Places we’ve loved: Binibeca Vell, Menorca, Spain
Binibeca Vell is Blonde’s location version of an ideal date: attractive, well groomed, friendly but not intrusive and doesn’t expect you to spend the night after enjoying its pleasures.
When Blonde and Brunette went to Spain for the TBEX Travel Bloggers’ Conference we managed to turn a three day conference into a three week trip. Five days were spent on Menorca, one of Spain’s Balearic Islands.
Brunette had completed her customary pre-trip research which far exceeds that required to receive a PhD in physics. (Unless of course you have a PhD in physics in which case we admit we don’t even know if research is involved. We’re just trying to make the point that the woman is thorough!)
She knew that Binibeca Vell was designed by the architect Antoni Sintes, built in 1972 and (very controversially) designed to recreate a traditional Moorish fishing village. It was also named in such a way that you would be constantly confused as to whether you were in Binibeca Vell, Binibequer Vell (same thing maybe) or Cala Torret so for our purposes they’re all the same place.
The controversy was that it was new and made to look old, unlike Blonde who is old and tries very hard to look new. Binibeca Vell is having more success than is Blonde.
Binibeca Vell has spotless whitewashed buildings, narrow cobblestone streets and no cars in town. It’s along a picturesque old harbor and consists primarily of small restaurants and shops. (As we were there in mid-September there weren’t any crowds but in high season we heard that it can be clogged with sightseers so beware.) It’s intended to be a residential town – there are virtually no hotels – so if you want to stay nearby you will need to rent an apartment or small home, most likely in Cala Torret.
When we visited we followed our standard itinerary: food, shopping and swimming. We had lunch sitting outside at Sal Musclera. Blonde had yummy fresh grilled fish and Brunette had either a pizza (unlikely but can’t remember or tell from the picture) or something that might have been served to Oliver Twist.
In our beery haze (after one small beer apiece) we wandered around town and found a very nice boutique with a collection of slightly funky but highly wearable ladies’ clothes, scarves and jewelry and a pleasant proprietress with impressively good skin. (She claims the secret is an oil called Dernova rosa mosqueta which Blonde has been slathering on her own face ever since.)
After boosting the local economy we took in a few more of the sights in this very small and walkable town.
As the rock ledge “beach” didn’t call out to us we drove a little way out of town for a swim at nearby Cala de Binibeca.
After our enjoyable dip in the sea we walked over to the bar which had unreasonably restrictive clothing regulations for women.
How did this bar get to be so popular with such ridiculous rules? (Answer: It’s the only bar there.)
We also bumbled upon a talented but seemingly despondent sand sculptor and his despondent, but impressive, creations.
If you’re interested in going to Binibeca Vell try to go slightly before or after the main tourist season so you can enjoy it, as we did, in an uncrowded state. And wear a top (women) but not white clothing as otherwise your traveling companions may not be able to discern you from all of the white buildings.