Having recently been on a little break to the so say fa ily friendly island on Menorca I though it would be worthwhile to dedicate a post to it, after all this is a family blog with a particular penchant for travel, pretty fitting I’d say.
So anyway before departing for said holiday I heard the title phrase a lot. It seemed as though everyone was in on this secret family orientated destination that I, having a young family, was not. So we had seemingly lucked in on booking this family special, when in reality it was all that was that was left when trawling the net for hours on end booking a last minute getaway.
During my stay I pondered this phrase a lot, is it really a family friendly resort? We travelled around a lot of the island (and I mean a lot, you can get from one side to the other in 50 minutes) and saw lots that it has to offer – lounging by the pool with two babies is a feat greater than climbing Everest. Firstly, the resort we stayed in, Arenal d’en Castell, is gorgeous and idyllic resort with a stunning beach but it is built in a bloody great hill, again Everest springs to mind. Menorca, the home of the step! All over the complex there are steps, steps to and from reception, steps to the restaurant and even steps to most of the rooms. With two buggies it can be a bit of a nightmare. You can often get round the steps but usually involves a long walk up a lot of steep hills. Fortunately me and Mr TM didn’t mind this too much as we enjoy a good walk and the exercise but it’s not to everyone’s taste. Especially when hauling buggies, kids, bags and half the beach with you.
It is also is not comparable to the likes of Salut where you have Port Aventura or Costa Del Sol where you have Terra Mitica, the theme park come water park or the busy streets full of shops (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing) but still that is the pull for many families.
There are also not huge amounts of what I would call child friendly places to eat. Allow me to explain I have two extremes in my children when it comes to food. One who is a human dustbin, you can put anything in front of him and he will eat it. I am yet to find something he doesn’t like. It’s great because I know he is eating nutritious good food. My daughter on the other hand is horrendous. She hardly eats. And what she does eat is usually crap. It is a stressful pain in the arse, at best. I would say, when it comes to children’s meals in Menorca they are generally better suited to my daughter. Crappy beige food. Most children’s menus consist of, sausage and chips, fish fingers and chips, chicken nuggets and chips or Spag Bol. Kids dream admittedly but 14 days of it isn’t ideal.
It’s all left me wondering what is so family friendly about the beautiful, hilly, quiet rock that is Menorca? Well after some pondering I do believe it is two fold. Firstly everybody but everybody loves yours little ones. Anywhere you go to eat, to shop to just pass by your little ones are made a fuss of. When you park up in a restaurant with your two babies and two prams there is no rolling of the eyes or huffing and puffing, instead they welcome your young first. They are smiled at, talked too, played with. My two were constantly being high fives, ticketed, even cuddled by some of the hotel staff. That Old school stuffy British attitude I have come up against so many times of ‘children should be seen and not heard’ is non existent. Kids are welcomed not matter how small or annoying.
Secondly, and I think this is the clincher, I have seen 3 police officers and they were essentially performing the role of a lollipop lady as kids left school… Seemingly the lack of police presence is simply because they are not needed. It is a small and incredibly safe island where your children are safe to run along thr beach or to the park, I know as cautious Brits we wouldn’t let them out of our sights but dare I say our caution is not needed on this quiet and serene island. In this respect it is not like the mainland or even Majorca where you do notice the presence (albeit often minimal) of the Guarda Civil strolling the streets, there are no club 18-30, no stag or head dos, or if there are they are the tame relaxing type, it’s is not a loud busy boozy place but a place where young families and the older generation come to getaway from life’s everyday. My 18 year old self would have been mortified at a holiday with friends here and that I believe is why it is such a family friendly resort.