May’s my favourite time of year to be on Menorca. For lots of reasons.
This month marks the official start to the tourist season – although these days many hotels still don’t open until mid-month – and there are signs that summer is officially on its way everywhere. Piles of sunbeds and parasols appear on the sand; beachbars pull up their shutters, brush their terraces and optimistically put their ice cream menus on view; and many a bar and restaurant that has spent the best part of the winter in hibernation, opens up again.
And then there are the tourists. I spotted a few just this morning – bravely wearing flip flops and strappy tops when I haven’t even given up my winter boots yet – looking lost, spending ridiculous amounts of time trying to decipher labels on tins and pots in the supermarket, or out on the streets, pretending that they know where they are going.
Now’s a great time of year to go out. Waiters, which are worn out and tired of hearing the same questions by late August, serve you with a smile, take time to chat, and will go out of their way to please. And May means Menorca’s choice of eateries practically doubles overnight – that winter headache of only a handful of restaurants per town to choose from disappears. Now you can pop out for a meal on a whim, and at this early stage of the season, you don’t even have to reserve!
And there’s another reason why I love to be in Menorca during May: the island’s looking her best. Weeks of consecutive sunshine haven’t yet dried up the wild flowers and long grass that have sprung up in fallow fields; fruit trees are weighed down with blossom and the island’s farmland is lush and green from winter rains – not brown and stubby post-harvest.
So why is it that people only ever want to come here in August?