Mahon or Mao is the capital of Menorca. Mahon is a coastal town that has one of the largest natural harbours in the world. It is suitable for large cruise ships and seems to be very popular. Almost every day you can see cruise ships coming and going or being on berth in the harbour. This means the city is quite busy with a lot of (day) tourists. Nevertheless, the atmosphere is relaxed and still has the character of a small city. A good place to be if you like sitting in a cafe or bar, watching people.
Most of the city is relatively high up above the water. The harbour and yacht harbour are at sea level with some bars, restaurants, cafes and shops but most of the city, including the historic city center, is uphill protected from the sea with a very good view over the harbour.
If you walk along the yacht harbour, you will see Mo the mermaid sitting on a rock, facing the sea. A legend says, she rescued the son of a Carthaginian general when he shipwrecked on the shores of what was back then a barely inhabited island. Mo and the general’s son fell in love and had a romance until he died in battle one day. Ever since then the Mo has been waiting for him, sitting on her rock, convinced that he will return some day.
The historic city is on top of the hill and well preserved with a lot of old sandstone buildings, including many churches. A lot of roads are small and narrow. The Portal de Sant Roc is an archway that stands out when you explore the historic city. The archway was originally built in 1359 and was part of the old city wall. It is now the only remaining gate of the original castle walls
Mahon is not just full of history. My eyes got caught by the smart idea of reusing water bottles as plant hanging baskets on a pallet. So simple and very decorative. We liked the idea so much, that we bought said water bottles and took them home with us.
One of the many churches in Mahon is the Iglesia del Carmen. Coming from the cruise harbour and taking the many stair up to the historic city centre, a nice view opens up with some houses built into the rock and what was probably the city wall long time ago. Above the house the back of the Iglesia del Carmen is visible.
These are only a few impressions of Mahon and what the city has to offer. There is a lot more what you can see, do and experience.