Mahon on the small Balearic Island of Minorca was the final stop on my Mediterranean cruise before disembarkation in Barcelona. It was also one of the most spectacular arrivals I have ever done on a cruise ship. Sailing up through the narrow channel was amazing, at some points it seemed as if we weren’t going to get through but of course we did.
Mahon has the second deepest natural harbour in the world where amazingly the water remains almost entirely clear.
Once the ship had docked and been cleared by the authorities we were allowed off to start exploring the city. Mahon is small and can be seen on foot relatively quickly. It was established as the island’s capital in 1722 when the British began their nearly 80 year occupation. You can still see the British influence in the four story Georgian townhouses that line the streets nearest the port.
The narrow streets of the Old Town area are just a short walk from the port. The architecture that can be seen in these streets gives a glimpse into the towns historical past from the Roman to the present day Spanish rule.
For a small town Mahon has a good selection of shops situated along the streets between two plaza’s. The larger of the two is lined with cafe’s and restaurants and was busy with tourists and locals.
The other is more tranquil and the site of the Church of Santa Maria which is famous for its organ. Next door the Carmen Convent now houses the municipal market in its cloisters.
Mahon is a lovely city and although there’s not a huge amount to see here it was nice to just walk around stopping for coffee and taking in the calm and pleasant atmosphere, a very enjoyable few hours ashore.
This brings me to the end of my cruise, the next stop is Barcelona where unfortunately I have to fly straight home and back to work.