Menorca has been inhabited for many thousands of years, long before it and its friendly people, rolling hills, beautiful countryside, long beaches and the warm, blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea were discovered by the modern holidaymaker. |
While on your holiday in Menorca, evidence of the island’s long history can be found dating back as far as 1400 BCE. Situated between Alaior and Son Bou you’ll find the remains of an ancient Talayotic city – Torre d’en Galmes.
The Talayotic Era
The talayots (sometimes spelled talaiots), are Bronze Age stone structures found on Menorca and Majorca dating back to the end of the second millennium and early first millennium BC. There are at least 274 of these structures, the use of which is not clearly understood. While on your holiday in Menorca, take a day to explore the fascinating ruins of Torre d’en Galmes – you’ll have a captivating day of discovery.
What You’ll Find on the Site
The site sits on a small hill overlooking the sea. During its heyday, the settlement (which was continuously inhabited until the end of the Roman era and then sporadically until the end of the Muslim conquest in the 13th century AD) was one of the largest in the islands.
As you wander through the ruins, you’ll discover three stone megaliths (talayots). Their use is not known but is thought that they may have been watchtowers as they provide a commanding view over the surrounding countryside. Look for the remains of defensive walls that were used to protect the city and its inhabitants.
The talayots predate the taula (a stone arch reminiscent of those at Stonehenge) which can also be found on the site. This impressive piece of ancient engineering sits inside a horseshoe-shaped enclosure with its capstone close by.
You’ll also find remains of some of the dwellings common during this period; round, stone structures with a number of rooms and a central, communal living area. Look for one house with a room of columns (Sala Hipostila). This structure is still partially roofed with large stones and is quite impressive.
When you’re exploring the houses, notice how they take advantage of the natural surroundings and lay of the land – some are even built around natural caves to provide extra shelter and perhaps protection.
In the south of the site, there is evidence of an extensive water storage and supply system – vital in the hot Mediterranean climate.
Where to Stay
The closest towns are Alaior, Cala en Porter, or Son Bou. All have excellent places to stay during your holiday in Menorca, including luxury rental villas, hotels and guest houses.
Torre d’en Galmes is a 20-minute drive from any of these towns and the site is open year round from 10:00 to 14:00 (Tuesday to Sunday). Entrance is just 2.4 euro but free during the winter months.
Brenda Jaaback, Managing Director of Bartle Holidays, is a renowned Menorca expert. From its history to its people and from its wildlife to its cuisine - no secret of the island remains hidden to her. Personally selecting the finest properties for her clients, Brenda is the go-to person for anyone planning a relaxing holiday in Menorca. Bartle Holidays makes no warranty as to the accuracy of information contained in this article and excludes any liability of any kind for the information.
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