Three talayots from the Talaiotic settlement at Montefí, Ciudadela, Menorca

Discover the Talayots of Minorca


Prehistoric remains exclusively found in the Balearic Islands

Beyond its lovely coves, Menorca has other treasures for the curious-minded. The talayots, taulas or navetas: unusual megalithic constructions scattered throughout the island. In fact, Talayotic Menorca has been awarded the World Heritage designation by UNESCO for having one of the world's highest densities of prehistoric archaeological sites in inhabited territory.This island has about 1,600 prehistoric sites. Visiting these archaeological remains is relatively easy, because most of them are outdoors and form part of the landscape. Stepping back in time to prehistory was never easier.

Unique archaeology in the Balearic Islands

Among the turquoise waters and the green Mediterranean plants we find the shades of grey of thousand-year-old rocks. The Talayotic culture bursts into Menorca's colour palette with a note of exclusivity that increases its appeal: Next to Mallorca, this is the only place in the world where it existed.Most of these prehistoric monuments recalling the life of the first civilisations to inhabit Menorca are from the 9th century BCE. Details like these make visitors even more curious, encouraging them to explore the island’s history “stone by stone”. Questions arise: What were these constructions used for?   

Aerial view of a Talayot in Son Fornes

Rituals, necropolis, symbols of union

To examine the talayots you have to look up, as they are stone towers that can be as much as five metres tall. As well as having a defensive function, being used to monitor the area, the talayots were considered a symbol of the unity of the community.The taulas were shrines, used for fertility rituals, animal sacrifices, and even breaking amphoras! Fire was an important feature of these spaces. Another type of building only found on Menorca are navetas, group tombs made of mid-sized stones. Among the gullies and ditches of the island, we often find funerary caves and necropoles, which unlike the above are usually quite hard to access.

Naveta dels tudons, Ciudadela, Menorca

From Mahón to Ciutadella

A possible route which amateur archaeologists will like runs along either side of the road crossing inland Menorca (Me-1). This is a route from east to west with strategic side trips. As there are so many Talaiotic remains, the idea is to focus on the best-conserved. Here are a few examples:- Trepucó settlement (2 kilometres from Mahón)- Megalithic burial site of Biniai Nou (5 kilometres from Mahón)- Taula of Torralba d'en Salord (between Mahón and Alaior)- Settlement of Talatí de Dalt- Necropolis of Calescoves- Naveta des Tudons (Ciutadella)- Taula de Torretrencada (Ciutadella)In any case, lacking an adventurous sixth sense, there are also guided tours to see the most iconic remains of the Talaiotic culture on Menorca, for added insight into this odd monument.

Taula at Trepucó, Menorca
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