In the colonial era, Minorca - like Gibraltar - was a highly controversial place among European powers. France and England considered it strategically important and it was used many times as a bargaining chip with the Spanish crown. The principal motive: the port of Maó. Its 6Km length and the tens of meters in depth makes it one of the best natural ports in Europe. This, in conjunction with the strategic position of the island, made Maó an excellent control base for the maritime routes of the Mediterranean. It is not strange, then, that with the arrival of British Imperial rationalism, Maó was declared the administrative capital of the island.
The English presence in Minorca lasted more than a century and, during this time, they carried out different engineering works such as the construction of the Kane path or improvements to the fortifications of the port entrance. The English legacy can be seen in various forms, making the architecture and the peculiarities of the Minorcan dialect stand out. On the southern coast, you can find small coves and very quiet neighborhoods.
The area around Maó is one of the most modernized zones on the island, but, as it is on the west coast, it is a low-density neighborhood where there are small, placid coves of fine, white sand. Here you will find picturesque corners, like Es Canutells or Binibeca. In the north you will find the hard and romantic landscape of the cape of Faváritx, the old core of the fishermen of Es Grau and Sa Mesquida and some of the most hidden coves of Minorca.
Special attention is merited for the Albufera de Es Grau and the island of Colom. The island, for being a miniature representation of Minorca with its endemic species and contrasting landscapes. And the Albufera, because it is the Minorcan National Park and the base of the distinction that UNESCO awarded the island in 1993: Biosphere Reserve. This recognition highlights the Minorcan's good manner of handling their environment and the quality and abundance of ecosystems on the island. Furthermore, the example of Maó and this history of its port sheds light on the singularity of this unique culture. Minorca, an idiosyncrasy worth conserving.