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Minorca - the wind's island

To start with, let's talk about Minorca, this island is the easternmost island in the Balearic Island group. It has a surface area of 702 Km2. It stretches from 'Cap de la Mola' to 'Punta de Bajol', a total of 53 Km in length. It is divided into two regions the 'tramuntana' region and the 'migjorn' region. The Tramutana region is rougher, due to the geological folding of the earth's crust and other land faults; its coastline is very jagged and we can find extraordinarily beautiful natural harbours. The 'migjorn' region has a homogenous low lying terrain with pretty coves and white sandy beaches which have more vegetation.

One of Minorca's most impressive characteristics is, without doubt, the wind. The mythical 'tramuntana' wind blows very frequently on the island and makes the place one of the favourite destinations for lovers of sailing, surf and other water sports. It also leaves its mark on the island's landscape leaving evidence of its power and strength on the whole island, both on its geographical features and on its plant life.

The 'tramuntana' wind starts when there is an area of high pressure centred over the Azores and an area of low pressure over central Europe. The northern wind flows into the Western Mediterranean through the Rodan valley bringing along with it a notable drop in temperatures. Majorca is affected less due to being protected by the Tramutana mountain range, but Minorca which does not have any mountains, is left at the mercy of the winds which leave their mark on the landscape and attract lovers of water sports from all over the world, especially big sailing fans.

The island of Minorca is located at the height of the 'Leon' gulf which is why it is more affected by the wind than any other in the Balearic island group. The Minorcan 'tramuntana' wind blows on average, thirty days a year and lasts for approximately 18 hours. This makes the wind one of the richest sources of wind power in the Western Mediterranean.

These conditions make Minorca a favourite destination for lovers of sailing and other water sports. To practise these water sports requires you to be fit, to have good equipment and to respect the sea especially when the wind is at its strongest.

The sports on offer in Minorca include, as we have already mentioned, water sports which are the most important. The island's natural harbours offer an ideal location to practise any activity related to the sea. In addition to the sailing clubs at Mahon, Ciutadella, Fornells and Es Castell we can find places to rent equipment on most beaches and there are specialist centres where courses can be taken. 'Cala en Bosch', 'Platja de Son Xoriguer' and particularly the protected area around 'Fornells' and 'Ses Salines' stand out.

'Fornells' looks like a large shallow sea lake and its shoreline is the only shelter in the whole area. It is an paradise because of its beauty as a harbour and as a spot for water sport lovers, especially sailing.

Minorca is characterised by its flat land with its exits to the sea which are all over the place, its climate is hot in summer and mild in winter. There are large swathes of exceptionally beautiful land such as on the 'Costa Nord' nature reserve, an area of straight coastlines and steep cliffs where large numbers of different species of marine birds nest in addition to herring gulls, Audouin's gulls, shearwaters and cormorants. The lighthouse and 'Punta Nati' present an impressive scene of forty metre high cliffs where you can practise water sports

For example, 'Cala en Bosch' dedicates part of its installations to adventure water sports, as well as surfing, sailing or diving, water skiing or paragliding while tied to a motor boat which can be practised by those who dare or who are just plain curious.

Minorca is without doubt the place for variety in water sports, its waters are ideal for all kinds of water sports, fishing, diving, windsurfing, water skiing and sailing which as we have already said is the number one sport, therefore a lover of these sports should not hesitate, Minorca is the place to go!

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