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Exploring the Island’s Quarries

For hundreds of years the warm yellow sandstone of Menorca has been quarried on the island and used to construct its most important and impressive buildings.

Líthica: Quarries of S’Hostal

Often when quarries are no longer used they are simply filled with rubble and abandoned – this was to be the fate of the Pedreras de s’Hostal quarry, just outside Cuitadella, which fell into disuse in 1994.

However, the quarry was visited by an unlikely saviour: sculptor Laetitia Lara and the Association Líthica. The team from this cultural non-profit organisation set out to rescue the quarry and give it a new life.

Centuries of History

The team at Líthica were fascinated by the visible history of the quarry, which bears the marks of over 200 years of excavation. You can see where first the stone was extracted haphazardly by hand, with the saw cuts of masons who worked there in the eighteenth century. The later, machine-tooled extractions have left the walls of the quarry in beautifully sculptural and geometric shapes.

The Quarry Today

Now the quarry is a truly unique and magical environment that the public have the chance to enjoy. You can walk through the maze of high stone walls, among lush landscaped gardens where orange, lemon and fig trees grow in shelter from the strong winds that scour the island. It really does feel like you have stepped onto another planet as you wend your way through this astounding space.

There is a general route which will carry you through ten differently-themed quarries, with names such as Amphitheatre, Almonds and Pond. The walk will take you around an hour with a guide – tours cost around €5 – but there are also numerous opportunities to sit back, relax and soak up the unique atmosphere of the quarries for an entire evening when they are used as performance spaces in the summer.

Wherever your villa is located on the island, I would highly recommend a visit to experience the otherworldly beauty of this unique place. If you’re staying in one of our villas in Cala Galdana, you’re in luck – the Líthica quarry is just a twenty-minute drive away!

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