A SPANISH island has been dubbed the country’s “new Ibiza” with locals saying it’s even better than the original.
Menorca, one of the Balearic Islands, has been named one of the hottest places to be this summer – and it’s not just because of the weather.
While its sisters Majorca and Ibiza are known for fun, Menorca is one of the more laidback islands, although still with beautiful beaches and amazing restaurants.
Just a few hours from the UK by plane, most tourists visit for the long stretches of sand, with the island even declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO.
There are also beautiful old churches including the 13th century Santa Maria Cathedral, and stunning views, especially from El Toro, Menorca’s highest mountain.
And both locals and celebs have been praising the island, saying it’s better than Ibiza.
Irish singer Roísín Murphy visited the island with her mum and said she fell in love with it, calling it a “cross between Ibiza and Ireland”.
A hotel owner on the island described Menorca to the Times as “super cool” and “definitely happening” while others have said it was much less expensive than Ibiza and now becoming much trendier.
Journalist Stacey Duguid, who bought a home in Ciutadella on the West coast of the island, found Menorca to be “like the old, magical Ibiza, but without the clubs”.
She added: “I wouldn’t buy in Ibiza even if I could afford it.
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“There’s too much of [Ibiza] that’s boring, soulless, expensive, lifeless and full of all the people I’d avoid in London.”
According to Pimms Chetwynd Talbot, who works in property on the island, there are a series of unwritten rules that are followed on the island by locals that might explain Menorca’s charm.
He said: “Buy an old car, do not try to show off because it will not go down well.
“You get people who have bought a big country house, a six or seven million euro finca [rural property], driving a wrecked Fiat Panda.”
Despite this, Menorca has been popular with Brits for years, due to its affordable beach breaks and good weather.
Tour operators including Jet2, TUI and easyJet Holidays have all been offering package deals to the island for years.
However, holidays to another one of the Balearic Islands are about to get more expensive.
The cost of a holiday to Majorca could rise by as much as 33 per cent, according to a tourism expert.
And on the mainland, a new sleeper train will link Barcelona to another major European city.
The new route means Brit holidaymakers will be able to go to Spain without having to board a plane.