Spain Tops Euro Quality Poll - By: Roger Munns
The news that a recent survey showed Spain had the best quality of life in Europe came as a surprise to few - millions head there from all over Europe the moment they get the opportunity, and puts Spain as top of the holiday league too for Europeans.
And hundreds of thousands of British, German, Scandanavian and other tourists have liked Spain enough to move there full time - either to set up a business or for retirement, swapping their homelands for a new life in Europe's best country for quality of life.
With inflation returning to Europe the survey noted that petrol and food costs were lower in Spain, and that taxation was no higher than in many other European countries.
Life expectancy is good in Spain, perhaps due to the Mediterranean diet, especially on islands like Menorca which keep up the Spanish traditional foods - but not as good as neighbouring country Andorra, which has the longest life expectancy in the world.
Two other factors were included in the survey that saw Spain lead the way, and both of them are well known by other Europeans who frequent the country on their holidays.
One is the working hours, including the famous afternoon siesta, and the other the amount of sunshine Spain enjoys.
Apart from the Spanish mainland and the coastal areas of the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca, the country has both the Balearic and Canary Islands to boost their tourism, and Spain is the number one destination in Europe for holidays.
Majorca, the most popular of all the Spanish holiday islands, first started to develop as a tourist destination as far back as the 1920s. Today, Majorca sees more than six million visitors each year.
In recent months, three hotels in Majorca have received Excellence and Leisure Nominations and Awards, showing that private enterprise as well as the local authority is prepared to invest in the future to keep the island as a favourite holiday destination for Europeans - and they are extending the summer season to the winter as well. Winter holidays in Majorca are more peaceful and relaxing than their summertime counterparts. With winter temperatures often 15 degrees Celsius (nearly 60 degrees Fahrenheit), even wintertime walks on the white sand beaches can be amazing.
Neighbouring island Menorca is smaller than Majorca. Menorca is the second largest of Spain's three Balearic Islands, and there are plenty of villages and towns in Menorca that see as much loyalty from returning holidaymakers as Majorca does with hers.
Binibeca village is a beautiful, quiet resort consisting of Cala Torret in the east and Binebeca Vell to the west. This resort consists of all low-rise apartments and villas and offers no high-rise accommodations. The area around Binibeca has a variety of high-quality bars, restaurants and stores. It's favoured by those who prefer a quiet family holiday and solitude more than other resorts.
Son Bou on the other side of the island is home to the largest and, for many visitors, the best beach on Menorca, accessible via a tunnel down the road from Alaior. This resort has two hotels at the eastern end. With just shy of two kilometers of beach bars, there is no shortage of opportunity for fun. For the more modest holidaymaker, note that the further west you go on this beach, the more scantily dressed the beach-goers are. It is perhaps not a good choice for a family vacation, but an ideal spot for couples or a group of friends.
Menorca has a good mix of resorts, but one thing is common throughout the island - the relaxing Spanish lifestyle and diet that makes Spain the best country to live in in Europe.
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More details about the Spanish island of Menorca is available via yourmenorca.net
Travel companies who offer Minorca holidays and airlines with flights to Minorca are featured, plus reviews for Minorca hotels