It’s not often that Menorca gets a mention on the 9 o clock news, and on the few occasions that it has happened – when the oldest man in the world died (he was 114 and lived in Es Migjorn), or other, not so nice events involving death and/or illegal immigrants that are probably best forgotten – it hasn’t always been for the most charming of reasons. So it was particularly refreshing to see images of Binissafúller beach beamed across to the nation last night, showing Menorca’s pale, sugary sands at their finest, bordered by inoffensive waves that the crystal blue sea sent shorewards from time to time. And the fact that only a handful of bathers shared this summery scene made it that much more attractive – nothing like the chaos of crowded sands and sardine-style towel laying that occurs on certain beaches in August.
So who do we have to thank for this valuable promotion of Menorca’s undeveloped coastline on prime-time telly? Well, by some freak of nature, while the rest of Spain has been drawn out of its Indian summer in a flurry of flash floods, torrential rain and rumbling volcanoes, Menorca’s somehow managed to wallow in the last rays of sunshine and not only is the sea still swimmable, but the beach is very much still sunbathable too – even for locals (and they’re the first ones to stay at home at the slightest wisp of cloud or if the mercury falls below 25 degrees).
Menorcans had good reason to feel smug, then, when picture-postcard shots of the island’s sun-drenched coastline appeared on our screens – just seconds after scenes of ladies wearing wellies in Valencia, geologists staring skywards for signs of smoke from El Hierro’s volcano or frustrated waiters closing their sodden beach bars early in Mallorca. All in all, it’s a good argument to come on holiday here, rather than anywhere else.