When you get tired of Menorca’s stunning beaches, picturesque towns and country restaurants, where do you go? Many visitors choose to take in some of the island’s cultural sights – including Talayotic villages and monuments. A site from the more recent past is the atmospheric Lithica, near Ciutadella: a centuries-old quarry that has been lovingly restored since the early 1990s, when the trustees decided to rent the site rather than allowing it to be filled in.
Hollowed out of the sandstone landscape, these cavernous spaces have been turned into a series of gardens, showcasing the various species of plants native to the island and the Mediterranean as a whole. Walkways wind through shaded walkways and through sandstone arches, fountains babble in hidden gardens and, unusually for Menorca, the shade is deep and cool. In other parts of the site, mazes are laid out for visitors to get lost in from ground level and wonder at from above.
The four labyrinths at Lithica – as well as the labyrinthine layout of the quarries themselves – are carefully thought-out and popular with visitors. The Orchard maze winds through the quarries themselves and the natural gardens that have flourished within. The Totem Labyrinth and the Minotaur Labyrinth, meanwhile, show different sides of the site.
We were also lucky enough to have been able to catch one of the concerts that are held at Lithica throughout the summer months. Organized by the staff of Hotel Tres Sants in Ciutadella, this year saw events including film screenings, classical music, flamenco and theatre. We saw the lovely folksinger Carrie Tree, whose music was perfectly complemented by the setting: a circle of wooden chairs and tealights deep in the heart of one of the old, rock-hewn gardens. Buy tickets from either Lithica, the Hotel Tres Sants or adjacent Cafeteria Anima, and bear in mind that you will need either a car or taxi to get to Lithica for the show. For arty types, Lithica also hosts sculpture workshops and open-air art classes – check their website for details.
Address: Lithica. Cami Vell km1, 07760, Ciutadella de Menorca
Tel: +34 971 481 578