Menorca, declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1993, is shyly stepping into the spotlight as the unspoiled Mediterranean destination you’ve always dreamed of finding before the crowds got there. The quietest and most authentically rural of the four Balearic Islands has recently seen the opening of several superb hotels, and it has emerged as a serious gastronomic destination. Connoisseurs of the Balearics insist Menorca has the best beaches. The 30-mile-long and 10-mile-wide island is also a terrific destination for walkers: Camí de Cavalls is a well-marked 185-mile footpath that circles the island. And Menorca is avidly equestrian, with many riding trails and several stables that hire out the locally bred black horses. Mahón, Menorca’s largest city, is quietly becoming a stylish, arty place.

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