Kiko discovers stories about the castles and canyons in Menorca
Today I will visit Fornells. It is a fishing village situated in the north of Menorca. It has a large bay, a castle and all the way at the top a tower from where they used to guard the sea to avoid pirates reaching the shore. Isn’t it exciting?
A few months ago I was in Fornells with Hooky. He wanted to get to know all the places where the pirates entered with their boats to try and conquer the island. I wanted to see the port where they took the privateers that crossed the Mediterranean.
A castle that created a village
Today I'm very relaxed, walking along the seashore up to the Castle of San Antonio. Actually, what I am seeing is what remains of the building that was built in the seventeenth century, more than 300 years ago. It took 40 years to finish and many people on the island moved to live in Fornells to work on it.
That´s why they say, that this castle is originally from Fornells. Before that, only a few fishermen lived in this area.
More than 200 years ago, in 1782, ordered by King Carlos III, the Spanish military destroyed it. Left was only the first floor, where they kept water, storages and a patio.
In the summer the castle is illuminated at night and classical music concerts are organized. It's a great show!
Swimming in the lobster vivarium
Near the castle there is a large space with shade, benches and stairs leading down into the sea. Although the day is cloudy there are some children swimming because the sea water is not cold at all.
A sculpture reminds people that they used to watched from here the arrival of the boats coming in. Here there also used to be an old lobster vivarium. They were small pools where the fishermen kept the lobsters alive before selling them. Our guide, Borja, explains us that the village children learned how to swim here. I hope that they took the lobsters out before going in!
Next to it is the Boatswain house. It was an old sea rescue station which has now become a port office.
Goats in the bay
The walk between the palm trees is beautiful. A sundial beside the dock catches my attention. When I visited Binibeca before I also saw one which was beautifully painted on a wall. There are many boats moored on the shore. Most are small because the bay is not very deep.
If you go kayaking you will find that there are four very small coves. At one of them, Cabra Salada, they say that there are goats that approach the beach because of the people arriving. By kayak you can get there in 5 minutes, but when walking, it is a long way so many people do not often go to see.
Today there is a group of young windsurfers windsurfing. The windsurfer’s sails give color to the calm sea water. From the last dock on, I see the three islands that are within the bay. There is where the "sargantanes" live; these are typical lizards you will find on the island.
The tower guarding the Mediterranean
At the end of the bay I take the path that climbs up to the highest point of the village. There is the Tower of Fornells. The British built it more than 200 years ago and is very well preserved. It's awesome.
It is one of the largest defense towers on the island and it is made of large stone blocks. From up here the views are beautiful. It is a perfect place to watch from afar boats approaching the shore.
I also see entrances leading to some caves. They say pirate’s kept their most valuable stolen pieces there during the sixteenth century and that smugglers in the twentieth century used them as stores to sell their products.
Heating the cannonballs
If you go you should visit the inside of the tower. There is a storage room where the military kept their weapons, ammunition, food and water for the troops. They lived there and they took turns to stand on the watch out, always attentive when boats arriving.
On the top floor they had guns and a small oven where they heated red-hot bullets. So when firing towards ships it would cause fire and wreck them. How curious!
From up here I can see the lighthouse of Cavalleria which I visited a few months ago and enjoyed a wonderful sunset. On the right, we see the Mola de Fornells. It is a beautiful natural area. I have to prepare a tour one day to get to learn more about it.
The guardian eagle
Once going down towards the village, I see an osprey flying over the tower. It seems that it is watching me and controlling to see if everything is in order. I also see cormorants on the bay approaching the fishing boats.
I walk through the small streets in between the white houses and terraces where people are enjoying the sun and waiting to eat something. Perhaps lobster stew which is a typical dish here.
I'm going now. They are waiting for me at Club Kikoland and I do not want to be late. Do you already know Fornells? I liked visiting the castle and imagining how they lived there 200 years ago. What part of Fornells did you enjoy most?
Fornells is 23 km. away from Son Bou. It is on the main road towards Es Mercadal and onto the right.
With public transport it is complicated because you have to take at least two buses and combine the schedules. We recommend you to rent a vehicle.
At the entrance to the village, next to the football field, there is a free parking area.
The Tower of Fornells you can visit every day except Tuesday, from 9.30 am to 15 hours. The price for a ticket is € 2.40. It is free for children under 8 years. Monday admission is free for everyone.
The Castillo de San Antonio you can visit at any time because there you can only access the outside part.