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Ciudadella

39’ 59”.8 N, 3’ 49”.5 E
harbour on menorca
Ciudadella lies on the western end of Menorca, and is a favourite destination for sailers from Pollensa, Alcudia and Ratjada. The journey across the Menorca Channel takes between five and nine hours depending on the conditions, and is a prime location for the chance of seeing dolphins.

The town was the original seat of administration on the island before it was transferred to Mahon in 1722. The harbour is long and narrow and shoals towards the head. Two ferries run out of Ciudedella. The rapid hydrofoil takes foot passengers to Cala Ratjada on Mallorca. The car ferry goes to Palma. The ferry itself is enormous and it has absolute right of way in the narrow entrance. A pilot boat is in attendance whenever the ferry approaches or leaves the harbour and will chase any yacht that does not clear the fairway with flashing lights and strong words.

The harbour of Ciudadella is popular and, like Ratjada, yachts are expected to raft alongside the quayside in the visitor's area. (The harbour itself is barely wide enough to support yachts moored bows- or stern-to.)

The old town is a warren of narrow streets and crooked turns. Rumour has it that the higgledy-piggledy design of Ciudadella was an intentional strategy to confound the pirates who regularly attacked the town for much of its history.

Ciudadella makes much of seafood and is particularly renowned for its Bogavante, a sort of spiny lobster with a single large claw.


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