafes and tapas bars all around town where we could dine al fresco. Sometimes we would pick up salami, cheese, crackers, and drinks from the supermercado and have a little picnic right outside of our room.
The main pool was beautiful, and we did take a dip there are a handful of times, but like moths to a flame, we were drawn to the Mediterranean, which was a just a quick jaunt through the resort. I remember jumping off the rocks into the warm water and thinking to myself, “THIS is what every single vacation should feel like.”
Each day we would wander through the streets along the coastline to see what we could discover. About a mile away, along a residential stretch of road in the little town of Santandria, we found Cova Sa Nacra. The sign itself looked worn and something from decades past, but the dusty stone steps led to a tiny restaurant carved into the side of the rocks along the cove. The water was a pristine turquoise – a color I could hardly believe my eyes were seeing. The restaurant was rustically charming. Wooden tables, benches, and wicker chairs dotted the red stone floor, and pillars and rope were the only thing separating us from the water. On the far end of the restaurant was a wooden plank that served as a diving board, and a handful of children, decked out in suits and goggles, plunged into the water below.
I remember the heat was fierce that summer day – over 90 degrees – but the awning above us, the breeze from the water, and the generous mugs of Estrella were more than enough to keep us around for the entire evening. It was one of the most magical moments in my life – one that I often revisit in mind. Even the name has a sense of magic: Cova Sa Nacra.
We happened to be on Menorca a few years later during the winter (not one of my better travel decisions) and made our way back to Cova Sa Nacra, only to find that this gem was closed until the warmer weather hit. Menorca has stolen my heart! I’m eager to get back, of course during the summer months, and experience island life in Menorca again.